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ASME Conference Presenter Attendance Policy and Archival Proceedings

2016;():V005T00A001. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-NS5.
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This online compilation of papers from the ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE2016) represents the archival version of the Conference Proceedings. According to ASME’s conference presenter attendance policy, if a paper is not presented at the Conference by an author of the paper, the paper will not be published in the official archival Proceedings, which are registered with the Library of Congress and are submitted for abstracting and indexing. The paper also will not be published in The ASME Digital Collection and may not be cited as a published paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Applied Mechanics, Dynamic Systems and Control Engineering

2016;():V005T06A001. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65079.

Applied mechanics is a branch of the physical sciences that describes the response of bodies (solids and fluids) or systems of bodies to external forces. It deals with the basic concepts of force, moment and its effects on the bodies at rest or in motion. It helps engineers or engineering students to understand how different bodies behave under the application of different types of loads. Mechanics can be broadly divided into two branches as called Statics and Dynamics. Statics deals with the bodies at rest whereas dynamics involves studies related to bodies in motion. In particular, the major emphasis of a dynamics course is to provide the details of the principles of applied mechanics or physics with the studies of motion of objects caused by forces or torques. It is an important course to develop a method of stripping a problem to its essentials and solving it in a logical, organized manner. In our institution, we offer a one-quarter long Dynamics class for Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) curriculum. This course teaches several topics of solving dynamics problems that belong to Kinematics in Rectilinear & Angular Motions, Plane Motion, Kinetics, Work & Energy, and Impulse & Momentum. This course is designed for the MET students, who are more “hands-on” and have mathematical knowledge up to Calculus II. However, the prerequisite of this course is Tech Statics, not Calculus II. On the other hand, the prerequisites of Tech Statics are Physics and Pre-Cal-II. Therefore, MET students enrolled in Dynamics course solve problems using algebra rather than using calculus. As a whole, this course becomes challenging to convey different concepts of dynamics to our students within 10 weeks’ time frame. To facilitate the overall learning, the course instructors solve different interesting realistic dynamics problems, besides solving the conventional problems from the text book. Solving these realistic dynamics problem helps our students to enhance their conceptual understanding, and motivate them to pursue further in subsequent chapters. The paper presents in details several interesting problems related to different chapters and how they are linked to convey the targeted message related to course objectives. The paper also presents how different topics taught in this class fulfill the targeted course objectives, which are mapped with ABET Engineering Technology criteria. While a course in Dynamics could be a common offering in many universities, the authors of this paper presents the pedagogical approaches undertaken to successfully teach or implement the course objectives to the undergraduate engineering technology students.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A002. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65378.

Finite element analysis has become an essential part of the formal design process since it can be used to verify the functionality and life of design components in their loading environments. For large engineering firms with numerous analysts that have varying years of experience, it can be challenging to ensure that analysis results are accurate and free of modeling errors. A finite element analysis checklist (FEA Checklist) can be used as a desktop tool to provide an auditing procedure that each analyst has to follow to prove to both supervisors and, more importantly, customers that the finite element models were created and solved correctly such that the results can be trusted.

In this work, an approach to teaching an introduction to the finite element method for undergraduates is proposed. The proposed course structure includes lectures for theoretical development, where the theory is developed using familiar undergraduate mechanics and mathematics concepts, and a computational practicum, where the practicum uses approaches based on industry finite element analysis techniques.

In the computational practicum, students are tasked with using a finite element analysis checklist to complete all of their analysis projects. During a recent offering of the course, the students were anonymously surveyed regarding the utility of the finite element analysis checklist. 100% of the students agreed that the checklist provided a useful tool to help them understand and execute the finite element method, and nearly half of them agreed strongly.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A003. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65970.

Bergen University College reconstructed its undergraduate Rigid Body Dynamics course. This was more than a typical course redesign. It was a philosophical reconstruction of both content and delivery based on modern mathematics and emerging visualization technologies. Assessment suggests that the reconstructed course articulates the underlying mathematics, motivates students by providing solutions to realistic problems in engineering, increases students’ conceptual understanding of dynamics and reduces student attrition in engineering.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A004. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66110.

This paper explores the concept of an automated virtual lab in the area of system design and analysis. The project combines different research activities in automated design analysis using the graph grammar and tree search methods. In particular, a graph grammar rule-based system to automatically generate bond graphs for various systems is developed. This is combined with similar grammar based rules and search algorithms to provide automation as well as context sensitive feedback to users of the virtual lab. Examples will be demonstrated to showcase the potential as well as how the virtual lab can be scaled using appropriate learning algorithms towards personalizing education.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A005. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66658.

This paper addresses the curriculum change performed for control engineering education in the mechanical engineering (ME) undergraduate program at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB), located in Medellín, Colombia. The new curriculum model of the UPB is based on learning, and promotes the achievement of outcome-related course learning objectives during the education process. The faculty of the ME department developed the Human Capabilities and Outcomes Map; such map explicitly shows the connection between general human capabilities that are strengthen through the ME program, the outcomes that are to be achieved, the way this outcomes are assessed, and the courses where the outcomes are addressed in the curriculum. The faculty responsible for the area of design, dynamic systems, and control, gathered during two years and defined educational objectives for all the courses in the area, considering the mechanical engineering program as a whole in order to provide the students with knowledge and skills necessary for their future professional career. As a result, three new courses to address control engineering education in the mechanical engineering curriculum were created: Measurement and Instrumentation, Control Engineering, and Control Engineering Lab. Since the courses have been recently created, faculty will assess the performance within a three-year period in order to quantify the impact of the curriculum change for control engineering education.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Curriculum Innovations, Pedagogy and Learning Methodologies

2016;():V005T06A006. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66302.

This paper highlights some important obstacles in student test performance resulting from different forms of testing procedures in Statics and Dynamics. A group approach dictates the core pedagogy in these classes, which are components of Engineering Sciences Core Curriculum (ESCC) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Our observations indicate that the difficulties start before engineering sciences due to incomplete understanding of mathematics and physics. While the human aspects of this assessment may not be revealed on tests, results of long hours of counseling sessions of students with faculty and academic advisors have now been imbedded in designing of our program. But in spite of our streamlined processes of improved delivery and testing, many good students demonstrate superior test scores on essay type questions but poor understanding of concepts as revealed from the analysis of Multiple Choice (MC) responses. This lack of performance has been tracked to a narrow focus and a lack of retention of prior concepts in their active memory. The paper discusses these topics using a select set of multiple choice questions administered on Statics and Dynamics examinations and offers remedial actions including proposal of a new course.

Topics: Statics , Feedback
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A007. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66841.

This is a paper on the importance of having interesting and engaging projects, demonstrations and other course activities in an “Introduction to Engineering” class. The primary objectives of an “Introduction to Engineering” course are two-fold. First, to expose students to the field of engineering so they can know if engineering is right for them and second, to prepare them for a major in engineering, if they decide to continue further. In order to properly portray what engineering is, the “Introduction to Engineering” classes need to provide a thorough overview of the different aspects of engineering, including good engineering projects, demonstrations, field trips, and other activities. Most “Introduction to Engineering” classes have a lecture component that goes over the basics of engineering with some physical demonstrations or activities. However, how effective these demonstrations/activities are in engaging students’ interest in engineering is questionable. If the activities are lacking or are not well chosen, then students will not appreciate engineering, and may choose other academic disciplines. This paper presents in detail many interesting projects, demonstrations and other activities that have been successfully used in “Introduction to Engineering” classes taught at several colleges and universities helping engineering educators to teach, excite and engage the students. Some examples of these projects include; building bridges out of balsa wood and testing them for the strength to weight ratio, flying rockets and learning about projectile motion and aerodynamics, building high mileage vehicles and learning about teamwork and design optimization. Results from the evaluation of these classes showed ratings between very good to excellent, with the students specifically commenting very positively about the projects and other activities. Finally, this paper discusses the optimal integration of these projects and activities in the classroom along with final recommendations for an effective overall course curriculum for an “Introduction to Engineering” class.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A008. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66871.

This paper presents the preliminary work of implementing the learning by teaching approach, a student-centered pedagogy, in the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) education. Following an experimental study design, students were grouped into control section and experimental section. In the control section, students received the traditional instructor-centered instruction. In the experimental section, students were assigned into small groups and taught the course content to their peers during the class meeting. The students’ learning outcomes were evaluated, such as life-long learning skill, engineering attitude, and CAD modeling skills using NX. A CAD modeling test was used at the end of semester to assess the students’ CAD modeling skills. The engineering attitude survey and the life-long learning scale were conducted at the beginning and the end of semester. The statistical analyses were performed to examine the impact of activities. The results revealed that the students’ engineering attitude was significantly improved. In addition, experimental group students completed an exit survey that collected their feedback on the teaching activities.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A009. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66986.

This paper reports the effect of the curriculum changes in the Mechanical Engineering (ME) department at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) in two freshman courses. Besides introducing fundamental concepts and principles for mechanical engineering, these courses utilize guest speaker sections to introduce career opportunities, and integrate marketing and corporate policy into engineering design projects.

An engineering motivation survey and a career awareness questionnaire were developed and employed to better understand the impact of the new curriculum on students’ attitudes toward and desire to persist in Mechanical Engineering. Freshmen students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and career awareness were assessed in pre- and post-tests at the beginning and the end of a semester.

The results obtained showed that the introduction of the non-traditional career paths into the two courses students’ perceptions of the career options that ME graduates can pursue and showcased alternatives that proved to be more attractive to under-represented (female) students. Although the students spent less time in traditional engineering topics, their engineering self-efficacy was not diminished, and in fact, the students’ intrinsic motivation was significantly improved. Additionally, students perceived stronger inclusion in the ME program.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A010. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67390.

Japan is geopolitically blessed with natural grace such as beautiful four seasons, abundant forest, fruitful earth and fresh water. And it seems that it has induced the deep trust between nature and human and has cultivated the Japanese unique culture which harmonizes nature with human sensibility.

The origin of handmade technology in Japan dates back to the Jomon period more than 10,000 years ago. The Jomon potteries excavated were made by utilizing the technologies of kneading clay with water and sintering by fire, and some of them were discovered to have the lacquer coatings on their surfaces extracted from plants.

The conventional technology would be created by our predecessors who had the sophisticated sensitivity and the excellent imagination cultivated with the careful observation of nature behavior. The technology was handed down to today through various historical changes in response to the diverse values of the individual era. It can be considered that the Japanese conventional technology is the nature friendly cultural asset co-created by nature and human through the long-term environmental changes more than 10000 years.

Future-applied conventional technology is the most reliable technology study to develop the future and to hand over the advanced value to the next generation.In this study, we scrutinized the related theme studied by Future-Applied Conventional Technology Center in Kyoto Institute of Technology, in order to extract the engineering element inherent in the conventional technologies and classify into common elements and specific elements for each technology. From the view point of nature and human relation, engineering elements were extracted comprehensively about the main materials, the auxiliary materials, the human sensibility, the hand tools and the human skills. The main materials and the auxiliary materials were classified into “wood, fire, earth, metal, water” according to the old Eastern thought “the five elements theory” which constitute nature, and animal-derived materials in addition. The human sensibility elements were extracted about the material evaluation, the dynamic process observation and the finished degree evaluation and classified into five senses “visual, auditory, tactile, taste, smell”, and the other sense such as fitness feeling with clothes or accessories. The hand tools were listed such as brush, trowel, spatula, scissors and hammer with the features of usage. The human skills were extracted about each material manipulating process comprehensively and classified into common elements and specific elements, by considering the features respectively.

With applying this study as a guideline for the innovation of the future technology harmonized with nature and human, it would be expected to promote variety of researches of the conventional technology and to develop the future technology for the modern cutting-edge field, by feeling the importance of the engineering elements and their relationship study inherent in the conventional technology.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A011. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67621.

The U.S. Hispanic population is predicted to triple and steadily grow up to 30% of the total population in 2050 [1]. Statistics indicates that only 7.2% of engineering bachelor’s degrees were earned by Hispanic graduates in 2008, and only 1.7% was earned by Hispanic women engineering graduates (NSF, 2008). Indeed, the lack of underrepresented Hispanic women engineers has been a concern of policy makers, academics, and industry leaders in recent decades [2]. On the other hand, the market for qualified engineering graduates remains atop in last twenty years. Increase the number of engineering enrollment and the number of engineering graduates, however, is still a challenge because of too many persisting and correlated factors. These identified factors all affect the retention and graduation of undergraduate engineering students, and relation among them are complicated and still not well understood [3].

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A012. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67982.

On many university campuses, students with disabilities form a noticeable group of the student population. Over the past years, enrollment of students with disabilities has markedly increased and this trend is expected to continue in the future. Although students with disabilities often prefer to major in non-technical areas, a considerable number of them choose to seek career opportunities in science, engineering and technology. The majority of prior studies on educating special engineering and STEM students have been oriented towards students with physical disabilities. A balanced approach is advocated in which individual aspects of the disability are given a special consideration and learning strategies and the environment are tailored in accordance with student’s needs. Such adjustments are critical in accommodating students with a wide spectrum of disabilities.

The aim of this paper is to consider various aspects of engineering education that may improve the competitiveness of engineering students with disabilities when they enter the professional workforce.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A013. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-68048.

While originating in non-academic settings, the “Maker Movement” has quickly made inroads within academia. More significant than the facility that may be referred to as a makerspace is the makerspace culture, including the community that forms around the physical facility and the activities (programs) of that community. This paper reviews the history of the maker-phenomenon, details the development of higher education makerspace cultures over the last five years, and explores the impact of makerspace cultures on mechanical engineering education. The makerspace culture at two higher education institutions is used to illustrate the effect on engineering education within each institution. The paper concludes with a review of common practices within the higher education makerspace ecosystem.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Engineering Accreditation, Data Collection, Assessment and ABET

2016;():V005T06A014. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65273.

The University of Connecticut Senior Design Capstone course developed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering is widely recognized by the Connecticut industry. The course provides fourth year students the opportunity for a major design experience in which they apply principles of engineering staring with the conceptual design through the basic science and mathematics, up to model, analysis, design of physical systems its components or processes as well as prepares students to work professionally [9]. This paper will discuss the issues and challenges associated with one of the Senior Design (SD) projects that was based on student generated inventive concept and sponsored by the student-inventor. The project demonstrated the design and prototyping problems on the example so called “Self-Cleaning Toilet”. The project addresses “self-cleaning” of facilities where infectious bacteria and viruses are prevalent in frequently used installations such as public restrooms. These areas tend to be difficult to keep clean often, without obstructing the functionality of the facility. The solution being proposed in this project is an intelligently designed, self-regulating, cleaning system that is able to be retroactively fitted onto a variety of toilet seats.

UV germicidal irradiation was chosen as the primary method to eliminate germs for this device for several reasons. Using a UV light allows for more efficient, effortless elimination of germs as compared to conventional cleaning methods. The light encourages hands off operation, meaning that the user will not have to physically touch the toilet seat to clean it. Additionally, it allows the toilet seat surface to be cleaned continually throughout the day and in between uses, which is an unrealistic task to replicate with methods currently being employed.

Multiple experiments were conducted that tested the ability of the UV light to reach all surfaces on a toilet seat. The germicidal effectiveness experiment tested the sanitation capability of the light under its intended operating conditions. Finally, the durability test indicated that the device would be able to withstand the conditions of the working environments commonly associated with bathrooms. Designs, building and testing of the prototype of such a toilet seat are described in the paper. Results from each of the testing experiments and experience gained in the creation of the Clean Light toilet design are described in the paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A015. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65461.

The 3rd year Electrical Engineering Design Studio (EEDS) course is a project-based learning (PBL) course that gives students hands-on experience with putting electrical engineering principles into practice. It is an electro-mechanical project which provides a particular challenge since electrical engineering students often lack mechanical design skills. It is found here that learning outcomes are improved by a 2-stage formative assessment and time optimization strategy that allows students to extract as much value as possible out of the limited time they have to devote to this exercise. It consists of an innovative assessment strategy that includes formal, informal and self-assessments, and an innovative budgeting, lecture scheduling, parts distribution, and order queueing system. The impact on efficiency is shown through an end-of-term student survey and a subjective evaluation of their work, in comparison to the previous year.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A016. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66304.

A two-loop learning outcomes assessment process was followed to evaluate the core curriculum in Mechanical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. This initiative, originally called the Engineering Sciences Core Curriculum, provided systematic course learning outcomes and assessment data of examination performance in Statics, Mechanics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer. This paper reports longitudinal data and important observations in the Statics-Dynamics sequence to determine efficacy and obstacles in student performance. An earlier paper showed that students’ mastery of Dynamics is affected largely by weak retention of fundamentals of Statics and mathematics. New observations recorded in this report suggest the need for better instructional strategies to teach certain focal areas in Statics. Subsequesntly offered Dynamics and Fluid Mechanics classes further need reinforcement of some of these fundamental topics in Statics. This report completes a 9 year long broader feedback loop designed to achieve the educational goals in the Statics-Dynamics sequence.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Experiments and Energy Systems

2016;():V005T06A017. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65118.

Pickup trucks offer operators the advantage of towing payload capacity, but at higher operating costs in terms of fuel usage. Some of the increased fuel usage can be attributed to the shape of the truck, which is not aerodynamically advantageous, especially when compared to the other vehicles. This analysis reviews the air flow patterns around a truck during highway travel and uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to analyze the best method to predict drag coefficient for the truck. This paper investigates the various mesh features available and the physics models that can be used to approximate the fluid flow, determining the significance of each numerical method. The results indicated that a polyhedral mesh with an incompressible fluid assumption, solved using a segregated flow solver and Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes k-ε equations provided a suitable balance between accuracy and computational investment when compared to other turbulence models or physics modeling solvers. Further, the analysis investigated the impact on drag of driving the truck with the bed tailgate in the raised, closed position versus driving with the bed tailgate lowered in the open position. The findings actually show that the truck drag coefficient is reduced by about 3% when the truck is operated with the tailgate in the lowered, open position.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A018. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65133.

This study involves experimental investigation of rheological and hydraulic characteristics of aqueous based polymeric and surfactant fluids in straight and coiled tubing. The fluids matrix includes guar, HPG, PHPA, welan, xanthan, and surfactant. Bohlin rheometer was used to evaluate rheological and viscoelastic characteristics. For hydraulic characteristics, small- and large-scale flow loops were used.

It is observed that all fluids exhibit comparable non-Newtonian behavior and improved viscous and elastic properties. Among polymeric fluids, guar and welan provide better viscosity and suspension properties. Surfactant is significantly affected by the formation of rod-like micelles and other microstructures. Master curves for rheological and elastic properties are developed using the molecular theory approach. The foremost benefit of these curves is its dimensionless form that provides a unique technique to predict viscosity for all fluids.

For hydraulic properties, friction losses in coiled tubing are significantly higher than in straight tubing due to centrifugal forces and secondary flows. Surfactant is more sensitive to shear field applied where different microstructures are induced and thus they exhibit better drag reduction characteristics than polymeric fluids especially in coiled tubing with larger sizes. However, in straight tubing, guar shows better drag reduction characteristics than surfactant and other polymers, which diminishes as tubing size increases. However, welan gum exhibits a comparable performance. Overall, all fluids are considered good candidates as fracturing fluids with specific features for each. Unique characteristics of each fluid is discussed and explained in more details within the context of the present paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A019. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65219.

As society moves into the digital age, the expectation of instantaneous electricity at the flip of a switch is more prominent than ever. The traditional electric grid has become outdated and Smart Grids are being developed to deliver reliable and efficient energy to consumers. However, the costs involved with implementing their infrastructure often limits research to theoretical models.

As a result, an undergraduate capstone design team constructed a small-scale 12 VDC version to be used in conjunction with classroom and research activities. In this model Smart Grid, two houses act as residential consumers, an industrial building serves as a high-load demand device, and a lead-acid battery connected to a 120 VAC wall outlet simulates fossil fuel power plants. A smaller lead-acid battery provides a microgrid source while a photovoltaic solar panel adds renewable energy into the mix and can charge either lead-acid battery. All components are connected to a National Instruments CompactRIO system while being controlled and monitored via a LabVIEW software program. The resulting Smart Grid can run independently based on constraints related to energy demand, cost, efficiency, and environmental impact. Results are shown demonstrating choices based on these constraints, including a corresponding weighting according to controller objectives.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A020. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65372.

Applied Energy Systems is an elective class in Thermal-Fluids area. The course focuses on energy and fluids engineering by covering topics such as current and developing energy sources and their impact on the environment. One of the outcomes of this class is to identify and compare energy resources such as solar, wind, ocean, geothermal energy, and hydropower by covering their working principle, system components, cost analysis, benefits and drawbacks. During the semester, several small scale projects were introduced to students. These projects included a debate session on wind energy, a feasibility study on wind energy, research on a Tesla turbine, and testing of a hydro turbine. This study provides the description of each project and shows examples of student work, survey results and the assessment of the work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A021. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66605.

Heat transfer in solids provides an opportunity for students to learn of several boundary conditions: the first kind for specified temperature, the second kind for specified heat flux, and the third kind for specified convection. In this paper we explore the relationship among these types of boundary conditions in steady heat transfer. Specifically, the normalized third kind of boundary condition (convection) produces the first kind condition (specified temperature) for large Biot number, and it produces the second kind condition (specified flux) for small Biot number. By employing a generalized boundary condition, one expression provides the temperature for several combinations of boundary conditions. This combined expression is presented for several simple geometries (slabs, cylinders, spheres) with and without internal heat generation. The bioheat equation is also treated. Further, a number system is discussed for each combination to identify the type of boundary conditions present, which side is heated, and whether internal generation is present. Computer code for obtaining numerical values from the several expressions is available, along with plots and tables of numerical values, at a web site called the Exact Analytical Conduction Toolbox. Classroom strategies are discussed regarding student learning of these issues: the relationship among boundary conditions; a number system to identify the several components of a boundary value problem; and, the utility of a web-based resource for analytical heat-transfer solutions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A022. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66819.

Currently teaching challenges involve incorporation of new technologies or approaches to address teaching/learning process of students more attracted to technology than before. Additionally, the possibility of having student trough internet demands the use of new technological techniques in order to deliver required concepts in a successful way, especially in those cases where a practical application is involved. This work presents a computer model of the “Heat pump system” equipment located at UiT, The Artic University of Norway - Campus Narvik. This system contains the typical elements in a refrigeration system as a compressor, an evaporator, a condenser, an expansion valve, two filters and a visor. The working fluid inside the refrigerant system is Chlorodifluoromethane (CHClF2) frequently known as refrigerant R22, meanwhile the contraflow fluid in the heat exchanger is water. Golden factor of having experimental facility is the fact that the phenomenon will occur as it is, without any theoretical considerations or assumptions. So, when merging both technology and actual equipment, concepts and definitions can be demonstrated by experimental activities and also the models frequently used can be compared to the actual parameters behaviour. For instance, relation between thermodynamics properties and the mechanical variables as compressor power can be described based on the functioning of the equipment, but the realistic application of isentropic functioning of the compressor can be contrasted against the actual compressor performance, or the isobaric assumption on the heat exchanger can be compared against the heat exchanger working at particular conditions. Refrigeration cycle theoretical computer model can be built based on pressure values before and after the compressor as well as the temperatures at key points, however, actual system will have a complete set of parameter values at different location. Comparing both theoretical and actual cycles on pressure-temperature graph, efficiency of the model can be obtained in an interactive way. In this way, teaching activities will cover the necessary development of analytical thinking about the applicability of different models in different engineering application trough out a refrigeration case. Moreover computer model technique also introduces the possibility of expansion the range of possible refrigerant fluids, which can be tested without compromise the safety of the students when the materials or fluids involved could be considered as hazardous. The presented computer model includes the use of computational tool called PRODE® to calculate the properties of the flow. As result, an interactive computer model was developed as an extra help within the teaching/learning process.

Topics: Computers , Heat pumps
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Globalization of Engineering

2016;():V005T06A023. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65094.

This paper presents the characterization studies conducted by Milwaukee School of Engineering senior undergraduate students in South Africa under the Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant EEC-1460183 sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator Dr. Kumpaty). Robert Mueller and Christopher Reynolds conducted research in summer of 2015 under advisement of Dr. Kumpaty and his South African collaborators, Dr. Esther Akinlabi and Dr. Sisa Pityana. The foreign collaborators’ excellent support was pivotal to the success of our U.S. students.

Ti-6 Al-4 V is a titanium alloy that accounts for about 80% of the titanium market. The Ti-64 alloy contains 6 wt% Aluminum and 4 wt% Vanadium, an almost equal ratio of α + β phases. Through the laser surface modification process known as Laser Meal Deposition, this alloy offers the optimum combination of enhanced properties. This research focuses on the application of adding a combination of molybdenum (Mo) and Ti-64 powders to a Ti-64 substrate surface in order to improve the durability for various biomedical/aerospace applications. Deposition of the powders was completed at the CSIR - National Laser Center, in Pretoria, South Africa. The characterization studies were carried out at the University of Johannesburg. The results of the hardness tests showed that the addition of molybdenum to Ti-64 increased the hardness of the deposited material compared to that of the substrate. This verifies that the addition of Mo to metals can affect the mechanical properties to better suit various applications.

While Robert Mueller studied the effect of laser power on the properties of laser metal deposited Ti-6Al-4V + Mo for wear resistance enhancement, Christopher Reynolds investigated scanning velocity influence on the evolving properties of laser metal deposited Ti-6Al-4V + Mo. The results of this promising research and various options for further investigation are presented. The beneficial value of such a global research enterprise on the budding engineers will be apparent and the paper details the process of the international component of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A024. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65402.

This paper describes the outcomes of an NSF-funded undergraduate engineering training project launched at the University of Arizona - College of Engineering. The program aims to engage senior-year students in a capstone design project focused on biomedical applications of nanotechnology. The senior design team has previously attended a micro- and nanofabrication and a mechatronics technical elective courses. Both courses have been adjusted to better suit the goals of the program. Modifications include a self-guided research component, requirement to utilize a nanotechnology based sensors or actuators in a biomedical application. Formative evaluation data has been gathered through personal interviews to assess changes of students attitudes towards nanotechnology. Data includes reports from junior-year members of the technical elective classes, along with graduate assistants serving as mentors of the undergraduate participants. Results indicate that students who enrolled in Fabrication Techniques for Micro- and Nano-devices gained formal knowledge about nanotechnology through lectures and hands-on activities, while those who joined a senior design team learned about nanotechnology by interfacing regularly with the faculty advisor who imparted his knowledge and enthusiasm about nanotechnology applications during design team meetings. Students who took the first course in the sequence, Guided Self-Studies in Mechatronics prior to the capstone design experience benefited most.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A025. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65647.

Access to electricity is one of the most essential requirements for development. Furthermore, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has predicted that growth in electricity use is projected to largely come from developing countries as defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). However, the transition to clean energy is occurring too slowly in rural parts of developing countries. Renewable energy provides the opportunity for sustainable energy to be provided to those living in rural areas of developing countries, who have not had access to clean energy. Renewable energy technology is necessary because traditional measures of energy access are not able to address the deficiencies in the affordability, reliability, and other barriers associated with renewable energy distribution.

While there have been several successful rural electrification technologies in the past few years, sustainable technologies still have the potential to be unsuccessful if they fail to overcome the many barriers that stand in the way of energy progression in developing countries. Moreover, a product’s technical performance is not a sound indicator of how well that product will be adopted by users. This paper argues that technical and social barriers to renewable energy dissemination have not been surmounted due to a lack of innovation in terms of engineering solutions. Innovative “grid-free” engineering products can enable developing countries to avoid a possible industrial revolution while still growing their economy, since they are not hindered by an electricity grid. This paper identifies technical barriers to renewable energy development from the literature, and suggests possible innovations that can aid rural areas of developing countries in achieving electrification. The technology explored in this paper include super capacitors, a ground-air thermoelectric generator, and photovoltaic solar cells, which all have the potential to provide energy access to those living in less urbanized areas of developing countries.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Poster

2016;():V005T06A026. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66029.

A student activity based effective teaching approach can significantly improve student learning. However, implementing student activity based teaching for the advanced level courses can be very challenging. Incomplete course coverage and the amount of time required by an instructor for designing active teaching strategies are cited as the common inhibiting factors in the adoption of active student teaching. This paper discusses a student presentation based effective teaching (SPET) approach that covers more course material than that covered in the conventional or other student-active teaching methods. Moreover, SPET approach requires less preparation time on instructor behalf. This paper is based on the effective teaching experiments conducted on senior level science and technology courses at University of the District of Columbia. Under the SPET approach, students are given reading assignment to prepare ∼ 10–20 minutes long power point presentation on well-defined conceptual topics, questions, or chapter modules. In every class typically three presentations take place on the same questions or topics. However, non-presenter students are required to generate conceptual questions. These questions were asked during or after the presentation by the designated students. Students’ presentations were graded according to the rubric focusing on coverage of suggested topics, quality of presentation, and questions and answers. Hence, the whole class is engaged in understanding the topic either for making the presentation or for creating conceptual questions. These grades were posted right after the class in the Blackboard’s online grade center to provide quick feedback. The following are key advantages of this approach. (1) Students understand 50–100% about the intended topic during self-reading and while making a presentation or participating in class discussion. (2) Repeating same concepts thrice during a class period and occasionally with instructor’s insights enable deep learning. (3) Students get quick quantitative feedback after each class and qualitative feedback during the class from instructor and peers. (4) This approach allowed coverage of very complex topics. (5) Students improved their communication skills by making coherent presentations and doing class discussion. In the survey, students reflected a higher degree of satisfaction with their learning as compared to instructor’s lecture-based classroom education system. This approach is highly suitable for advanced-level elective courses with small enrollment.

Topics: Teaching , Students
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Pre-College (K-12) STEM — University, School and Industry Alliance

2016;():V005T06A027. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66141.

The current collaborative National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers (NSF-RET) site placed seventeen in-service and pre-service teachers with research mentors at one of the three regional universities WSU, CSU, and UD to work on engineering research projects. These research projects were chosen in such a way so that they were relevant to regional strengths in advanced manufacturing and materials. In addition to research, the RET teachers participated in various professional development (PD) activities such as “boot camp” facilitated by ASM Materials Education Foundation prior to the start of their research experience, field trips, seminars given by guest speakers and group work that produced K-12 curriculum related to the teams’ research experience. The teacher groups also presented the developed STEM curriculum and the final laboratory project results, and provided regular guided reflections regarding their efforts during the six-week program. This paper presents a brief overview of the collaborative RET project and details the achievement during the first project year. Emphasis is given to the collaborative PD activities of all seventeen teachers and the research projects performed by the two WSU RET groups comprised of four in-service and two pre-service teachers.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A028. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66648.

The present work aims to analyze the challenge of organizing a science exhibition outside the common places (science museums, schools, universities). The exhibition, named “Scientist for a day”, under analysis took place in a sports environment. It was organized by a group of five 15 years old athletes, supervised by three university professors, and attended by 120 participants. There were 12 experiments, from the simple Jumping Egg to the sophisticated Electromagnetic Levitation Plane and the eye-catching Wimshurst Machine. The analysis of the outlooks of the participants in this science dissemination activity was performed through questionnaires voluntarily answered by 59 attendees (aged between 3 and 64 years old). The survey was designed to investigate the level of satisfaction of the participants and their opinions regarding each experiment, identifying the most and the least preferred, and if they are considering further study at university and in what area. The results analysis is presented in terms of group age distribution. Summarizing the participants’ perceptions, they were unanimous in recognizing that they were completely satisfied with the event.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A029. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67166.

Liberal Arts (BA) graduates are, more often than not, either underemployed or unemployed in the field(s) for which they received their degree. This is more so true in hard economic and recessionary times. It is also well known that BA graduates are well rounded by virtue of their education and are more adept at changing careers. Advanced manufacturing is one such career where BA graduates may excel, especially in entry-level positions such as CAD operators, CNC programmers, production supervisors, and in support staff roles. The challenge is how to prepare these non-technical majors (BA graduates) for technical careers (advanced manufacturing). This paper presents an internship model that is part of a 12-month fast track certificate in advanced manufacturing to enable BA graduates to gain both the technical skills and experiential knowledge they need to secure jobs in advanced manufacturing. This paper describes the certificate academic program, corresponding courses, and the recruitment process of BA graduates to provide context. It then focuses on the details of the internship model: recruiting industry partners to provide internships, preparing students for the internships, the management and support system of these internships, and lessons learned so far. These research findings are part of an NSF, 3-year grant that investigates a transformation model of BA graduates for careers in advanced manufacturing.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A030. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-68075.

South Africa is currently facing an education dilemma with high numbers of youth unemployment and a growing specialized skills shortage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEM problem based learning events, hosted by government and the corporate sector, has shown to improve science and technology literacy and to encourage the youth to pursue tertiary education in the field of science. Unfortunately, schools face a range of challenges which restricts them from participating in these learning methods, depriving learners of the advantages offered by problem based learning. This paper presents a model for the sustainable provision of STEM problem based learning opportunities in South African schools. The presented model is based on a two-team mentoring model which makes problem based learning sustainable in a South African school environments. The Shell Eco Marathon is in its third year, and the students that have passed through the program will now be progressing to university. The impact of this program, therefore, will be become evident by the success of the students’ studies in the near future.

Topics: Sustainability
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Problem Solving in Engineering Education, Research and Practice

2016;():V005T06A031. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65031.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) represents one of the key lectures in the studies of mechanical and process engineering as well as several other engineering disciplines. Furthermore Computer Aided x (CAx) systems are firmly established in the product development process.

A new concept of teaching for engineering studies at the Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) derived by project based learning is introduced using CAx process chains i.e. the CAD-Multi Body Simulation (MBS) process chain. For the first time in engineering degree a 3D CAD model is consistently used by different process chains in multiple lectures and exercises during the whole engineering study. The early integration of this 3D CAD model in the second semester lays a foundation for its usage in further lectures, courses, projects and theses. Due to the fact, that this 3D CAD model embodies a university groups’ race car, students are able to deepen their knowledge within the university group “TU Darmstadt Racing Team e.V. (DART)”. Therefore, synergies between private and student activities are promoted, e.g. students acquire knowledge about automotive engineering. Besides the virtual implementation and validation, concepts can use the prototype for implementation and validation.

The suitability of the 3D CAD model for CAD education in engineering studies especially the modelling and assembling of parts and assemblies is validated by the coached exercise of the course “Computer Aided Design”. The design education of students with mechanical engineering orientated fields of studies is held as a mandatory course in the second semester of mechanical engineering degrees at TU Darmstadt since 1995 and is solely taught with modern 3D CAD Systems.

The MBS process chain is validated by several projects and theses using the McNeil Swendler Corp. (MSC) Software Automated Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical Systems (ADAMS) Car. Students run MBS by using the 3D CAD model. Besides driving maneuvers, stamp tests are simulated. In this context the entire MBS process chain is passed. The 3D CAD model serves as a basis for structures, geometry and the representation of kinematic chains, guided by the 3D CAD models geometry.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A032. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65481.

The University of Connecticut Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed an industry recognized Senior Design Capstone course that provides students the opportunity for a major design experience. This paper will discuss the issues and challenges associated with project demonstrated on the base of the Search for Optimal Friction Resistant Material to Cover Contact Surfaces in an Electric Manual Switch.

In order to determine the viability of potential substitute materials, the team produced custom testing rigs to evaluate material wear and corrosion performance. The construction of these rigs, the fabrication of the testing coupons, testing results and the final choice of the covering material were the primary deliverables of this project. The wear rig allowed the team to determine mechanical performance on the basis of mass loss. In the evaluation of mechanical performance, the coated test coupons were revolved on a testing plate while a flat coated column contacted the surface to wear the plating. After a certain number of cycles, the coupons were subjected to environmental testing. The corrosion rig was designed to provide aggressive corrosion on the worn coupons, and was modeled after the industry standard salt fog test. The worn test coupons were immersed in a humid salt fog test chamber and held at temperature until corroded. A series of calibration checks were completed to evaluate the UConn test severity to ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) standard testing.

The surfaces before and after the corrosion process were analyzed in a number of ways. Optical microscopy, profilometry, and surface metrology techniques were employed to determine which platings were likely to meet the consumer standards necessary for replacement. The large set of data on volume loss, mass loss, and surface degradation provided good metrics for the evaluation of material suitability.

The project described in this paper is based on the contribution of the students’ team as well as is the result of consulting effort of the faculty who were directly involved in the course and also the other department’s faculty who were consulting the detail processes. General Electric (GE) especially its Industrial Solution Division that sponsored the project, is a company that provides a wide variety of services in electrical appliances, power, and home and business solutions. It has tasked the team with identifying a suitable replacement for Hexavalent Chromium Chromate passivation. This material is plated on many components in GE electrical appliances due to its resistance to abrasion and corrosion. However, because of changing regulations and the health risks that come from dealing with HCC, the sponsor has determined that it is necessary to remove the plating from production by 2019. In order to determine the viability of potential substitute materials, the team produced custom testing rigs to evaluate material wear and corrosion performance. The construction of these rigs and the fabrication of the 400+ testing coupons, the environmental and mechanical tests results and the final conclusions were the primary deliverables of this project.

The team examined three different plating materials (JS 600, trivalent chrome, and zinc phosphate) and compared their performance to that of the original HCC plating. The resulting comparative analysis drove the final recommendation of the best candidate material for the sponsor on the basis of mechanical and environmental performance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A033. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65577.

The Manufacturing Automation course in the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Connecticut (UConn) was one of the most popular courses in the ME curriculum. The students’ benefits from the course were already described in the companion paper [1]. In this paper the advantages of prototyping and part production through Subtractive Manufacturing (SM) and Additive Manufacturing (AM) are described. The paper discusses parts fabrication done as subtractive and additive manufacturing operations. This was done in the scope of the UConn Engineering i.e. in the ME and MEM programs where Manufacturing Automation and Senior Design courses are taught. Such operations were possible thanks to the equipment available at UConn School of Engineering and thanks to the cooperation with the creator of the Mastercam software - CNC Software Inc and aircraft engines and equipment manufacturer - Pratt & Whitney of East Hartford. The integration of design and manufacturing in the course was done through putting together the operations of conceptual design, geometric design and modeling of the parts designed during the course. The models of parts done by AM were created using 3D printing in ME Laboratory out of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and different kinds of plastic and in PW/UConn laboratory using laser and electron beam AM machines. To demonstrate further integration of design and machining automation, the students were introduced to complicated problems of surfaces crossing, connections of surfaces and edges of cross sections of the tops and valleys. Thanks to the support and cooperation of the CNC Software, Inc., it was possible to show the students how to cut complicated surfaces on different computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines that ranged from three to nine degrees of freedom specifically designed for accurate and repeatable metal working. In addition, the additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities were introduced in the course thanks to the support of Pratt & Whitney/UConn Additive Manufacturing Laboratory located on the UConn campus. The AM machines are Arcam and laser machines that use electron and laser beams to meld titanium powder. The fabricated parts of high strengths are useful as rapid prototypes or in some cases as substitution parts in an existing mechanical systems. Thanks to the UConn Engineering program and support of the corporations: CNC Software, Inc. and P&W, students were introduced to the spectrum of modern Rapid Prototyping and part sintering operations going through subtractive and additive manufacturing. The process details of the theory, practice of operations, and recommendation for use of the technologies discussed above, as well as possibilities of further applications, are described in this paper. After learning the fundamentals of these processes, students are prepared to design and analyze parts as well as the process required for different machining capabilities. Methods to introduce students to the concepts of using laser and electron beams AM machine as well the prototype machining are described in the paper. Conclusions recommending the teaching methods of product SM and AM machining concepts and lessons learned are also pointed out.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A034. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66076.

The University of Connecticut Department of Mechanical Engineering Senior Design (Capstone) Course utilizes projects that are sponsored by local companies. While this approach offers many immediate benefits to near-graduating seniors, it introduces many unique problems to the academic community. Developing and sustaining an industrially-sponsored capstone design program requires an understanding of the synergies and differences between academia and industry.[1] Key issues that are addressed in this paper are project identification, oversight, mentorship and critical feedback. This paper is a collaboration between the Program Manager and 2 of the industry Sponsors from the 2015 2016 academic year. Following a brief discussion of several projects, sponsor comments on the value and areas of continued improvement are provided.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A035. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66858.

Mechanical dissection has become a popular method for introducing engineering students to design. However, there are many factors preventing mechanical dissection from becoming widespread. We propose an alternative to mechanical dissection focused on functionality. Transparent devices are modified devices that allow students to inspect the internal components while it is operating. To test the effectiveness of transparent devices, we compared a diagram to a dissected and a transparent device. The devices were presented to university students. After being allowed to inspect an opaque device and supplementary material, students were asked how the device functions and their confidence level. They were scored based on how correct their answers were. We found that both dissected and transparent devices were more effective in increasing comprehension and confidence than the diagram. There was little difference between dissected and transparent devices. The transparent device did produce a better correlation between correctness and confidence.

Topics: Transparency
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Societal and Ethical Dimensions of Engineering and Safety Issues

2016;():V005T06A036. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65988.

This paper describes a research project to encourage and enhance formation of undergraduate project teams with a focus on inclusivity. The project was developed by a team of undergraduate students working with a pair of engineering faculty. A survey including questions about team study groups was prepared and used to gather data about how engineering student teams are formed and how students perceive teams at different points as they progress through the curriculum. Interviews with junior/senior level students were filmed and the footage was used to build a composite video to serve as motivation to first and second year students. The video was presented in a second year dynamics class and the students were surveyed to understand the effectiveness of the intervention.

The survey results indicate that nearly half of all junior/senior engineering students feel ethically charged to include other students in a study group, while only 32% of second year students feel ethically charged. This research is part of a larger effort to develop methods for merging engineering ethics and professionalism in the mechanical engineering curriculum.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A037. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67396.

In their paper “Combining Systems Dynamics and Ethics: Towards More Science?” Erik Pruyt and Jan Kwakkel argue that ethics ought to play a larger role in systems dynamics and vice versa (2007). Including ethics, they contend, will add sensitivity to current systems models as well as provide guidance on how to achieve best outcomes; with respect to both efficiency and flourishing (Pruyt & Kwakkel, 2007).

At first blush, such a cross pollination promises to add much needed depth of analysis to systems modeling and a higher degree of precision in ethical analyses. Not surprisingly, however, achieving such outcomes is more complex than it initially appears. Indeed, the quest for additional precision in ethical analysis is not a new one to philosophers and ethicists. The problem remains, in many ways, intractable.

In Part I of this paper, the authors expand on Pruyt and Kwakkel’s thesis by examining specific insights and tools that can and should be incorporated into systems dynamics modeling. Emphasis will be placed on the mechanics of this inclusion and the resultant implications. Part II, then, focuses on how systems dynamics tools like causal loop modeling and behavior-over-time graphs can be incorporated into ethical analyses in a non-arbitrary manner. Finally, in Part III of the paper, the authors briefly discuss the ramifications of Parts I and II for engineering education; both among students and practicing engineers.

The authors argue that both directions of the cross pollination have merit (especially the inclusion of ethical considerations in systems dynamics modeling) and ought to be developed further.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A038. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-68084.

This research describes a pilot project which aimed to introduce CDIO-type (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate), project-based learning through a community-based project in a third year Material Science module. The project formed part of an agriculture research initiative, and relied on interdisciplinary research collaboration between engineering, social sciences, management, entrepreneurship, and industrial arts. The initiative seeks to develop an agribusiness solution that will create an open-market, growth-oriented food economy. As part of the initiative, engineering students, participating in teams, worked alongside a community of urban farmers, most of whom are working poor, so as to develop appropriate, intermediate technology/ies that could support the farmers. This was informed by the need to have students demonstrate high level understanding of disciplinary content, but also to engage in human-centered design thinking and practice.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Systems Engineering and Sustainable Engineering Education

2016;():V005T06A039. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65385.

With the success of post-graduate programs in a wide range of individual sustainable development subjects such as environmental sustainability, sustainable manufacturing, infrastructure sustainability, etc. it was recognized that there was a void in undergraduate opportunity related to these areas. Consequently, the time seems appropriate for offering a relevant baccalaureate program to create a pipeline of students educated from a systems perspective in sustainable engineering practices that might feed into postgraduate programs, as well as fill a need in government and industry. This paper presents how undergraduate research supports engineering education linked to sustainable practices and influenced the development of a new degree program in Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver). Two projects are discussed which represent an approach using sustainable systems methodology: one in the area of new sustainable structural systems and the other in development of water filtration devices to be used in Sustainable Community Development (SCD) projects. Additionally, the research on novel multi-composite structural members for new construction as well as retrofits that could be used in conjunction with solar heating technology was used as a pilot instrument in engineering courses to emphasize to students the application of sustainable engineering practices in design and holistic problem solving. This paper describes the curriculum development of the SSE program that was driven in part by these experiences. Discussed is the contribution of this applied learning approach as a contributing influence to a number of courses in the new program such as Mathematical Modeling, Structural Modeling, Humanitarian Engineering, and Sustainable Systems Design. Moreover, it discusses how these courses have been designed to incorporate elements of Undergraduate Research as part of the learning experience.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A040. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-65852.

Although many US undergraduate mechanical engineering programs formally expose students to the basic concepts, methodologies, and tools used for the design and development of new products, the scope is usually limited to products of low complexity. There is a need to include activities in the undergraduate curriculum that allow students to learn basic systems engineering concepts, that promote the development of their systems thinking skills, and that allow them to practice these skills. This paper describes an initial effort at integrating systems engineering concepts in the curriculum focusing on a sophomore-level product development course. The paper discusses the approach that was used to identify topics related to systems thinking and systems engineering, provides the list of topics that were selected, and outlines the approach that will be used to incorporate those topics in the course. In addition, it provides the results of a pilot self-efficacy survey focusing on some of the topics selected that was delivered to junior students who had already taken a formal product development course. Although a specific course was considered, the same approach could be used in the context of the entire mechanical engineering undergraduate curriculum. Also, the results presented in the paper could be easily adapted to similar courses at other institutions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A041. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66069.

Engineering students spend the majority of their academic careers learning tools to enable tasks related to detailed design. For example, a mechanical engineer may learn to size a heat exchanger so that an engine would not overheat, an electrical engineer may learn to specify gains in a control system to provide desired performance, and a civil engineer may learn to size columns to avoid buckling. While these analytical capabilities are essential to the execution of engineered systems, there are tools and perspectives related to systems and their design that are historically absent in an undergraduate engineering education. Through the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) and the University of New Haven, the authors have developed a flipped classroom module that provides a basis in systems thinking as related to the conception and execution of complex engineered systems. The module could be useful in several areas of the curriculum, but is primarily intended to develop perspectives and skills necessary to ensure a successful capstone design experience.

The module is broken into five lessons: (1) Foundational Concepts, (2) Key Systems Principles, (3) Architecture Development, (4) Multiple Views of a System, and (5) System Verification and Validation. Lesson 1 begins with the importance of the problem statement, and then proceeds to introduce form and function, function mapping, and many key definitions (system, interface, architecture, systems engineering, and complexity). Lesson 2 introduces key systems principles, including systems thinking, systems of systems, and system decomposition. Lesson 3 overviews the systems architecting process and summarizes the four most typical methods used to develop a system architecture. Lesson 4 discusses viewing a system from six different perspectives. Lesson 5 presents the systems engineering V model, requirements cascading, and verification and validation.

The module includes several interactive activities and built in knowledge checkpoints. There is also a final challenge wherein the students must apply what they’ve learned about systems thinking and systems engineering to a hypothetical problem.

This paper will further describe the module content and format. The paper will also make the case that the content included in the module is essential to an efficient, effective, and rewarding capstone design experience. This is achieved by summarizing common pitfalls that occur in a capstone design project and how good systems thinking can avert them. The pitfalls covered include failure to fully understand all key stakeholders’ most important needs, failure to understand desired system function in a solution-neutral way and failure to follow a robust process to map function to form, poor choice of how to decompose the system into subsystems, errors/inefficiencies in interface definition and management, and poor (if any) planning for design verification and validation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A042. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66764.

Most undergraduate mechanical engineering curricula contain one or more courses that provide an introduction to the product design and development process. These courses include some topics that, without the proper motivation, may be perceived by students as being of low relevance. In addition, they also cover topics that may seem to be somewhat abstract and difficult to apply unless they are preceded by examples that clearly illustrate their practical value.

The tasks of identifying customer needs and setting target specifications are typical examples of the first scenario described above. In general, engineering students have the notion that the activities of the detailed design phase are the ones that really matter and that those activities are the ones that determine the ultimate success of a product. They are so concerned with designing the physical components of the product correctly that they spend little time and effort in other steps that are necessary to make sure that they are designing the right product.

The tasks of concept generation and defining the architecture of a product are good examples of the second scenario mentioned in the first paragraph. Most students quickly proceed to pick a concept that they think is viable without carefully exploring the entire solution space. In addition, when considering relatively complex products, many students don’t spend enough time considering aspects such as defining the interfaces between different components. As a result, student teams end up with a collection of components that are individually well-designed but integrate poorly, and the end product suffers accordingly.

Short, introductory examples demonstrating the importance of tasks like the ones mentioned above were created in order to get the attention of students and spark their interest in learning about such topics. These presentations were also created with the intent that they would motivate students to apply what they had learned when designing their own product or system.

Through the examples, which corresponded to real-world product development efforts, students were exposed to not just well-designed and well-made products or systems that turned out to be successful, but also to products or systems that failed in the marketplace or experienced significant problems because the designers failed to adequately perform a task such as identifying customer requirements. The latter clearly showcased the importance of such tasks and conveyed the fact that good technical design work can be rendered moot by failing to put the required effort into the early stages of the development of a product or system.

This paper presents the general criteria used and the approach followed to select and develop short introductory examples for the topics of identifying customer needs, setting target specifications, concept generation, and systems architecture. It briefly describes the examples selected and presents the results of a pilot assessment that was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of one of those examples.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A043. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67032.

Systems engineering (SE) competencies are defined based on the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) necessary for a systems engineer to perform tasks related to the discipline. Proficient systems engineers are expected to be able to integrate, apply, and be assessed on these KSAs as they develop competencies through their education and training, professional development, and on-the-job experience. The research conducted by the Naval Postgraduate School assessed where SE graduate students stood as far as developing the necessary competency levels they need to be successful systems engineers. A survey methodology was used to achieve this objective. Systems engineering students enrolled in SE courses at the Naval Postgraduate School represented the population surveyed.

Survey items were written with the intent to capture self-efficacy for knowledge and skill sets as a subset of the overall set of competencies required for systems engineering, namely within the SE competencies of Critical Thinking, Systems Engineering, Teamwork and Project Management. A total of four surveys were administered to two SE cohorts. Results show that self-efficacy in systems engineering can be reasonably assumed to be positively affected by a graduate level educational program. The implications of the research can be used to develop structured curriculum content, assessment, and continuous process improvement techniques related to the development of SE learning, and to develop more valid and reliable instruments for assessing what systems engineers need to learn, need to know, and need to do.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A044. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67034.

Lean Production is a methodology largely implemented across industries and services that becomes an important issue to be taught at engineering higher education level. The teaching of Lean concepts in engineering programs is, normally, called Lean Education. Teaching Lean to engineers allow them to develop competences in this field and to perform well in their professional life. These are reasons for having Lean Education in the engineers programs. The impact of not having this competency is a hindrance in job interviews and employment.

Through a short questionnaire sent to graduate Industrial Engineers in the School of Engineering of University of Minho, between 2000 and 2014, this paper presents some testimonies from these professionals about their thoughts related with Lean Education. Fifty-six responses were considered valid for analysis. These examples show the Lean Education advantages and the impact on their professional and/or personal life. At the best knowledge of the authors this research was never done and brings an important contribution for engineers training and development. The outcomes reinforce the importance of including Lean Education in engineers’ curricula to provide a whole system-thinking knowledge and to prepare a future engineer for the workplace.

Topics: Engineers , Education
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A045. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67146.

Conceptual and pedagogical barriers in post-secondary education inhibit student preparedness in system thinking skills (STS) critical for success in the workplace. To improve instruction in systems and sustainable engineering skills at the undergraduate level it is instructive to look at STS barriers and opportunities K-12 teacher’s face when they take part in a systems engineering (SE) project. This case study presents our approach to instructing K-12 educators about systems engineering through the design of a wind farm. Demographics of the 35 participants in this NSF-sponsored program who are all grades 3–8 classroom teachers include that they are 66% elementary level teachers, mostly female (80%), with an average of 10 years’ experience. Assessment of the project included a pre- and post-assessment of engineering and SE concepts, student reflections, customer feedback and an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) driven rubric. Results include that K-12 teachers exhibit strong interpersonal skills but were challenged by technical skills more common to the university level. Vertical collaborations between K-12 and post-secondary is a suggested approach to address barriers at both levels.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A046. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-68038.

Developing countries are mostly reliant on external technologies and this augments the need for systems engineering capability in these economies. It is therefore imperative that systems engineering as theory and practice is included in undergraduate engineering curricula to strengthen the internal technological capability of a country’s developing engineers. In South Africa, the quality of undergraduate engineering programs is governed by the Engineering Council of South Africa (affiliated under the Washington Accord); and the exit level outcomes of the programs are predetermined explicitly per module. Systems engineering was introduced to an undergraduate electrical engineering program offered in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg; and a framework developed to ensure that the program still meets the requisite ECSA exit level outcomes and therefore international standards. This paper presents the design and implementation of the framework, as well as the challenges that students are exposed to when faced with real-world systems engineering practice. Students were grouped into independent product development teams using a software support tool which promotes diversity and skill-level targets for each team. The independent team structure required the use and application of the systems engineering process and supported the development of management and communication skills. Furthermore, the framework allowed assessment of the performance of each product development team towards achieving the overall project objectives. One of the accreditation requirements of undergraduate engineering programs is peer assessment and this was achieved by the process. The paper closes by presenting the results of the stated framework implementation in an undergraduate electrical engineering program offered in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Education and Globalization: Teaching Laboratories, Machine Shop Experience, and Technology-Aided Lecturing

2016;():V005T06A047. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66152.

Additive manufacturing, fundamentally, is computerized numerical controls using a specialized printer head as the “tool”. Any new curriculum implementing “additive manufacturing” stands upon the fundamental and advanced work done before in computer numerical controls. Although there certainly is a need for end user laboratories based upon purchased printers, the challenge in designing curriculums that support developing the next generation of additive manufacturing must also include computer numerical controls. The best designers must be able to picture the entire system when developing new systems. During the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the “hands-on” engineering laboratories typical of the post-World War II engineering campus gave way to computerized laboratories and simulation. Traditional engineering assets (lathes, mills, drill presses, etc.) were retired as they aged without replacement in favor of computer laboratories full of PC’s and software. As the 20th century ended, there was a realization that computer simulation is no substitute for “cutting metal” or “making things”. Designers need to understand process in order to communicate with technologists from trade schools and industry. Even a simple engineering drawing can often simply not be created due to process limitations (e.g., a perfectly drawn internal 90-degree angle in a CAD drawing does not occur in nature OR a machine shop). As the four year universities shut down their hands on programs, the two year programs implemented complex computer numerical controls curriculums to train operators for industry. The incredibly expensive equipment needed to do this is funded by state governments trying to attract industry to the state. The four year universities, responsible for creating the next generation of manufacturing machines, do not have access to THIS generations machines. The National Science Foundation and state governments don’t see the need for upper level engineering students to have ready access to machines that cost up to a million dollars each. The universities fortunate to have CNC machines usually keep them locked away from the students for safety of the machines and the students. Technicians make things for the students on the limited number or machines available. There is no understanding of the machines and very little understanding of the processes the machines are doing. An earlier paper by the authors described a way to implement an affordable undergraduate “manual” innovation laboratory. This article describes an affordable way for upper level universities to implement an effective machine design atmosphere for subtractive and additive manufacturing. The students modify existing machines from that earlier laboratory into multi-axis CNC machines. Students have successfully built five axis mills, lathes with live tooling and now a unique metal printing machine. The goal is not to create operators, but to enable designers of the next generation of machines. At the very least, students are immediately useful as design engineers when hired by companies making the most advanced (and expensive) additive/subtractive machines. The emphasis is not on expensive super machines but on very capable simple machines as emphasized in the Toyota Production System. One specific, inexpensive example will be provided for other institutions to utilize. The result has been an affordable laboratory that supports undergraduate students, graduate research students, and the university as a whole while teaching the design and control of computer numerical machines.

Topics: Computers
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A048. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66194.

Teaching senior design courses and labs has not been an easy task for the two authors. It has been rather a daunting working task associated with great learning experiences. It was decided early on from the initiation of the mechanical engineering program at the McCoy School of Engineering at Midwestern State University that the senior design project within the senior design class is a testing and enriching experience for senior mechanical engineering students as well as the teaching faculty. The senior design course and labs are conducted as a research experience for undergraduate students and their assigned faculty. The proposed senior project spans over two semesters, fall and spring, where the students experience a full mechanical engineering related project from the inception phase, through the design and construction phases, and finishing with the testing and analysis phases. The inception phase stands essentially for the brainstorming phase where the students are required to come-up with a set of diverse solutions to their assigned project problem. The design and construction phases stand for choosing an optimal particular solution for their problem according to a set of defined criteria. Then, the students start the preliminary design phase with related cost estimation, and then finalize the design with a set of final drawings.

After the design phase, the students start building a machine, an apparatus, a prototype or putting together the elements of a process. In this period they work intensely, with their faculty, the purchasing department, and mostly the department machinist, or the surrounding town machine shops. The testing and analysis phase stands for designing an experimental set-up, writing a testing procedure, and obtaining real time recorded data and proceeding with its analysis. In this technical paper, the authors talk about the requirements for a senior project known as the deliverables, the teaching tools used throughout the class work and labs, the students’ partial and final PowerPoints presentations and weekly and final reports. The authors describe the students overall achievements, and the archiving of the projects. Additionally, the authors talk about the twists and turns encountered during a senior project, with students, other faculty, the machinist, the lab technician, the secretary, and suppliers, and other difficulties experienced in running a full project with real final products. Finally, the authors talk about the aftermath of a senior project, eventual publications related to the project, and what is the view point of the American Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) on these senior projects.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A049. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-66799.

Virtual laboratories are used in professional skill development, online education, and corporate training. There are several aspects that determine the effectiveness and popularity of virtual laboratories: (i) the benefits brought to the users compared with those provided by traditional physical hands-on laboratories, (ii) the cost of adopting a virtual laboratory which includes the costs of creating the virtual environment and developing virtual experiments, and (iii) the operation which includes the communication between trainers and trainees, the authentication and remote proctoring of the trainees, etc. At present, the procedures of building and operating a virtual laboratory are still tedious, time-consuming and resource-intense, thus considerably limiting the potential applications and popularization of virtual laboratories.

In this paper, a virtual laboratory built and operated with 3D reconstruction and biometric authentication is introduced and an evaluation of the feasibility of the proposed approaches is presented.

3D reconstruction techniques are used to create the virtual environment of this virtual laboratory. The traditional tools used to survey the real world are replaced by a hand-held camera. Then, all of the information acquired by this hand-held camera is processed. Finally, the virtual environment of the virtual laboratory is generated automatically in real-time.

The biometric authentication techniques (here facial recognition techniques) are used to create a remote proctor. The general logic and basic algorithms used to enable biometric authentication and remote proctoring are described. When using this virtual laboratory, the students log in by capturing their face with a camera. While performing a laboratory exercise, they sit in front of the camera and the virtual laboratory system monitors their facial expressions and the motion of their head in order to identify suspicious behaviors. Upon detection of such suspicious behaviors, the system records a video for further analysis by the laboratory administrator.

Topics: Biometrics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A050. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67620.

Digital image correlation (DIC) has become an industry staple quickly replacing classic techniques. High-speed images are taken of a material sample being deformed, then algorithms applied to calculate variables of sample deformation such as stress, strain, displacement and displacement velocity. Currently, the analysis technology is not available at the level of simplicity and accessibility needed to teach the methods in an undergraduate laboratory. This project aims to develop a single program to perform DIC that is simple to use, accurate, and available at low cost. This paper describes the state of current DIC algorithm research, drawbacks of available technologies, the development cycle of the software including the techniques used to obtain the necessary accuracy and performance, and a demonstration of the DIC functionality in comparison to results obtained from commercial software.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2016;():V005T06A051. doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-68021.

In this research, eye movement measurement was performed for the process of the operation under laparoscopy to two or more persons. The knack of advanced technique was understood through numerical method and the difference in technology were evaluated, and it aimed at showing the influence of years of experience on eye movement by comparing the operation for the operators with different level of skill. The target operation was laparoscopic cholecystectomy. We decided to carry out under the same conditions using a simulator, and the subject was taken as two experts and one unskilled operator from which years of experience differ so that comparison between two or more subjects might be attained. According to the procedure in which it is most worked by the whole operation by actual laparoscopic cholecystectomy, it classified into nine items and measured the factor about working hours and a view at each process.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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