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Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Laboratory experiences in a mechanical.

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Presentation on theme: "Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Laboratory experiences in a mechanical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Laboratory experiences in a mechanical and aerospace engineering department Edward White - Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University Until recently - Mechanical and Aerospace Eng., Case Western Reserve University

2 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 What to do (and what can be done) in undergraduate lab courses Edward White - Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University Until recently - Mechanical and Aerospace Eng., Case Western Reserve University

3 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Undergraduate lab instruction should produce competent producers and consumers of experimental results.

4 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 We who hire new grads need them to to start work or grad. school ready to make meaningful contributions.

5 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 How should we structure laboratory instruction to achieve this? Maximum exposure? Stressing fundamentals? Something in between? (What about demos for other courses?) Theres limited time, credit hours and attention. We cant do it all.

6 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 The right balance prepares students to make meaningful contributions in the widest range of applications and roles over the span of their careers

7 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 To achieve this, we should stress thoughtful application of key principles, not maximum exposure to state-of-the-art instruments or rapid-fire labs

8 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Why emphasize key principles over introduction state of the art?

9 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Key principles have enduring value; the state of the art is ever changing. So, use limited time and resources where theyll have the best and broadest long-term impact.

10 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Students capability to absorb and competently apply new concepts is limited. Capture Efficiency Delivery Rate -(1+ )

11 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Theres limited time in lectures, lab sessions Students have limited time (typically enrolled in 4-5 other courses) I have limited time.

12 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Theres limited time in lectures, lab sessions Students have limited time (typically enrolled in 4-5 other courses) I have limited time.

13 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Theres limited time in lectures, lab sessions Students have limited time (typically enrolled in 4-5 other courses) I have limited time

14 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 The state of the art is expensive!

15 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Why emphasize key principles over introduction state of the art?

16 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Mastery of key principles is whats required for creativity, design and technical leadership

17 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 What are the key principles?

18 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 (1) Every measurement is uncertain and the uncertainty must be understood and quantified

19 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Theres subtlety and difficulty in making even simple measurements

20 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Theres not a right answer on which to fall back (although one should have a pretty good guess before starting)

21 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Theres almost always a variety of means of making a measurement

22 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Instruments and techniques must be calibrated against known, reliable standards

23 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 What are the key principles?

24 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 (2) Instruments and techniques consist of knowable components that can be understood, critiqued, and improved upon by undergraduates. There should be no black boxes.

25 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Instruments consist of multiple simpler components

26 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Computers do repetitive things quickly. They dont do things correctly (necessarily) they do things quickly.

27 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 What are the key principles?

28 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 (3) Theres nothing useful about knowing something if you can communicate it in a clear and convincing way

29 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Ultimately, mastery of these key principles of experimental work comes through practice and application. What do we actually do?

30 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Perform a few simple labs that teach the key principles by requiring clear thinking about a tractable problems

31 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Along the way we teach about data analysis and simple instrumentation as well as demonstrate physical principles to enhance other courses

32 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007

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35 Often SolidStrainBasic Uncertainty Mech.GagesProp. Of Errors Computerized DAQ HeatTCsLinear Regression Trans. FluidHotFourier Analysis Mech.Wires

36 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Example Lab Measure the pressure in an unopened pop can.

37 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Mayhem ensues. Functional groups ps Range from 15 to 100 psi. All groups have different ps for the axial and circumferential gages. Some groups have a gage break, need to improvise. All have definite opinions about whether this is a good way to measure pressure! Most groups are able to make interesting conclusions about what went right and what went wrong. Whats the result?

38 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 This is a simple experiment: Simply put some gages on a can and open it. But, its actually a rich, complex (but tractable) problem that uncovers a huge range of real experimental issues.

39 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 This is the sort of foundation from which we should build. Dont underestimate the rigor thats needed even for simple things Understand and dissect the process Understand uncertainty

40 Edward White, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, Instruction in Experimental Methods Session, AIAA ASM 2007 Use this and a few other practice examples of similar scope, then move on to the more complex, more modern work.


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