International Journal of Engineering Education

Online ISSN: 0949-149X
Publications
Original Piscina ACS screen 
Conference Paper
This communication presents a collaborative experience between four Spanish centers: the School of Engineering (ETSE) and the Sports Services Area (SAF) both from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) jointly with two centers of the Technical University of Catalonia, the high school from Vilanova i la Geltru (EPSEVG) and the high school in Terrassa (ETSEIAT). The idea behind this collaboration is to explore the possibility of role engineering education and project development for engineering students. The basic principle of such projects is the identification of the corresponding roles associated with the different parts that can be found on current social/industrial activity.
 
MODEL # 3-HIERARCHICAL ARCHITECTURE
Conference Paper
Traditionally, members of a department faculty value their autonomy. But their home department has a set of collective responsibilities involving other departments in the college, the university, and external constituent groups. Consider the following scenario. In a certain department faculty are judged individually to be very well qualified. Each person's academic and other scholarly achievements can clearly be documented as meritorious. However, the collective activities and achievements of these individuals fall measurably short of their department's collective responsibilities. More specifically, an individual might bring highly innovative concepts into an existing engineering course that are highly valued by external funding agencies, by peer institutions, and by the employers of the department's graduates. Yet these innovations are lost once this person is no longer the course instructor. This paper examines the relationships among faculty autonomy, the collective responsibility of the department faculty, and systemic reform in undergraduate engineering education
 
Conference Paper
With increasing use of Internet in interacting with e-learning resources anytime and anywhere, and interaction possibilities among teachers and students from different parts of the world, it is becoming increasingly important that we exploit the Internet technologies to achieve the most benefits in the education. This paper describes the Cyber Schooling framework that has been created to identify different scenarios in which the technology is able to serve the learning process. The framework takes the much-familiar traditional school structure as the basis and attempts to enhance it by the use of technology to overcome shortcomings of traditional education and study without time and space restriction. The Cyber Schooling framework includes four elements: Cyber School, Cyber Classroom, Cyber Teacher Desk and Cyber Student Desk. This framework provides scenarios to overcome shortcomings of traditional education and enables learners to study in a familiar school-oriented environment.
 
Conference Paper
We discuss the design and implementation of a series of linear or nonlinear controllers for a two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) helicopter through a Web-based laboratory. The physical structure of the 2DOF helicopter makes it an ideal platform for implementing and evaluating control strategies such as proportional-integral-derivative control (PID), fuzzy control and general state space feedback control. Thus, it is appropriate for all levels of university education and research. The Web-based laboratory on helicopters is currently being utilized in teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore. The system is particularly beneficial to part-time students, who are unable to access the University laboratory facilities during normal operating hours. The Web-based laboratory on helicopters, together some other laboratories implemented earlier, can be accessed at the Web site http://vlab.ee.nus.edu.sg/vlab
 
Conference Paper
A mobile laboratory was developed for students of the ECE5320 Mechatronics and ECE7750 Distributed Control Systems courses at Utah State University. A serial server was connected to the embedded controller of a stand-alone 3-axes robotic wheel assembly. This enabled communication between the wheel and any Internet-enabled computer. A telepresence control system and a prototype networked control system (NCS) were developed and tested. This system was suitably modified to accommodate the needs of the course laboratories, thereby enabling students to design, debug and test their laboratory projects in real-time at their chosen time and locations. A fully-functional demonstration of this remote laboratory is available from: http://www.csois.usu.edu/people/smartwheel/CompleteInfoPage.htm
 
Conference Paper
The paper reviews three learning models and information technologies that can be used to support the effective application of these learning models in engineering higher education. The effectiveness of an information technology is analyzed through the appropriateness of the technology in supporting a particular learning model. The mapping of information technologies to learning models identifies technologies in which engineering schools should invest in order to improve their educational environment and quality
 
Chapter
Abstract—Under a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded GK—12 Fellows project, a solution to invigorate high school students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers is being ,examined and implemented. This paper provides an overview of our strategy and results from the first year of the project.
 
Article
In this work, we show a methodology aimed to improve the quality of the assessment process for subjects related to basic programming. The method takes into account the relevance of the items and the students answers to follow different paths to improve the accuracy of the assessment process. We have developed numerical simulations and experiments with real students that demonstrate the advantages of this model when compared with traditional evaluation tools. This method improves the objectiveness and takes into account the relevance of the subject contents. We also demonstrate that the architecture of the algorithm is fully compatible with traditional multiple choice test formalisms. Our results can be directly used in computer-assisted tests for different subjects and disciplines, as well as used by the students as a self-evaluation tool with the objective of correcting their deficiencies in the learning process.
 
Example of atypical experiments in fluid mechanics: emptying jerry cans, preparation of experiments. 
Online course evaluations by students: (a) EBI studies web site, (b) evaluation by “(1) average , (2) satisfactory, (3) good or (4) very good” of each c riteria, (c) second part of evaluation: two questions and additional comments. 
Sample of teaching evaluation of fluid mechanics course by P17 students. 
Evolution of different criteria for each year (from P15 to P18)
Percentage of students' participation to teaching evaluation (from P15 to P18).
Article
EBI is a further education establishment which provides education in applied industrial biology at level of MSc engineering degree. Fluid mechanics at EBI was considered by students as difficult who seemed somewhat unmotivated. In order to motivate them, we applied a new play-based pedagogy. Students were asked to draw inspiration from everyday life situations to find applications of fluid mechanics and to do experiments to verify and validate some theoretical results obtained in course. In this paper, we present an innovative teaching/learning pedagogy which includes the concept of learning through play and its implications in fluid mechanics for engineering. Examples of atypical experiments in fluid mechanics made by students are presented. Based on teaching evaluation by students, it is possible to know how students feel the course. The effectiveness of this approach to motivate students is presented through an analysis of students' teaching assessment. Learning through play proved a great success in fluid mechanics where course evaluations increased substantially. Fluid mechanics has been progressively perceived as interesting, useful, pleasant and easy to assimilate. It is shown that this pedagogy which includes educational gaming presents benefits for students. These experiments seem therefore to be a very effective tool for improving teaching/learning activities in higher education.
 
Article
where the designers failed to consider the reservoir and its catchment as a complete system, consisting of: structural features, hydraulics, hydrology, sediment transport, catchment erosion and catchment management policy. 3. Past experience and failures should be used as valuable pedagogic tools by both professionals and engineering students. INTRODUCTION WATERS FLOWING in streams and rivers have the ability to scour channel beds, to carry particles heavier than water and to deposit materials. This phenomenon (i.e. sediment transport) is of great economical importance and numerous failures have resulted from the inability of engineers to predict sediment motion: e.g., bridge collapse (pier foundation erosion), formation of sand bars in estuaries and navigable rivers, destruction of banks and levees. Classical (clear-water) hydraulics is sometimes referred to as `fixed boundary hydraulics' and the basic principles of hydraulics can be taught in a simple scientific
 
Article
INTRODUCTION DUE TO THE application of new technologies, modifications of tasks and organizational structures, more complex customer requirements of technical products and services as well as increasing international dependency of economies, design engineers are confronted with new qualification demands. The classical technical-scientific qualification has to be extended by transdisciplinary knowledge and skills, which enable creative problem solutions, cooperative social behavior with leadership abilities and communication competencies as well as a holistic view of technical problems [7]. To face these new qualificational demands, a systematic approach to learning/teaching concepts comprising all relevant dimensions of teaching and learning has to be worked out to ensure a conscious and deliberate process of teaching and learning that can be both influential and capable of communication. THE BACKGROUND OF ENGINEERING DESIGN EDUCATION IN GERMANY Looking at the tradition and develo
 
1 Drag Coeecients of Common Shapes (excerpted from Table 12.2 in 12, (p. 379)]). Note the drag coeecient for a cylinder gives force per unit length. 
2. Velocity and acceleration for the rst 30 seconds of the jump. 
Article
. Introductory courses in differential equations have traditionally consisted of a long list of solution techniques for special equations. This characterization is becoming increasingly inaccurate as more textbooks and courses are being designed around qualitative methods. One component of many revised courses is the discussion of real-life applications and modeling. The parachute problem will be used to illustrate several essential features of the improved courses. In particular, it will be seen that the traditional version of the parachute problem is not very realistic, but is easily improved without making the problem significantly more complicated. Key words. mathematical modeling, ordinary differential equations, initial value problem, parachute problem 1. Introduction. Mathematical modeling is an increasingly essential skill for many engineers. The "parachute problem" is an appealing application that can be found in most differential equations textbooks [1, (p. 141, #19 and 20)...
 
The Cowan diagram [7].
Modified Cowan diagram [7].
Article
Project organized problem based learning is a successful concept for on-campus engineering education at Aalborg University. Recently this "Aalborg concept" has been used in networked distance education as well. This paper describes the experiences from two years of Internet-mediated project work in a new Master of Information Technology education. The main conclusions are, that the project work is a strong learning motivator, enhancing peer collaboration, for offcampus students as well. However, the concept cannot be directly transferred to off-campus learning. In this paper, the main problems experienced with group organized project work in distance education are described, and some possible solutions are listed.
 
Article
This paper describes an approach to a more systematic and goal-directed way of handling knowledge in educational engineering design projects, A knowledge management concept consisting of an JT-based knowledge management platform and a knowledge management training as an integrated part of the training of other fundamental trans-disciplinary competencies is introduced. This contribution is based on experiences in problem-based teaching in engineering design projects at the Technical University of Berlin as well as in experiences in implementing knowledge management into industry.
 
Article
As mobile-learning evolves, it needs an increasing amount of information to be displayed in the device screens. Also, to develop applications to be currently used by a wide range of users, the target devices must be the mobile phones rather than PDA or bigger devices. As the phone screen is very small and many different contents must be shown, a new approach is needed to join both requirements. This paper presents a proposal for the use of 3D worlds to enhance the interface of mobile-learning applications. Some specific test results are shown for every component available to construct 3D worlds. The result is an expanded interface where more information is displayed in the same space related to the subjective 3D perspective.
 
Article
This paper examines the 20-year career paths of three women engineering graduates who took part in a larger quantitative/qualitative research study on the career mobility of engineers in the province of Manitoba, Canada. The results of in-depth interviews reveal that women graduates of the 1980s, while subject to discriminatory attitudes and practices at the beginning of their careers, have also been beneficiaries of societal, organizational and engineering-related improvements towards gender equity. Implications are drawn on the importance of mentoring strategies to women's career success in the field.
 
Iteration results for bad start values
Maxwell construction at T c-40 nK
Definition of areas to compare
Comparison of a Maxwell construction for WATER95 and FLUIDCAL
Article
WATER95 is an open source implementation of IAPWS95, the current standard formulation of the properties of water and steam for scientific use. It is written in MATLAB and is aimed primarily at educational use. Its value for teaching standard processes with water as a working medium is shown on the basis of worked exercises. They provide examples of isobaric and adiabatic processes and the calculation of the efficiency of the standard Clausius-Rankine cycle for steam turbines, and show how to extend the package for the computation of processes of constant enthalpy. Finally the advantages and drawbacks of using the package in a thermodynamics course are discussed.
 
Article
The new accreditation criteria, better known as ABET EC 2000, require that each program 'must have an assessment process with documented results.' Furthermore, a white paper by the Engineering Accreditation Commission's Executive Committee states, 'The assessment process should include direct and indirect measures and does not rely only on self-report surveys and evidence that the material is 'covered' in the curriculum.' This paper presents: (a) an overview of an assessment process to make engineering programs ABET accreditation compliant; (b) assessment methods that are used to collect data, interpret them, and utilize the results to improve engineering programs; (c) a process to choose the appropriate mix of direct and indirect assessment methods/instruments, and (d) implementation of assessment methods to an electrical engineering program. As an example, the paper presents a sample of recent changes that have led to improvements based on program assessment of the University of Portland School of Engineering electrical engineering program.
 
Article
A significant portion of the development efforts on remote access laboratories has focused on demonstrating their technical feasibility instead of investigating their implications for engineering pedagogy. Further, current implementations of remote access laboratories lack the social interactions that are fundamental to the engineering learning process. In response to these limitations a new paradigm for remote access laboratories, namely the eLaboratory, is introduced in this paper, which is a convergence of remote access technologies and collaboration-based eLearning. It implements web-portal technology to establish a seamless integration of content-delivery, collaboration tools, and direct access to hardware resources as well as software applications. The paper presents a generic and modular architecture for such a framework, and discusses its implementation. Students' evaluation of the learning outcomes of the eLaboratory paradigm, applied to Aerospace Engineering laboratory courses at the University of Toronto, is also analyzed.
 
Article
The number of universities in Taiwan has increased enormously over the last ten years; this has raised concerns over the quality of the engineering programs. In 2003 the Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan (IEET) was established, to ensure quality control of the programs via outcomes-based accreditation. This paper describes key elements of IEET, a provisional signatory to the Washington Accord, and the lessons learned in the application of the scheme. Currently, nearly a quarter of all four-year engineering programs have participated in accreditation. Work in progress includes the fine-tuning of the accreditation process and accreditation of master's degree programs beginning in 2007. The work of IEET should help other economies that are in the process of establishing their own accreditation systems.
 
Article
Active teaching methods in large groups of students have been applied using a simulator. This approach also allows students' work to be controlled outside the classroom, at a moderate laboratory cost. The tool is a data acquisition card simulator for the development and testing of computer applications in industrial control. It works by simulating the electrical signals connected to its pins and the physical behaviour of the processes that it controls.
 
Article
The pedagogy of project-based courses is notoriously difficult to transfer but in today's global economy it is crucial to be able to teach innovation. Therefore, an experiment was performed to evaluate how a design innovation course could be transferred across cultures, disciplines and institutions. Specifically, a graduate level engineering design course from Stanford University was emulated at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland. The course methodology exemplifies the innovation approach taken by notable companies that represent the innovation success of Silicon Valley. The results obtained from a series of interviews indicate that there is a set of essentials to this pedagogy, which, when transferred, led to similar innovation success elsewhere.
 
Article
This paper deals with the innovative curriculum developed at the College of Engineering at Rowan University to integrate sustainable development across the undergraduate curriculum. Teaching modules focus on the concept of sustainable development for infrastructure, chemical, electrical, mechanical and environmental systems. These modules have been developed for all levels of engineering courses starting from the freshman to the senior classes. Implementation of course content is easier than traditional engineering programs, as the college has multidisciplinary "clinic courses" for all engineering students. Sustainability concepts have also been reinforced in traditional engineering classes and via service learning activities. Service learning activities are promoted through the Engineers without Borders Student chapter.
 
Article
The paper outlines a course on electrical machines designed for pre-university education. The first part of the laboratory exercises is concerned with the principles of operation of motors and generators while the second part of the exercises highlights empirical studies of the efficiency of small DC motors, low-power transformers, etc. Some example experiments supported by a low-cost data acquisition system are described in the paper. The laboratory exercises described were introduced through workshops for pre-service and inservice teacher training programmes. The teachers involved responded positively and confirmed that they can apply the experiments in their teaching practice.
 
Article
Since the Pinewood Derby (PWD) began more than fifty years ago, it has been one of a Cub Scout's first encounters with engineering principles. The PWD is an event in which seven- to eleven-year old Cub Scouts, with help from parents or leaders, construct a car out of a simple block of wood, four nails acting as axles, and four plastic wheels to race down a track under the power of gravity. Concepts such as friction, energy, roughness, and dynamics are indirectly learned as a result of a car's performance. To promote engineering education to elementary-level children, these concepts are taught to Scouts and their parents through the use of an outreach program, the organization, methods, and assessment of which will be discussed in this paper. Consisting of several stations to demonstrate the effects of rolling and sliding friction, wheel alignment, and weight distribution, the outreach program allows the Scouts to experience first hand how they can improve their car's performance. Hands-on activities as well as actual data also help keep the Scouts interested and motivated to build the most optimized car, and concurrently learn basic engineering principles. Since the PWD is held annually among hundreds of groups internationally, outreach programs have the potential of impacting thousands of Scouts every year and provide a basis for continued interest in engineering.
 
Article
In recent years, a number of innovative activities involving early design/hands on experiences have been introduced into first and second semester freshman courses at Virginia Tech. The objective is to excite freshmen about the engineering profession and to provide early exposure to topics essential to their preparation as globally and socially conscious engineers. A number of initiatives including a sustainable development design project, study abroad presentations, and a world population activity have been implemented in the first course. In the second course, a design project with a focus on assistive technologies for third world countries has been implemented.
 
June 2006: performance rate, success rate and drop-out rate at the end of the second semester of the academic year 2005±2006.  
February 2006: performance rate, success rate and dropout rate at the end of the first semester of the academic year 2005±2006.  
February 2007: performance rate, success rate and dropout rate at the end of the first semester of the academic year 2006±2007. Fig. 4. June 2007: performance rate, success rate and drop-out rate at the end of the second semester of the academic year 2006±2007.  
Article
In this paper, the educational experiences of research in Engineering Education in the Escuela Universitaria de Ingenieria Tecnica de Telecomunicacion at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid are presented. The research attempted to go beyond the experiences in the framework of the European Higher Education Area during the academic years 2005-2007. This paper describes the experience within the first-year course in the Escuela Universitaria de Ingenieria Tecnica de Telecomunicacion. Three years after the beginning of this research some feedback is given and some conclusions are drawn.
 
Article
A hardware and software architecture suitable for active-learning approaches is described, using gigabit network, video conferencing equipment, network control and collaborative learning software. This system supports interaction and collaboration features in the lecture delivery task, between teacher and students, as well as between students, within and also outside of the classroom. This report documented the integration of two software packages 'NetSupport Manager' and 'Silicon Chalk' in the delivery of an Applied Machine Vision course whereas lecture, demonstration and laboratory activities are merged seamlessly. This system was used to teach synchronously to graduate students at Kagoshima University in Spring 2004.
 
Article
The Learning Factory (LF) concept integrates a practice-based engineering curriculum that strives to balance analytical and theoretical knowledge with learning enhancements through hands-on fabrication experiences. We have completed a project based on adapting key components of the original LF model, strategically expanding manufacturing-related education within a small mechanical engineering department. The implementation includes equipment installation, development of hands-on learning opportunities in materials processing and inspection, strategic formation of a lab infrastructure that creates course linkages and provides complementary coverage of fabrication principles within core courses, the integration of manufacturing research and education and the implementation of K-12 outreach activities.
 
Article
The ABET EC 2000 criterion requiring that engineering graduates 'understand engineering solutions in global and societal context' has proved problematic to address, because most engineering faculty are neither trained in, nor enthusiastic about including, topics which are logically part of the larger view required of 'global and societal context'. We present here our experience in providing 'engineering solutions' in broader contexts, achieved through integration of lecture or laboratory in technology into a foreign language course. We have offered such integrations in three formats: (i) Technology cameos in English, set in a Spanish language course, (ii) Technology cameos in French, set in a French language course, and (iii) Device dissection lab activities executed as part of a Spanish course. We demonstrate that engineering/foreign language faculty collaboration within such integrated courses formats provides one potential path to introducing 'engineering solutions in global and societal contexts'.
 
Article
In January 2004, a Biosystems Engineering design elective entitled 'Design of Assistive Technology Device' was offered for the first time. The course was team-taught by one instructor from the Department of Biosystems Engineering and two instructors from the Department of Occupational Therapy. The course covered the application and design of technology for individuals with disabilities; emphasizing the development of the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to evaluate, design and implement client-centred assistive technology services. Students were involved in the clinical assessment process, designed an assistive technology device, evaluated a prototype of the assistive technology device and prepared a written report describing the assistive technology device. Overall, this was a positive experience. The engineering students enjoyed the novel course material and appreciated the input from the diverse teaching team. Based on the quality of the project reports submitted, it can be concluded that the students gained an understanding of the process associated with designing assistive technology for individuals with disabilities. The logistical issues associated with teaching a course involving resources and instructors from two separate campuses can be overcome. The collaborative model presented by this course suggests a way for former agricultural engineering departments to offer courses in areas outside the expertise of their own educational background.
 
Statistics for responses to numerically scaled questions in the survey 
Response to open-ended question: How did team grading affect the team dynamic? 
Self/peer evaluation rubric for team participation. Students are asked to evaluate themselves and peers 
Article
At the present time it is common practice to begin teaching teamwork skills to first year students. Teamwork skills have been identified by industry and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as critical to engineering success in the workplace. There are many factors that are associated with learning effective team performance. In this study, we are interested in a simple question—does peer evaluation influence team performance and if so, how? To answer this question, we used qualitative and semi-quantitative questions in individual surveys of Bio/Ag students who have completed our first year student and sophomore design courses where (a) in the first year team performance was not directly assessed, and (b) in the second year team performance was evaluated by peers and professor, and the evaluation was part of the design project grade. The major finding of the study was: while students connected logically with the idea of peer evaluation at the end of a project, they report that this evaluation did not influence their performance. However, the students welcomed structured peer feedback during the project. Together, this finding suggests that professors should structure peer-feedback during a project, with peer-evaluation at the end of the project.
 
Article
Multi-agent systems are advocated as a model for designing complex, distributed engineering systems. Yet the practice of teaching the use of intelligent agents in modeling and simulation of next generation open, dynamic, adaptive, and intelligent engineering applications is still in its infancy. In this paper we present a unified and coherent framework for teaching a graduate level agent-directed simulation course for computer science and engineering students. The framework aims to: (1) promote extending our horizons by introducing multiple dimensions for the use of agents in simulation; (2) emphasize focusing on teaching the theory, methodology, and fundamental principles underlying the agent-based modeling framework, and (3) suggest a shift from a predictive modeling worldview toward a new computational epistemology perspective that advocates exploratory experimentation with agent-based models. Based on these premises, a synopsis of the structure, delivery strategy, and the underlying rationale for the design of the course are presented.
 
Article
Project courses are an important component of some software engineering curricula. They are capstone projects where teams of students experience the various practices for developing software. Instructors play the roles of coaches in guiding the students during the various phases of their project. Nowadays, software development processes fall into two major paradigms. The Disciplined software process paradigm defines best practices and their relationships on the basis of roles, activities and artifacts. The Agile process paradigm, which is based on values of simplicity, communication, and feedback, uses simple practices to enable a team to tune the practices to their unique situation. The two process paradigms have great value in general and one is likely to be more efficient than the other in any specific development project. However, it could be interesting to find out how each of these process paradigms performs in learning environments. To achieve this we conducted an observational study in an academic environment. Six teams of four students developed their own versions of a software product based on the same requirements. Three teams used a Disciplined process and three teams used an Agile process. This study is based on four observations: the quality of the implementation of the requirement, the total project effort, the process activity effort and the product size. The data to support each of these observations are presented. In this study, however, the Disciplined paradigm provides less project implementation with a better realization of quality. This study indicates that the more efficient approach for capstone projects for inexperienced students in software engineering would be a Disciplined process paradigm.
 
Article
In our department, senior design is a two semester sequence intended to comply with the capstone requirements of ABET criterion 3(c) and criterion 4. The primary requirement of senior design students is to select a project and through a series of steps, carry it through construction to testing. By their senior year, students are quite capable of using the sophisticated engineering skills and software learned in previous courses but are woefully unprepared to produce even the simplest practical designs and prototypes. When recently we have taken the time, either in or out of class, to provide students with practical instructions in tools, materials and techniques, the results have been very encouraging. Rather than rejecting the hands-on aspects of engineering design, students have enthusiastically embraced it in some unusually creative ways. This paper discusses the growing realization of our educational pedagogical deficiencies and the steps, some implemented and some anticipated, needed to correct this problem.
 
On average, the first year students in the 1999-2000 and the 2000-2001 learning community agreed or strongly agreed that they had learned technical writing skills during their first year in college. A ranking of 3 or greater indicates agreement.
Article
In 1998, the Agricultural Engineering programme at Iowa State University turned to the pedagogical innovation termed 'learning communities' in an effort to enhance student retention and to bring coherence and meaning to our first-year student curriculum. Not only has the learning community helped us to increase our first-year, first time student retention in the major of Agricultural Engineering (AE), it has helped us to address many of our AE programme objectives including students' abilities to function on multi-disciplinary teams, communicate effectively and have knowledge of important contemporary issues. Results of the AE learning community assessment efforts suggest that students are overwhelmingly satisfied with the programme.
 
PIC18F458 memory map 
Article
One of the fundamental skills required of biosystems and agricultural engineers is an ability to interact with systems that affect the production and processing of biological materials. This involves monitoring and controlling parameters within complex biological systems. Also, there is often a need to link multiple systems over a network to allow control and feedback data to be shared at several points. These monitoring systems and more sophisticated embedded networks are enhancing the ability of biosystems and agricultural engineers to solve problems by facilitating real-time data collection and enabling control actions. The use of microcontrollers in industry applications is growing steadily each year. Currently, worldwide microcontroller unit sales are increasing at a rate of 13% to 17% annually. This growth is reflected in biosystems and agricultural engineering by an increased use of microcontrollers in all aspects of the profession. Food and bioprocessing groups are utilizing microcontroller resources to improve the accuracy and efficiency of process control machines. Microcontrollers are also increasingly used for environmental control, where they have been implemented into distributed control systems. Applications are increasing in all areas of specialization where cost effective and precise control is required. In order to fulfill the departmental mission to provide students with the highest quality and most diverse learning experience possible, the University of Kentucky Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering has developed a course to introduce the basic operation and industrial use of microcontrollers and embedded network systems. The fundamental goals of the course were to teach students the basic operating principles of microcontrollers and communication protocols, and to introduce practical microcontroller uses in industry. Laboratory assignments were tailored toward applications in biosystems and agricultural engineering including analog data acquisition, environmental monitoring, and process control. Principle concepts of motor and valve control were also discussed as they relate to real-world control applications.
 
Schematic of Web Taxonomy showing a portion of bioprocess lab ontology showing the list of the equipments used in the bioprocess domain.
Schematic of Object Editor showing a list of equipments and reagents used in the bioprocess lab and the relationship between them.
Website generated by the content management approach
Interface for BMP laboratory for determining biodegradability of a sample. 
Article
A database approach to managing educational materials is presented that uses ontologies, object management systems, and dynamically generated Websites to manage educational resources better and enhance learning in the agricultural engineering curriculum. An example in the area of bioprocess is presented. An ontology is used to define and organize the concepts in the domain: in this case concepts involving the biology, chemistry, and physics of bioprocess. A database, rather than files, is used to store and distribute concept objects. Instructors use Web-based data visualization tools to develop and manage course content. Objects can be projected to a number of different presentation formats including Websites and printed materials. Evaluation of a 2D simulation of a bioprocess experiment shows that Web-based simulation can offer many of the experiences of hands-on laboratory exercises. The database approach simplifies the development process and lowers the cost.
 
Article
Currently there are over 164 universities in 31 countries offering undergraduate degree programs (or as an emphasis) in agricultural engineering (AE). Many of these programs are not offered through engineering colleges and thus are not accredited as engineering degrees. Some of the AE curriculums have less than 50% of the coursework in engineering and as a result, inadequate training in engineering is given to AE graduates to compete with those with traditional engineering degrees. Many AE programs place very little emphasis on the areas like bioprocess engineering or biomedical engineering that can make the graduates more marketable. National engineering institutions of some of the developing countries do not welcome agricultural and biological engineers on board for professional membership. This manuscript will critically evaluate such problems and the current situation of agricultural engineering education in developing countries and will attempt to create awareness among universities and professional organizations of what is necessary for a thriving agricultural and biological (systems) engineering profession.
 
Article
The Agricultural Machinery Research and Design Centre (AMRDC) at the University of South Australia has evolved over the past 25 years from a single mechanical engineering consultancy to a major national agricultural engineering research and postgraduate education centre. The paper traces the history of the development of AMRDC and focuses on the path of expansion of activities from cultivation machine design, tillage tool research, seed placement and plant growth interactions, to the move into horticulture and food processing machinery. Today's equipment includes the Tillage Test Track (a 250m continuous soil bin), the Seed Placement Test Rig (an indoor soil bin with interchangeable soils and a growth chamber) and Trial Plot Seeder. A post harvest processing facility is also briefly described.
 
Article
Applications of computer-aided design (CAD) techniques in the creation of teaching tools used in applied history of technology and mechanical engineering are described. We present the recovery and analysis of an old wheat mill, which used water as its energy source. The mill has been completely modelled using SolidWorks™ software, and a computer animation of the production process has been generated using 3DStudio Max™ software. The generation of CAD models and learning from simulations is the subject of the course in technology history.
 
Article
Instructional materials for Analog Electronics and Control Systems laboratory sessions aimed at designing a robust low distortion audio amplifier are presented. The paper is aimed at both senior-level undergraduate and first-year graduate students of Electrical Engineering, and its main objectives are to present key concepts and information to assist students to investigate the distortion performance of audio amplifiers, and to design a real audio amplifier based on an H∞ robust controller. Here, the analysis and design of the audio amplifier is carried out using PSpice simulations, which is a very suitable method for studying distortion mechanisms.
 
Article
This paper begins with a description on the state of the art of robotics education in Spain. We then present our virtual environment and remote laboratory, whose principal component is RoboLab, a system that allows the student to interact with simulated and real robots through the Internet. Afterwards, we describe the main aspects of our Robotics courses at the University of Alicante, as well as the practical exercises carried out by students using the virtual laboratory. We then present an analysis of our experience of using the virtual and remote laboratory and give our conclusions, in which we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using our virtual environment and remote laboratory to teach Robotics.
 
Article
In response to the 2006 National Defense Education and Innovation Initiative, NASA and DAVANNE LLC have collaborated to create the NASA Robotics Alliance Cadets Program to develop a highly integrated and interactive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) undergraduate curriculum. This paper investigates the NASA Cadets' use of Active Learning to not only meet the nationally recognized need for a formal assessment standard, but also to ensure the sustainability of the program. To demonstrate the program's Active Learning tools wide accessibility and their integration with the program's methodologies, this paper examines the NASA Cadets' robotics platform and its use within an educational experiment co-developed by Cornell University.
 
Article
This paper is intended to contribute an alternative approach—method of model formulas—to finding statically indeterminate reactions and deflections of elastic beams under loading. A set of four equations are first derived and then employed as model formulas. These formulas account for the flexural rigidity of the beam, concentrated loads, and linearly distributed loads. Thus, the proposed method of model formulas can effectively be applied to solve most beam problems involving reactions and deflections, encountered in the teaching of mechanics of materials and in engineering practice. A variety of examples are included in the paper.
 
Article
A team of undergraduate mechanical engineering technology students designed and built a heat exchanger learning module. Hot and cold fluid delivery systems provide fluids to a heat exchanger that is used to teach fundamental concepts of heat transfer in a thermal science laboratory. Design provisions enable analysis of heat exchangers in either parallel or counter flow configurations. The module uses a data acquisition system to record temperatures along the heat exchanger loops. The effect of flow configuration and mass flow rate on heat transfer characteristics of the heat exchangers is evaluated. Overall heat transfer coefficient (U) of 500 (W/m2 °C) for a heat exchanger with parallel flow configuration was determined. Assessment results for this module obtained through a survey by students who used it in their thermal science laboratory course during the Spring 2005 semester is presented, and indicates that this home-made instrument is user friendly pedagogically sound and safe to operate.
 
Article
Engineering education is in need of innovative teaching and learning methods to improve the ability of our graduates to solve complex problems and to make explicit the connections between engineering and community or society. Multidisciplinary approaches can provide the synergy and spark the creativity required to develop workable solutions to the increasingly complex problems of today's society. The purpose of this paper is to detail some of the innovative teaching and learning methods in agricultural and biological engineering (ABE) that address these issues, including multidisciplinary problem-solving and tools for developing creativity.
 
Article
The interdisciplinary nature of the computer architecture domain and the complexity of both hardware and software make it difficult for instructors to teach students the underlying mechanism of program execution at the introductory level. We present an environment that helps introductory students to understand how the instructions activate the hardware, and how to master basic programming skills in machine language. This environment includes a simulation of a low-level computer machine and a comprehensive set simulation-based activities aimed at scaffolding the learning process. The environment, EasyCPU, displays a schematic model of the computer components and the dynamic processes as well as the flow of information involved in executing the program at the machine level. The environment can control external hardware, in addition to the on-screen I/O simulation. This enables students to develop small but real hardware projects, and thus to experience the interdisciplinary nature of working with hardware and software. The extensive use of EasyCPU (by 7000 students) provided an opportunity to assess its contribution and to a better understanding of the interactions between the computer units and the details of program execution and the data flow within the computer, as well as to the development of programming skills.
 
Article
This paper presents an approach to teaching design of non-programmable application-specific architectures using VHDL, logic and physical synthesis tools and FPGAs. The approach relies on mini-projects that resemble typical problems that students may face in real-life concerning the design of application-specific architectures. The teaching approach presented in this paper supports the incremental learning of both VHDL and the tools used, as the projects are being developed, i.e., students are motivated to acquire skills at the pace at which those skills are required to advance project development. The results so far are very encouraging. Even students with little knowledge of hardware design and embedded systems have succeeded in their assignments. Feedback obtained from students reveals the suitability of certain aspects of the approach and the major difficulties they have faced.
 
Article
This study provided a statistical model to assess varied types of Web-based simulations in a digital-filter design course. Ninety-one undergraduate students participated in an experimental study. Two independent variables were studied: Web-based simulations (batch-based, comparison-based, and interval change-based simulations); and prior Internet familiarity (high and low). Two dependent variables were measured: a knowledge achievement test, and a problem-solving belief test. The experimental research design of the study was a 3 × 2 randomized post-test design. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was used to analyze collected data. The main effects and the potential interaction of the two independent variables were examined. Results indicate that Web-based simulation with a simple batch-based design yielded a significantly better learning performance than two other complex simulation designs (comparison-based and interval change-based simulations) (F[2,85] = 4.274, p < 0.05).
 
Top-cited authors
Anette Kolmos
  • Aalborg University
Erik De Graaff
  • Aalborg University
Sylvie Lorente
  • Villanova University
William Oakes
  • Purdue University
Edward Coyle
  • Georgia Institute of Technology