Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
 
 
 
 
 
A Unified Framework for Engineering Science: Principles and Sample Curricula
 

Sophomore Engineering Curricula
Introduction  Conservation and Accounting Framework Curriculum Structure: Texas A&M four-course structure Curriculum Structure: Texas A&M Five-Course Structure
Curriculum Structure: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Sophomore Engineering Curriculum Example Problems

Student Performance/Faculty Reactions

Conclusions

 

Example 2: Jumping a Spark

Consider the circuit given in Figure 3 .

Figure 3 A Switched Circuit.

The circuit has one degree of freedom when the switch is closed and the labeled current gives the flow variable. The problem given to students is to explain what happens to the voltage at Vp when the switch opens after having been closed for a long period of time. With a little help, the student’s thinking proceeds as follows. Conservation of energy tells the students that there is energy stored in the coil due to the flow of current.  When the switch opens, and degree of freedom drops to zero and the current drops to zero causing the energy in the coil to leave the coil. Because the energy cannot disappear, it has to go somewhere.  The energy cannot be dissipated by the resistance Rp if the current is zero. The students conclude that the voltage at Vp becomes very negative until a spark jumps across the switch.  The energy dissipated by jumping the gap is large because even though the current in the spark may be small, the voltage drop is large. Since a significant amount of energy is dissipated across the gap, the students realize that the switch may become damaged.

Next the students are asked to design something to prevent the arc from jumping and damaging the switch. Some students who understand about diodes choose to prevent the degree of freedom from dropping by putting in a clamping diode. Others recognize the real need is to provide a storage location for the energy that leaves the coil. In other words, they increase the order of the system to allow for an additional energy storage mechanism. Their design is shown in Figure 4 :

Figure 4 The Protected Switch.

Since a capacitor stores energy, the energy from the inductor enters the capacitor when the current is stopped. This example demonstrates how degree of freedom and order can be used in design.

The previous two examples demonstrate how augmenting the conservation and accounting with degree of freedom and order can help in system analysis and design. These concepts are not essential and need not be taught if the students are not sufficiently advanced. Without them, students should be encouraged to write all conservation equations for every system.

Examples 3 and 4 were taken from the ES205 final at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.   They illustrate the types of problems that students at Rose-Hulman can solve at the end of the sophomore ES20x sequence.  The thermocouple problem illustrates that students can tackle multidisciplinary problems using the conservation and accounting framework.  The vibration analysis of the car also illustrates the power of computer algebra systems such as Maple.  Entering students at Rose-Hulman are required to purchase a notebook computer with a software suite.  Although the car problem can be set up manually, the calculations would be difficult to do by hand, but they are ideal for Maple.  This problem is not much different than what students might see in a senior level vibrations course.

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References

  1. Grinter, L.E. (Chair), Report on Evaluation of Engineering Education, American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, DC, 1955.
  2.   Harris, Eugene M. DeLoatch, William R. Grogan, Irene C. Peden, and John R. Whinnery, "Journal of Engineering Education Round Table: Reflections on the Grinter Report," Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 83, No. 1, pp. 69-94 (1994) (includes as an Appendix the Grinter Report, issued in September, 1955).
  3. Glover, Charles, J., and Carl A. Erdman, "Overview of the Texas A&M/NSF Engineering Core Curriculum Development," Proceedings, 1992 Frontiers in Education Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 11-14 November 1992, pp. 363-367
  4. Glover, Charles J., K. M. Lunsford, and John A. Fleming, “TAMU/NSF Engineering Core Curriculum Course 1: Conservation Principles in Engineering,” Proceedings, 1992 Frontiers in Education Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 11-14 November 1992, pp. 603-608
  5. Glover, Charles J., K. M. Lunsford, and John A. Fleming, Conservation Principles and the Structure of Engineering, 3rd edition, New York: McGraw-Hill College Custom Series, 1992
  6. Pollock, Thomas C., “TAMU/NSF Engineering Core Curriculum Course 2: Properties of Matter,” Proceedings, 1992 Frontiers in Education Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 11-14 November 1992, pp. 609-613
  7. Pollock, Thomas C., Properties of Matter, 3rd edition, New York: McGraw-Hill College Custom Series, 1992
  8. Everett, Louis J., “TAMU/NSF Engineering Core Curriculum Course 3: Understanding Engineering via Conservation,” Proceedings, 1992 Frontiers in Education Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 11-14 November 1992, pp. 614-619
  9. Everett, Louis J., Understanding Engineering Systems via Conservation, 2nd edition, New York: McGraw-Hill College Custom Series, 1992
  10. Glover, Charles J. and H. L. Jones, “TAMU/NSF Engineering Core Curriculum Course 4: Conservation Principles for Continuous Media,” Proceedings, 1992 Frontiers in Education Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 11-14 November 1992 Conference, pp. 620-624
  11. Glover, C. J. and H. L. Jones, Conservation Principles for Continuous Media, 2nd edition, New York: McGraw-Hill College Custom Series, 1992
  12. Erdman, Carl A., Charles J. Glover, and V. L. Willson, “Curriculum Change: Acceptance and Dissemination,” Proceedings, 1992 Frontiers in Education Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 11-14 November 1992, pp. 368-372
  13. B. A. Black, “From Conservation to Kirchoff: Getting Started in Circuits with Conservation and Accounting,” Proceedings of the 1996 Frontiers in Education Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 6-9 November 1996
  14. Griffin, Richard B., Louis J. Everett, P. Keating, Dimitris C. Lagoudas, E. Tebeaux, D. Parker, William Bassichis, and David Barrow, "Planning the Texas A&M University College of Engineering Sophomore Year Integrated Curriculum," Fourth World Conference on Engineering Education, St. Paul, Minnesota, October 1995, vol. 1, pp. 228-232.
  15. Everett, Louis J., "Experiences in the Integrated Sophomore Year of the Foundation Coalition at Texas A&M," Proceedings, 1996 ASEE National Conference, Washington, DC, June 1996
  16. Richards, Donald E., Gloria J. Rogers, "A New Sophomore Engineering Curriculum -- The First Year Experience," Proceedings, 1996 Frontiers in Education Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 6-9 November 1996
  17. Heenan, William and Robert McLaughlan, "Development of an Integrated Sophomore Year Curriculum,” Proceedings of the 1996 Frontiers in Education Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 6-9 November 1996
  18. Mashburn, Brent, Barry Monk, Robert Smith, Tan-Yu Lee, and Jon Bredeson, "Experiences with a New Engineering Sophomore Year,” Proceedings of the 1996 Frontiers in Education Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 6-9 November 1996
  19. Everett, Louis J., "Dynamics as a Process, Helping Undergraduates Understand Design and Analysis of Dynamics Systems," Proceedings, 1997 ASEE National Conference,
  20. Doering, E., “Electronics Lab Bench in a Laptop: Using Electronics Workbench to Enhance Learning in an Introductory Circuits Course,” Proceedings of the 1997 Frontiers in Education Conference, November 1997
  21. Cornwell, P., and J. Fine, “Mechanics in the Rose-Hulman Foundation Coalition Sophomore Curriculum,” Proceedings of the Workshop on Reform of Undergraduate Mechanics Education, Penn State, 16-18 August 1998
  22. Cornwell, P., and J. Fine, “Mechanics in the Rose-Hulman Foundation Coalition Sophomore Curriculum,” to appear in the International Journal of Engineering Education
  23. Cornwell, P. and J. Fine, “Integrating Dynamics throughout the Sophomore Year,” Proceeedings, 1999 ASEE Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina, 20-23 June 1999
  24. Burkhardt, H. "System physics: A uniform approach to the branches of classical physics." Am. J. Phys. 55 (4), April 1987, pp. 344–350.
  25. Fuchs, Hans U. Dynamics of Heat. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1996.

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