Undergraduate Teaching Labs

Vibrations Lab

Engineering B6
The vibrations lab supports the MECH425 course – Mechanical Engineering Vibrations. Vibrations is an elective course that introduces students to mechanical vibrations in rotating machinery and structures. Singe degree of freedom, multiple degree of freedom, mode shapes, vibrations measurements, and control methods are studied. The course includes a hands on laboratory that shows students real-world applications of the analytical methods learned in lecture. The course has the following objectives:

  • Identify, formulate and solve SDOF and MDOF forced and free systems
  • Analyze time and frequency domain response behavior
  • Calculate mode shapes for one and two degree of freedom systems
  • Balancing of rotor dynamics
  • Impulse response to forcing functions

Mechatronics Lab

Engineering B8
This instructional Lab supports MECH307 (Mechatronics and Measurement Systems) and related senior design projects. The Lab is used for building and testing electrical circuits, taking electrical measurements with instrumentation (power supplies, function generators, oscilloscopes, multimeters), and programming and interfacing PIC microcontrollers (using PICBasic Pro). The MECH307 students design, build, and test mechatronics projects as part of the course. Video demonstrations of many past projects can be found here.

Materials Lab

Engineering B10/B12
The Materials Teaching Laboratory supports the MECH331 – Introduction to Engineering Materials class that is a requirement for students in Mechanical Engineering. Ten laboratory experiments are performed, by groups of 3-4 students, throughout the academic semester. The purpose of the experiments is to allow the students to develop a better physical appreciation for concepts discussed in the lecture portion of the class. Students do cantilever bend tests on metal, glass, polymer and fiber reinforced composite rods to determine the effect of heat treatments and environmental conditioning on the strength of materials. For the metallic specimens they also investigate the microstructure corresponding to various heat treatments, by using the metallurgical microscopes in the laboratory and capturing the images to the associated computers.

Fluid & Thermal Sciences Lab

Engineering A4
MECH 338 – Thermalsciences Lab is a junior/senior level, 1 credit hour course.  The lab covers topics in thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics.  Students work in groups of 3 or 4 and complete one experiment per week.  These experiments include:

Wind and Water Tunnel Testing – calculation of drag force and drag coefficient

Pressure Tank Blowdown – discharge of air through different sized orifices

Refrigeration – evaluation of cooling capacity and coefficient of performance of a refrigeration cycle

Heat Conduction – thermal properties and contact resistance of metal rods

Heat Convection – calculation of heat transfer coefficient for both natural and forced convection

Heat Exchanger – heat transfer properties of a crossflow heat exchanger

Boiling – observation of different types of boiling and condensation

Pipe Flow – observation of flow regimes and calculation of pressure drop and friction factor

Internal Combustion Engine – measurement of torque and power from a dynamometer

Student-Designed Experiment – students develop and run their own experiment based on knowledge acquired throughout the semester

Engineering Manufacturing Education Center (EMEC)

Engineering B9
The EMEC is an instructional and practical laboratory used to support scheduled classes and experiential laboratory sessions for undergraduate learning in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Students receive instruction, and work on sanctioned projects and manufacturing activities including senior engineering design practicum endeavors. Mechanical Engineering instructional laboratory equipment and research activities of the Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty and graduate students are also supported in the EMEC.  Metal casting, welding and fabrication, polymers and composites molding and forming, and CNC machining are featured processes of the EMEC.  Two full-time instructors as well as several Mechanical Engineering work-study employees (laboratory assistants) staff the EMEC.

Dynamics Lab

Engineering B6
The motion lab is a teaching lab dedicated in demonstrating theories of dynamic motion and its control. The lab serves primarily junior and senior level courses such as dynamics of machines, mechanical vibrations, and control systems. This lab supports Mech 324. Specific experiments include:

  • A four bar mechanism tester which demonstrates basic kinematic principles.
  • A cam testing machine rigged with both roller and flat faced followers that are used to plot the displacement output as designed by the students.
  • Several vibration experiments including multi degree of freedom cart systems and a dynamic absorber station.
  • Rotor kits designed to give practical demonstration of rotordynamic theories and dynamic balancing.
  • Vibration measurement instrumentation include four 24 channel instruments, modal hammers, various accelerometers, dynamic strain gauges, and microphones.
  • Active control system stations that model torsional, pendulum, and inertial load control.

Measurement Systems Lab

Engineering B10/B12
Experimentation and testing are at the root of all modern engineering practice. This course is designed to introduce students to digital data acquisition, measurement systems, experimental design, and data analysis in which techniques for measurement of mechanical phenomena such as temperature, strain, force, displacement, and acceleration are explored. Students have the opportunity to partake in a hands-on approach to data collection from sensors and data interpretation in an experimental laboratory and are introduced to experimental concepts including four-point beam bending, tensile and torsional failure methods, and open-ended experimental design.