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U224·SUNDAY WORKSHOP: Teaching Engineering Design with Student-Owned Digital and Analog Lab Equipment
Workshop · Division for Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
Sun. June 15, 2014 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Room 113, Indiana Convention Center
Session Description

Free ticketed event
This event is free and sponsored by Digilent Inc. Many future engineering challenges will span two or more of the traditional engineering disciplines. For example, 3-D printing clearly involves electrical and mechanical engineering (not to mention material science/chemical engineering and computer science). In another example, the creation, deployment, and maintenance of autonomous vehicles similarly involve multiple disciplines. A common denominator for many of these challenges is the use of electrical circuits for sensing and interacting with the surrounding environment. Additionally, more and more, the solution to engineering problems relies on the use of a programmable device, such as a micro-controller.
In this workshop, we will demonstrate how students can learn about circuits and micro-controllers through hands-on, project-based, open-ended exercises. A key component to enhancing the learning experience is the use of student-owned equipment, which frees students from the constraints associated with traditional laboratory environments. We will discuss how low-cost, student-owned hardware can be used to teach not only the fundamentals of electrical circuits (analog devices) and micro-controllers (programmable digital devices), but also various aspects of engineering design. We will also discuss the different points throughout the curriculum (ranging from introductory courses to senior design) where the use of student-owned equipment can facilitate learning. Finally, because student-owned equipment unties students from traditional labs, the ways in which off-campus (e.g., distance-degree students) can be engaged in laboratory courses will be presented.
Participants will leave the workshop with electronic instrumentation, provided by Digilent, Inc, as well as with examples of instructional materials so that participants can easily adopt this innovative technique in their own courses.

  1. Dr. Kathleen Meehan

    California State University, Chico

    Kathleen Meehan earned her B.S. in electrical engineering from Manhattan College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois under the supervision of Prof. Nick Holonyak, Jr. She worked as a member of technical staff at Lytel, Inc., following graduation. At Polaroid, she was appointed a Senior Research Group Leader, responsible for the design of laser diodes and arrays. After leaving Polaroid, she was employed at Biocontrol Technology. She moved into academia full-time in 1997 and worked at the University of Denver and West Virginia University before joining Virginia Tech in 2002. She is involved in curriculum development and educational research as well as research on nanoscale materials and packaging. Since 2003, she has collaborated with Dr. Robert W. Hendricks, with assistance of a number of undergraduate students, to develop an instructional platform known as Lab-in-a-Box, which is used in a number of courses within the Virginia Tech B.S.E.E. program.

  2. John Schneider

    Digilent Inc

    John Schneider is the director of educational initiatives at Digilent, Inc., and an associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Washington State University (WSU). He has taught courses ranging from introductory programming at the freshman level to advanced electromagnetics at the graduate level. He is a Fellow of IEEE and has been selected as the WSU EECS Researcher of the Year and the school's Teacher of the Year.

  3. Dr. Yacob Astatke

    Morgan State University

    Dr. Yacob Astatke currently serves as the associate chair in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at Morgan State University. He won ASEE's National Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013. For the past five years, he has been a leader in the development and delivery of electrical engineering laboratory experiments for regular and online students using state of the art portable laboratory instrumentation such as the Mobile StudioTM and recently released Analog DiscoveryTM boards. He played a leading role in the development of the first completely online undergraduate electrical engineering program in Maryland. Dr. Astatke travels to his native Ethiopia and other African countries every summer to provide training and guest lectures related to the use of the mobile laboratory technology and innovative teaching pedagogy to enhance the ECE curriculum. Astatke completed both his doctor of engineering and B.S.E.E. degrees at Morgan State University (MSU) and his M.S.E.E. at Johns Hopkins University.

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