Using the Capstone Senior Design Project to Retrofit or Design Laboratory Demonstration Units Proceedings (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Cioc, Carmen; Cioc, Sorin; Springman, Richard A


  • As part of the rigorous curriculums for the Mechanical Engineering (MIME) and for the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) students, laboratory courses provide a critical component of the engineering education through hands-on observation, measurement, data acquisition, data analysis and interpretation, technical reporting, etc. The laboratory courses rely not just on computer applications and software, but most importantly on current, modern lab equipment. Reduced funding, combined with increased student population in engineering leading to more wear and tear of the existing equipment, can lead to less than optimal experience for the students in the lab. The College of Engineering at The University of Toledo has been continuously working on various means to avoid these pitfalls. This work describes some of the most significant experiences, including potential pitfalls, accumulated by the ET and MIME Departments through using the Capstone Senior Design Project course to retrofit or to design and build new equipment for the labs. A first example was the retrofit of an Armfield FM10 Centrifugal Fan demonstration unit. This project was performed during the spring 2016 semester. The almost 20 year old laboratory equipment had not been operational for the past 10 years mostly due to a faulty membrane and air leakage. A group of four senior MET students took over this project, in which they assessed the equipment, redesigned and updated some of its components, calibrated and tested the equipment and developed an equipment manual. Currently the equipment is operational and has already been successfully used in the laboratory component of the Applied Fluid Mechanics course in summer semester 2016. In the MIME Department, a more complex project involving the design and building of a new small engine dynamometer was started by the group of four ME seniors and then continued the following term by an MS student. These success stories determined the MET program to update two more Armfield laboratory units: the FM12 Centrifugal Compressor and the FM20 Centrifugal Pump Demonstration Units.

publication date

  • 2017

presented at event