The increasing engineering accreditation program requirements for outcome based assessment, combined with emphasis on green energy and other sustainable technologies, prompted introduction of a solar panel tracking project within a senior product design course. Recognizing that the course is offered to students with mechanical engineering as well as software engineering (mechatronics) backgrounds, technical aspects emphasized three dimensional Computer Aided Design (CAD), rapid prototyping, and basic microcontroller interface electronics and programming. Mixed teams including students from both backgrounds were mandatory. This paper reports observations after three course offerings. In particular, it is noted that a paradigm shift away from lectures to hands-on development laboratories is needed, but formal laboratory milestones and submission deadlines remain essential for successful team project completion.
A CAD/Mechatronic Solar Panel Tracking Student Design Project
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Spence, AD, Kenyon, T, Sawula, DA, Balan, L, & Mohammed, WM. "A CAD/Mechatronic Solar Panel Tracking Student Design Project." Proceedings of the ASME 2012 11th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis. Volume 4: Advanced Manufacturing Processes; Biomedical Engineering; Multiscale Mechanics of Biological Tissues; Sciences, Engineering and Education; Multiphysics; Emerging Technologies for Inspection and Reverse Engineering; Advanced Materials and Tribology. Nantes, France. July 2–4, 2012. pp. 309-317. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ESDA2012-82569
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