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Learning benefits by integrating design, manufacturing, and testing in a course for compressible flow visualizations

  • Author(s): Linke, BS;
  • Martin, L;
  • Garretson, I
  • et al.

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Although engineering is by nature an applied and interdisciplinary field, courses in engineering can lead even the best students to develop knowledge that is disconnected from other related fields and from conditions of application. This paper describes an innovative undergraduate course that integrated the theory of shock waves, computational modeling, experimental testing, and science of sustainable manufacturing. The course supported better visualization of mechanical and aerospace engineering phenomena, such as shock waves in supersonic gas flows, by utilizing the hydraulic analogy of shallow water and a simple water table. Airfoil design and manufacture were integrated through aerospace and manufacturing theory and application. For the first course offering, student learning was assessed with regard to their views of engineering, learning experience, and transfer of learning. The course proved to increase self-efficacy as engineers, as well as their self-reported confidence in working comfortably on multi-disciplinary teams. Furthermore, scenario-based assessments confirmed that the students were able to integrate aerospace and manufacturing theory and application within new scenarios.

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