Integrating Experimentation into Control Courses

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The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, the Netherlands, aims to provide a stimulating educational environment that emphasizes the role of hands-on experiments. To achieve this goal, the Department integrated an experimentation program with courses in the mechanical engineering bachelors curriculum, starting in the first year and gradually building in complexity through the third year. To make it possible for students to perform experiments, a new approach, which include a personal notebook, a set of 30 portable data acquisition devices, a varied set of small-scale systems, and MATLAB-based software, was introduced. This approach allow the students to plan, prepare and analyze the experiments on their own notebook computers whenever they wish. While this approach has broken through the practical barriers to large-scale experimenting, the success of further integration of student experimentation into mechanical engineering curriculum ultimately depends on the efforts and creativity of staff members.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-44
JournalIEEE Control Systems Magazine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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