Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology - Facilities

The Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology department offers extensive laboratories to support each program with equipment, instrumentation, and test facilities directly related to each field of specialization. These facilities provide the practical experience needed by today’s technical graduates. The application of computers for analysis, data acquisition, data reduction, report writing, and technical presentations is also emphasized throughout the programs.

Advanced Electronics Laboratory - Each workstation in this laboratory has a computer that controls automated test equipment stations with a waveform generator, digitizing oscilloscope, multimeter, and power supplies. Students can capture the oscilloscope display, run automatic frequency response, or measure device characteristics and insert these results into their laboratory reports. The workstations have programs for data analysis and circuit simulation such as Excel, MATLAB, PSpice, and MultiSIM. Internet connections allow quick reference to manufacturers' data sheets. In addition to the general - purpose and automated test equipment, the laboratory also contains radio frequency (RF) test equipment and data communications test equipment to investigate modulation and transmission of RF and fiber-optic communications and data communications systems. The laboratory also has digital signal processing (DSP) trainers that interface with the workstations to develop hardware/software solutions for signal processing as used in a variety of telecommunications equipment.

Analog and Digital Electronics Laboratory - This laboratory contains multiuse work areas. When used as an introductory electrical circuits and a digital electronics laboratory, students bring in their breadboard notebook constructed in the fabrication lab and use it to build and test simple circuits to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of circuit theory and digital electronics. Other test equipment such as oscilloscopes, meters, power supplies, and signal generators are available as needed. This laboratory is also equipped with eight matched sets of AC and DC fractional horsepower machines and the test equipment necessary to analyze their performance. Stepper motors, servo motors, programmable logic controllers (PLC), transformers, rectifiers, synchronous machines, loading devices, variable frequency drives, and a simulated transmission line relay demonstrator are available and used for laboratory experiments.

Automated Manufacturing Laboratory - Provides direct experience with computer numerical control (CNC) machines, robotics, and the integration of robotic concepts to automated manufacturing. Part design and programs for operation of the CNC systems are prepared and executed. A new addition to this lab is a 3-axis coordinate measuring machine for parts inspection and reverse engineering.

Control Systems Laboratory - Provides experience with logic control systems as they apply to motors, pneumatics, hydraulics, and processes utilizing control relays, contactors, switches, programmable logic controllers, actuators, regulators, valves, and flow controls. Students learn the logical sequence of controls and understand different applications by designing, fabricating, and testing systems.

Electromechanical and Industrial Automation System Laboratory - This laboratory provides an integrated engineering systems approach toward understanding automation principles with emphasis on embedded microcontrollers. Exposure to electrical, mechanical, and process control areas is integrated into this laboratory, allowing for evaluation of embedded controller applications using motion control and peripheral devices such as pushbuttons, switches, seven segment and liquid crystal displays (LCD), matrix keypads, analog to digital converters, and radio frequency (RF) and infrared (IR) interface links.

This laboratory also introduces the student to general characteristics of electromechanical sensors and transducers, electrical measurement systems, electronic signal conditioning, and response characteristics of instruments. Industrial equipment, such as a punch press, drill press, and metal lathe, are equipped with sensors that are configured to measure physical quantities such as force, strain, displacement, velocity, and acceleration. Computers in the laboratory running LabVIEW software perform data acquisition, calculation, and report generation with a graphical user interface.

Utilizing renewable energy sources requires environmental monitoring. Laboratory activities could include using transducers to measure wind speed and direction, solar radiation, and temperature.

Electromechanical Controls Laboratory - This laboratory contains relay and pneumatic devices to connect industrial controls. This laboratory is also equipped with eight matched sets of AC and DC fractional horsepower machines and the test equipment necessary to analyze their performance. Stepper motors, servo motors, programmable logic controllers (PLC), transformers, rectifiers, synchronous machines, loading devices, variable frequency drives, and a simulated transmission line relay demonstrator are available and used for laboratory experiments.

Electronic Fabrication Laboratory - This is a freshman “skills” laboratory covering a wide range of basic electronic fabrication techniques. It introduces the student to layout and design software tools for sheet metal chassis and printed circuit board (PCBs) designs, electronic component identification, the proper use of soldering/desoldering tools, wire-wrapping, schematic layout, and PCB design and fabrication techniques, as well as familiarization with a wide range of hand and power tools and proper safety practices. The laboratory is equipped with a kick-shear, punch press, bending brake, drill presses, Pace solder stations, CNC rapid prototype machine, ultraviolet light table, and PCB developer and etching system. These facilities are also used to support development and fabrication activities for other course areas and student projects as well.

Energy Systems and Engine Laboratory – Provides students hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment that deals with various types of engines, fuels and lubricants and alternative energy issues. Systems include conventional flat panel solar heating, solar concentrators, solar -assisted heat pumps, co-generation and geothermal heat pumps. Real-time equipment performance data is used for simulation, modeling, and economic analysis.

HVAC&R (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) Laboratories – Provide hands-on experience in the areas of heating, ventilating, air conditioning, refrigeration, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and thermodynamics. Classroom theory is reinforced through the application to heating systems (forced air furnaces, steam and hot water boilers), air conditioning and refrigeration systems, heat pump systems, and coils. The characteristics of the laboratory systems are investigated, tested, and evaluated for component and overall efficiencies. Students gain experience in the operation of electrical, power, temperature, pressure, air flow and water flow, combustion, and system balancing test equipment. These laboratories have been generously supported and upgraded through a large grant from a mechanical engineering technology alumnus and several American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) senior project grants.

Machine Tool/Manufacturing Laboratory – Equipped with 20 manual tool-room style engine lathes, vertical and universal milling machines, drill presses, and radial drill presses. Traditional machining operations are introduced and reinforced in this laboratory with the goal of giving the students hands-on exposure to various methods and techniques applied to production so as to give a better understanding of the related design concepts.

Engineering Materials Laboratory – Includes a 160,000-pound universal testing machine and other test equipment to examine impact, torsion, hardness, and fatigue. Metallographic preparation and computer-aided image processing are used to examine material structure. Heat-treating furnaces are also used to investigate the effects of thermal processing.

Mechanical Design Laboratory – Equipped as a standard industrial research and development laboratory in the area of mechanical systems dynamics. This facility enables students to analyze rotational equipment, industrial power transmission devices, and various mechanical linkage designs. Using a 'learn-by-doing' approach, students are able to apply the theoretical concepts conveyed during lecture to complete rigorous laboratory assignments.

Mechanisms Laboratory – Provides a true design environment that is supported by the latest software for drafting, solid modeling, product design, mechanism & system design, calculations, presentations, and analysis. Labs consist of either stand-alone desktop computers or student laptops.

Metrology & Measurements Laboratory - Serves as a state-of-the-art “quality assurance” center and is anchored by new equipment recently donated by area companies. Facilities include a manual coordinate measurement machine donated by Helmel Engineering and a digital Starrett optical comparator and direct computer controlled coordinate measurement machine, both acquired through a grant from the Gleason Foundation.

Semiconductor Manufacturing Laboratory - This laboratory gives the student a realistic experience in semiconductor manufacturing process. In industry, the nature of the integrated circuit (IC) fabrication process is highly complex and absolutely intolerant of mistakes.