Current challenges in engineering curriculum design, face the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach due to the increasing complexity of engineering problems. Students need to be exposed to a multidisciplinary environment and, on the other hand, it is necessary to ensure the teaching of all the fundamentals of each engineering within the respective curriculum. As an example, the contribution of automatic control to engineering has become a recognized pillar among the fundamental disciplines in engineering education. However, the instructors teaching control courses to students belonging to other engineering degrees than automation, must design a syllabus providing the right balance between fundamental theory and practical applications. To overcome these problems, we propose a novel approach consisting in the introduction of hands-on activities based on an Arduino engineering kit to teach control systems to mechanical engineering students. The novelty of this pilot study consists of bringing such a practical approach to the laboratory classes of robotics and mechatronics within the mechanical engineering curriculum involving also basic concepts of electronics and data acquisition and processing through the interaction with sensors and actuators as well as programming skills to implement the control algorithms on the Arduino device. This experience proved to be successful in helping students to maximize progress and build an effective comprehension of crucial engineering topics. It also showed that the hardware is appropriate to demonstrate and apply core learning principles. Moreover, it can be considered as a benchmark with potential effectiveness also in other courses and curricula. By realizing this approach, we envision that engineering education will be able to build important skills necessary to break down the walls between disciplines, enable cross-collaboration, produce well-rounded students, and increase employability opportunities.

Towards multidisciplinary engineering curriculum design: a pilot study to teach control education in mechanical engineering with Matlab/Simulink and Arduino

Idà, Edoardo;Carricato, Marco
2020

Abstract

Current challenges in engineering curriculum design, face the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach due to the increasing complexity of engineering problems. Students need to be exposed to a multidisciplinary environment and, on the other hand, it is necessary to ensure the teaching of all the fundamentals of each engineering within the respective curriculum. As an example, the contribution of automatic control to engineering has become a recognized pillar among the fundamental disciplines in engineering education. However, the instructors teaching control courses to students belonging to other engineering degrees than automation, must design a syllabus providing the right balance between fundamental theory and practical applications. To overcome these problems, we propose a novel approach consisting in the introduction of hands-on activities based on an Arduino engineering kit to teach control systems to mechanical engineering students. The novelty of this pilot study consists of bringing such a practical approach to the laboratory classes of robotics and mechatronics within the mechanical engineering curriculum involving also basic concepts of electronics and data acquisition and processing through the interaction with sensors and actuators as well as programming skills to implement the control algorithms on the Arduino device. This experience proved to be successful in helping students to maximize progress and build an effective comprehension of crucial engineering topics. It also showed that the hardware is appropriate to demonstrate and apply core learning principles. Moreover, it can be considered as a benchmark with potential effectiveness also in other courses and curricula. By realizing this approach, we envision that engineering education will be able to build important skills necessary to break down the walls between disciplines, enable cross-collaboration, produce well-rounded students, and increase employability opportunities.
Proceedings of the 48th SEFI annual conference (SEFI2020)
1014
1021
Olivieri, Stefano; Marini, Francesca; Idà, Edoardo; Carricato, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/782334
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