Originally published on TecQuipments’s website – May 2018.
The electronic and aeronautical test facility at Milton Keynes College, UK recently purchased an AF1300 Subsonic Wind Tunnel for the teaching of the Level 3 Aeronautical Engineering BTEC Diploma students, which is used on a regular basis as part of the course.
Addressing the Aeronautical Engineering Skills Shortage
In response to the world skills shortage of aeronautical engineers, in 2016 Milton Keynes College began a dedicated Aeronautical Engineering BTEC. This course, headed up by Sean Hainsworth, former RAF Aerospace Engineer, first began as a trial. Following the course’s success, Milton Keynes College has a full cohort of 40 applicants aiming to start in September 2018.
Wind Tunnel in the Syllabus
Students are required to complete projects that involve the design, manufacture and test of aerofoils throughout the year. As part of the course, students have a project to design and build three types of aerofoil, testing with three angles in the wind tunnel (0 degrees, 5 degrees and the critical 15 degree stall angle) and then applying three different equations (lift, drag and wind speed).
Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
The AF1300 Subsonic Wind Tunnel is used as a standard piece of equipment in specialist aeronautical engineering facilities across the globe. For the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, the equipment utilised for the following learning units:
Unit 5 Mechanical Principles and Applications
Unit 48 Theory of Flight
Unit 68 Principles and Applications of Aircraft Mechanical Science
About the AF1300 Subsonic Wind Tunnel
The AF1300 is a widely used piece of aerospace engineering teaching equipment that allows undergraduate and research students to study the principles of aerodynamics. The compact size reduces space requirements and experiment time compared to full sized wind tunnels, due to the ease of model changeover, of which can be switched with minimal or no supervision. The wind tunnel is available with a range of different models (standard cylinder, NACA standard aerofoils, 3D drag models, flat plate drag models, flat plate boundary layer models with tapings and aircraft models with low and high wing configurations). For more information, click here.
As part of AYVA’s commitment to providing lab solutions suited to any budget we offer financing and leasing options for our products. Contact us to find out more about what we can do to help supply your lab with our best-in-class engineering teaching equipment.
Originally published on TecQuipments’s website – May 2018.
In this blog post, Dr Ben Simpson, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham Trent University looks at the changes in engineering education over the last 20 years, and the importance of a greater emphasis on bringing theory into practice through a practical based learning approaches.
Engineers are being asked to be evermore inventive, to solve progressively more complex challenges with increasingly more eloquent solutions. Therefore, there is a requirement for engineering undergraduates to be adaptable, agile in thought and occasionally be able to think differently.
A complex picture, where to begin…
There has been a decisive change in engineering education over the last 20 years. A transformation from an intense mathematical and theoretical study approach to a more practical approach with an emphasis on design.
Furthermore, governments are beginning to influence policy in tertiary education through new initiatives, such as the Tertiary Education Framework (TEF) in the UK. The emphasis from government is on rewarding institutions that are more innovative in their teaching approach, for example, through building closer relationships with industry and improving student experiences. However, when developing engineering undergraduate courses for tomorrow’s engineers there is an increasing number of complex and sometimes conflicting challenges. Five of the greatest challenges are:
Gaining a competitive edge The increasingly competitive tertiary education sector has left every educator seeking points of differentiation for their programs in order to attract students.
Engaging and retaining students Approaches to learning can be described in terms of the what (the value of what is being learnt), the why (the motive for learning) and the how (the strategic approach taken to learning). In a more general sense, educators discuss both surface and deep approaches to learning. A surface approach is adopted by a student who sees little value in the learning material and their motivation is simply to reproduce information to meet the demands of the course and to get a pass mark. A deep approach to learning is adopted by a student who sees great value in the knowledge they discover for continual mental growth and change. The student is motivated to make sense of and to find meaning in the information they receive and they seek to relate the new knowledge to previous knowledge and apply it to everyday experiences. So how can students be encouraged to fall in love with their subjects and intrinsically adopt a deep learning approach?
Growing classroom sizes In many markets around the world, including the UK, there continues to be a shortage of engineers1. This often leads to larger class sizes, especially as universities seek resource-saving synergies such as shared first year modules.
Adapting to a changing world The maturing information and cyber ages are having significant impact on both educational approaches and engineering practice. How do educators adapt the learning environment to account for and take advantage of these changes?
Meeting employer’s needs Increasingly engineering undergraduates are finding employment with small to medium size enterprises2. Employers are calling for graduate engineers to be innovative, self-motivated and creative problem solvers, as well as possessing up-to-date knowledge and skills.
How can tertiary educators develop courses that can meet these challenges?
What is your teaching philosophy? As it turns out this is a very important question since our teaching philosophy is the foundation of our teaching practice. It is also a loaded question since there is no perfect philosophy and our teaching methods are often constrained by many factors including time, resources and the current political will of our parent institution.
What can be agreed upon is that engineering is a very hands-on discipline and so engineering educators have naturally adopted teaching methods that encourage the student to do something. For example, laboratory sessions are common in most engineering modules. The philosophy of ‘doing’ can be found at the heart of many learning approaches such as active learning, blended learning, project based learning, problem based learning, discovery based learning, and experiential learning. All these ideological approaches have their roots in constructivism. When applied to education, constructive approaches focus on helping students build knowledge by making meaning between their experiences and their ideas. However, before we get lost in the confusing and often unproductive world of educational ideologies, let us review some methods that may be able to meet the challenges outlined before.
One framework that has been scrutinised and demonstrated to work in an engineering environment is learning cycles. There are a number of learning cycles proposed in the literature but they share many similarities. The cycles generally involve some or all of the following steps:
Initial engagement The students must be inspired to want to learn the subject. This may be achieved through mini lectures (no more than 20 minutes) which include some fundamental concepts, demonstrations and authentic industry based examples.
Knowledge exploration Based on the student’s current knowledge, the students are allowed to explore a topic. It is probably wise to offer guidance to students exploring a topic. In the information age, many uncollaborated sources of information are accessible through search engines.
Action Design, build, report. The important aspect of action is to apply the learnt knowledge and skills. This is commonly performed in a graded assessment.
Reflection It is important that the students reflect on what they have learnt and how their new knowledge fits with previous knowledge. Reflective exercises can also help the students express what they still do not know and help them develop more sophisticated problem solving strategies.
Application It is important that the cycle be completed by giving the students opportunities to apply their new knowledge and test their new strategies.
In combination with learning cycles, engineering educators seek to set challenges based in the real world.
When possible the students can be encouraged to develop creative and innovative solutions and to communicate clearly their strategies and outcomes. Despite this learning approach having many benefits there are also many challenges. Tutors often find that the high resource and contact time requirements are prohibitive, especially with large class sizes. Furthermore, a practical based learning cycle approach may require new assessment items and other supportive documentation to be prepared by time poor academics. So for many the continuation of lecturing, tutorials and laboratory sessions is the only option that can be prepared by the start of term.
However… with some inventiveness maybe some of these challenges can be overcome. For example, tutors could encourage peer-to-peer learning, invite industry collaborates into the classroom to mentor, and create learning environments that help students understand their limitations and allow them to learn at their own pace.
It is clear that there is no magical concept that will suit all educational scenarios. So maybe in the future engineering educators will be required to be more like their graduates. They will need to be adaptable, agile in thought and to occasionally think differently.
– Ends –
Engineering UK 2017 – the state of engineering. Engineering UK report.
Business population estimates for the UK and regions 2017, Nov 2017. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
This blog post was written by Dr Ben Simpson, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Can you spot our Sales Director Fazal Mulla at the British Space Museum?
AYVA traveled to England this week for a Global Partners meeting at TecQuipment. Fifty-two people from more than 30 countries gathered in Nottingham to watch the FIFA championship before kicking off a week of product training and planning.
TQ showcased several new products including an expanded range of Flow Channels for teaching and research labs, the new Power Systems Simulation Training Modules and the latest refrigeration and air conditioning trainers – to name just a few.
The AYVA Team enjoyed networking with our counterparts from around the world and spending time with new and old acquaintances at TQ. A big thank you goes out to our hosts for hosting this world class event.
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Sonny Hegde SAIT Polytechnic
"Bosch Rexroth’s hydraulics bench is really great! Robust, easy to use, and it offers the possibility to expand and add components to keep up with new technologies. My students are always motivated while working with the bench and I now understand why it has such a strong reputation. It is impossible to regret this purchase!"
Marc Boudreau Kativik School Board
"All of the students that have the opportunity to see the [Eridès] Refrigeration Trainer in operation and do their lab report based on readings really get a lot out of it. Interesting to note: Our refrigeration tech was fascinated by the unit. He is a very experienced technician, and he was simply amazed at seeing the thermodynamic cycle in action. Typically, refrigeration technicians follow pressure and temperature readings, and gauging from his reaction, they most times give little thought to the phase changes that take place inside the guts of the unit.'
Daniel Saulnier CCNB
Daniel Saulnier CCNB
"I’m often running two lab sessions at one time in two different rooms. Being able to use the base module like TecQuipment's Hydraulic Bench and quickly be able to switch out the experimental modules makes running a tight schedule of laboratory sessions possible. With a few of my own modifications like adding quick connects and valves I can make this changeover even slicker. The AVYA experience is great! Their post-sale technical support is unparalleled."
Dean Milton, University of Regina
"I have used AYVA wireless dataloggers in my biomedical labs and found that the reliable signal processing capability was well suited to my research requirements. I appreciated the prompt delivery and the excellent service that I received from your team before and after the sale. I am hoping to purchase additional units."
Dr. Pierre Savard École Polytechnique de Montreal
"I am a long-time user of TecQuipment products - in particular the Modular Structures Range as well as other Materials Testing equipment. I find the modules (over 10) very easy to set up and, more importantly, my students find them extremely easy to use as they move from station to station conducting a wide variety of measurements related to structures and materials. Each experiment can be completed in 30 to 45 minutes and I can accommodate several students working in groups of three. It is a great addition to both my Basic Structures and Hyperstatic Structures courses."
Dr. Gérard Poitras University of Moncton
"I have worked with the AYVA team since they launched in 2008 to equip our Science and Engineering labs. They have consistently gone above and beyond to ensure that we were prepared to meet our curricular goals and deadlines. I have been impressed by the breadth and quality of the lines they represent. We have purchased both PASCO and TQ equipment to enhance our teaching labs."
Andrew Orton Sheridan College
"Out of all the data acquisition systems I'm aware of, nothing approaches the convenience of the PASCO 850 interface. Between the broad range of available sensors and the simplicity of starting data acquisition, a wide range of tasks that would be incredibly complicated otherwise can be automated in minutes ... We have dedicated computers and 850 interfaces at each station in our labs so that data acquisition can be accomplished easily by our students whenever needed."
Gideon Humphrey University of Toronto
"Our mechanical engineering department recently wanted to upgrade our Gas Dynamics Laboratory in conjunction with our newly added aerospace program. After extensive research, we decided to purchase the AF27 Nozzle Flow Apparatus and the AF300 Intermittent Supersonic Wind Tunnel from TecQuipment with all the accessories including the VDAS Data Acquisition System. We are happy to report our investment has been well worth it. A perfect fit for our undergraduate laboratory. Students are raving how “cool” the units are and the relative ease to obtain accurate data. The laboratory size supersonic wind tunnel has been a big hit. At Mach 1.8, viewing the shock waves and expansion fans on an airfoil using the included Schlieren Apparatus has never been easier and more clear. The people at AYVA were amazing in helping us install the equipment. They answered all our question in a timely manner and delivered on time. The equipment is very well designed and built to last for a long time."
Peter Sakaris, Concordia University
"TecQuipment's structures line was chosen to enhance the learning experience of our engineering students. The products were delivered in a timely manner and were easy to set up. After-sales support has been very accommodating, allowing us to modify the experiment manuals as we saw fit, giving us flexibility in learning objectives. Students have shown great interest, and have found operating the units to be easy and simple."
Riad Rajab York University
"In recent years, there has been a growing demand for engineering equipment in the undergraduate labs at the University of Guelph as we have expanded our program. AYVA has been proactive and assisted us diligently in addressing all our equipment needs. We now proudly showcase both PASCO and TecQuipment products in our teaching labs. The quality of the equipment and teaching material is exceptional. AYVA offers a broad range of equipment well suited to our various engineering disciplines and we look forward to exploring their extended product offering in the future."
Dr. Shohel Mahmud University of Guelph
"We appreciate Pignat's willingness to partner with the university to customize a pilot training system that fits both our needs - and our budget. I want to thank AYVA for arranging a visit to Pignat's factory in France so I could meet the design engineers and see first-hand the attention to detail at every step of the manufacturing process. I especially want to thank my hosts at Pignat for their hospitality during my stay in Lyon. I really had a good time testing our CO2 absorption/stripping unit and seeing all the nice equipment in the plant."
Dr. John Zhang University of Waterloo
"I have worked with the AYVA team to upgrade my Mechanical Engineering lab. We have not only been provided with excellent pre-sale service but we also received valuable support after we placed our order. We were provided access to a number of resources which we were able to use to develop our own customized labs for the students. The structures equipment from TecQuipment is being used to teach student groups in several courses at the undergraduate level. There is minimal setup required and students are easily able to switch between experiments. The excellent quality of the TQ manuals has enabled us to design our labs with relative ease. The equipment was delivered on schedule and the AYVA team has been very diligent in following up and providing us with the resources we need in a timely fashion."
Dr. H.J. Kwon University of Waterloo
"AYVA has provided us with excellent support in getting training equipment that will enhance our chemical engineering labs. We have had the opportunity to work with their knowledgeable staff as well as representatives from TecQuipment and PIGNAT. We especially appreciated Sean McLaughlin, Technical Services Manager’s time and expertise when we purchased the H83 from TecQuipment. He was extremely responsive and resourceful during the on-site installation."
Sivasubramaniam Ganeshalingam University of Waterloo
"We have recently acquired six KUKA robots for our Controls and Robotics Lab at the University of Toronto. Not only we are very impressed with the quality and performance of the units, but we are also very pleased with the level of service and professionalism we encountered from AYVA. They have provided a continuous channel through which we could interface with KUKA and fulfill our technical demands from the time of procurement, through to installation, training of personnel and commissioning. It has been a textbook case on how to support laboratory work in higher education."