ME 633 Mechanical Engineering Systems Laboratory

Purpose of Laboratory

This laboratory is intended as an integrative experience for senior-level mechanical engineering students.Students integrate their knowledge of several basic areas of mechanical engineering through set-up and performance of several different laboratory experiments.The equipment and instrumentation are available for these experiments. Students plan the strategy for running the experiment; then they run the experiment, collecting and reducing the data; and finally, they present the results in the format of technical presentations at a formal engineering conference.Students must prepare professional caliber engineering presentations requiring written proficiency in the preparation of comprehensive MS PowerPoint presentation materials that emphasize oral communication skills.Each laboratory team is required to give four group oral presentations on four of the five experiments.Additional short reports are required to communicate about the semester-long design project.There is also a semester project to design and develop laboratory experimental facilities.The general nature of the laboratory is open-ended work.


The primary location for this laboratory is in Wallace Hall 114.Facilities in WH 109 and WH 124 are also used for conducting this course.Currently this laboratory and the equipment associated with it are in generally good condition.Most instrumentation is current or remains appropriate, and new experiments have been developed by the students.In many instances, this development involves the purchase of new apparatus and instrumentation.

Several major experimental facilities provide experience with operation and analysis of mechanical engineering systems.These are equipped with standard instrumentation for the measurement of temperature, pressure, flow, and other parameters:

  • A centrifugal pump loop with recirculation tank and appropriate instrumentation
  • A diesel engine-dynamometer facility appropriate for performance and fuel efficiency testing
  • A diesel engine instrumented for measurement cylinder pressure
  • A bomb calorimeter test facility for determining the gross heating value of diesel fuel
  • Twelve data acquisition (DAQ) training/test stands equipped with DAQ hardware and software developed by National Instruments (NI) to provide students with hands-on NI LabVIEW-based data acquisition experience

All students complete a series of modular LabVIEW training activities and perform a LabVIEW data acquisition exercise over the course of the first four weeks of the semester.Several major industries in the region that are engineering employers are enthusiastic about these LabVIEW-based training activities.