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Implementation of a remote pump laboratory exercise in the training of engineering students
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2012 GT2012: Volume 3, 2012, ASME Press, 2012, 479-487 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The use of laboratory exercises in the training of engineering students is of paramount importance to give the students the possibility to gain practical experience on real hardware and on real test data. Recent trends in the education of engineers at the Department of Energy Technology at KTH go towards an increasing share of distant-based education, which is put in place to educate students at different geographic locations, not only locally (such as for example with engineers in industry) but also internationally (i.e. with students in different countries). In order to provide the possibility to follow a course at a distance without compromising on learning objectives and learning quality, a number of remotely operated laboratory exercises have been developed and implemented in the engineering curriculum at the department. Among these, to mention the work carried out by Navarathna et al. [11] on a remotely operated linear cascade test facility. The present laboratory exercise is integrated in a course on turbomachinery and gives the students the possibility to interactively learn about the operation of pumps at various speeds, various mass flow rates, parallel operation and serial operation. Students access the laboratory exercise using a web-based interface, perform measurements and finally have test data sent to an initially specified email address for further analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ASME Press, 2012. 479-487 p.
Keyword [en]
Department of Energy, Engineering curriculum, Laboratory exercise, Learning objectives, Linear cascade tests, Parallel operations, Practical experience, Web-based interface
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116881DOI: 10.1115/GT2012-69983ISI: 000335710200048ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84881280203ISBN: 978-079184469-4OAI: diva2:601307
ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition, GT 2012; Copenhagen; Denmark; 11 June 2012 through 15 June 2012

QC 20130129

Available from: 2013-01-29 Created: 2013-01-29 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Remote Laboratories in the Training of Turbomachinery Engineering Students
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Remote Laboratories in the Training of Turbomachinery Engineering Students
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [fr]

When practicing their profession, engineers use their analytical and creative thinking to develop solutions for problems that require the application of scientific knowledge and experience in a dependable and sustainable way. Laboratory exercises represent an ideal scenario for engineering students to comprehend through the application in actual situations of fundamental concepts and to analyze, synthetize, and make judgments based on evidence. Furthermore, in case of group work, students collaborate on an assignment taking decisions and sharing responsibilities thus training their social skills.

The use and development of information technology have in the past few decades increased at a very high pace and have had considerable effects on various domains of society, including education. Although distance learning has existed for a while, it is the widespread access to the Internet and familiarity of the current young generation with information technology that has led to the recent boom of interest in massive open online education (MOOC) as well as in various forms of blended learning.

Laboratories in education are traditionally hands-on activities carried out on-campus by students with the assistance of an instructor. New laboratory environments such as virtual and remote laboratories have in the past decades been introduced in several disciplines to improve access to distant students, cut down costs, and reduce obsolescence of hands-on labs. Yet many are the doubts concerning their effectiveness in tackling the development of engineering skills, as well as their technical capability of being 24/7 worldwide accessible professional remote infrastructures. The present thesis work is concerned with the conceiving, implementation and evaluation of a set of remote laboratories to be used in the training of turbomachinery engineering students. The focus is put on three new remote laboratory exercises:

  • a pump laboratory exercise focusing on the assessment of operation of pumps
  • a turbine cascade laboratory exercise focusing on the measurement of aerodynamic losses and
  • a turbine cascade laboratory exercise focusing on the measurement of aeroelastic properties in a vibrating blade row.

The laboratories are developed using state-of-the-art instrumentation and a design that allows for reusability of common hardware and software resources. Different technologies are explored for the remote operation of the equipment while laboratory exercises are constructed that include interactive learning material, online self-assessments, and tools for analysis of the experimental test data.

Extensive field-testing within ongoing courses at the department proves an overall good technical performance of the remote laboratories. Accessibility is significantly improved with the use of new web technologies while integration in existing networks of remote laboratories and use of remote experiment management systems is perceived as necessary for future scaling up of the application.

The concept of the remote laboratory exercises is critically evaluated and leads to changes in the structure of the exercises that improve development of certain laboratory skills and student’s perception of the remote experience. The same experimental setup is used to address different learning outcomes and, in turns, different target audiences showing the potential of significantly improving the economical sustainability of the labs, especially in the case these are integrated in courses at other universities.

The generality of conclusions is partially validated by the involvement of external students, researchers and professional in energy technology in the testing of the remote laboratory exercises as part of collaborative initiatives that raise also the interest for a possible application of remote experimentation in research activity.

Keywords: remote laboratory, distant education, engineering education, turbomachinery training

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. 112 p.
Trita-KRV, ISSN 1100-7990 ; 13:11
National Category
Engineering and Technology Energy Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136161 (URN)978-91-7501-949-9 (ISBN)
2013-12-19, Sal Learning Theatre, Brinellvägen 68, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20131206

Available from: 2013-12-06 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2013-12-06Bibliographically approved

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