System Dynamics and Controls Laboratory

Sponsor: 

MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering

Investigators

Dubowsky, S., Hintersteiner, J., Soto, G., Tesciuba, M., and Wang, R. [67], [68], [69], [70]

Introduction

The System Dynamics and Controls Laboratory is the only MIT Mechanical Engineering laboratory on the undergraduate level that is associated with courses in system dynamics, modeling, and controls. The laboratory is used by approximately 100 students per semester. The purpose of the System Dynamics and Controls Laboratory renovation project is to design a prototype laboratory workstation that will serve to not only replace outdated analog equipment with facilities more reflective of modern technological applications, but also to review and improve upon the intellectual challenges and educational purposes of the laboratory. The primary objectives of the project included:

 

  1. creating a laboratory environment that fosters education in modeling, dynamics, and controls;
  2. demonstrating the applicability of controls theory to different mechanical engineering disciplines, such as mechanics and fluids;
  3. building a modular structure to facilitate future growth and expansion;
  4. integrating the laboratory and its related course work with Athena, the MIT school-wide computer network; and
  5. serving as a means for introducing students to state-of-the-art equipment, hardware modules, software tools, and techniques.
The overall design provides students with "hands-on" practical demonstrations of the subjects being taught in the courses associated with this laboratory, so that their knowledge can be applied on a practical, real-world basis. The project took place over an 18 month period, concluding in May, 1995.[67]

The task of implementing the prototype workstation into a full-functioning laboratory has been taken over by Professor Seth Lloyd, and is slated for completion in time for the Spring, 1996 semester.

 

Copyright 1995 by MIT.

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