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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Lab Dr. Jacob Leachman

ME 406: Experimental Design — Where the rubber meets the road

Welcome to ME 406 Experimental Design!

ME 406 is a historical staple of the WSU ME curriculum requiring operation of ‘real-world’ machinery typical of mechanical engineering. The 406 lab has multiple kilowatt scale machines that require engineers to develop operational performance curves for specific end uses. At the same time, you’ll develop communication skills for delivering the findings of your tests. It’s a great class.

Here’s a link to theĀ ME 406 syllabus F16.

The class is divided into three content blocks that correspond to the lab exercises during that time. Links to this content are below.

A project: Experimental Design

The lectures in this first third of class are deliberately structured to correspond to the portion of your report and presentation that you should be working on during that lab time. These A project experiments are turn-key — start them up and start taking data. If you follow along, by the end of this cycle your report should be written and ready to present. No late night hack jobs!

Lecture 1: Section 1 — The Introduction

Lecture 2: Section 2 — Literature Reviews

Lecture 3: Section 3 — Using Theory to Guide the Experiment

Lecture 4: Sections 4.1 and 4.2 — Experimental Setup and Procedure

Lecture 5: Section 4.3 — Instrument Calibration and Traceability

Lecture 6: Section 4.4 — Data Analysis and Uncertainty Propagation

Lecture 7: Section 5 — Visualizing your Results

Lecture 8: Section 5 — Conclusions you can stand by


B Project: Engineering Communication

With the general process for conducting an experimental characterization established, this second third of class focuses on getting good at the many forms of engineering communication you will need in the working world — just a few months away! These B projects involve small modifications to existing experiments and require some thought. But the process is the same. In turn, the lectures below are less turn-the-crank and have more in-class discussions of relevant experiences.

Lecture 12: A spectrum of engineering communication that begins with meetings

Lecture 13: Elevator pitches, resumes, and interviews

Lecture 14: Memorandums, e-mails, and the art of persuasion

Lecture 15: How to Write a Winning Whitepaper

Lecture 16: Reports and the 3 Rules for Engineering Communication

Lecture 17: Getting Beyond Paper through Social Media and Blogs

Lecture 18: Telling your story — Sage Presentations



C Project: The Ethics of Professional Practice

In this final third of class the projects are largely user determined and typically involve extensive modification of an existing experiment or assembly of an experiment from scratch (to address 416 needs for example). During this time the course lectures emphasize the ethics of professional engineering practice.

Lecture 20: Ethics — Setting the stage

Lecture 21: ASME Code of Ethics

Lecture 21: Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship



Washington State University