In-person engineering instruction relies on the availability of equipment and space. Cost, safety, and scheduling may pose barriers to conducting in-person labs. Virtual experiments may be used to enhance the student experience by, for example, incorporating pre-labs for in-person experiments and providing access to equipment that cannot be safely used in-person. Virtual learning is used in many fields, but there remain questions as to how it should be employed in engineering, an area largely reliant on in-person lab and classroom setups. Earlier studies reviewed the advantages of virtual labs such as demonstrating hard-to-observe phenomena and allowing unlimited trials. This project attempts to leverage these strengths by developing experiments on three virtual platforms: LabVIEW, MATLAB, and Unity. The first version of the Jet Engine Virtual Laboratory is developed in LabVIEW and implemented in UCF's Measurements 1 course during Summer 2020. Student feedback is sought using a survey that suggests positive reception and informs the creation of a MATLAB version of the Jet Engine Virtual Laboratory which is being implemented in Fall 2020. A Unity version of this experiment is in production. This project is expected to fuel the development of more virtual experiments that enhance engineering education at UCF and beyond.
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Lebanoff, Amy P., "Virtual Experiments for Engineering Education" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 857.
LabVIEW Jet Engine Application
jet_engine_video_mp4.mp4 (85213 kB)
Video Needed for LabVIEW Jet Engine Application
example.lvm (1 kB)
Example Data File Needed for LabVIEW Jet Engine Application
LabVIEW Instructional Video.mp4 (69817 kB)
LabVIEW Proposed Experiment Handout.docx (409 kB)
MATLAB Jet Engine Application.exe (6725 kB)
MATLAB Instructional Video.mp4 (87180 kB)
MATLAB Proposed Experiment Handout.docx (2499 kB)
Restricted to the UCF community until 12-1-2020; it will then be open access.