How many engineers does it take to make a measurement?

John Robertson, Barbara Rampel, James Edwards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The emergence of nano-technology has driven the evolution of instrumentation tools and has revolutionized the measurement industry. The new technology also impacts engineering education with challenges to prepare the next generation of graduates to be competent and effective in this rapidly evolving field. This paper examines three current industry applications and explores their implications for curriculum development and delivery. The first application involves measuring the performance of prototypes to validate automobile design. The second concerns continuous status assessment of missiles and the third deals with instrumentation embedded within advanced production tools used in the semiconductor industry. Inexpensive embedded instrumentation empowers data generation requiring a fraction of the human resources and at an acquisition rate many orders of magnitude greater than was possible even a decade ago. The new measurement technology puts emphasis on timing, accuracy and stability, troubleshooting and formatting gigabytes (and more) in a reliable and unambiguous way. The paper offers an example showing how these changes can be incorporated into a typical curriculum without massive restructuring.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Engineering


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