University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
A cyber-physical system (CPS) is a network of physical devices that are monitored or controlled by computer-based algorithms. A key enabler for future technology developments, CPS is an interdisciplinary research area that engages a broad spectrum of disciplines and could bring about revolutionary changes in domains such as energy, environment, and healthcare [1, 2] Using CPS to develop smart, connected products through hierarchies such as internet of things (IoT) allows for integration of systems and provides open access to data subsets for digital service applications. This technology has the potential to transform our everyday lives (e.g., smartphones, activity trackers), our communities (e.g., self-driving cars, smart cities), and even our future (e.g., clean energy, space exploration). The Dr. Jim Henry Chemical Engineering and Control Systems Laboratory located at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) is being modernized by integrating National Instruments (NI) myRIO-1900s with NI LabVIEW. Stations currently using these technologies are: Multi Tank Level System (MTLS), Continuously Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) Train, Absorption Column, and Pump Flow. A new Adsorber station is also currently under development. Using CPS, students have access to pilot-scale engineering systems that they can monitor and control in the laboratory. UTC’s chemical engineering program is continuously renovating the Dr. Jim Henry Chemical Engineering and Control Systems Laboratory. These renovations will increase student productivity and efficiency while providing a superior learning experience for the students conducting experiments in the lab. Efficiency and ease-of-use is very important for maximizing the academic performance of a diverse student population at UTC. The CECS serves students from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds who are at different stages in life. Of particular relevance is the enactment of the Tennessee Promise, a scholarship and mentorship program that provides last-dollar scholarships for low-income students to attend any state community college . This means that the number of students who will transfer to four-year universities like UTC will grow exponentially in the coming years. Transfer students face unique barriers to success, including economic hardships that require part- or full-time employment . The portability and convenience of remote access can not only positively affect student education in laboratory courses, but their overall academic performance as well. In addition, this remote laboratory will serve as a showcase of the UTC CECS’s laboratory capabilities for local high schools and local industry professionals. It will also eventually be made available to interested parties across the nation and abroad. Thus, this project closely aligns with the University’s mission, as UTC is a metropolitan university that strives to provide a nurturing environment that connects students, community, and opportunity. This undergraduate departmental honors thesis will present initial work towards transforming the Dr. Jim Henry Laboratory into a remote laboratory accessible to students from UTC and beyond. Specifically, this project presented here includes the renovation of the Absorption Column as well as initial design and testing of the Adsorber.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Chemical engineering laboratories; Engineering--Study and teaching (Higher)
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Musselman, Shelby, "Improving engineering education through cyber-physical systems: instrumentation and control of a unit operations laboratory" (2020). Honors Theses.