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Honors Section in Engineering Fluid Mechanics

The University of Idaho Honors Program (UHP) is an academic program that offers admitted students a vibrant, intellectual and social community. It emphasizes small honors class size and opportunities for undergraduate research and experiential learning, which enable students to work with selected professors one-on-one. In general, honors students take one honors course each semester in order to complete the program. Many of these courses also satisfy general education requirements. For many years, the College of Engineering has assisted Honors Program students by providing a special honors sections of statics and dynamics. Recently, the Mechanical Engineering department has helped honors students expand their engineering science options by creating embedded honors sections within additional engineering science courses. This past fall, Dr. Tao Xing, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, taught ENGR 335 Engineering Fluid Mechanics with an embedded UHP section. Students who signed up for this section were required to complete additional homework problems and six hands-on experimental projects using everyday items.

The projects were:

Embedded Honors Section In Engineering Fluid Mechanics Course
ENGR 335 Honors student, Nicole Lorvick, learning to operate the subsonic wind tunnel.

Project 1 - SURFACE TENSION

Design a simple experiment that demonstrates effect of temperature on surface tension.

Project 2 - HYDROSTATICS

Through experimentation and analysis determine if it is possible to fill in the bottle with just the right amount of water to make it sit in the water in an upright position.

Project 3 - TRANSIENT FLUID FLOW

Compare analytical and experimental times for water at atmospheric pressure to empty a cylinder-shaped container through a hole of uniform diameter at the bottom of the tank.

Project 4 - BERNOULLI EQUATION

Use knowledge learned in class to create a demonstration of this principle and explain the results.

Project 5 - MOMENTUM PRINCIPLE

Design an experiment that demonstrates and explains the importance of this principle.

Project 6 - WIND TUNNEL TESTING

Conduct velocity measurements using Pitot-static Tube and Inclined Manometer.

Honors program students used the data from their own measurements to validate their theoretical predictions, in addition to using knowledge learned in class to explain (both qualitatively and quantitatively) what they observed in the experiments. The interaction between these two approaches helped students identify the important flow physics happening in their everyday lives.


Article by Dr. Tao Xing, Mechanical Engineering

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