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Lab Course Go Virtual

In: English and Literature

Submitted By brialo
Words 631
Pages 3
Lab oourses go virtual
A
Thomas F. Edgar
University of Texas number of universities have main- tained a dedicated laboratory course as part of the process control sequence, but those numbers have been shrinking due to the high resource requirements of lab courses and the pressure to reduce the number of hours in the engineering curriculum. While some chemical engineering departments run a junior measurement lab and a senior unit-operations lab, many now operate only one lab in the senior year which may incorporate control-related experiments. Labo- ratory courses are evolving, and new directions are being examined at specific universities, combining elements of simulation and also dis- tance learning. In the chemical process industries, the high cost of pilot scale equipment and operating per- sonnel has led to greater reliance on computer- based simulations rather than traditional pilot- scale experiments. Consequently, today's engineers work more often from a control room or from behind a computer screen. Now, you
LabView computer-interfaces of the VUOL give students an experience of controlling the equip- ment via the computer in addition to physically turning valves and checking temperatures. Another approach being employed involves the use of a computer connected to the Internet to allow students to carry out experimental studies in a remotely located physical laborato- ry. Permitting students to operate real laborato- ries at any time, from anywhere, using stan- dard, digital communication software such as
Web browsers is a burgeoning topic as Interest increases in remote control and maintenance.
This approach also permits a teacher and stu- dents at another institution to have access to laboratory facilities without incurring the cost of equipment maintenance and…...

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