Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The inside scoop on engineering equipment used by the world's top-ranked universities

Recently the new University Rankings for 2008 were released in U.S., Canada and worldwide. Although sometimes considered controversial, they still provide a good overview of the "top institutions". I was interested in finding out whether Quanser's equipment keeps up with demands of the top schools. Let's see...

The U.S. News and World Report brings the list of Best Engineering Schools in 2008:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - visit their Mechanical Engineering Department and you will find couple of Quanser's WEECS - research tool suitable for remote data collection and control applications;
  2. Stanford University - OK, this one is a bit tricky - since our database records don't go all the way back to Quanser's inception 19 years ago, I have to rely on Jacob's good memory that they may have Quanser's Shake Table in their Civil Engineering Department. Anybody from Stanford out there to confirm?
  3. University of California, Berkeley - the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences uses Quanser's Linear Family workstations with Double Inverted Pendulum, Seesaw and Linear Flexible Joint modules, as well as QuaRC, our real-time control software to teach undergraduate courses;
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology - in addition to Quanser's Q8 HIL boards and software solutions, students can see a 3DOF Helicopter in action at the Aerospace Engineering Department;
  5. University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign - along with QuaRC's predecessor WinCon, the undergraduate students at the Department of Computer Sciences put theory into practice with a 3DOF Helicopter
There you have it. Insights into what the Top 5 Engineering Schools may have in their control labs.

Now, let's look at how we stand on our home turf: Canada's Maclean's Magazine has
just published it's 18th Annual Ranking Report. The top 5 Universities ranked in a Comprehensive category* are:

  1. Simon Fraser University - students at the School of Engineering Sciences can learn controls using Quanser Engineering Trainer - DC Motor Control, as well as the Linear Family experiments and the Mechatronics Control Kit;
  2. Victoria University - several departments use Quanser Engineering Trainers for undergraduate teaching, while researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering are using Quanser's Haptic Devices, like 5DOF Haptic Wand;
  3. University of Waterloo - has a wide selection of experiments for undergraduate teaching, including experiments from Linear and Rotary Motion Families as well as Coupled Tanks experiment, used by departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics;
  4. University of Guelph - OK, no records here - Sales can you fix it, please;
  5. Memorial University - the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences teaches robotics using Quanser's Open-Architecture 5DOF CRS Robot
*Comprehensive category includes institutions that have a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees

Looking at the World University rankings, some more Quanser customers show up. I have looked at two lists - The QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Institute of Higher Education, and found:
  • Imperial College, UK
  • Australian National University, Australia
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • University of Manchester, UK
  • Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • University of Melbourne, Australia
There are many more universities Quanser works with, who we value and respect for bringing up a new generation of engineers and for their innovative research. We will be referring to them throughout 2009 in our blog and eNEWS. Who would you personally nominate for the top 10 Universities and why?



Electric Cylinder said...

I believe construction of such projects requires knowledge of engineering and management principles and business procedures, economics, and human behavior.

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