Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Can Engineering Theory Ever Be Fun?

This year again Quanser joined Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads for their annual ECEDHA conference, held in Florida. It was the first conference I have attended as a part of Quanser team, so it was a great opportunity for me to meet people who may be using our systems in their labs and talk to them about the best ways to deliver engineering education and make it attractive to young generation.

Can Engineering Theory Ever be Fun? Quanser’s Chief Education Officer, Dr. Tom Lee, raised this question in his ECE Spotlight presentation. The short answer, in my opinion, is yes, it can be - with hands-on labs that offer a more industrially-relevant and motivating experience. A key objective is balancing the motivation and the fun with the rigorous traditions of engineering. 

To make things even more fun, Quanser developed a driving simulator, a solution that introduces students to engineering concepts through a highly visual, immersive, video game-like environment while maintaining the conceptual connection to engineering methodology and applications.

ECEDHA delegates not only heard about the driving simulator, but visiting Quanser’s booth they could also experience for themselves this dynamic, real-time, Hardware- in-the-Loop simulation and high fidelity 3D representation of a vehicle driven in a closed racing track environment. Solutions like this help students learn to observe and think critically about the effects of system parameters on not just the discrete plant, but also on the overall system.

Many people who stopped by our booth decided to try their hand at driving our car around the track (which became much more interesting after cocktail hour). 

ECEDHA 2013 was my first conference with Quanser (and this is my first blog post). I would like to thank everyone for making it a great experience. Your comments on how to make engineering theory "fun" are welcome and your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Abdullah Dhooma
Product Marketing Engineer, Quanser

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