This paper describes a unique and innovative approach that solved the dual problem of starting up a new engineering instructional laboratory in a timely manner, and for teaching engineering students advanced skills in Automatic Data Collection. Students enrolled in a special pilot course were used to develop and startup an Automatic Data Collection laboratory. These students were assigned individual Automatic Data Collection technologies of interest and given total responsibility for the successful startup of the laboratory. The organization and structure of the course modeled the typical team oriented project development efforts in industry. Feedback from students showed the course to be better than a typical lecture/laboratory/demonstration type course in the following ways: 1) students believed they had greater amount of contact with equipment; 2) their experience on the project was more realistic than more traditional courses; 3) they believed they gained a more thorough understanding of the technology under study; and 4) they believed they improved their professional skills making them more marketable to potential employers. With respect to the laboratory itself, startup time was reduced from an estimated 18 months to 14 weeks with the help of the student teams. 1995 American Society for Engineering Education


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

2168-9830; 1069-4730

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 1995