As the semester winds down and finals approach, it’s important to reflect on what you’ve learned in the semester. Personally, I have had a frustrating semester with a lot of projects. Not group projects, fortunately, but often the projects are really difficult and it’s helpful to collaborate with other people. I end up spending a lot of time in the “Cad Lab.” A place set aside for mechanical engineers with the programs needed to do most of the assignments. The were just redone over the summer and sport large computer screens and new age green rolling chairs. However, printing used to be free, but now costs
Matlab is a program I had never heard of before college, but I wish I had. The program is actually SO COOL! It’s introduced in a monotonous not so exciting class, and the purpose is to give you some background before getting to harder projects but the exercises given in the class end up being pretty irrelevant.
This semester I am taking a System Dynamics (ME 242) with Professor Hart. The final project was to take a system and model it in Matlab and an extension of Matlab, Simulink. I chose one wheel of a car suspension. Granted, I know nothing about cars, and still don’t really know much about cars, but I do know what happens when you take a wheel and drive it over a bump.
Pictured above is the step function applied to the system. Without getting into the details of the engineering of the project, I learned a lot; this is my preferred style of learning. Being given a task and working through it slowly to understand what I’m being asked. This style of working and learning is why I personally became an engineer.
An added note to this project Lehigh has a way to virtually use the computers with the software and although I prefer being in the Cad Lab, it is a life saver for those late nights when you can’t get back down to campus