IMAGINE Grant Recipients

Institution: University of Utah, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Salt Lake City, UT
2019 Recipient

Course Descriptions: ATMOS 5050: Environmental Instrumentation (every spring), ATMOS 6050: Environmental Instrumentation (grad course every other spring). Description: Understanding our environment requires understanding how measurements are made. Laboratory and field exercises are used to develop experience applicable for careers in the atmospheric and environmental fields. These courses have been greatly facilitated by an IMAGINE Grant awarded in 2010 and used for the classes in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019. Because of the strong enrollment demand for ATMOS 5050, that undergraduate course is now taught every year beginning in 2019 with ATMOS 6050 being taught every other year.

ATMOS 5060 and 6050 involve hands-on laboratory and field experiences. All students become familiar with electronic instrumentation used to measure conditions at the earth’s surface and in the atmospheric boundary layer and apply that understanding in the laboratory and at a field site near campus. Students use Campbell Scientific instrumentation extensively in most of the labs.

Expected course outcomes:

  1. State the underlying principles of instrumentation and data acquisition units.
  2. Develop proficiency programming data acquisition units for a range of sensors.

It is expected that 10 to 30 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: University of Florida, Agricultural & Biological Engineering Department
Gainesville, FL
2019 Recipient

Course Descriptions: Our vision consists in exposing students to CS technology at multiple stages of their program, starting with their introduction to Biological Engineering and eventually leading to their capstone senior design courses. ABE XXXX Programming for Biological Engineers teaches programming for freshman and sophomore students.

The goal of the ABE XXXX Programming for Engineers course is to prepare students to successfully code in multiple languages and acquire a basic knowledge of sensors, instrumentation, and learn to use CS equipment.

The goal of the ABE 3612C Heat and Mass Transfer in Biological Systems course is to provide students with the fundamental knowledge needed to practice engineering in the area of heat and mass transfer.

It is expected that 40 to 80 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
2018 Recipient

Course Description: ASM/ERM 309 is a cross-listed course entitled “Measurement and Monitoring of Hydrologic Systems.” The class introduces students to measurement and monitoring equipment and techniques commonly used in the design and analysis of hydrologic systems. The course is primarily a lab-based course, with one three-hour lab period per week and one 50-minute lecture per week. The first part of the semester-long course consists of hands-on labs, both indoors and outdoors, and the second part of the course introduces students to common mapping software (ArcGIS) and hydrology tools. The course focuses on practical experiences in hydrologic studies, including: spatial mapping tools, flow measurement, stream assessment, and water quality.

The goals of the course are (1) set up, program, and deploy hydrologic monitoring equipment essential to conducting field work and site assessment; (2) understand common techniques and theory involved in water resources management; and (3) effectively use spatial mapping tools to analyze watershed data sets. The course is part of Penn State’s Sustainable Communities Collaborative program, with the goal of giving students an engaged scholarship experience by partnering the class with a community partner that is interested in the skill sets the students develop in the class. Here, the students use the data generated from the monitoring equipment to write a report to share with the partner at the end of the semester.

It is expected that 35 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
2018 Recipient

Course Descriptions: System Identification: This course prepares civil engineering students for evaluation of constructed systems utilizing structural identification (St-Id). St-Id is the process of creating, then updating a structural model based on its measured static and/or dynamic response, which is then used for evaluation of the structure’s performance, as well as making critical decisions.

Sensor Technology: This course introduces students to the fundamentals of sensor technology and its application in civil engineering. The course begins with an introduction to data acquisition followed by the coverage of sensors used in the civil engineering field. Examples and hands-on demonstrations are presented relevant to the natural and built environment.

The goals of the courses are the following:

  • To educate students on the six stages of St-Id, which include (1) observation and conceptualization of a structure, (2) preliminary modeling, (3) conducting experiments, (4) data processing, (5) model calibration, and (6) utilizing the model for decision making.
  • To learn to use sensors as a tool to evaluate the changing world. To introduce fundamentals for sensing civil engineering systems, to determine system response using data acquisition and data processing, to utilize computational tools and methods used in solving civil engineering problems, to provide knowledge for practice in experimental design, and to evaluate and develop critical thinking and communication skills.

It is expected that 32 to 52 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: University of Georgia
Athens, GA
2017 Recipient

Course Descriptions: HORT 8160, Measurement and Control in Plant and Soil Science. Teaches grad students about sensor technology, data loggers, and control systems. Includes a lab where students connect sensors to loggers, program the loggers, and build control systems.

HORT 8104, advanced plant physiology. Graduate course with a lab where students conduct research projects using a wide variety of sensors, typically building their own control systems.

HORT 4440/6440, environmental physiology. Undergraduate/graduate course with a lab. We hope to incorporate the design and assembly of environmental control systems into the lab.

The goal of these courses is to teach graduate and undergraduate students how to correctly use sensors in plant and soil science. This includes automation of data collection with loggers, and the use of data loggers to build systems that can control various environmental conditions (like irrigation, lighting, temperature). In all three courses, students get hands-on experience with wiring sensors, programming them, calibration procedures. We also use relays and pulse-width modulation controllers to control external devices like irrigation valves, lights, and heaters.

It is expected that 50 to 60 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Iowa State University
Ames, IA
2017 Recipient

Course Description: Mteor 432, instrumentation and measurements, teaches the principles of meteorological sensing and data analysis. Topics covered include: thermometry, barometry, hygrometry, anemometry, precipitation measurements, radiometry, radar, remote sensing, visibility, and cloud height measurements. Calibration, measurement uncertainties, and digital signal processing are heavily emphasized. Labs focus on data loggers, logger programming, and modern weather stations. Undergraduate components exist in other courses where students are highly encouraged to use existing instrumentation to take their own data to answer simple research questions.

The goals of the course are to expose students to static and dynamic errors associated with measurements while giving them hands-on experience properly setting up their own stations. Focus is on calibration, minimizing exposure errors, writing programs using CRBasic, taking and collecting data, and understanding the associated errors. Instrumentation and measurement lectures provide the theoretical background while the lab portion of the course provides students with the complementary hands-on programming and station setup. This class also helps students view instrumentation and measurements as a possible career path and provides them with the introductory knowledge to seek out possible careers in the field.

It is expected that 50 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Washington State University
Pullman, WA
2017 Recipient

Course Descriptions: BSYSE 541 Instrumentation and Measurements (primary). Instrumentation and measurements are critical aspects of experimentation in four major research focus areas in Biological Systems Engineering department, which include agricultural automation engineering (AAE); bioenergy and bioproducts engineering (BBE); food engineering (FE); and land, air, water and environmental engineering (LAWREE). Since 2013, BSYSE 541 is a mandatory course for Agricultural Automation Engineering students, with enrollment from other research areas. In the future, the plan is to make the course mandatory for all students from the department. Other courses: BSYSE 551 Sensors in Phenomics, BSYSE 552 Unmanned Aerial Systems in Agriculture.

This graduate course aims to develop and strengthen the students' knowledge on the fundamentals of any instrumentation and measurement system, and their operating principles. In addition, the course will develop instrumentation skills needed in conducting graduate research. The students will learn about analog and digital signals, components of measurement systems, different types of sensors with recent advancements, and understanding the measurement signals and associated errors. The hands-on training through laboratory research sessions regarding need-based relevant sensor selection, sensor integration with data loggers for data acquisition, data processing and analysis, and real-time system controls will be provided.

It is expected that 15 to 20 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID
2015 Recipient

Course Descriptions: Equipment will comprise a mobile teaching kit that will serve five different courses in Geosciences, Engineering and Biosciences including: (1) GEOL 4451/5551, Field Methods in Environmental Sciences; (2) ME 4443 Thermal Fluids Lab; (3) ME 4405/6 Measurement Systems Design/Lab; (4) BIOL 4489 Field Ecology; and (5) GEOL 4499/5599 Hydrology. In each course, students will be introduced (at varying levels of complexity) to measurement theory, data logger and sensor types, programming software (GUI and CRBasic), power and communication options, system assembly, deployment and troubleshooting. Students will learn to deploy loggers in both field settings and in laboratory experiments.

GEOL and BIOL courses are application-focused while MechEng courses are theory oriented. Regardless, all logger/sensor intensive exercises will start with measurement theory, data logger operation and programming, sensor types and communication protocols, power sources and communication options. The goal is to place equipment in the hands of a small group (< 5 students per logger) where the structured, basic curriculum described above enables students to subsequently complete independent projects where measurements are collected and QA/QC'd for accuracy and precision and utilized to describe a natural or engineered system. Upon completion, students will be capable of independently designing and deploying an accurate measurement system.

It is expected that 290 to 320 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Boise State University
Boise, ID
2015 Recipient

Course Description: GEOS 652: Methods in Hydrologic Sciences. Application of laboratory and field methods to problems in hydrology, biogeochemistry, and aqueous geochemistry, inclusive of experimental design, sampling techniques, analytical methods and data analysis. In this course, students learn how environmental data is converted to electronic signals for data logging.

The goal of the course is to introduce students to methods involved in conducting scientific investigations including formulating hypotheses; designing experiments; and collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. A key component of the course is to ensure that students understand how environmental variables are converted to electronic signals that can be digitally logged. Students gain an appreciation for the errors and uncertainties that are introduced to data through that conversion process.

It is expected that 15 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI
2015 Recipient

Course Description: AOS 401 Meteorological Measurements. Students will learn about lower atmosphere measurement principles in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. This course is taught in the spring at the Storm Peak Lab in Colorado and in summer locally in Wisconsin near campus. In each one-semester course, students will learn about meteorological measurements, perform calibrations, and design and analyze a meteorological experiment. Instruments will be installed, deployed, logged, and maintained by the students, who will then analyze observations and present results at the end of term.

The goal of this course is to provide our majors exposure to state-of-the-art meteorological measurement and understanding the importance of measurement and its relationship to testing theories on meteorological phenomena. The spring term course focuses on orographic phenomena and the summer term on surface meteorology interactions. Surface energy flux instrumentation will also be used in our graduate-level Boundary-Layer Meteorology course taught every other year to graduate students.

It is expected that 20 to 30 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK
2012 Recipient

Course Descriptions: BAE 3023 Instrumentation and Control: A required course. Introduce the principles of measurement and instrumentation systems, learn design techniques on data acquisition and control systems for biological, environmental and agricultural applications; and learn how to evaluate the performance of measurement and control systems.

BAE 5413 Instrumentation in Biological Process Control System: Analysis of transducer for on-line measurement and control of biological processes; Emphasis on selection of measurement techniques and transducers to sense environmental parameters and physical properties of biomaterials; System modeling and experimental design for instrumented systems.

The primary objective of the courses is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the design of measurement, control and instrumentation systems including sensor, controller, actuators, interface electronics, microcontrollers, and programmable logic controllers.  Principles and practical issues with data acquisition systems will be emphasized.  Hands-on training will be gained by the students through well-designed lab exercises and team design projects which involves design, construction, and testing of a data acquisition and control system.  

It is expected that 50 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA
2012 Recipient

Course Descriptions: CEE467, "Sensors, Signals and Systems", and CEE352, "Structural Dynamics". CEE467 provides a hands-on environment for the students to learn and experiment principals of sensing, data collection and signal processing. Sampling theory, frequency domain analysis, and piezoelectricity are some of the topics covered. CEE352 covers dynamic behavior of single- and multi-degree of freedom systems. The formulation of response to free, harmonic, and arbitrary excitation, and modal analysis. It includes several laboratory sessions for testing model structures, measuring the vibration response to several loading conditions, and analysis of the data.

These two courses are designed to introduce the CEE students to the basic and necessary concepts for implementation of sensing technology in civil engineering structural systems and their applications.  The students will learn the fundamentals of sensing systems and have a chance to participate in instrumentation, data collection, data processing, and analysis of structural systems. The students will also observe the behavior of dynamic systems (single- and multi-degree of freedom) and verify, through data, the theoretical concepts learned in lectures.

It is expected that 70 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
2012 Recipient

Course Descriptions: Geography 622.02: Microclimatological Instrumentation applies theory gained in 622.01: Boundary Layer Climatology when instrumentation theory and CSI sensors are introduced. Students install and maintain experiments beginning with surface radiation and ending with surface energy budgets. Urban heat island effect is examined by operating multiple climate stations across Columbus, OH, including heavily urbanized and rural sites.  One field campaign deploys sensors on cars that simultaneously rove the city to map the field of surface air temperature. Additional courses: 490 Biogeography and 210 Physical Geography use Campbell Scientific equipment in labs designed to convey the concept of surface energy budgets.

The goals of these courses are to 1) build upon and reinforce concepts of boundary layer climatology introduced in prerequisite courses; 2) introduce students to the practice of fieldwork in an environmental science; 3) develop an understanding of the characteristics of sensors (calibration, sensitivity, types and quantification of error, reaction time, siting); 4) develop familiarity with data acquisition practices including data logger programming; 5) develop skill in data analysis and display. 

It is expected that between 20 and 30 students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Appalachian State University

Boone, NC
2010 Recipient

Course Descriptions: Instrumentation for Renewable Energy System Monitoring for graduates and undergraduates will be two new courses at Appalachian State University. These courses will present data collection solutions for a range of renewable energy, energy efficiency and resource assessment applications. Topics may include signal type and conditioning, resolution and accuracy, sensor technology, logging memory, data validation and data analysis. Logging techniques will be learned using bench top systems, and then performance of real renewable energy systems.

These courses will be extensively hands on, and the fundamentals of electronics concepts will be learned or reinforced.

It is expected that 30 new students per year will benefit from the instruments provided by the IMAGINE Grant.

Institution: Texas Tech University, Department of Plant and Soil Science
Lubbock, TX
2010 Recipient

Course Description: Environmental Instrumentation and Measurements is an existing, under-equipped, graduate level course offered every year. This course introduces students to the use of the data logger in collecting environmental measurements related to soil, atmosphere, and plant conditions. The students will learn how to program the data logger to collect data using a variety of instruments including thermocouples, time-domain reflectometers, stem flow gauges, infrared thermometers, anemometers, and solar radiation sensors.

The goals of the course are to provide an understanding of the theory and operation of environmental sensors and the concept of data collection using data loggers. And to develop skills and experience in programming data loggers to control and collect data from a variety of environmental sensors.

Equipment provided under the IMAGINE Grant will expand the existing six-seat laboratory to 10 student work stations.

Institution: Kansas State University, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department
Manhattan, KS
2010 Recipient

Course Descriptions: Instrumentation and Control for Biological Systems and Sensors and Controls for Agricultural and Biological Systems are core courses in the undergraduate program. Measurement Systems is required at the graduate level. These courses teach the fundamentals of instrumentation and control engineering in biological and agricultural systems and processes. The theory and application of measurement systems is applied to agricultural machines and processes. Students gain hands-on experience with instrumentation, sensors and control through laboratory exercises and team projects.

The IMAGINE Grant equipment will supplement the existing Instrumentation and Control Laboratory's six student work stations. Up to 50 students per year will have hands-on access to this equipment.

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