Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 224: Experimental Engineering I

Quarter Offered

Fall : MW 1:00-1:50pm (Lab: W 3:00-7:00pm, Th 2:00-6:00pm, F 3:00-7:00pm) ; D. Burns
Spring : MW 1:00-1:50pm (Lab: W 3:00-7:00pm, Th 2:00-6:00pm) ; O. Balogun


ME 220, ME 233, ME 241, CIV_ENV 216


Modern Electronics; analog and digital circuit construction and conversion. Modern data acquisition involving temperature measurements, control ofstepper motors, transient heat transfer, fluid mechanics, deformation of beams.

Who Takes It

SunRayceJunior and senior students interested in hands-on experience with mechanical systems, experimental measurements, and data acquisition.

What It's About

This course covers instrumentation and the use of experiments to evaluate real-world systems. Basic, practical electronics, computer data acquisition, programming, and signal conditioning are taught and then applied in experiments that investigate heat transfer, fluids mechanics, thermodynamics, and structural dynamics. Lab sessions will be held in the Mechatronics Lab.

Technical communication skills will be covered and reinforced through lab reports written to scientific-journal standards and class presentations.


  • Modern electronics
  • Analog and digital circuit construction and conversion
  • Modern data acquisition
    • temperature measurements
    • interface with sensors and actuators
    • transient heat transfer fluid mechanics
    • deformation of beams
  • Data analysis and presentation

Lab Projects

FingerLab Instruments: Multimeters, Oscilloscopes, Power Supplies, and Function Generators

  • Data Acquisition and programming
  • Signal Conditioning with OP-Amps
  • Temperature Measurement and Control
  • Frequency Evaluation of a Cantilevered Beam with Strain Gages and Accelerometer




Homework, midterm practicum, lab reports, final project report and presentation, peer assesment

breadboardHomework, Midterm, Final Project


Professor: Alex Birdwell
Email: j-birdwell@northwestern.eduCourse Syllabus