diary Teaching

Starting a New Side-Project

In the Look for New Posting Theme

With this blog going on for more than two weeks already, I thought to start another series, more technical.

Don’t get me wrong, I will carry on the daily blog, using ideas popping up during the day. After all this website is about presenting myself in a more open way rather than only through the prism of ideal image. However, I would also like to share about (interesting) projects that I work on.

In a sense, this aligns with the original purpose of this website, publishing and sharing about my work.

A Teaching Project

My teaching revolves around power engineering and control, and I’m always looking for ideas to improve the student’s experience and learning.

One of the effective teaching medium remains experimentation. The ability to test an assumption by yourself and observing the impact of our actions constitutes one of the most powerful learning tool. For this reason, engineering studies rely a lot on laboratories to teach engineering concepts.

They remain however very challenging to design since the right balance between difficulty, freedom to explore, and resource limits must be found. Missing the right mark often leads to the lab becoming ineffective, or even a waste of time. Make the objective of the lab too hard and the students will run out of time before learning much / Make it too easy and the intended new notion will feel too trivial to be learned. Write the lab assignment like a very precise recipe book and the students will just memorise the steps without developping the intended skills / Write it too loosely and the students (and even the demonstrators) will be completely lost. Use too much resources (e.g. purchasing expansive equipments or using too much staff time to design a tailored rig) will render the lab impractical to both create and maintain / Use too little resources and it will look too simple to be taken seriously.

I won’t claim to have cracked this balance, in fact far from it, but I’m keen to explore.

A Low-Voltage Motor Control Rig

The objective of this project consists in design a simple experiment to teach student about advanced motor control.

The characteristics of this rig must include:

  • Simple to design, build, and maintain
  • Safe to use by inexperienced users
  • Allows enough freedom to explore

Solutions to the above requirements could be:

  • Use off-the-shelf items from established companies, e.g. TI, Trinamic, Arduino
  • Focus on low-voltage (<50V) solutions
  • Use high-level programming language, e.g. Matlab or C/C++

This is a starting list. Let’s keep thinking and hopefully I will share an update on this project.

Closing Words

What do you think of this type of content for this blog? Do you have any suggestions for this project?

Thank you for reading. See you tomorrow.