Instrumentation and controls instruction for agricultural and biological engineering students

George E. Meyer, Yufeng Ge

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Modern agricultural and biological systems use electronic sensors, instrumentation, and computers for acquisition of scientific data and process control. Instrumentation is used for commercial product development, testing, and for basic research. An instrumentation and controls course for agricultural and biological engineering pre-professionals addresses sensors, measurement principles, software, and limitations of such systems with hands-on laboratory activities will be discussed. This is a core course for two ABET accredited biological and agricultural engineering degree programs. Students participate and interact in small teams for a course with enrollments of 60 students or more. The course assumes the student to be a junior, senior, or first year graduate student who has completed an introductory electronics course and most core and elective courses. Weekly laboratory activities include bread boarding of basic instrumentation circuits followed by specialty exercises on sensor response times and controls. Two signature laboratories include open channel and pipe flow water flow measurements and an internal combustion engine test exercise. Student teams also develop semester projects which are presented as posters and papers at an annual department open house. Student projects investigate electrocardiograms, temperature and humidity control, human exercise measurements, force, power, and energy consumption, detection and controls using optical sensors, and water quality, using commercially available devices. A summary of student team projects and outcomes for the past offering will be discussed. Student activities are assisted with oscilloscopes, precision power supplies, moderate LabVIEW programming, and multifunction devices. Instructional aides are presented in detailed handouts, materials written by the instructors, and other readily available sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016


Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


  • Courseware
  • Electronics
  • Instrumentation fundamentals
  • Laboratory instruction
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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