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Undergraduate Research Opportunity For A Virtual Vibrations Lab Generation
This report focuses on the development of a computer simulation that will be used in a mechanical engineering vibrations course. The incorporation vibrations topics into the curriculum is new at institution and so a need to quickly develop meaningful laboratory experiences arose and offered a student-research opportunity. With the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the aim for the vibrations laboratory was for it to be a virtual lab in case the students needed to quarantine for any reason. The simulation will focus on allowing the students to better understand how parameter adjustments can influence the behavior of undamped and damped systems. The creation of the simulation was presented as a challenge to a senior-level undergraduate student for development of the simulation in the fall semester for implementation in the following spring semester. A timeframe of two months was provided so that the simulation could be well vetted and integrated into the rest of the suite of laboratory sessions for the course. With the short completion timeframe, periodic update meetings, and evaluation proceedings, the framework of the project was aimed at providing an experience that would be similar to what the student would face if they were to take on contracted work in their career field. This report will document the learning opportunities and limitations of the project.