The Quanser experiments help students recognize the interrelations between controls and the other engineering disciplines, resulting in better engineers. Dr. Cohen says students “see that an aerospace engineer is a systems engineer, as well as a control, mechanical and electrical engineer … going out to the lab and doing this work broadens their horizons substantially.” Cohen clearly likes the applicability of his new labs. Students are into many different areas, widening Dr. Cohen’s own scope of research. “They use the Inverted Pendulum, trying to do fuzzy logic, in the Intelligent Control class. Then I had two students do independent research on a 2 DOF Helicopter.” Another student observed the “Inverted Pendulum and how the noise and all the other disturbances, like moving up the beam, would affect the stability of the closed-loop system.”
Their win is his too. In the end he expects to see, “an array of Masters and PhD theses in controls.”
Meanwhile, other University of Cincinnati engineering departments have taken notice. Peers who recently mocked Dr. Cohen’s experiments as toys now, “are very interested in the equipment.” Impressed with the product support Quanser provides, Dr. Cohen introduced its Academic Solutions Advisor to these other faculty.
Speaking of notice, Quanser even received a thank-you from Dr. Cohen’s Department Head, reporting their “utmost satisfaction” with the equipment and service. He talked about lab set-up throughout the entire university, closing with: “We look forward to a lasting and fruitful relationship.”
The next step in this relationship? Dr. Cohen will add specialty experiments to the undergraduate courses. “The idea is to get students to zoom in on just one topic for an entire term … that would get them excited enough to make their masters on it.” He asked Quanser, hopefully, “if you could come up with some sort of suggestions … for independent research as opposed to a regular class.” Quanser is just as keen to cultivate this partnership.. It’s another win-win-win.