Project Lead the Way Conference (PLTW) 2012
October 5, 2012
Professor Harding welcomes students to the PLTW Conference
The Purdue University College of Technology at South Bend’s fourth annual Project Lead the Way conference was October 5, 2012. Over 100 high school students from the area were in attendance. Participating high schools included John Adams, Elkhart Central, Elkhart Memorial, John Glenn, Penn, Riley, St. Joseph, and Triton, as well as several homeschoolers.
The conference theme this year was aerospace. Students had the opportunity to attend five sessions throughout the day, which included three hands-on technical project sessions and two informational sessions:
- Electrical Engineering Technology (EET)
- Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET)
- Industrial Technology (IT)
- Industry Session
- Campus Life
The engineering technology project sessions explored issues associated with positioning flight control surfaces in modern aircraft.
Students work in the EET session to give power to the motor.
The EET project involved developing an interface to allow computer control of an actuating motor. The students learned about the difference between analog and digital control voltages, then experimented with driving a motor directly with a simulated computer signal. Their experiment clearly demonstrated the inability of a computer to perform such a task. After a brief discussion of a type of transistor called a power MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor), each team used a MOSFET configured as a low-side switch to control a more robust power source. The “computer signal” controlled the MOSFET switch, which in turn controlled the motor using a technique call pulse-width modulation. This approach allowed the simulated computer to dynamically adjust power to the motor. Students found this very hands-on session highly engaging.
Likewise, the MET project investigated management of the force and torque required to move the surfaces. In the Industrial Technology session students dealt with the challenges of creating an efficient, high-quality manufacturing process.
The Industry Session featured Craig Schaefer (BSCE),Honeywell Wheel and Brake Project Manager for the Airbus A380-800 program, and Brian Worns (BSMET) Honeywell Manufacturing Engineer for Wheels who presented how the A380-800 wheel and carbon brake design was conceived. Students then learned how the design progressed to component hardware manufacture in Honeywell Aircraft Landing System’s wheel and brake plant located here in South Bend.
|Students look at the different brake designs.|
The Airbus A380 is a four engine long-rang wide-body airliner with two full length passenger decks with a maximum of 853 passengers. It has a range of 9444 miles.Customer orders for this aircraft are centered mainly around carriers who service the Asian and Middle Eastern markets. It is produced by the European consortium manufacturer Airbus whose headquarters is located in Toulouse France.
Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company that invents and manufactures technologies to address tough challenges linked to global macro trends such as safety, security, and energy. With approximately 132,000 employees worldwide, including more than 19,000 engineers and scientists, we have an unrelenting focus on quality, delivery, value, and technology in everything we make and do. Honeywell is comprised of four business units Aerospace, Automation and Control Solutions, Performance Materials and Technologies, & Transportation Systems.
|Students discuss different factors in selecting a college/university.|
Students discussed Purdue South Bend and Statewide Technology; the differences between high school and college; the factors students need to consider when selecting a college; admissions criteria for Purdue and other colleges; admission process; paying for college; and taking a class at Purdue South Bend as a high school student. This session allowed the students to ask important questions regarding their future as well as interaction with a Purdue South Bend student.
The goals for the conference were to:
- Engage high school students in fun and interesting activities to spur their interest in technology
- Motivate better study by linking the technical activities to math and science
- Inform students of degree and career options available locally
- Introduce them to the environment of a university campus
- Help each student match his/her interests and skills with appropriate careers
The conference began at 9:30 a.m. and finished at 1:00 p.m.
For highlights of the 2011 conference, click on the figure at right.