A full house watched and listened as WKU's newest building was dedicated. At the end of the ceremony, we asked Engineering Department Head Dr. John Reis, to give us a tour of the engineering section of the building.
"This is our power lab for electrical engineering program. We have all sorts of powered machinery/testing equipment. The purpose of the lab is to allow our electrical engineering students the opportunity to have hands on experience with electric motors/electric machinery."
In the power lab student scan learn to use electricity to move machinery.
In the prototype facility students work with state of the art equipment to generate parts that companies can sell. "For example, this one, right here, is a computer controlled milling machine. Where students design what the want to make on the computer, they send the design to the machine, the machine makes the part for them automatically."
In the fluid studies lab for mechanical engineering students can learn how to do heat transfers. "We have studies where we can look at heating and cooling of electrical equipment."
Western engineering student use thermal imaging devices to measure hot spots. Devices like this are also used by the fire department. It's a safe way to take a temperature without getting too close to the hot spots.
"That's a very serious problem. As electronics get more miniaturized, it creates more and more power and gets hotter and hotter."
Students also work in a lab to test better ways to heat and cool houses. They work on miniature houses with working heating and cooling systems.
The hands-on work students perform in the lab is combined with the mathematical concepts learned in the classroom to give Western students an edge over the competition.