Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Federal Work-Study student Daniel Howe Develops a Set of Simulations Using the MatLab Simscape Multibody Software Package

Hello! My name is Daniel Howe, and I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering performing research into computer modelling of dynamics problems. Currently, myself and my mentor, Dr. Oscar Barton, are developing a set of simulations for use in instruction in the actual ME 231 Dynamic Course this coming spring using the MatLab Simscape Multibody software package. Every week, I continue to develop my own skills using the software and to build a catalog of modelled problems based on problems found in the dynamics textbook, as well as carefully document my work so that it can be used for teaching other students.

This current project is an extension of the project I’ve been working on since Spring 2015. Initially, Dr. Barton and I developed software in MATHEMATICA that can model mass-spring-damper systems, and we decided to evolve the project in this direction after realizing its potential as a teaching and learning aid. I got interested in the original project because I am interested in simulation and modeling, and I have maintained my interest because of my great interest in improving the tools available for students learning dynamics.

Long term, my work on this project has provided an excellent training ground for crucial skills in modelling. Even more importantly, Dr. Barton’s mentorship has provided for the opportunity to actually present results to other engineers outside of George Mason at ASEE Annual Conference this last summer, which is an absolutely crucial career skill for engineers. Although a research position and not a professional one, it has nonetheless provided me the opportunity for developing important professional skills which will be of immense importance in my career.