At a Glance
TechnoLab™ is an innovative and affordable desktop Experiential Mechanics Teaching System. The system involves experiment kits designed to fit into an ITEM Profile 5 Aluminium Alloy T-slot Pixi Frame™ approx. A3 in size.
A Window Frame™, with a graticule, when attached at the rear of the Pixi Frame facilitates recording deflection results of experiments by students working in pairs - enabling a true "hands-on" learning experience. Reactions can be measured using digital scales.
Photogrammetry can be used for more precise deflection/ deformation investigations. Experiments visually reveal the performance of the specimens under test, eg for the simply-supported beam example:
The beam curvature/deflection/deflected shape dependence on applied load is visually obvious as is the second order inward movement of the roller support. Point loads, distributed loads and point moments can be applied, individually or in combinations.
The simple swivel support can be replaced by a clamp, an intermediate knife-edge support can be introduced and the roller support removed leading to several possible variations in the flexural systems to be experimentally investigated by students.
Beams of different materials, rectangular or circular in cross-section can be chosen, leading to a huge number of combinations for individualising test conditions, virtually eliminating opportunities for student plagiarism that would otherwise be possible.
Providing affordable and effective "hands-on" learning opportunities in Engineering Courses has evolved as a daunting challenge to academics throughout the world today.
This is found to be especially so in the subject areas of Statics, Mechanics & Dynamics where simulations, videos and sometimes live demonstrations have taken over "hands-on" experiments.
Principal reasons offered for this include:
increasingly larger class enrolments
limited resources: budgets, storage space & access to laboratory space
few options in the marketplace for truly effective "hands-on" teaching equipment (most are essentially demo units)
TechnoLab™ has taken on and met this challenge "head on" in its refreshingly new range of truly inspirational teaching products.
The TechnoLab™ series of statics, mechanics and dynamics teaching products has progressively evolved over the past three years (since last quarter of 2014) through the efforts of its founder, Nicholas Haritos, and his team of engineering professionals.
The primary mission of TechnoLab™ is to develop an affordable innovative experiment-based teaching platform with associated support material that is engaging to students and effective in meeting the challenges faced by tertiary institutions today.
About the Founder (Nicholas Haritos)
Nicholas has over 40 years of experience in academia at The University of Melbourne, (where he currently holds the honorary position of Principal Fellow), and at Swinburne University of Technology, (where he is an Adjunct Professor). He has delivered courses in: Statics, Mechanics of Solids/Materials, Element Mechanics, Structural Theory & Design, Finite Element Analysis and Structural Dynamics & Earthquake Engineering. His extensive academic and practical experience as the managing director of STRUCOMP P/L (established 1996) has been the driving force behind the development of the TechnoLab™ Mechanics and Dynamics experiential learning platform.