Hands-on experiments to teach engineering principles through physiologic applications

Stephanie Farrell, Jennifer Kadlowec, Anthony Marchese, John Schmalzel, Shreekanth Mandayam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The human body is an exquisite combination of interacting systems which can be analyzed using multidisciplinary engineering principles. We have developed a series of hands-on modules that introduce freshman engineering students to chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering principles through application to the human body. Students are engaged in the scientific discovery process as they explore the engineering systems within the human body using exciting hands-on "reverse engineering" methods. The modules explore respiration, metabolism, pulmonary mechanics, the cardiovascular system, work and power, electrical signals, biomechanics, and mechanics of materials. Through the investigation of these systems, students learn basic concepts of mass and energy balances; fluid flow; work, energy, and efficiency; forces and levers; material strength and stresses; and electrical signal processing. This paper describes each module and includes an outline of the relevant measurements, calculations, and engineering principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9769-9777
Number of pages9
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Event2003 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2003Jun 25 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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  • Virtual Reality Lab

    Shreekanth Mandayam (Manager) & George D. Lecakes (Manager)

    Equipment/facility: Facility

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