The David Crawford School of Engineering provides a strong, hands-on laboratory experience that brings classroom theories to life. Labs are equipped with modern technology and provide ample opportunities for students to conduct experiments for classes, undergraduate research and other activities such as design competitions.
The Civil & Environmental Engineering program maintains four laboratories: water quality, fluid mechanics, materials and soil mechanics, and a 15-station civil engineering computer lab. The Electrical & Computer Engineering course of study has labs devoted to digital systems design, electric circuits, electronics, embedded systems, electrical energy conversion, microprocessor-based systems, digital signal processing, communication and distributed control systems. The Mechanical Engineering program maintains a fluids and power lab, instrumentation lab, computer-aided engineering lab, computer-integrated manufacturing lab, machine shop and a welding and fabrication shop.
Facilities are maintained by two experienced engineering technicians.
We are committed to hands-on learning, true to principles established nearly 200 years ago by Norwich University founder Capt. Alden Partridge.
Civil & Environmental Engineering
The Civil Engineering Department maintains four laboratory facilities: water quality, fluid mechanics, materials and soil mechanics and a CE computer lab.
- The Water Quality Laboratory is a complete wet-chemistry facility designed for water quality measurement and wastewater analysis.
- The Fluid Mechanics Laboratory utilizes large pumps capable of moving 300 gallons per minute to provide water flow to a variable system of pipes, flumes, valves, fittings and meters. The pump’s energy consumption, flow, and head can also be monitored.
- The Materials and Soil Mechanics Laboratory is equipped with test machines for the evaluation of construction materials and soils. Soils tests include size distribution, determination of type, permeability and strength. Students can build concrete forms, mix concrete and evaluate the strength of the cured product. Steel, concrete, wood and other construction materials’ properties can be measured through use of tensile, impact, direct shear and compression testing instruments. The anchor piece of the materials lab is a computer-controlled, hydraulically actuated 250kip Instron testing machine.
- A 15-station Civil Engineering Computer Laboratory is dedicated to software used for surveying, site development, hydrologic analysis and pipe and bridge design.
Electrical & Computer Engineering
The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department has several dedicated workspaces for laboratory experiments.
- The Communication Laboratory uses equipment such as digital sampling scopes, state-of-the-art function generators, spectrum analyzers, and personal computers running professional software programs that includes SPICE, MATLAB and LabVIEW. All instrumentation is connected to the computer network so students can store measurement data and reports. The Communication Laboratory is also used for undergraduate research in wireless communications, radio propagation, ray tracing, antennae, ultra-wide band signal generation and microwave and RF filter design. Student researchers use a variety of cell phone range antennas, a network analyzer and faculty-developed ray tracing and RF microwave filter design programs and books.
- A second lab is dedicated to teaching reliable, secure and survivable Distributed Control System (DCS) design. Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) and DCS systems are deployed in many of the nation’s critical infrastructures such as gas and oil storage and delivery, water supply systems, electrical energy distribution, transportation and banking and finance. The department has developed a “test bed” for researching and teaching the vulnerabilities of current SCADA systems and the design of reliable, secure and survivable DSCs. The test bed includes in a painted board representing a rural water system similar to one found in Northfield, Vt., referred to as SCADAville.
- Other laboratory workspaces are dedicated to computer network security, electronic design and power systems.
Mechanical Engineering Department students have access to six laboratories for projects and research.
- The Fluids and Power Laboratory, shared with other engineering departments, is the principal work area for fluids and power laboratory instruction. Power equipment includes a jet engine, Rankine cycler, diesel engine, axial flow fan and steam engine. On the fluid mechanics side, experiments can be conducted on a pump, Pelton water wheel, pipe flow for minor and major losses as well as flow measurement devices. Students utilize knowledge from thermodynamics and fluid mechanics courses to complete the experiments.
- The Instrumentation Laboratory includes six complete workstations with bench space, electrical service, compressed air and a networked computer with LabVIEW data acquisition hardware and software. Two or three students can work at each station, conducting measurements on bench-top experiments and collecting and reducing data. Equipment includes National Instruments Data Acquisition devices and transducers for strain, voltage and thermocouples. Students also use physical- and software-based oscilloscopes, digital multimeters and function generators. Photo resistors, thermistors, RTDs, pressure transducers, light meters, strobe tachometers, fuel cell kits and electrical components needed for connecting transducers are also available.
- Eighteen computers are available to students working in the Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing Laboratory. Software available to the students includes SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Inventor, and CAMWorks. Students also have the ability to build parts using a rapid prototyping 3D printer from Z Corporation.
- The Machine Shop is available to all students to work on projects. Engineering students are introduced to the machine shop in their Introduction to Engineering I class, and use of the shop continues throughout the curriculum. Equipment includes four Knuth lathes with digital readouts, a Sharp milling machine, a Super Max milling machine with digital readout, two Enco drill presses, a Baileigh horizontal band saw, a Rycon vertical band saw and two grinding wheels.
- The Welding and Fabrication Shop includes a Lincoln arc welder for Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, a Lincoln arc welder for Shielded Metal Arc (Stick) Welding, a Miller welder for Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, oxyacetylene welding and cutting equipment, and a Thermal Dynamics plasma cutter.
- The Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Laboratory provides access to fully automated computer integrated manufacturing processes, including Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines and robots for material handling. Students see how designs created in Solidworks can be manufactured using modern, automated manufacturing processes. The equipment in this laboratory includes a Prolight 1000 CNC milling machine, Prolight 3000 CNC lathe, two Scorbot ER-V robots, a loop conveyor and an automated storage and retrieval system. Four workstations with computers are integrated with the equipment.