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Engineering Laboratory Facilities 

Quality learning is multidimensional. Pouring over diagrams and figures in a textbook, or listening to a professor explain theoretical concepts, is not enough to develop a working, masterful understanding of complex realities. For those realities to come alive, they must be observed, teased and tested in their natural environment. Engineers are often know for their desire to experiment and tinker. At Walla Walla University's School of Engineering, this urge to explore is channeled into deep learning: curiosity has space to develop in our first-rate laboratories. All students—from freshman to seniors—work in engineering laboratories to gain hands-on experience that reinforces their classroom education, from machine assembly to robotics, fluid mechanics to structures. Take a tour of our facilities below to get an idea of the spaces you would get to enjoy as a Walla Walla University engineering student.

Take a virtual tour through our lab facilities and imagine yourself studying here.

  1. Click the play button above.
  2. Browse through our 13 labs using the navigation panel at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Use your mouse to click around in the lab and "push" or "pull" the image, you can also zoom in and out using the scroll wheel on your mouse.
  4. Use the drop-down elements below to learn about the different labs pictured above.

Structures Lab

This lab space is focused on performing civil engineering structural tests. At the heart of the lab is a structural testing pit with a large steel load frame, a 50 kip actuator, a 100 kip actuator and Instron controllers for data acquisition. The lab also features an Instron 135 kip load frame with computer control and data acquisition, which is used to test materials such as steel bars, wood, concrete and geotextiles. It is also used for material testing associated with student projects, and a fair amount of material testing in partnership with local engineering industries. Heavy materials can be moved around the lab with an overhead bridge crane with two five-ton hooks.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 321L – Mechanics of Materials Lab
  • ENGR 323 – Civil Engineering Materials
  • ENGR 442 – Reinforced Concrete Structural Design
  • ENGR 443 – Timber Structural Design

Electromechanical Energy Conversion Lab

Students use this lab to test and explore the theories they learn in Electromechanical Energy Conversion (EMEC) class. The space contains mechanically linked AC and DC machines, three-phase transformer banks, LabVolt 200-watt electric machine systems, two brushless 3 kW servo motors and drives, and a small dynamometer for characterizing permanent magnet DC (PMDC) machines. Instrumentation in the lab includes Fluke three-phase power and energy analyzers, B&K DC loads, Gauss meters, strobes, data acquisition modules, and torque sensing load cells. Besides getting hands-on experience studying EMEC principles, students also gain experience wiring industrial electrical control cabinets, including working with lock-out/tag-out procedures.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 318L – Electromech Energy Conv Lab

Fluids Lab

The WWU Fluids Lab contains equipment for the study of fluid behavior and thermal processes, including a fluid closed-flow test stand, a tilting flume for studying open-channel flow, a low-speed wind tunnel, a heat-exchange apparatus, an HVAC test stand, a Bohlin CVO rheometer and a high-pressure test chamber. After completing ENGR 331 – Fluid Mechanics, students will get hands-on exposure to many of these various aspects of fluid mechanics study in ENGR 364 – Fluid Mechanics Lab.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 364 – Fluid Mechanics Lab

Additive Manufacturing Lab

In this lab, a Stratasys industrial 3D printer and a Makergear prosumer 3D printer support fabrication of parts for students and industrial clients. Students operate a service bureau for industrial clients (under faculty supervision), providing both design services and prototype fabrication. Learn more about the additive manufacturing lab.

Classes that use this lab:

  • Various student and faculty projects

Materials Lab

The Materials Lab is used to study various engineering materials. Five furnaces are used for metal heat treatment, so that students can study the treatments’ impacts on the material properties of samples. Several devices—including two Rockwell hardness testers, one Charpy/Izod impact tester, a hardenability tester, two Tinius Olsen universal testing machines, and multiple microscopes—are used to study samples before and after treatment. Samples can be prepared with the aid of a Struers grinding/polishing machine and a belt sander. This lab provides full capability to heat treat, anneal and harden metals, as well as the ability to test the tensile properties and impact strength of metals, and the hardness of various materials.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 322L – Engineering Materials Lab

Robotics and Manufacturing Systems Lab

This lab is used to teach robotics and factory automation with the aid of two Yaskawa Motoman robot manipulators, a number of AutomationDirect PLC’s, pneumatic components and custom linear actuators. Mori Seiki CNC turning and machining centers provide industrial grade fabrication capability. An adjacent machine shop is equipped with manual lathe and milling machines and other tools to support machining, assembly, and tinkering.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 467 – Robotics
  • ENGR 480 – Manufacturing Systems
  • Various senior projects

Biomaterials Lab

Equipment in this lab supports biomaterials design, research, and development for senior projects, biology research classes, bioengineering materials class, and for Murdock Grant Research Fellows. All of the lab’s main equipment—including an electrospinning machine, a second-generation bioprinter that is also capable of electrospinning, a bioreactor, and two tumblers for mixing polymers and solvents—were designed and built by engineering students and staff.

Classes that use this lab:

  • BIOL 316 – Intro to Biological Rsrch II
  • ENGR 386 – Bioengineering Materials
  • BIOL 416 – Research in Biology

Flight Lab

This lab supports students as they construct and experiment with model airplanes/UAVs and quadcopters for Mechanics of Flight class, and various senior projects. An industrial laser cutter and a heavily modified CNC hot wire foam cutter enable rapid prototyping and efficient construction of various components, and fabrication of composite structures is supported by vacuum bagging equipment and an exhaust hood. Both in-house-developed and commercial software is available for designing aircraft wings and fuselages.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 475L – Mechanics of Flight Lab
  • Various senior projects

Analog Electronics Lab

Students studying engineering electronics and power electronics use this lab to gain hands-on experience with electronics equipment, and to experiment with the real-world applications of classroom theory. It contains eight workstations, each equipped with an RF signal generator, a vector network analyzer/spectrum analyzer, a digital oscilloscope, a function generator, a graphical multimeter, a power supply, hand tools, and a computer. A variety of other test equipment for more specialized measurements resides in this lab, including a Tektronix semiconductor curve tracer, network and spectrum analyzers, and frequency counters.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 356L/357L – Engineering Electronics Lab (I & II)
  • ENGR 460 – Power Electronics

Digital Electronics Lab

Students studying digital logic, digital design, embedded systems, instrumentation and VLSI design use this lab to support their studies. Several senior projects also utilize this lab. The lab contains eight identical workstations each equipped with a Tektronix TBS 2000 series oscilloscope, a Phillips 200 MHz Combiscope (Analog & Digital), an Agilent 33250A 80 MHz arbitrary waveform and function generator, a Tektronix 5201 Logic Analyzer, a HP6236B triple power supply, a Fluke 8846A voltmeter, and Linux/Windows dual-boot workstations. The computers are equipped with Kicad, Xilinx, MATLAB, LTspice, Keil, and various other software packages to support design tasks.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 325L – Instrumentation Lab
  • ENGR 354 – Digital Logic
  • ENGR 355 – Embedded Systems
  • ENGR 433 – Digital Design
  • ENGR 434 – VLSI Design

Circuits Lab

Students construct and analyze basic electronic circuitry in this lab to augment principles taught in classes like Circuit Analysis and Linear Systems Analysis. The lab contains nine stations, each configured with Tektronix TDS-210 digital oscilloscopes, HP-6235A triple power supplies, Fluke 45 bench and 115 true RMS handheld meters, and Siglent SDG 805 signal generators. Each station also has a computer for data gathering and analysis.

Classes that use this lab:

  • ENGR 228L – Circuit Analysis Lab
  • ENGR 350 – Linear Systems Analysis

Electrical Engineering Projects Lab

The Electrical Engineering Projects Lab serves as the primary space for fabrication of electronic circuits. Custom student and faculty electronic designs usually have commercial-printed circuit boards fabricated elsewhere, although we can make simple PCBs using our LPKF Protomat S62 milling machine. After receiving the printed circuit boards, we can place parts on them using the lab’s surface mount manual pick-and-place machines, solder paste dispensers, and industrial batch reflow oven. Stereo microscopes and a hot-air rework station enable circuit inspection and repair. Basic test instruments are available for quick testing, although completed assemblies are usually taken to Analog or Digital labs for further work.

Classes that use this lab:

  • Various student and faculty projects
Last update on June 12, 2019