The laboratories used in Engineering coursework are housed in two different buildings on campus:

  • J. E. Holtzinger Building
  • Ralph and Helen Force Advanced Technology Center

Automation Lab - 103 Force

In the Automation Lab, there are eight benches where students work with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), robots, Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining equipment, and a laser engraver / cutter.

Programmable Logic Controllers

Students learn to program PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), which are used in industry to control processes. Located at each PLC bench are two PLCs, one SLC 5/05 and one ControlLogix processor. Students program the PLCs using simple inputs and outputs (switches, pushbuttons, and lights) in the introductory course. In the subsequent course, students accomplish a sorting, assembly and inspection process by utilizing a variety of sensors used in combination with PLCs and programming in a variety of languages.


The anthropomorphic robots have five axes which control movement, as well as grippers which open and close, allowing them to pick up and put down parts.

CNC Machining equipment

Students learn the proper procedures for programming Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) equipment in order to machine parts. Both a CNC mill and CNC lathe are used.

Laser Engraver

Students cut precision parts for use in assembling models using a laser engraver.

Industrial Automation and Controls Lab - 104 Force

Students learn about process controls in the Industrial Automation and Controls Laboratory. This lab is equipped with various process control workstations, computer-controlled data acquisition equipment, and control system development and simulation software.

Projects Lab - 106 Force

The Projects Lab is used for assembly of projects in the EMET capstone design course (EMET 440) and also for the college's SAE Mini-Baja team. This lab is outfitted with an overhead hoist, a floor lift, overhead air lines and electrical lines, and two sets of hand tools and assorted power tools.

ASME Mini Baja Vehicle

Student members of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) design and fabricate a mini baja vehicle and compete in an annual competition sponsored by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers).

Machine Shop - 107 Force

The Machine Shop is equipped with a manual mill, manual lathe, an iron worker, and several different types of welding equipment. Students receive instruction in general laboratory safety, and then specific instruction in the use of each of the machines. They can then make use of this equipment in their senior project work.

Computer Labs – 208 Force and 203 Holtzinger

Two state-of-the-art computer labs are used for instruction in the program. Students work with Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint. In addition, they receive instruction in the mechanical drawing software AutoCAD, as well as the solid modeling packages Solid Works and Pro/Engineer.

Electrical Engineering Technology Labs - 209 Force and 106 Holtzinger

A general electrical engineering laboratory accommodates hands-on study of electric circuits and advanced electronics. The facility is equipped with customary laboratory instruments such as oscilloscopes, power supplies, function generators, and multi-meters. Integrated PC-based workstations are also available for design, testing, measurement, and data analysis of electrical and electronic circuits. Computer-assisted circuit design and simulation is supported by a variety of software packages including Matlab/Simulink, LabView, and Electronics Workbench.

Additional Electrical Equipment:

Experiments in rotating electro-mechanical energy conversion devices are supported by configurable lab carts. Supporting equipment for these experiments includes high voltage power supplies, AC and DC motors and generators, dynamometers, optical tachometers, and electrical load banks. PC-based workstations and programmable power electronics modules are used to support experiments with variable speed AC and DC motor drives.

Digital electronics and microprocessor laboratories are equipped with modern FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) boards and various microprocessor, microcontroller, and DSP (Digital Signal Processor) development boards. Computers in the lab have necessary tools for simulation, verification, and implementation of complex systems on the FPGA boards. Rapid prototyping software tools are available to generate executable code for deployment on microcontroller and DSP development boards.

Materials Testing Lab - 204 Holtzinger

The Materials Testing Lab provides access to an Instron tensile tester, heat treatment ovens, a Charpy impact tester, and assorted hardness testers.

Instron Tensile Testing Machine, Impact Tester, Hardness Tester

Students perform material testing on specimens and analysis of data in a required Materials and Manufacturing Methods course. Tensile testing is accomplished with an Instron machine to evaluate material strength. Students utilize an Equotip hardness tester to determine the resistance to permanent deformation under dynamic loading. Impact strength is assessed using a Tinius Olsen Charpy impact tester.

Heat Treatment Ovens

Students modify the properties of various grades of steel through heat treatment and subsequent quenching and tempering of the specimens. Through hardness testing and impact testing, students are able to analyze the data to determine the effect of higher carbon content, longer tempering times, and variation in quenchants.

Rapid Prototyper

Students design parts for various applications and create prototypes using Rhinoceros and/or Pro/Engineer software used in combination with a Rapid Prototyping machine.