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Syllabus for ES405L: Measurement, Instrumentation and Process Control

Instructor: Seth Price (,

Class Website:

Office: Workman West 159

Office Hours: By Appointment

Specific Outcomes

This course is designed so that students can successfully implement measurement and instrumentation hardware and software that will generate relative data, suitable for presentation or feedback in a control loop. For this course, data will be collected in LabVIEW software or from a Parallax Stamp Microcontroller, and properly analyzed. Students will leave this course with a general understanding of basic electronics, data acquisition, computer programming in LabVIEW, microcontroller programming in PBASIC, digital logic and statistical analysis of data.

Class Format

The course will unofficially start a few minutes before its allotted time. During this time, the instructor will show relevant videos related to the coursework. At the allotted class time, the instructor will ask for questions on the homework. After all questions have been answered, homework will be collected and the instructor will provide a brief lecture. After lecture, there will be some classroom activity- either a demonstration or a hands-on activity. Any remaining time in the classroom can be used to work on the quarterly project, or next week’s homework assignment.

The class will have four major units: Electronics, the PBASIC/STAMP Microcontroller, LabVIEW, and Statistical Analysis. Each of these units will have a quarterly project that must be completed by the assigned date.


On the first day of class, students will form small groups that will work together for the entire semester. The groups will work together on quarterly projects, as well as account for each other’s absences. The group should exchange contact information and contact each other with homework questions before bringing the question to class.


Grades and Assignments

Grades will consist of four major categories:

20% In-class assignments

30% Homework

30% Projects (10% for each)

20% Oral Final Exam

In-Class Assignments

These will be assigned each week, and are due at the end of class. Often, they will be pieces to the current project. Other times, they will teach a skill that might be used elsewhere outside of the classroom. These will be in groups or individually, depending on the assignment. Late classwork will not be accepted.


Homework will be assigned weekly. It will cover concepts from the lecture, the lab or demonstration, and may require some outside resources as well. Homework is to be submitted individually, though students are expected to ask for help from their group members before class. Homework may be submitted as a paper copy during class, or emailed to the instructor. If a student (or, by this time, an entire group) has a question, they may ask it during the beginning of class. Homework is to be completed fully and as it was meant to be done. Late homework will not be accepted.
It is strongly recommended that all students purchase a student edition of LabVIEW 2015, which can be purchased through the links on the National Instruments site:


Each topic will have an associated group project. This may be writing a certain LabVIEW program, or building a circuit, etc. There might be some time to work on these projects in class, but prepare to work on them outside of class as well. All students must contribute to the project. Late projects will not be accepted.

Oral Final Exam

At the end of the semester, each student will schedule a 15-minute block of time to meet with the instructor and complete an oral final exam. A list of questions will be provided a week before the exam, and students are responsible for being able to solve or explain each of these questions. During the exam time, the student will choose one question from the list and demonstrate his or her understanding of the problem. After that, the instructor will choose one from the list and expect the student to demonstrate that problem as well. This exam is an individual assignment.

Topics (Subject to Change)

Week 1: Lecture: What is Instrumentation?, Lab: Soldering

Week 2: Lecture: Analog Circuits, Lab: Components and Breadboards

Week 3: Lecture: Digital Logic, Lab: Logic Gates

Week 4: Lecture: A to D Conversion, Lab: Binary Search

Week 5: Lecture: Intro to the STAMP Microcontroller, Lab: Interfacing the STAMP

Week 6: Lecture: Data Sampling, Lab: TBD

Week 7: Lecture: LabVIEW I, Lab: Front Panel, Loops, Math, Case Statements

Week 8: Lecture: LabVIEW II, Lab: Shift Register, Strings, Writing to File

Week 9: Lecture: Sensors, Lab: DAQ in LabVIEW

Week 10: Lecture: Statistical Process Control, Lab: Satellite Data

Week 11: Lecture: RF Considerations, Lab: Radio Demo

Missing Class

Students should avoid missing class whenever possible. If a student must miss class due to a job interview, conference attendance, etc., arrangements must be made with the instructor BEFORE class.

If a student is sick and cannot attend class, the instructor will require a written excuse note from the campus nurse. Arrangements will be made with the instructor and the student’s group as to how to make up the missing assignments.

Reasonable Accommodations and Disability Statement

New Mexico Tech is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. Qualified individuals who require reasonable accommodations are invited to make their needs known to the Office of Counseling and Disability Services (OCDS) as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment, please call 835-6619.

Counseling Services

New Mexico Tech offers mental health and substance abuse counseling through the Office of Counseling and Disability Services. The confidential services are provided free of charge by licensed professionals. To schedule an appointment, please call 835-6619.

Academic Honesty Policy

Cheating is the lowest form of low. A student cannot be a chemical engineer if they choose to steal the work of others. The academic honesty policy will be strictly enforced in this class, and it is located at:

ABET Outcomes

a. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering

b. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

d. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

e. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

f. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

g. An ability to communicate effectively

k. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.


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