Internet of Things Platform for Engineering Education and Research

IoT PEER is a small-scale IoT platform at Tennessee Tech University (Tech) dedicated for education, collaborative research and technology exploration. The platform has been developing since summer 2016, thanks to the support from the College of Engineering (CoE) via iMakerSpace.


Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow and is permeating to many aspects of our daily lives. According to the forecast given by International Data Corporation (IDC), “worldwide IoT spending will maintain a double-digit annual growth rate throughout the 2017-2022 forecast period and surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022.” IoT creates an ecosystem encompassing Big Data Analysis, Data Security and Privacy, Data Storage, and Communications, with impact in Manufacturing, Cyber-Physical Infrastructure, Home Automation, Transportation, Agriculture, and several other areas. IoT has been extended to Industrial IoT (IIoT) to cover industrial sector and enhance production capabilities towards Smart Manufacturing. Besides its fast-growing applications, opportunities and market, it faces many critical challenges, such as security and privacy, scalability, etc. With this in mind, we proposed the creation of an IoT Platform for Engineering Education and Research (IoT PEER) to help ourselves capture the opportunities and prepare students for the competitive job market.

IoT concept

The Internet of Things concept, courtesy of

IoT PEER reference model

Our Goals

  1. Support “student first” goal at the iMakerSpace to attract students, encourage their research and innovation, and help pave the way to their career success.

  2. Provide a collaborative research platform for exploring a wide range of technologies with emphasis on Industrial IoT (IIoT) as well secure and smart manufacturing.

Team Activities and Experiment Results

  • Machinery Health Monitoring and Analysis (SME Award 2017)

SME award 2017(1) SME award 2017 (2)

sensors on 3D printer   vibration data visualization

 3D printer vibration data acquisition.         Vibration data visualization in the cloud.

  • Applying IoT at the iMakerSpace

team 2018-2019 web portal

  Part of contributors in spring 2019.                       Web portal of recent version.

Resources for Learning and Research

  • IoT Kit in Box: As a part of the effort to promote innovations in manufacturing and engineering education and research, and to encourage interdisciplinary efforts across Tennessee Tech, two types of IoT electronic kits are available at the iMakerSpace. Instruments, space, and technical consultation can be provided in the iMakerSpace. The kits can be checked out at the Volpe Library front desk. For additional information, please contact Dr. Terry Guo at .

IoT Kit box photo

  • Experimental Setups on Campus: The IoT experimental platform has been set up at a few locations including Clement Hall 403 and the iMakerSpace on the 3rd floor of Tech Volpe Library. Contact Dr. Terry Guo at if you are interested in participating in IoT research and development activities.

  • Presentations: The following DIY videos may help improve your IoT skills.

IoT Setup Guide for Raspberry Pi 3

Configure XBee Modules

Use of Microsoft Azure--Tutorial 1: Installing Python

Use of Microsoft Azure--Tutorial 2: Installing Wheels

Use of Microsoft Azure--Tutorial 3: Importing Modules

  • Articles and Video Tutorials:

Introduction to Internet of Things: IoT Tutorial with IoT Application

IEEE Internet of Things Journal

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): the business guide to Industrial IoT

5G and IoT in 2018 and beyond: the mobile broadband future of IoT

Beginners: What is Industrial IoT (IIoT)

Introduction to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)


IoT PEER Coordination and Support

Terry Guo (


Thanks to the College of Engineering administration for its support of the IoT PEER initiative. This work is supported partially by NSF REU program. Thanks also to the Center for Manufacturing Research (CMR) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Capstone Design program for their sponsorship for platform development.

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