Asee peer logo

A Design-and-Build Project for Heat Transfer Course

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids, and Heat Transfer II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Mehmet Sozen Grand Valley State University

visit author page

Dr. Mehmet Sözen is a professor of mechanical engineering at Grand Valley State University. His general area of interest is thermo/fluid sciences with specialty in transport phenomena in porous media, thermal management of high heat flux systems and applications of alternative energy systems.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Design and build type projects could constitute a part of experiential learning. In the engineering programs of our institution hands-on learning experience is highly emphasized throughout the curricula. This paper presents a design and build type project that was implemented in a senior level Heat Transfer course in mechanical engineering. The project was about designing and building of an insulation device that would keep a specified amount of hot water in a standard 250 ml beaker for extended period of time as warm as possible. Some of the requirements and constraints for the device were specified as follows: (a) it had to be built from post-consumer or pre-consumer waste materials, (2) had to have a well-defined boundary envelope, (3) had to accommodate the insertion and removal of a 250 ml standard beaker, (4) had to fit in a box of dimensions 20 cm×20 cm×20 cm, (5) had to be free of any energy sources, and (6) had to accommodate insertion and removal of a liquid-in-glass type thermometer into the beaker via a hole of a minimum required diameter, etc. In addition to building, the project involved the mathematical modeling and numerical simulation of the behavior of the insulation device for the prescribed object (hot water in beaker) provided at well-defined initial conditions. For mathematical modeling and numerical simulation the students were allowed to use any of the simulation packages they were familiar with both from the Heat Transfer course as well as either other required or technical elective courses, such as Finite Element Analysis and Computer Aided Design. The list of such packages included but not limited to FEHT, ANSYS and SolidWorks FEA. The project was first implemented in winter 2014 semester with considerable success and is currently running for the second time with improved specifications of the requirements and deliverable product and analyses. During the first semester of implementation of this project it was observed that a student body of 30 seniors came up with a wide variety of design concepts and materials. They also opted to use different analysis and simulation packages. It was encouraging to observe the extent to which the capabilities of these software packages were explored and utilized. The instructor (author) plans to use the results of results of the second offering of the project and the survey that will be conducted with the students for the assessment purposes for ABET accreditation. This paper will present the design project, which was/will be run as a performance competition project among the student that were enrolled in the aforementioned course. The lessons learned and the feedback from the students will also be presented.

Sozen, M. (2016, June), A Design-and-Build Project for Heat Transfer Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26305

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015