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An Online Tool for Facilitating Thermodynamic Property Lookups

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 10

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Joseph Ranalli Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Joseph Ranalli is an Associate Professor at Penn State Hazleton, and is the Program Option Coordinator for the Alternative Energy and Power Generation Engineering program. He previously earned a BS from Penn State and a PhD from Virginia Tech, both in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to his current appointment, he served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown, West Virginia. Dr. Ranalli's current research interests include development of tools and methods for solar energy resource assessment and the role of technology in engineering pedagogy.

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Christopher Reed Martin Pennsylvania State University, Altoona

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Dr. Martin received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech, where his research focused on reduced order modelling of combustion instabilities. He worked for ESAB Welding and Cutting in plasma torch research and development, and has taught at four universities over ten years. His primary area of research is in the area of research is thermal fluid control.

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Jacob Preston Moore Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto Orcid 16x16

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Jacob Moore is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Penn State Mont Alto. He has a PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech and a Bachelors and Masters in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include concept mapping, digital textbooks, and additive manufacturing.

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Property lookups are a critical element of undergraduate engineering thermodynamics courses. A student focus on the process of property lookups, however, can serve to obfuscate higher level learning objectives and analysis. We discuss application of PYroMat, an open-source, Python-based thermodynamic lookup package, to simplify property lookups and enable students to focus on deeper investigation of core concepts. While PYroMat has previously been reported as a classroom tool, the present study reports on development of a set of online calculators based on the PYroMat package to eliminate the need for students to learn programming skills alongside the thermodynamics content. We believe that dissemination of these tools has the potential to facilitate student learning and encourage exploration.

Ranalli, J., & Martin, C. R., & Moore, J. P. (2019, June), An Online Tool for Facilitating Thermodynamic Property Lookups Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32083

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