New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
In 2005 the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering implemented a two course Thermal-Fluids Engineering sequence that replaced the traditional courses in Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. This change and the case study approach to the new courses was documented in an ASEE conference paper at the time.
There were two primary factors that led to this shift. Internally, the department saw an opportunity to gain efficiencies by teaching concepts such as energy and losses that are common across both disciplines in a more integrated manner. This efficiency would then allow Mechanical Engineering majors to explore other topics in more detail. In addition, other engineering departments, who previously took both Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, expressed a desire to reduce that course requirement to one course while sustaining enough content in both disciplines to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FEE).
The purpose of this paper is to assess the results of this change in course structure in the ten years that have passed since making this change. The results of FEE pass rates for engineering majors who only take the first in the two thermal-fluids courses will be compared before and after the shift and to national averages to explore if the reduction in overall content affected these students’ ability to pass the FEE. In addition, the subject pass rate for those programs that take both thermal-fluids courses on the Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics sections will be examined to determine if changing the way the content was presented, affected their ability to pass those particular subjects.
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