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Development Of A Project Based And Design Driven Thermodynamics Course

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.413.1 - 7.413.10



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Paper Authors

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Subrata Roy

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Karim Nasr

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K. Joel Berry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 1566 Development of a Project-Based and Design-Driven Thermodynamics Course

Subrata Roy, Karim J. Nasr, and K. J. Berry

Department of Mechanical Engineering Kettering University Flint, MI 48504


This paper describes a project-based learning environment for a first course in Thermodynamics. Students are challenged through a strong emphasis on design projects which expand the boundary of their thermodynamics knowledge through the integration of fluid mechanics and heat transfer fundamentals. Design projects range from determining the blower size of an automotive HVAC system, to adept selection of nozzle diameter for a jet engine at a specified speed. These design projects are used as the platform for students to solidify their knowledge of thermal fluid systems. The authors provide their personal journey in developing a project-based and design-driven thermodynamics course that show promise for the design integration throughout the Energy Systems Thread. Formal and informal assessment measures conducted on student achievement of educational outcomes are also presented.


Creating a project based learning environment for engineering students has been the subject of investigation at a number of universities. In a recent study by Kettering University Core Engineering Team (CET)[1], a survey of engineering curricula at other universities was carried out. Reviewed universities included all of Kettering’s Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU) peers, Michigan universities with major engineering programs, and universities participating in the Foundation Coalition. This review[2-6] found that many universities, including Kettering, continue to offer relatively traditional core curricula. Non- traditional or innovative programs are in place at a number of universities, but relatively few of these have been implemented for all students. Most remain in an experimental stage and are offered to only a subset of the students and taught only by interested faculty. Moreover, even programs with non-traditional elements retain in one form or another the traditional engineering core topics of differential, integral, and vector calculus, differential equations, physics (mechanics and electromagnetics) and chemistry. Some of the relatively common elements of innovative core curricula that appeared in one or more of CET’s proposals were: (a) a common, interdisciplinary Introduction to Engineering course; (b) a selection of discipline-specific Introduction to Engineering courses offered by the various engineering departments; and (c) integration of engineering applications into core mathematics and science courses.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Roy, S., & Nasr, K., & Berry, K. J. (2002, June), Development Of A Project Based And Design Driven Thermodynamics Course Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11255

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