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Implementation Of Design In Applied Thermodynamics Course

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.554.1 - 6.554.6

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Paper Authors

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Lang Lee

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Tamer Ceylan

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

Session 2633


Lang Wah Lee, Tamer Ceylan University of Wisconsin-Platteville


This paper discusses the restructuring of the Applied Thermodynamics course in the Mechanical Engineering Program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The goals of the effort are to integrate design education throughout the curriculum and to provide meaningful design experience in the thermofluids area to every graduate. The effort includes revision of lecture topics, selection of design projects and design methodology. Incorporation of design education into this previously engineering science course has produced many positive results. Students are better motivated for course materials when subjects are presented on a need-to-know basis. They also learn the subjects at a deeper level at a setting where application of course fundamentals is required to solve real world problems.

I. Introduction

To prepare our graduates to meet the challenges of the new millennium, the mechanical engineering faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville have revised the curriculum. Integration of design throughout the curriculum and reduction of the curriculum core to allow flexibility in course selection were the two main goals. During the revision process, it was decided to strengthen the design education at the junior level and to provide the needed design experience in thermofluids to every graduate (an ABET requirement). To this end, the Applied Thermodynamics course was designated as the required design course in thermofluids to complement various senior design electives. The course was modified to have 50% engineering design and 50% engineering science.

Applied Thermodynamics (ME 3630) is the third course in a four-course thermal science sequence. It is preceded by Thermodynamics (ME 2630) and Fluid Dynamics (ME 3300), and followed by the Heat Transfer course (ME 3640). Since one of the major goals in integrating design throughout the curriculum is to show students the connection between courses, the teaching of fundamentals in this course must be built on the student’s earlier experience and illustrate what needs to be learned in the future. The strategic position of this course in the thermal science sequence make it ideal for our purpose. On the other hand, we believe that adding a design component can play a significant role in improving student learning. Through solving real world problems, design projects can reinforce concepts currently being taught, demonstrate the relevancy of these concepts, stimulate and motivate students, and show what is needed to be learned in the future.

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Lee, L., & Ceylan, T. (2001, June), Implementation Of Design In Applied Thermodynamics Course Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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