Asee peer logo

Integrating Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Instruction: Practical Solutions to Issues of Consistency

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Outstanding Contributions: Mechanical Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.917.1 - 22.917.16

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Bobby G. Crawford U.S. Military Academy

visit author page

Bobby Grant Crawford is a Colonel in the United States Army and the Director of the Mechanical Engineering Program in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He graduated from West Point with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1985. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering, is a Senior Army Aviator in fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

visit author page


Daisie D. Boettner U.S. Military Academy

visit author page

Colonel Daisie Boettner graduated from West Point in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She earned a Master of Science in Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Michigan in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2001. She has taught courses in thermal-fluid systems, heat transfer, and design. She is currently Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Integrating Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Instruction: Practical Solutions to Issues of ConsistencyAbstractHistorically, the disciplines of fluid mechanics and thermodynamics have been taught as separatecourses using separately developed textbooks. Most undergraduate students form an early beliefthat these two aspects of thermal-fluid science and engineering are as far removed from eachother as cats are from dogs. It is not until the senior year or even into their graduate schoolexperience that the student begins to understand and appreciate the underlying physicalconservation laws upon which both of these disciplines are based. As a result of mechanicalengineering curriculum revision at the XXXXXXX at XXXXX, separate courses inthermodynamics and fluid mechanics were integrated into a two-course sequence, Thermal-FluidSystems I and II, in academic year 2005-2006.While succeeding in developing the two disciplines together under one overarching set ofphysical laws, there was still an issue with finding a suitable textbook. After four years ofinstruction using available text books from publishers, the mechanical engineering facultydeveloped a text tailored specifically to the integrated two-course sequence. The experience inwriting a text that integrates concepts in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics highlights theneed for consistency between the two disciplines.Issues identified include logical organization of topics, selection of appropriate variables,consistent use of sign convention throughout all topics, recognition of various forms of the samefundamental principle, and definition of performance parameters. This paper explores theseissues and how they were addressed for integrated instruction of thermodynamics and fluidmechanics. Feedback gleaned from student surveys and faculty comments with regard to theinitial implementation of the text were used to modify the text and examples. Performancefeedback and newly identified issues are presented.Bibliography1. Boettner, D., Norberg, S., Melnyk, R., Highley, J., Rounds, M., and Arnas, A. Ö., 2006, “Teaching theFundamentals of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics through an Integrated Systems Approach,” Proceedings ofthe International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, November 5-10, 2006, Chicago, IL, Paper #:IMECE2006-13815.2. Çengel, Y. A. and Turner, R. H., 2005, Fundamentals of Thermal-Fluid Sciences, 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, NewYork, NY.3. Turns, Stephen R., 2006, Thermal-Fluid Sciences: An Integrated Approach, Cambridge University Press,Cambridge, England.4. Kaminski, D. A. and Jensen, M. K., 2005, Introduction to Thermal and Fluid Engineering, John Wiley & Sons,Inc., Hoboken, NJ.5. Moran, M. J., Shapiro, H. N., Munson, B. R., and DeWitt, D. P., 2003, Introduction to Thermal SystemsEngineering, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.6. Boettner, D. D., Bailey, M. B., and Arnas, A. Ö., 2006, “On the Consistent Use of Sign Convention inThermodynamics,” International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education, Vol. 34, No. 4, Oct 2006, pp. 330-348.7. Çengel, Y. A. and Boles, M. A., 2011, Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach, 7th Edition, McGraw Hill,New York, NY, 2011, p. xx.8. Moran, M. J. and Shapiro, H. N., 2008, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, 6th Edition, John Wiley& Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, p. 65.9. Çengel, Y. A. and Cimbala, J. M., 2006, Fluid Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications, 1st Edition, McGrawHill, New York, NY, p. 213.10. Munson, B. R., Young, D. F., Okiishi, T. H., Huebsch, W. W., 2009, Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 6thEdition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, p. 223.11. Boettner, D.D. and B.G. Crawford, “Consistency Considerations for Integrated Thermodynamics and FluidMechanics Instruction,” Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress &Exposition, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada , November 12-18, 2010.

Crawford, B. G., & Boettner, D. D. (2011, June), Integrating Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Instruction: Practical Solutions to Issues of Consistency Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC.

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: © 2011 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