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Integration Of Computational Tools In Engineering Thermodynamics Curriculum

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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

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.708.1 - 7.708.9



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Kendrick Aung

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Session 2793

Integration of Computational Tools in Engineering Thermodynamics Curriculum

Kyaw Aung

Department of Mechanical Engineering Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas 77710


Computational tools have become readily available to assist in solving many engineering problems. Thus, it is important for engineering educators to incorporate computational tools in their curriculum so that students will have first-hand knowledge and hands-on experience with these tools in their studies. This paper describes the integration of computational tools in an Engineering Thermodynamics course at Lamar University in order to emphasize the design and analysis phases of the curriculum. The computational tools employed for the course include CyclePad, a virtual laboratory software for analyzing thermodynamic power and refrigeration cycles, PsyCalc, a psychrometric calculator to determine the properties of air-vapor mixtures, and Gaseq, a chemical equilibrium program to solve equilibrium properties of gases involving chemical reaction. The reactions of students to the use of these computational tools in their coursework have been very positive. The main benefits for the students are improved understanding and insight in the design and analysis aspects of thermodynamics, and hands-on knowledge and experience of modern computational tools.


The rapid increases in computational speed and widespread availability of computers have made possible computer-based analysis and solution of engineering problems for many industries and businesses. It is therefore imperative that engineering educators incorporate the computational tools in their curriculum so that the students will gain valuable knowledge and experience by using these tools to solve typical engineering problems. In addition, ABET has recently been emphasizing the importance of incorporating engineering design in every engineering curriculum. The integration of the computational tools in the curriculum will greatly benefit the learning process of students because these tools allow extensive use of design- oriented problems such as open-ended problems and projects in the curriculum. Solving these design-oriented projects and problems provides the students with valuable insight and understanding of design and analysis processes involved in real-world engineering problems.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Aung, K. (2002, June), Integration Of Computational Tools In Engineering Thermodynamics Curriculum Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10386

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