Asee peer logo

Power Plant Proposal And Feasibility: A Student Project For A Thermodynamics Course

Download Paper |


2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Building Blocks for Public Policy in Curricula

Tagged Division

Engineering and Public Policy

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1001.1 - 11.1001.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Carl Fayerweather University of Toledo

visit author page

Carl is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering.

visit author page


Sorin Cioc University of Toledo

visit author page

Dr. Cioc is a visiting professor of Mechancial Engineering.

visit author page


Douglas Oliver University of Toledo

visit author page

Dr. Oliver is undergraduate director of the mechanical engineering program at the University of Toledo. He is also an attorney.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Power Plant Proposal and Feasibility: A Student Project for a Thermodynamics Course.

Abstract This paper introduces a student project for a second-semester thermodynamics class. The project involves competing student teams. Team members select a method of power generation (wind, coal, nuclear, etc.) for a specific geographic location. Then the teams research the feasibility of situating a new power plant in that location using the selected method of power generation. Finally, student teams debate the positive and negative aspects of the selected power generation methods. This project is designed to address several ABET criteria. Introduction The objective of the following paper was to satisfy two relatively new and so far rarely addressed criteria of ABET, namely ABET (3)(c) and ABET (3)(j). Therefore, for the fall semester in the Thermodynamics II class, the students were assigned a project with the following premise: Propose a specific type of power source to add to the power grid in a given location and defend your choice against another power source. This is relevant to the class because the coursework in Thermodynamics II could be considered the groundwork for power generation. The project did not focus on how a certain power source worked, but rather why that certain power plant would be an effective power source for the specific geographical region. This was important because it gave the students practice in an area of engineering that ABET requires, but is many times overlooked in engineering. As a result of the oral presentations, this project also aids in the practice of communication [ABET criteria (3)(g)]. The objective of the project was to have the students examine the benefits and repercussions of building a new power plant. We had the students examine questions like the following: How much will this project cost? How long will the power plant last? How reliable is it? How will the environment be affected? What will this do to the local economy? How many jobs will be created? How much will the electricity cost? Will the government subsidize this plant? Because these questions are related to the economy, the environment and political and societal issues this portion of the project satisfies ABET criteria (3)(c) which reads: Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, and manufacturability. (

Fayerweather, C., & Cioc, S., & Oliver, D. (2006, June), Power Plant Proposal And Feasibility: A Student Project For A Thermodynamics Course Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--515

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: © 2006 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