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Project Based Software Application Analyses In Undergraduate Heat Transfer

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Improving ME Education: Trends in Mechanical Engineering II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1197.1 - 12.1197.10



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Paper Authors


Michael Langerman South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Dr. Langerman is professor and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department and Co-director of the Computational Mechanics Laboratory at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. His career spans 32 years including sixteen years in higher education. His primary academic interest is in thermal science.

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William Arbegast South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Mr. Arbegast is the director of the Advanced Material Processing (AMP) center at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

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Daniel Dolan South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Dr. Dolan is the co-director of the Center of Excellence for Manufacturing and Production (CAMP)at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

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

Project-Based Software Application Analyses in Undergraduate Heat Transfer


As new engineering analysis software codes for mechanical engineers become available, it is incumbent upon academic programs to introduce students to these tools and for the students to develop at least rudimentary skills in the application of these codes. The issue that arises is how to effectively introduce these tools into a curriculum that is already crowded. As engineering programs struggle to find accommodations, many students reach their senior year before realizing an opportunity to apply these sophisticated analy- sis methods- frequently with little or no training. A recurring example is that of students’ a priori construction of a system component followed by a perfunctory stress analysis us- ing a commercial computer code. Often the analysis performed is irrelevant or incom- plete. The notion of analysis being an essential element in the design process can be lost in the minds of many students. Therefore, the ME department faculty at SDSM&T to- gether with campus partners are integrating into the traditional junior-level core curricu- lum project-based software applications and tools such as FLUENT and ABAQUS. This paper discusses a proposed option to the traditional offering of an undergraduate course in heat transfer. The method proposed brings project-based learning and analysis applica- tions into the classroom in a novel way.


ABET accredited engineering programs are required to include a high-level of engineer- ing design within the program curriculum. ABET defines engineering design as1:

“Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision-making process (often iterative), in which the basic sci- ences, mathematics, and the engineering sciences are applied to convert resources opti- mally to meet these stated needs.”

Under Criterion 3, of ABET’s Program Outcomes and Assessment1 [(Outcome c)]:

“The engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain an ability to de- sign a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufac- turability, and sustainability.”

To meet these requirements, students must demonstrate ability in all a-k outcomes under Criterion 3, the majority of which have as a foundation an implicit expectation of the stu- dents’ ability to conduct valid engineering analyses and verification. Tools used to per- form engineering analysis range from analytical (direct application of math and engineer- ing science), to hardware (laboratory data acquisition), to software (commercial computer codes). In this paper, only the software tools are considered.

Langerman, M., & Arbegast, W., & Dolan, D. (2007, June), Project Based Software Application Analyses In Undergraduate Heat Transfer Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1944

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