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The Evolution Of An Energy Conversion Course At The United States Military Academy

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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

Trends in Energy Conversion/Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1150.1 - 7.1150.17



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Paper Authors

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Margaret Bailey

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Ozer Arnas

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Session 2533

The Evolution of an Energy Conversion Course at The United States Military Academy

Dr. Margaret Bailey, P.E. Dr. A. Özer Arnas Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering United States Military Academy at West Point


Over the past several years, an energy conversion course offered by the Mechanical Engineering Program at West Point has evolved into a cohesive series of lessons addressing three general topical areas: advanced thermodynamics, advanced mechanical system analysis, and direct energy conversion systems. Mechanical engineering majors enroll in Energy Conversion Systems (ME 472) during the fall semester of their senior year as an advanced elective. ME 472 builds directly on the material covered in Thermodynamics (EM 301) taken during the student’s junior year. In the first segment of ME 472, the students study advanced thermodynamic topics including exergy and combustion analyses. The students then analyze various mechanical systems including refrigeration systems, internal combustion engines, boilers, and fossil fuel-fired steam and gas turbine combined power plants. Exergetic efficiencies of various equipment and systems are determined. The final portion of the course covers direct energy conversion technology, including fuel cells, photovoltaics, thermoelectricity, thermionics, and magnetohydrodynamics. Supplemental lessons on energy storage, semi-conductors, and nonreactive energy sources (such as solar collectors, wind turbines, and hydroelectric plants) are included here. This paper discusses the evolution of ME 472 over the past several years and explains the motivations for the course’s progress.

I. Introduction

The United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point is the oldest engineering institution in the nation, having taught engineering science and design to students of military art since 1802. The Academy’s overarching general educational goal is “To enable its graduates to anticipate and to respond effectively to the uncertainties of a changing technological, social, political and economic world”. 1 The mission of the USMA is: “to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country; professional growth throughout a career as an officer in the United States Army; and a lifetime of selfless service to the nation.”1

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

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Bailey, M., & Arnas, O. (2002, June), The Evolution Of An Energy Conversion Course At The United States Military Academy Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10733

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