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The Next Generation Of Hvac Engineers And Training In Mechanical Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Advancing Thermal Science Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1155.1 - 8.1155.5

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Paper Authors

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Chu Chen Chen

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

Session 0953


Chu – Chen (C. C.) Chen

Southern University and A&M College


Professionals in the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry have noted concerns regarding the appropriateness of the coursework offered at universities across the nation to students seeking an education in HVAC systems. At the core of this concern lies the issue of whether or not an adequate curriculum is being offered on a regular basis to these students at academic institutions since 1986. Very few large Mechanical Engineering Departments currently offer some energy related courses in their Mechanical Engineering curriculum for those students interested in entering the HVAC profession.

However, today’s modern building technology encompasses a wide range of disciplines, and integrates the latest engineering technology in design, energy conservation, and energy management. Current computer technology (such as advanced building simulation software, and direct digital control systems) offer the ability to operate facility systems more effectively. Because there is a large demand for college trained professionals in the energy efficiency profession, energy educators must develop an academic program capable of meeting the challenge of equipping students with a repertoire which would allow them to function successfully in the modern building energy industry.


Traditionally, the HVAC undergraduate education curriculum is provided by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The department typically offers basic coursework, including all mathematics courses, computer courses, thermodynamics courses, fluid mechanics courses, and heat transfer courses. The HVAC courses include Thermal Environment Engineering or the Principle of Heating and Air Conditioning; which affords the necessary training in HVAC related designs and calculations. HVAC engineers are taught practical designs through on-the-job training. Studies [1, 2, 3] dated as far back as 1986, from the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) confirm that only a small number of schools provide an education in HVAC Systems that is considered comprehensive in its scope,

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Chen, C. C. (2003, June), The Next Generation Of Hvac Engineers And Training In Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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