Asee peer logo

Thermophysics For Manufacturing Engineers: A Nontraditional Approach

Download Paper |


1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.439.1 - 2.439.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

William W. Schultz

author page

Roger W. Pryor

author page

Michael Vaksman

author page

Mark Schumack

author page

Kevin Belfield

author page

Vladimir Sheyman

author page

Mukasa Ssemakula

author page

Shuvra Das

Download Paper |

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

Session 2663

Thermophysics for Manufacturing Engineers: A Nontraditional Approach

Mark Schumack, Michael Vaksman, Shuvra Das, Kevin Belfield Mukasa Ssemakula, Roger Pryor, Vladimir Sheyman William W. Schultz University of Detroit Mercy/Wayne State University/University of Michigan


This paper describes the development of a set of instructional modules that will introduce candidates to the principles of thermal/fluid sciences, with applications to manufacturing engineering. The candidates are currently employed as machinists at the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT), a world-class manufacturing facility which is part of the civil rights organization Focus:HOPE in Detroit. The Greenfield Coalition is a collaboration among six universities to develop a learner-centered, experiential-based, team-oriented, interdisciplinary curriculum for manufacturing engineering which will be launched at the CAT and later transferred to legacy university programs.

Thermal/fluid sciences (thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer) are typically considered to be among the most difficult of topics taught in an engineering curriculum. This project makes the subject matter more accessible to candidates by embedding the material within the context of manufacturing activities that are part of the candidates’ daily experience. The foundational principles for most of the eighteen modules are taught in interactive tutorials written with the multimedia authoring package Authorware®. Complementing the computer-based tutorials are instructor-assisted problem-solving sessions, experiments, work-related team projects, case studies, or traditional lectures. The tutorials include periodic assignments such as computer problems (solved using a spreadsheet or mathematics package) and traditional "pencil- and-paper" problems.

Presented here is a discussion of the teaching philosophy, a description of the structure of the thermophysics curriculum, and a summary of content. Portions of the computer-based tutorials are described, and examples of experiments, projects, and case studies are given.


Traditionally, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer are difficult subjects for students to master. Thermodynamics in some universities, for example, has failure rates as large as 20% - 40%, contributing to poor retention rates in engineering [1]. Students eager to learn at the beginning of the term in fluid mechanics soon become lost as they struggle with the calculus and identification of appropriate models for various flow phenomena. By the time they reach heat transfer (if they get that far) – a subject that requires knowledge of both thermodynamics and fluid mechanics – many have resigned themselves to an insecure understanding at best, and


Schultz, W. W., & Pryor, R. W., & Vaksman, M., & Schumack, M., & Belfield, K., & Sheyman, V., & Ssemakula, M., & Das, S. (1997, June), Thermophysics For Manufacturing Engineers: A Nontraditional Approach Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6833

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: © 1997 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