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ME 251 Thermodynamics I

Catalog Description

ME 251: Thermodynamics I (3). Prerequisites: ENGR 102 and PHYS 298. This course covers: fundamental thermodynamic concepts involving heat and work; obtaining properties for typical working fluids, real and ideal gases; first and second laws of thermodynamics; entropy and reversible and irreversible processes; basic cycles.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Differential and integral calculus
  2. General physics and chemistry


M.J. Moran and H.N. Shapiro, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, 6th edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.


Several thermodynamics textbooks.

Course Learning Outcomes

To provide the student with a solid background in the fundamentals of thermodynamics, utilizing simple compressible and incompressible fluids such as air and water.


E.G. Brehob, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Topics Covered

  1. Thermodynamic processes involving work and heat (7 classes)
  2. Thermodynamic property data (6 classes)
  3. First law of thermodynamics (8 classes)
  4. Second law of thermodynamics (6 classes)
  5. Entropy, availability (8 classes)
  6. Power cycles (4 classes)
  7. Examinations (3 classes and comprehensive final)

Class/Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions per week devoted to lecture, discussion, and problem solving.


Three exams: 60%, final exam: 30%, and homework: 10%.

Curriculum Criterion Contribution

Engineering science: 3 credits.

Relationship to Program Outcomes

This course supports Mechanical Engineering Department B.Sc. program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by E.G. Brehob, June 2009

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