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ME 510 Thermal Design of Internal Combustion Engines

Catalog Description

ME 510 Thermal Design of Internal Combustion Engines (3). Prerequisite: ME 310. Thermodynamics and fluid mechanics of internal combustion engine design. Combustion stoichiometry, thermochemistry, and properties of working fluids. Ideal and real engine cycles. Fluid flow processes, combustion processes, pollutant formation and control. Engine operating characteristics.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Chemistry
  2. Dynamics
  3. Thermodynamics
  4. Fluid mechanics


Ferguson and Kirkpatrick, Internal Combustion Engines, 2nd edition, Wiley, 2001.


J.B. Heywood, Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals, McGraw-Hill, 1988.


W.G. Cobourn, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Course Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to give graduate/professional students in Mechanical Engineering the ability to understand and utilize the basic principles governing the operation and performance of internal combustion engines. The course surveys a variety of engine types and engine components or systems. The homework assignments provide students with basic design and analysis exercises in several of these areas. Computer packages for combustion analysis, engine cycle analysis and engine modeling are available for use on student projects.

Topics Covered

  1. Introductory concepts (3 classes)
  2. Combustion and exhaust gas analysis (8 classes)
  3. Ideal and real engine cycles (5 classes)
  4. Modeling engine performance (5 classes)
  5. Combustion in SI and CI engines (5 classes)
  6. Pollutant formation and control (8 classes)
  7. Engine operating characteristics (5 classes)
  8. Field trips and special topics (2 classes)
  9. Midterm examination (1 class)

Computer Use

Use of software packages for internal combustion engine design.

Laboratory Projects



Homework – 25%, midterm exam – 25%, term paper – 25%, final exam – 25%. The term papers concern contemporary topics in internal combustion engine design. Graduate students are required to write more extensive term papers. These papers require cited references in addition to a bibliography, and the required minimum length is 50 percent greater.

Class/Laboratory Schedule

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

Curriculum Criterion Contribution

Engineering science: 2 credits, engineering design: 1 credit.

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 design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • 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 W.G. Cobourn, June 2009

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