Intro to thermodynamics – transferring energy from here to there.

Instructor: Professor Margaret S. Wooldridge
University of Michigan
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Estimated Workload: Lectures ~3 hours per week; quizzes/homework ~3 hours per week

Course Description: This course will provide you with an introduction to the most powerful
engineering principles you will ever learn: thermodynamics! Or the science of transferring
energy from one place or form to another place or form. We will introduce the tools you need
to analyze energy systems from solar panels, to engines, to insulated coffee mugs.
More specifically, we will cover the topics of mass and energy conservation principles; first
law analysis of control mass and control volume systems; properties and behavior of pure
substances; and applications to thermodynamic systems operating at steady state conditions.

Target Audience: Basic undergraduate engineering or sciences student

About the Instructor: Professor Margaret Wooldridge is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in
the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering at the University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford
University in 1995; her M.S.M.E. in 1991 from S.U. and her B.S. M.E. degree from the
University of Illinois at Champagne/Urbana in 1989. Prof. Wooldridge’s research program
spans diverse areas where high-temperature chemically reacting systems are critical,
including synthesis methods for advanced nanostructured materials, power and propulsion
systems, and fuel chemistry. She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers (ASME), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the recipient of
numerous honors including the ASME George Westinghouse Silver Medal, ASME Pi Tau
Sigma Gold Medal, an NSF Career Award, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educator Award, and
Awards from the University of Michigan, College of Engineering for Service and Education
Intro to thermodynamics – transferring energy from here to there.

Course Format: The class consists of lecture videos, which are typically 8 and 12 minutes in
length. The videos include several integrated quiz questions per video. There are also
homework problems to practice your analytical skills that are not part of video lectures.
There are no exams.

Supporting References:

Free textbooks and online resources:

1. U.S. Department of Energy Fundamentals Handbook Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer and
Fluid Flow, Volume 1 of 3

2. Thermodynamics and Chemistry, 2nd Edition, by Howard DeVoe, Associate Professor
Emeritus, University of Maryland (

3. Online calculator of steam (i.e. water), which includes links for carbon dioxide (CO2) and
ammonia (NH3) properties:

Good reference textbook that is not free:

1. Fundamentals of Thermodynamics by Sonntag, Borgnakke, and Van Wylen, Sixth Edition,
John Wiley & Sons, 2003.


What are the prerequisites for taking this course?
An introductory background (high school or first year college level) in chemistry, physics,
and calculus will help you be successful in this class.

What will this class prepare me for in the academic world?
Thermodynamics is required for many follow-on courses, like heat transfer, internal
combustion engines, propulsion, and gas dynamics to name a few.

Intro to thermodynamics – transferring energy from here to there.

What will this class prepare me for in the real world?
Energy is one of the top challenges we face as a global society. Energy demands are deeply
tied to the other major challenges of clean water, health, and poverty. Understanding how
energy systems work is key to understanding how to meet all these needs around the world.
Because energy demands are only increasing, this course also provides the foundation for
many rewarding professional careers.

Class schedule:
Supporting reading material for these topics can be found in the reference texts
Thermodynamics and Chemistry, 2
Edition by Howard Devoe, and the U.S. Department
of Energy Fundamentals Handbook Volume 1 Thermodynamics. The topics covered in
this course correspond to material found in chapters 1-4 of Thermodynamics and
Chemistry, and the entire DOE handbook on Thermodynamics. Use these references to
support the concepts covered in the class and listed below.

Suggested Reading Topic
Devoe: 19 - 29 Introduction, concepts, definitions, and UNITS!!
Thermodynamic properties, the conservation of energy
Devoe: 30 – 44
DOE: 1-13, 41-52
Work transfer and heat transfer, phase diagrams, the
conservation of energy for closed systems
Devoe: 45-51 Thermodynamic properties, state relations, the ideal gas
model, the incompressible substance model, conservation of
mass for open systems
Devoe: 52-55
DOE: 14-25
Conservation of energy for open systems, flow work, flow
devices, examples
Devoe: 56-66
DOE: 53-68
(Also DOE: 14-25)
Transient analysis and the conservation of mass and energy;
power, refrigeration and heat pump cycles
Devoe: 67-97
(Also DOE: 14-25)
The 2
law of thermodynamics, Carnot and Rankine power
DOE: 26-30
(Also DOE: 14-25, 53-68)
Carnot and Rankine cycles continued, co-generation and
waste heat recovery
(DOE: 14-25, 26-30, 53-68) Comparing energy carriers

Intro to thermodynamics – transferring energy from here to there.

Homework grading policy:
Each homework question is worth 1 point. A correct answer is worth +1 point. An
incorrect answer is worth 0 points. There is no partial credit. You can attempt each
homework question up to 2 times. All students who achieve a total homework score
!70% will receive a Statement of Accomplishment for the course.

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