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Credit and Content

Course 2.51 is a 12-unit subject, serving as the Mechanical Engineering department's advanced undergraduate course in heat and mass transfer. The prerequisites for this course are undergraduate courses in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, specifically Thermal-Fluids Engineering I (2.005) and Thermal Fluids Engineering II (2.006) or their equivalents. Topics to be covered include: unsteady heat conduction in one or more dimensions, steady conduction in multidimensional configurations, numerical simulation of conduction; forced convection in laminar and turbulent flows; natural convection in internal and external configurations; heat transfer during condensation and boiling; mass transfer at low rates, evaporation; thermal radiation, black bodies, grey radiation networks, spectral and solar radiation. Problems and examples will emphasize modelling of complex systems drawn from manufacturing, electronics, consumer products, and energy systems.

The goals of this class are that students will:

  1. develop a strong physical and conceptual understanding of heat and mass transfer processes; and
  2. learn about their application to energy systems and other technologies.

We plan to teach interactively, rather than by a strict lecture format. The class will include coverage of fundamentals (such as thermal radiation, convection, multidimensional conduction, and mass transfer) as well as thermally driven problems of current importance (such as solar energy, evaporation, and desalination).


Lecturer: Prof. Bora Mikic
Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
Textbook: Lienhard and Lienhard. A Heat Transfer Textbook. 3rd ed., 2008.

Exams and Grading

The grade will be based on:

Two midterm quizzes 40%
Homework and class participation 20%
Final exam 40%

The exams will be open book unless otherwise announced. They will cover material from the lectures and the homeworks.

Homework Problems

Homework assignments paralleling the lectures will be distributed. These problems will apply the material covered in lectures and are essential to learning that material. They will involve theory, modelling, and design exercises. It is important that work the problems yourself, even if you have access to old solutions. Some of these problems will also be worked in the recitations.

Recommended Readings

Amazon logo Lienhard IV, J. H., and J. H. Lienhard V. A Heat Transfer Version Textbook. 3rd ed. Lexington, MA: Phlogiston Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780971383531.

Amazon logo Mills, A. F. Basic Heat and Mass Transfer. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. ISBN: 9780130962478.

Amazon logo Baehr, H. D., and K. Stephan. Heat and Mass Transfer. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1998. ISBN: 9783540636953.

MathWorks, Inc. Partial Differential Equation Toolbox User's Guide, 1995.

Amazon logo Cengel, Y. A. Heat Transfer: A Practical Approach. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2002. ISBN: 9780072458930.