Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Ghashami, Mohammad. "Course Portfolio for MECH 300: Thermal Systems and Design, Spring 2021" (2021). UNL Faculty Portfolios, 188. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl/188


Thermal Systems and Design (MECH 300) is a three-credit course for junior students at the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which is taught every fall and spring semester. The usual enrollment in this course is about 40 undergraduate students most of whom are junior or sophomore students from the MME department. This course plays a significant role in completing students’ learning from MECH-200 and linking that to more advanced systems and real-life applications. There are two purposes for this portfolio. The first aim is that this portfolio serves to collect and document the author’s effort and approach in teaching while providing great means for the author to reflect on and improve. The second purpose of this portfolio is to describe and evaluate a new approach to defining and delivering the mandatory course project. In this new approach, a very modern project topic from the applications of thermodynamics in the industry is selected to familiarize students with the state of the art. In addition, the students are required to use commercial software for the design and analysis of the course project. The goal here is to encourage them to learn new skills and tools to perform better and faster in the analysis of thermal systems and at the same time get equipped with the packages that are commonly used in the industry. The results show that in the Spring 2021 semester, the students expressed very high favorable opinions regarding the project that was designed and implemented. Even though the students expressed added stress due to dealing with an in-depth project and new software, they clearly expressed their satisfaction as a result of the confidence they found by handling a real-life project.