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Real-life examples bring new energy to core thermodynamics course

December 20th, 2019

Traditionally, engineering students have learned about the thermodynamics of gas turbines by studying diagrams and solving equations, but this year they also donned hard hats, safety glasses and ear plugs to tour a plant that produces electricity for half a million homes.

 

Long seen as a rite of passage for sophomores majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering, the thermodynamics course is known for its rigor. Making its content feel relevant for students can be a challenge. This year, the class became a Campus as Lab course, featuring field trips, guest lectures and lessons that enhanced students’ learning with examples of energy technology and policy from the University campus and surroundings.

 

https://engineering.princeton.edu/news/2019/12/20/real-life-examples-bring-new-energy-core-thermodynamics-course

 

In addition to visiting the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) generating station in Sewaren, New Jersey, about 30 miles from Princeton, students joined professional engineers to assess the energy efficiency of the Pink House, home to a community of undergraduates focused on sustainable living. Guest lecturers included an engineer who helps design gas turbines for extreme conditions and a contributor to the town of Princeton’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

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