Thermodynamics Area Examination

The area examination in thermodynamics is an open-book, open-notes written test three hours in duration. Subject matter for the examination is similar to undergraduate level courses, such as ME 200 and ME 300 at Purdue University; however, the use of other material is not excluded.

There are two parts to the examination. Part A consists of four questions covering classical thermodynamics at the introductory level (ME 200) which must be answered by all students. The emphasis is on first and second law analyses of components and cycles. These may include closed systems or steady, open systems. Additional four questions must be chosen from Part B. Part B consists of five questions in more advanced topics of classical thermodynamics (ME 300), including:

  • Combustion: stoichiometry, first-law analysis, thermochemistry, chemical equilibrium
  • Analysis of advanced power cycles and HVAC applications
  • Unsteady first and second law analyses
  • Exergy (availability) and irreversibility analyses – thermomechanical aspects
  • Gas and gas-vapor mixtures and Psychrometry

Performance on the test is assessed by the Thermodynamics Area Examination Committee. A score of 100 points represents a perfect examination. The four problems of Part A are each worth 10 points. The four problems of Part B are each worth 15 points. An additional one-hour oral examination may be given at the discretion of the Thermodynamics Area Examination Committee to further assess weaknesses shown on the written test.

Past Thermodynamics area examinations, along with property charts and tables, can be downloaded off the ME Intranet,

The following are representative textbooks for self-study:

  • Cengel, Y. A. and Boles, M. A., Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach, McGraw-Hill, latest edition
  • Moran, J. M., Shapiro, H. N., Boettner, D. D. and Bailey M. B., Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, Wiley, latest edition
  • Wark, K., Jr. and Richards, D. E., Thermodynamics, McGraw-Hill, latest edition
  • Van Wylen, Sonntag, and Borgnakke, Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics, Wiley, latest edition