Engineering Thermodynamics and 21st Century Energy Problems

Engineering Thermodynamics and 21st Century Energy Problems

A Textbook Companion for Student Engagement

Donna Riley
ISBN: 9781608453634 | PDF ISBN: 9781608453641
Copyright © 2011 | 97 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2011

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Energy is a basic human need; technologies for energy conversion and use are fundamental to human survival. As energy technology evolves to meet demands for development and ecological sustainability in the 21st century, engineers need to have up-to-date skills and knowledge to meet the creative challenges posed by current and future energy problems. Further, engineers need to cultivate a commitment to and passion for lifelong learning which will enable us to actively engage new developments in the field. This undergraduate textbook companion seeks to develop these capacities in tomorrow's engineers in order to provide for future energy needs around the world.

This book is designed to complement traditional texts in engineering thermodynamics, and thus is organized to accompany explorations of the First and Second Laws, fundamental property relations, and various applications across engineering disciplines. It contains twenty modules targeted toward meeting five often-neglected ABET outcomes: ethics, communication, lifelong learning, social context, and contemporary issues. The modules are based on pedagogies of liberation, used for decades in the humanities and social sciences for instilling critical thinking and reflective action in students by bringing attention to power relations in the classroom and in the world.

This book is intended to produce a conversation and creative exploration around how to teach and learn thermodynamics differently. Because liberative pedagogies are at their heart relational, it is important to maintain spaces for discussing classroom practices with these modules, and for sharing ideas for implementing critical pedagogies in engineering contexts. The reader is therefore encouraged to visit the book's blog

Table of Contents

What and Why?
The First Law: Making Theory Relevant
The Second Law and Property Relations
Thinking Big Picture about Energy and Sustainability

About the Author(s)

Donna Riley, Smith College
Donna Riley is a founding faculty member and Associate Professor in the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, where she has been teaching thermodynamics for over 10 years. She received her B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Her technical research combines methods in engineering and the social sciences to characterize and communicate chemical risk. She seeks to integrate quantitative modeling of chemical risks (from sources to exposure endpoints) with an understanding of the ways in which human beliefs and behavior influence risk. Past projects have involved characterizing the risks of mercury use as part of religious and folk traditions in Latino and Caribbean communities, and developing improved consumer-product warnings. She is currently collaborating with chemists at Smith and the University of Massachusetts on developing a community-oriented air quality research lab. In 2005 Riley received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for implementing pedagogies of liberation, based on the work of Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and others, into engineering education. Aspects of critical pedagogies that are operationalized in Riley's classrooms include connecting course material to student experience, emphasizing students as authorities in the classroom, integrating ethics and policy considerations in the context of social justice, problematizing science as objectivity, and incorporating contributions from women, people of color, and people living in the global South.

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