MEC4408 - Thermodynamics and heat transfer - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Chris Davies


Professor Mainak Majumder (Clayton)
Associate Professor Hung Yew Mun (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)




MEC3454Not offered in 2019


This unit aims to develop a fundamental understanding of the processes by which heat and energy are inter-related and converted and by which heat is transferred. The unit will review major principles of energy conversion and the modes of heat transfer. The basic laws of thermodynamics and the governing equations for heat transfer and thermodynamics will be introduced and subsequently used to solve practical engineering problems involving thermodynamics and heat transfer. The unit will also cover fundamental design principles of power generation systems and heat exchangers.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Apply fundamental equations to establish mathematical relationships amongst commonly encountered thermodynamic properties.
  2. Use psychrometric charts to analyse and quantify air conditioning processes.
  3. Analyse the performance of combustion processes utilised to generate energy and recognise the importance of greenhouse effects.
  4. Evaluate the performance of internal combustion engines.
  5. Identify modes of heat transfer in energy-related processes.
  6. Appraise engineering problems involving heat conduction, convection and radiation by selecting and applying appropriate tools to model the problem.


Continuous assessment: 40%

Final Examination (2 hours): 60%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

Clayton Campus:

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. A unit requires on average three to five hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Sunway Campus:

Three hours of lectures (or equivalent), 2 - 3 hours of other scheduled activities (1-3 hours of tutorials and/or 2-3 hours of labs or practicals) and 7 - 8 hours of private study per week, for a total of 12 hours per week and 144 hours per semester not including the independent hours during mid-semester break, swot vac and exam periods. When the independent hours in these periods are included, the total workload is 204 hours per semester.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study