ENSC3024 Engineering Thermodynamics

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Mechanical specialisation in the Engineering Science major sequence
This unit presents a macroscopic treatment of thermodynamics from an engineering perspective, beginning with definitions of properties, forms of energy and systems. The behaviour of ideal gases is discussed, along with the use of the compressibility factor. The 1st law of thermodynamics is applied to both open and closed systems, leading to the steady flow energy equation and the definition of enthalpy. The behaviour of liquid-vapour systems and use of property tables and charts are discussed. The 2nd law of thermodynamics, the property entropy, and the Carnot cycle are introduced. The 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics are then applied to typical thermodynamic systems, for example internal combustion engines, using models such as the Otto cycle, Diesel cycle, and Brayton cycle. Issues surrounding the use of such thermodynamic systems, for example fuel sources, thermal efficiency, pollution and emissions form part of this system analysis.
Students are able to (1) interpret questions, problems and instructions written in the terminology of engineering thermodynamics; (2) define systems, types of energy, states of substances and properties; (3) apply the ideal gas equations, recognising their limitations; (4) retrieve appropriate data from thermodynamic property tables and charts; (5) analyse simple systems, steady-state processes and cycles using the 1st and 2nd Laws of thermodynamics; and (6) explain the social and environmental impact of typical thermodynamic systems.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) laboratory reports; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Angus Tavner
Unit rules
(CITS1001 Software Engineering with Java or CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation) and (ENSC2001 Motion or ENSC2004 Engineering Mechanics) and (MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2 or MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus) and (Physics ATAR or PHYS1030 Bridging Physics).
Advisable prior study:
PHYS1001 Physics for Scientists and Engineers
ENSC2002 Energy
Contact hours
24 Lectures, 12 Problem classes, 10 hours of labs (5x2)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.