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Engineering Primers for Non-Engineer

  1. Jan 6, 2007 #1
    I need some direction. I am simply a poser. :) I have a BA and MBA, but now wish I had studied something different (particularly ME).

    I am a die-hard automotive performance enthusiast. I have Heywood's book as well as Taylor's 2 volumes. I even attended Heywood's week long class on IC engines last summer. I still feel that too much of that is over my head. I plan on attacking the math portion by taking Calculus again (17+ years after I first took it) at my local community college. I will likely try to take a couple of their engineering courses, and physics refresher is a must as well .

    I have read several other automotive performance books, but most them are either very high-level and/or are oriented towards the 'mechanics' but not the function, reasons, principles, etc.

    I really want to persue a Masters of Engineering in Engine Systems:
    This is a long-term plan. I would like to get started with some of the basics and go from there.

    If you have any suggestions or input, they would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2007 #2
    Just start taking some physics courses and math. Once you get that under your belt jump into engineering courses like statics, dynamics, and the like.
  4. Jan 7, 2007 #3

    That is definitely my plan. Just wondering if there were some entry-level books that you guys might recommend.
  5. Jan 7, 2007 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    One might wish to find out what texts are used in these courses -

    from http://mees.engr.wisc.edu/students/profile.lasso

    Likely students taking this program have a BS in Mech Eng, which would include mechanics (and statics and dynamics), thermodynamics and heat transfer, fluid mechanics.


    Excluding math, technical writing, and technical and liberal arts electives, the ME core at UWisc is:

    Sophomore - Sem 1
    ME 240 Dynamics, 3 cr
    MS&E 350 Introduction to Materials Science, 3 cr

    Sophomore - Sem 2
    ME 306 Mechanics of Materials, 3 cr
    ME 307 Mechanics of Materials, 1 cr

    Junior - Sem 1
    ECE 376 Electric and Electronic Circuits, 3 cr
    ME 361 Thermodynamics I, 3 cr
    ME 340 Dynamic Systems, 3 cr
    ME 232 Geometric Modeling for Engineering Applications, 3 cr

    Junior - Sem 2
    ME 313 Manufacturing Processes, 3 cr
    ME 368 Engineering Measurements Lab, 3 cr
    ME 363 Fluid Dynamics, 3 cr
    ECE 377 Fundamentals of Electrical Electro Mechanical Power Conversion, 3 cr

    Senior - Sem 1
    ME 314 Introduction to Competitive Manufacturing, 3 cr
    ME 342 Design of Machine Elements, 3 cr
    ME 364 Heat Transfer, 3 cr

    Senior - Sem 2
    ME 349 Engineering Design Projects, 3 cr
    ME 370 Energy System Lab, 3 cr

    There are basic Math texts, e.g. Stewart's Calculus.

    Does one also wish to know basics physics and mech eng. texts?
  6. Jan 7, 2007 #5


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Some fundamental books in engineering thermodynamics and fluid mechanics would definitely help out with your understanding. I'm sure Clausius would have some better recommendations than I have, but Frank White's "Fluid Mechanics" is pretty good and starts from the very basics, and Rogers' & Mayhew's "Engineering Thermodynamics, Work & Heat Transfer" got me a pretty good grounding, and will allow you to tackle Haywood in detail.
  7. Jan 7, 2007 #6
    I agree that most individuals in the program will have a BS in an engineering discipline. I did contact the program director, and he indicated a BS would not be required. However, he did recommend one course each in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. He also recommended six to nine credits in the structural area as well. A material science (especially metallurgy) course, and a course in mechanics of materials that includes some background in metal fatigue would be most important. A course in dynamics would also be good but may not be absolutely necessary.

    I plan on updating my math skills. If there was a BSME online/long distance, I would be enrolled today. That is the beauty (for me) of the MEES program. The only online BSME degree I can find is from Kennedy-Western. The program seems about half legitimate and half bullcrap.

    I have searched Amazon and Barnes & Noble up and down. I simply don't know if any of the books are any good. I also wasn't for sure if there were introductory books to subjects like Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, etc.

    Here are some of the books that I did find:
    Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
    Modern Compressible Flow: With Historical Perspective
    An Introduction to Thermal-Fluid Engineering
    Mixture Formation in Internal Combustion Engines

    I just didn't want to start dropping $125+ for each book if they are either way too far over my head or simply not good.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  8. Jan 8, 2007 #7


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  9. Jan 8, 2007 #8
    Excellent starting point! :) I am all about 'free'. :biggrin:
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