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Teaching Thermofluids to electronics engineering students

  1. Sep 6, 2017 #1
    This semester I'm teaching a thermofluids course to students with a major in electronics engineering. The subject covers thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. The motivation is to help the students to solve thermofluid problems that arise in their field. For example, the design of a cooling system for a microprocessor.

    I'm finding difficulty in finding a pool of problems that is tailored to electronics engineering students. Most texts I'm working with target mechanical engineers and sometimes nuclear engineers. I wonder if someone can recommend a text or a resource that have material and/or problems tailored to electronics engineering.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2017 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    You are having trouble finding textbooks because the subject matter is outside the typical EE curriculum. I suspect that EE's don't typically design these things, either. That said, I commend your attempt to broaden your student's expertise. Can you teach the subjects as analogs to Gauss's law? You have a field with sources and sinks, transport into and out of control volumes, etc. etc.

    An alternative would be to keep the discussion super-simple and simply consider the transfer of energy into and out of various components.
  4. Sep 7, 2017 #3


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    You may be able to at least find relevant electronics-related examples you can present in class in books such as




    Our library at work has these, although all of the copies are checked out so I couldn't even flip through them. Apparently some engineers around here find them useful. Hopefully your university library has these and others that are similar.

  5. Sep 12, 2017 #4
    Andy and Jason, thank you very much for your suggestions. Your suggestions and further search opened my eyes to how I can make this subject useful for electronics engineers. In particular, I understand now that minimal amount of Fluid mechanics is needed. Just the amount that serves as pre-requisite for convective heat transfer. Meanwhile, heat transfer should be more emphasize and spread over 40% or more of the course because it is really the key thing when it comes to the thermal management of electronics.

    Although my school library does not have access to the books suggested by Jason, I found out a chapter (#15) in the text by Y. Cengel et al on Heat transfer that is devoted to cooling electronics. I would recommend this chapter (and its references) for any instructor in my situation.
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