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MEng Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Advanced Heat Transfer

Unit code MACE40051
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Division (L5)
Available as a free choice unit? No


Thermal processes are crucial to the operation of many Mechanical and also Aerospace Engineering systems, such as nuclear reactors, gas-turbines, domestic heating systems, cooling of electronics and electrical components and many others. The level 3 unit on Heat Transfer, the prerequisite to this one, provides an introduction to the three modes of heat transfer, heat conduction heat convection and thermal radiation. Here the objective is to first take an in-depth look at the phenomena of forced and natural heat convection, then to introduce the topics of mass transfer, boiling and condensation heat transfer and finally to consider advanced thermal radiation topics. Coverage of these fundamental topics provides the knowledge and understanding needed to deal with the range of applications listed above. The course is delivered as 30 hours of lectures, 6 hours of examples classes, one 3-hour lab and an on-line multiple choice test.

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates


Aim 1.

For students to develop an in-depth understanding of the physical processes involved in the transfer of thermal energy and mass, in the engineering applications:

  • Active and Passive Cooling (power generation systems, electrical and electronics systems, aerospace systems, etc)
  • Heat Pipes
  • Condensers and Evaporators
  • Melting and Solidification
  • Drying processes and Mixing of Fluids
  • Radiation Shielding
  • Radiating Gases
  • Solar Panels
  • Global Warming

Aim 2

For students to develop skills in the use of direct and iterative analytical techniques for complex thermal systems, by using constitutive equations, empirical correlations and the energy conservation principle.


  • Introduction. (1 Hour)

A brief explanation of what is heat transfer, its relevance to engineering, what it involves and objectives of the course.

Learning Outcome: Awareness of the scope of Heat Transfer and it relevance to Engineering Disciplines and beyond

  • Review of: 3rd Year Heat Transfer, 1st Law of Thermodynamics and boundary layer theory. (3 Hours)

Briefly covers elements of heat conduction, heat convection and radiation covered in Year 3, the energy principle and boundary layer theory that are used in subsequent chapters.

Learning Outcomes: Ability to combine basic Heat Transfer concepts (Newton’s cooling law, thermal resistances and radiation law) with the energy balance for simple thermal analysis .Understanding of the structure of a turbulent boundary layer.

  • Forced Convection. (10 Hours)

              The physics of single-phase heat convection, covering the effects of turbulence, Prandtl number,   variation in properties and thermal boundary conditions, the introduction of analytical techniques for simple cases and of approximate methods such as the Reynolds Analogy. Thermal analysis of complex external and internal forced convection systems.

              Learning Outcome: Understanding of the heat convection equation. Understanding of laminar and thermal boundary layers and how they are affected by the Prantdl number and the effects of thermal wall boundary condition. Understanding of Reynolds Analogy. Ability to carry out calculations of complex forced convection systems and also development of a sound understanding of how to employ numerical simulation packages for forced convection problems..

  • Natural convection.  (3 Hours)

Constitutive equations. Analytical solution for free convection over a vertical surface. Flow physics and resulting Nusselt number correlations for external and internal natural convection applications. Transformation of Nusselt number correlations for uniform wall heat flux boundary conditions. Introduction to mixed convection.

Learning Outcomes: Students will become able to carry out calculations of complex natural convection systems and also develop a sound understanding of how to employ numerical simulation packages for forced convection problems

  • Thermal engineering practices and future trends  (1 Hour)

A description of techniques used to either augment or suppress surface heat transfer informed by the course leader’s research experience and also a review of new directions in heat transfer such as conjugate heat transfer, use of nano-fluids and other flow and thermal control mechanisms.

Learning Outcomes: Students will become familiar with current thermal engineering practice and future trends.

  • Introduction to mass transfer. (3 Hours)

Fick’s Law, mass transfer equation, mass transfer in stationary and moving fluids, boundary conditions  and the heat and mass transfer analogy.

Learning Outcomes: The students will become familiar with the constitutive equations of a mass transfer system, learn how to implement boundary conditions and also how to carry out binary system analysis using the heat and mass transfer analogy.

  • Introduction to Boiling Heat Transfer. (4 Hours)

Boiling regimes in pool boiling and relev

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

Exam - via exam scripts and overall mark given

Reports are completed during the lab class and they are marked immediately and each student is given a 10-minute one-to-one feedback at the end of the lab session


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 28
Supervised time in studio/wksp 6
Tutorials 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 96

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Hector Iacovides Unit coordinator

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