Product Design Engineering BEng/MEng

Thermodynamics 2 ENG2053

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces the basic principles of thermodynamics for aerospace and mechanical engineering applications, including the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, concept of entropy, steady flow devices, and the analysis of refrigeration, heat pump, gas turbine, and Rankine power cycles.


2 lectures per week

Excluded Courses





75% Written Exam

25% Group Coursework

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ provide an introduction to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and its corollaries, including the concepts of the Heat Engine, Entropy, and Availability

■ provide an introduction to the vapour compression refrigeration / heat pump cycle, and Rankine power cycle

■ introduce key elements of perfect gas theory for propulsion, including speed of sound, Mach number, propulsive force, stagnation temperature and pressure

■ provide an introduction to gas turbine cycle analysis, including gas turbine components (intake, gas generator, nozzle) and the turbo-jet cycle.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ perform a complex engineering system calculation completely and accurately;

■ apply mathematical analysis to thermodynamic systems in a rigorous way;

■ complete a laboratory experiment and perform data analysis to make meaningful conclusions about a thermodynamic principle;

■ explain and demonstrate with examples the practical limitations of the First Law of Thermodynamics;

■ use simple thermodynamic models using heat reservoirs, heat engines and heat pumps to demonstrate the importance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics;

■ use the Kelvin-Planck and Clausius statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to establish the connection between the natural direction of heat flow in any thermodynamic system and the observation that a real heat engine has less than 100% efficiency;

■ explain with clarity the concept of reversible and irreversible processes in thermodynamics;

■ develop the Second Law of Thermodynamics to show that the efficiency of a cycle of reversible processes is the maximum possible;

■ show that the property, entropy, is a consequence of the observations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics;

■ explain why the entropy of the universe will only ever increase, and put this into the context of the design of thermodynamic systems;

■ calculate the entropy change of a system during a typical process including heat transfer, work transfer, processes of open and closed systems;

■ derive expressions for the entropy change of a perfect gas and other simple working fluids;

■ use the isentropic process as an idealised, reference process;

■ explain the requirements of an aircraft propulsion system, and use fluid mechanics principles to derive an expression for the force acting on a control volume;

■ apply the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics to the analysis of a compressible gas flow;

■ explain the significance of the Mach number, and calculate the Mach number in a gas flow;

■ describe the concept of stagnation temperature and pressure, and explain how they change in adiabatic and reversible or irreversible flows;

■ sketch the layout of the simple turbojet in block diagram form and on temperature/ enthalpy-entropy axes;

■ apply the notion of the isentropic efficiency to the analysis of the components of a gas turbine;

■ perform a complete analysis of the simple turbojet cycle to calculate propulsive thrust;

■ explain the concept of the turbofan for aircraft propulsion.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report