Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Thermodynamics 3B

Module aims

This module is a continuation of the ME1 and ME2 modules in thermodynamics. The first term deals with the fundamentals of equilibrium thermodynamics. The second term will introduce students to the kinetic theory and how the concepts of pressure, temperature (among others) and transport properties arise from molecular motions. 

Learning outcomes

To enable students to explore advance concepts in thermodynamics: including non-ideal behaviour, phase change, electro-chemistry, radiation and critical phenomena.

To understand the thermodynamic limitations of an engineering process.

To provide the knowledge and physical basis to support fourth year courses in energy and fluids.

To develop an awareness of the origin of fundamental equations in Thermofluids and other branches of engineering.

Module syllabus

1. Introduction

2. Maxwell Relations

3. Thermodynamic Potentials: Gibbs and Helmholtz

4. Thermodynamic Potentials: Applications, Chemical Potential

5. Thermodynamics of Radiation: Stefan-Boltzmann Law

6. Phase Change: Phase diagrams, Phase transitions

7. Mixtures and Solutions: Solubility, Osmotic Pressure

8. Chemical Reactions and Chemical Equilibrium: Pollutant Formation and Emissions

9. Electro-Chemistry: Fuel Cells and Batteries

10. Structured Tutorial

11. Kinetic Theory of Gases I

12. Kinetic Theory of Gases II

13. Non-Ideal gas behaviour

14. Introduction to Statistical Mechanics

15. Statistical Mechanics II

16. Statistical Mechanics III

17. Thermo-Fluids Transport Equations: Navier-Stokes/Energy Equation/Species Transport

18. Thermo-Fluids Transport Equations: Simplifications and Closures

Teaching methods

  • Duration: Autumn and Spring terms
  • Lecture/Study Groups: Weekly lecture, followed by a 1 hour tutorial for alternating halves of the class.
  • Coursework: 
    • Online progress test to assess the required concepts from previous year using questions on ME2 Thermodynamics, with additional questions from ME2 Fluid Mechanics, ME2 Heat Transfer and ME2 Maths.

    • Mini-Project, set for completion over Christmas vacation, on the feasibility assessment of an installation for stationary power generation. 

Summary of student timetabled hours













30 hrs

Expected private study time

3-4hr per week (not including exam revision)


Examination 3 h exam (13 questions) 95% WEIGHTING Numeric  
Quiz Quiz 5% WEIGHTING Numeric  

Module leaders

Dr Salvador Navarro-Martinez