University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

ME 4331: Syllabus

Lectures (ME 102): T, Th 12:20 pm - 1:10 pm

Lab (ME 476): M: 9:05pm-12:05pm (section 7), 1:25pm-4:25pm (section 2), 4:40pm-7:40pm (section 6)
Tu: 9:05am-12:05pm (section 3)
Th: 9:05am-12:05pm (section 5)

Prerequisites: ME4031, ME3331, ME3332 and ME3333

Reference Text:

H. W. Coleman & W.G. Steele;
Experimentation and Uncertainty Analysis for Engineers, 2nd Ed., Wiley

Holman, J. P.
Heat Transfer, 9th Ed., McGraw-Hill

Young, D.F., Munson, B.R., and Okiishi, T.H.;
A Brief Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 3rd Ed., Wiley

Moran, M. J., Shapiro, H. N.;
Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, 5th Ed., Wiley

Lienhard, J. H. IV, Lienhard, J. H. V;
A Heat Transfer Textbook, 4th Ed.

Course Format:

The course consists of lectures and laboratories. The lectures will present the background for the experiments which will be performed in the laboratories. The lectures will also present information on experimental techniques and error analyses. Attendance at lectures is essential. However, lectures may not always present all the information required to perform a lab. Students are responsible for acquiring additional information in the reference textbooks.

In general, it will not be possible to attend make-up laboratories for missed labs.

Students are expected to be well prepared for every laboratory. This preparation has to be documented in the laboratory notebook. Participation in the pre-lab discussion and written lab preparation, as documented in your lab notebook.


Lab handouts and manuals will be posted on the course homepage. Also, announcements will be posted at the course web page, so check the web page often. You are responsible for knowing the information contained in it.

Laboratory Components:

Notebook  5% 
Lab Participation  5% 
Prelab Questions  9% 
Weekly Quizzes  9% 
DSC Report  9% 
Boiling Report  9% 
Fin Report  18% 
Heat Exchanger Report  18% 
Gas Turbine Oral Report  9% 
Poster on Interferometer  9% 
Total  100%

Due Dates:

Lab report due dates are posted on the schedule. Reports are to be handed in during the lab session. Students are encouraged to discuss with their TA possible extensions of due date for lab reports in case of extenuating situations. The penalty for a late lab report is 5% initially, and 1% for each day after the stated due date.

Notebook and Prelabs are due on the date of the experiment during lab time. These items may be turned in late with a 20% penalty as long as they are turned in before your lab report.

Grading Policy:

1. Lab Notebook - Experiment documentation. It should include your execution steps as discussed during the pre-lab session of the experiment. TAs will grade this lab notebook weekly. Carries 5% of your final grade.

2. Prelab questions - A question set posted online on course webpage. You're responsible for answering these questions by the lab session of the experiment. TAs will grade these documents. Carries 9% of your final grade.

3. Participation - Your active participation in the lab. Lab experiment and pre-lab discussion are group activities. Your enthusiastic participation and responsible behavior will be graded by your TA. Carries 5% of your final grade.

4. Quizzes - A written quiz will be administerd once a week in lecture. Your lowest score of the semester will be dropped. Carries 9% of your final grade.

5. Formal and Informal Written Reports -

6. Oral and Poster Presentations -

Notes on Reports:

Students are expected to judge their results to determine if they are reasonable, both during the lab and during the analysis.

1) Your reports should discuss the uncertainties and their propagation. Reporting experimental results and drawing conclusions out of these results are rendered meaningless without an estimate of uncertainty in these results.

2) Experimental points in graphs should generally not be connected by lines since the suggested dependencies are usually not physically motivated.

3) Experimental data are rarely perfect and you need to be able to give plausible explanations for what you observe. Hence, during the lab, you should be on the lookout for variations in parameters or inapplicability of assumptions which may cause the collection of poor data. Likewise, if your calculations lead to an unreasonable result and you cannot determine the cause, contact the instructor or the TA for assistance, or at least indicate that you think the values are unrealistic.

4) Keep a table of unit conversion factors for reference. Be mindful of the appropriate number of significant figures when you present results.

5) Sample calculations must be shown in all written reports and might be requested during or after oral presentations.

General Instructions: