Michael "Mick" Peterson Jr., Ph.D., Professor


Class Administration and Tools:

Current Syllabus (html link)

Old syllabus (html link)

Where to turn in assignments:
mainemee101 at Gmail

Links and References:

Efficiency Maine (link)

First Law of Thermodynamics (link)
and some related ideas (link)

Open office (link)
The order of the classes will be adjusted to accommodate guest speakers

Initial Class Topics and Assignments

The order of the classes will be adjusted to accommodate guest speakers
1) Background
The purpose of the class, how to understand the curriculum, how to understand the university, return on investment and an engineering degree

2) Design Process
The steps in a design process: needs assessment, problem definition, research, criteria and constraints, design, optimization, detail design, manufacturing and test/evaluation and then repeat.  

3) Communicating Ideas Communication in a technical environment, drawing and writing

4) Design Process
The steps in a design process, ideas, concepts, test and evaluation.  Communication in a technical environment, drawing and writing

1) Welcome to Mechanical Engineering

How did you get to this class and this major.  A short survey will be emailed to you.  You will receive an email with a second assignment.  Both of these emails will be sent to the maine.edu account.  The first email should be sent back to: mainemee101 .  The second email must be printed and received in my mail box prior to the end of the second week of classes.

2) Show me how it works
Choose a mechanism, suggestions include an ironing board or a mechanism to prop open a trunk lid.  On one page of paper with a grid draw the mechanism and describe how it works.  This will be handed in during the third class session.  You are also expected to complete a longer survey (link) and email it to mainemee101  prior to the fourth class.

3) How to do it
This is a word processed assignment where you should describe how to do an everyday task.  A suggested task would be brushing or flossing your teeth or using a manual can opener.

Engineering Ethics

1) Case Study
Read and discuss a case study where a an engineer fails or succeeds in a professional ethical decision
1) Questionnaire
For the following class period complete the discussion topic form.


1) First Law of Thermodyanics
Introduction to the first law of thermodynamics

2) Scale of Energy and Modern Life
A lecture on the scale of energy usage in modern life and the relation to climate change and politics

3) Heating with heat pumps and refrigeration
The amazing effect of latent heat

4) Analysis of a lighbulb
A demonstration of useful or wasted heat from three types of lighbulbs.  Demonstration of reading in a data file, data types and basic copying and plotting

5) A simple engineering lab report
How to describe the testing methods, system and outcomes

1) No Assignment

2) Heat Transfer Concepts
Energy Homework #1
Plot the graph of temperature data provided in the .csv format Data file using a spreadsheet program and paste into a word processing document with a title (due October 14 end of the day).

3) In-Class Assignment
Apply a basic energy analysis to the three activities of daily living on the handout.  Consider the rate of energy used and the total quantity of energy used to perform three of the tasks (Nov. xx).

4) Energy Homework #2
Final report (assignment link)
Plot temperature data and the voltage versus time from the data logger in a spreadsheet.  Cut and paste the graph into a word processing.
Photo of boxes during day and at night
and  in .csv format (the data for November 2016 DATA).  
A complete report on the light bulb demonstration, including a sketch of the system, a description of the test, plot of the data and conclusions regarding the selection of a light bulb for your porch and your bedroom.
Photo of Watt Meter on LED Bulb and
                                LED bulb Package
Photo of Watt Meter on Incandescent Bulb and
                                Incandescent Bulb Package

Heat Calculator to find the equivalent heat content and cost of fuels (heatcalc)

Simple spreadsheet for CO2 from weighted average of  electricity produced in Maine (Calcs)

Outline (Link)


Guest Lectures

The timing will depend on the availability of the speakers and other timing conflicts.  
1) Library
What is the building at the end of the mall and what is in it?  Books in an age of Google...
Monday December 9, 2013

2) Professional Communication
How to write an email so that you will be positively remembered and other strategic tricks.
Wednesday December 11, 2013

3) Study Methods and Support
What to do if things become a bit bumpy.

1) Nano-Presentation