Instructor: Rick Register
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumCourse is a typical college level thermodynamics course, going through fundamental laws of thermodynamics (1 st , 2 nd laws), equilibrium, stability, etc. with applications to real systems involved in chemical engineering. This includes power systems and cycles, phase and reaction mixture equilibrium, processing plant problems, etc.
Learning From Classroom InstructionProfessor Register’s lectures were very comprehensive of the material needed for the class and his powerpoint notes contained everything you needed in terms of equations and example problems for the exams and problem sets. His lectures went very in depth and were easy to fall behind in and become totally clueless if you didn’t keep up with the reading in the course. I would recommend skimming the textbook before so you have some idea of what’s going on then taking in most of the nuances of the concepts during lecture/when doing the psets.
Learning For and From AssignmentsLike most CBE classes, the psets in this class are lengthy and difficult. Most require TA help and I would recommend starting/doing most of it during office hours. You learn a lot about the types of problems you are expected to solve on exams from the psets so make sure you really understand what’s going on and ask TA’s for help clarifying concepts. Exams in this class could be anything since its open note, the best way to prepare is to make sure you understand the concepts behind the various problems you are asked to solve and why the certain methods you are taught to solve problems work. I say this because there are so many problems the prof can come up with on an exam that odds are the exam questions won’t be solvable simply by looking for a similar one in the notes/other course material and using it like you may try to do in other classes with open note exams. You don’t get enough practice questions in this class to be able to do that because most questions are long and take a lot of work. Take time to read the book and really understand what’s going on such that you can solve problems yourself without looking at answer keys because the exams will be sufficiently difficult such that you won’t be able to find similar problems in the book or other course materials to copy.
External ResourcesTA office hours for this course are huge, many times, if you wait for too long to start the homework in this class you may not even know where to start or may try to solve it wrong before you finally figure out the right way to go about the problem which wastes a lot of time. Read the problems and go to office hours to confirm problem solving strategies for each question with TA’s and if they say you’re going about it right, then solve the problem and get more help if needed, otherwise completing psets will take you an excessive amount of time.
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionThis course is probably one of the most difficult CBE core courses and thermo in general is one of the toughest ChemE concept areas to understand. Really try your best to read the material and understand fundamentally what’s going on because its impossible to skate by in this class if you truly don’t know how anything works. This class is a large time commitment and overall a difficult subject to grasp.