Mechanical Engineering Practice – using a simple Stirling engine as case

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The first technical course that students in mechanical engineering take at the Technical University of Denmark is called “Mechanical Engineering Practice”. We have used a simple Stirling engine as a design-implement project. Students were asked to design and build a heat engine using materials obtained by their own means and were competing on achieving the highest efficiency. We added an extra dimension to the project by making detailed measurements of the pressure variation to check simple thermodynamic models of the engine. The course had integrated lessons in sketching and technical drawing. The Stirling engine worked well in the drawing assignments. The Stirling engine also served as illustration of coming courses in mechanical engineering. The resulting engines had large variations in their design and most groups succeeded in building a functioning engine. However, achieved efficiencies were quite low.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7. International CDIO Conference
Number of pages1136
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event7th International CDIO Conference - Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 20 Jun 201123 Jun 2011
Conference number: 7


Conference7th International CDIO Conference
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
Internet address


  • Design-build-test
  • Stirling engine
  • First-year course
  • Design-implement


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