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Mechanical Engineer Awarded Steadman Endowment

June 6, 2011

Assistant Professor Yuan Zheng from the Department of Mechanical Engineering is the recipient of the 2011 grant from the John and Sally Steadman Endowment for Undergraduate Teaching Improvement.

Zheng is associated with the new Energy Systems Engineering Program plans to use the funding to purchase three small scale solar collectors and a pyranometer for in-class demonstrations and course projects in the ESE/ME 4460 (Solar and Geothermal Engineering) course. The hands-on experience with small-scale solar collectors will significantly help students to understand how the conversion of solar energy varies with time, incidence angle, environmental conditions and collector design.

The first course project will involve measurements and predictions of electrical energy generation from the PV panel; the second course project will involve design, construction, and heat transfer analyses of a non-concentrating solar collector using evacuated tubes; the third course project will involve design, construction, and operation of a concentrating parabolic solar BBQ cooker. All three projects will involve measurement of incident solar radiation under various conditions.


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