A good textbook that covers more than one section of a typical mechanical engineering syllabus is particularly valuable because it is easier to persuade a student to keep such a book as a long-term reference source. This book falls into this category. It could serve very well as the only book on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer that a mechanical engineering undergraduate would need to buy. With a little additional heat-transfer material, it might be equally appropriate for chemical engineering.
The treatment of the fundamentals is relatively conventional but very clearly set out. The examples used to illustrate applications are wide ranging and of practical interest. I particularly like the estimation of the velocity with which you must slap a person's face to produce a given temperature rise.
Each of the 20 chapters is relatively self-contained. Suitably selected chapters could form the basis of separate courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. Each chapter ends with references and suggestions for further reading, together with an extensive collection of problems. It is unfortunate that the references include nothing published after 1992 and that the heat-transfer chapters give no pointers to UK sources of data.
The accompanying CD-Rom contains a limited academic version of the Engineering Equation Solver software with examples of how it is used to solve some of the end-of-chapter problems. An instructor's solutions manual is also available.
Robert Cheesewright is a research fellow in systems engineering, Brunel University.
Fundamentals of Thermal-Fluid Sciences. First edition
Author - Yunus A. Cengel and Robert H. Turner
ISBN - 0 07 118152 0
Publisher - McGraw-Hill
Price - £38.99
Pages - 1,047