Undergraduate Teaching

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3A6: Heat and Mass Transfer, 2018-19

Engineering Tripos Part IIA, 3A6: Heat and Mass Transfer, 2018-19

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Module Leader

Prof W N Dawes


Prof W N Dawes and Dr N Atkins

Lab Leaders

Dr Liping Xu

Timing and Structure

Lent term. Conduction and radiation (Dr N R Atkins), convection and mass transfer (Prof. W N Dawes); 16 lectures.


The aims of the course are to:

  • Provide an understanding of the fundamentals of heat and mass transfer processes in engineering systems.
  • Provide methods for analysis and solution of problems involving heat and mass transfer using fundamental differential analysis.
  • Guide the process of scaling analysis and finding solutions by analogy.


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand the principles of conduction, radiation and convection and apply them to the design and analysis of engineering systems and problems
  • Understand the analogy between heat, mass and momentum transfer
  • Understand the origin and use of non-dimensional groups and their analogues in heat, mass and momentum transfer
  • Understand the principles of phase change
  • Understand the process of mass diffusion in gases, liquids and solids
  • Develop an intuition for scaling and magnitudes in heat transfer
  • Develop an understanding of numerical and expeirmental methods for solving practical problems


Multidimensional conduction (3L)

  • Heat equation
  • Multi-dimensional steady-state conduction in solids
  • Transient conduction: Biot and Fourier numbers, lumped capacitance
  • Numerical methods

Radiation heat transfer (3L)

  • Spectral radiation
  • Spectral absorptivity, emissivity, transmissivity
  • Form factor calculations and approximations
  • Numerical methods

Convective Heat Transfer (7L)

  • Principles of convection
  • Forced convection
  • Free convection
  • Heat exchangers
  • Numerical methods and examples

Mass transfer (3L)

  • Conservation laws and constitutive relations
  • Diffusive and convective fluxes 
  • Mass and heat transfer analogies


Laboratory experiment: short or full report

Impinging flow experiment

Learning objectives

  • Measure temperatures across a metal plate
  • Determine the power delivered to a test plate 
  • Determine the local Nusselt number for flow over an impinging plate
  • Correlate the Nusselt number to the relevant flow parameters, and compare to theory

Practical information:

  • Sessions will take place in Hopkinson Laborator, during week(s) [TBA]
  • This activity does not involve preliminary work

Full Technical Report:

Students will have the option to submit a Full Technical Report.



Please see the Booklist for Part IIA Courses for references for this module.

Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.

Last modified: 17/09/2018 17:09