ME209 - Thermodynamics

ME209 - Thermodynamics


Bhalchandra Puranik




Autumn ‘20

Course Difficulty

Moderately difficult (builds on JEE-level thermodynamics)

Time Commitment Required

The initial part of the course is easy to cope up with, without much extra effort although the latter half becomes a little involved. It is required to understand the concepts well through extensive problem solving so as to understand the different types of questions. The question sheets are a good place to practice different types of questions from and the instructor also solves the common doubts. Emphasis on the latter half of the portion (involving the second law of thermodynamics) would help to score better. A few hours per week of self study would be good enough, but again this varies from person to person

Grading Policy and Statistics

A little on the stricter side (5 AAs out of a batch of 70 were given)

Attendance Policy



None. Extremely fundamental course. Starts from scratch. Serves as a starter to what comes next in Mechanical Engineering

Evaluation Scheme

Quizzes (Best 3 out of 4; 15% each) : 45%
Semester Assignment : 15%
Midsem : not conducted
Endsem : 40%

Topics Covered in the Course

• Basic concepts and definitions the work interaction
• The first law, energy and the heat interaction
• The zeroth law, temperature and scales of temperature
• Properties of gases and liquids, equations of state
• The second law, thermodynamic temperature scales and entropy
• Relations between properties
• Open thermodynamic systems

Teaching Style

The professor provided a Youtube playlist of Thermodynamics videos by Prof. Gaitonde (an ex-IITB professor) and assigned a certain number of videos, that were to be watched every week. The batch was divided into two groups, and every group was assigned one day in a week (either Monday or Tuesday depending upon the group) on which they could come and discuss the concepts and doubts that they may have after watching the previous week’s videos. Every Thursday, the professor would keep a common doubt clearing session (during the lecture slot) for both groups in case someone wished to join in and get something clarified. Apart from this, there were question sheets attached to Prof. Gaitonde’s resource as well, which the professor would give us as assignments/HWs. He would also take up some of the tricky questions during the lectures/sessions.


The question sheets comprised of a good number of questions and had all types - easy ones, lengthy ones, some difficult ones etc. Served as good practice material, which is essential in this course. The solutions/procedure were also either discussed by the professor in the sessions or made available by the TAs, so one could always cross-check. Although it is advised that one should solve the questions and try it once, before looking up the solutions or taking any sort of help.

The semester assignment had a large number of questions based on all the content covered in the course. Students were allowed to pair up and do the assignment as a team and were expected to submit it by the end of the semester. The general difficulty level of the assignment was pretty much moderate, many of the questions were lengthy though

Feedback on Exams

The exams were often on the trickier and lengthier side, with most questions consuming a fair amount of time owing to their length along with the thinking involved to solve them. No questions were absolutely straightforward although there were a handful of easy ones as well in every paper. This applies for both the quizzes as well as the endsem. All the exams were predominantly subjective-type. Having done a good amount of question-practice would benefit

Course Importance

This course is a base for all topics in Thermal-Fluid engineering and hence it is very essential for research in similar fields. It is a prerequisite for the third year core course - Applied Thermodynamics (ME 306) and in general, the ideal starter for Mechanical Engineering!

References Used

CDEEP Lectures by Prof. Gaitonde
Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics by Moran and Shapiro was the reference book the professor recommended
Lectures by Prof. Gaitonde
The videos are unlisted on Youtube, so you can watch them from CDEEP

ME 209 Review By: Sahil Kumar