This study describes a model for developing a thermo/fluids curriculum in a new mechanical engineering program. Hands-on experience and applied engineering research are the center of this development. The efforts in creating undergraduate, elective, and graduate level courses and laboratories in the fundamental topics of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer are reviewed and explained in detail. A dual approach has been taken in developing the curriculum, so that both undergraduate and graduate students can utilize the facility in their research activities. This development has been revised and optimized since its initiation in 2005, and it has successfully been accredited by ABET. The good results obtained from this model can be used in developing mechanical engineering programs, especially for smaller-sized institutions.

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