Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Intermediate Heat Transfer

ME 50500 / 3 Cr. (3 Class)

Heat and mass transfer by diffusion in one-dimensional, two-dimensional, transient, periodic, and phase change systems. Convective heat transfer for external and internal flows. Similarity and integral solution methods. Heat, mass, and momentum analogies. Turbulence. Buoyancy-driven flows. Convection with phase change. Radiation exchange between surfaces and radiation transfer in absorbing-emitting media. Multimode heat transfer problems.

Primary Track:  Fluid & Thermal Sciences, Energy, Materials


Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, Incropera and Dewitt, Wiley, any Edition

  • Build on an existing undergraduate background in heat transfer. 
  • Explain the physical origins and modes of heat transfer and establish the relationship of these origins to the behavior of  thermal systems. 
  • Derive partial differential equations for conduction and convection problems from first principles (conservation equations). 
  • Solve partial differential equations (analytically, when possible, and reasonably approximately) of selected conduction and convection problems. 
  • Solve external and internal flow convection problems for geometries such as tubes, tube banks, packed beds etc. 
  • Apply radiation concepts such as blackbody radiation, view factor etc. to problems involving a participating medium.
  • Perform the kind of engineering analysis (using numerical or empirical methods) that, even though not exact, still provides useful information concerning the design and/or performance of a system or process.
  • Identify a research problem in one area of heat transfer, conduct literature search and develop an analytical or numerical approach related to the identified problem and report in a research paper format. 


  • Review of Basic Concepts and Laws
  • Generalized Conservation Equations
  • One Dimensional, Steady Diffusion
  • Multi-dimensional and Transient Diffusion
  • Special Topics: Periodic Diffusion, Diffusion with Phase Change, Integral Methods
  • Implication of the Conservation Equations
  • Turbulent Flow
  • Boundary Layer Solutions: Similarity and Integral
  • External Flow: Forced Convection Correlations
  • Internal Flow
  • Free Convection
  • Mixed Convection
  • Heat Transfer with Phase Change
  • Surface Radiation Properties
  • Surface Radiation Exchange
  • Volumetric Effects