Resources and Guidance for Engineering Students #3

I have recently completed my Mechanical Engineering HND, so I thought I would share some of the useful resources I have picked up along the way with other students starting out on their undergraduate journey (Uni or HNC/HND). Split into three blogs, this third blog covers Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Services.

Part 3 – Mechanical Engineering Resources

Mainly focusing on core topics Mechanical Principles and Thermodynamics/Thermofluids. Our optional unit for HND was Industrial Services, which closely follows Thermodynamics. We also covered thermal power stations in the optional unit Maintenance for HNC hence I have a lot of power station links! Maintenance link covered in Part #2.

A lot of basics for the below units are covered in links mentioned the General Engineering Resources in Part #1 – this blog extends this knowledge further.

Mechanical Principles

Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design (book) – Recommended by an engineer for the braking project, Shigley’s has a good explanation of mechanics of components with diagrams and formulae. Helped me understand a lot of concepts.

Learn about Structures – includes free online structural analysis textbook “Introduction to Structural Analysis” and other resources (Warning – site not secure)

Beam formulas for different beam types – CAUTION – resource questionable (one page, no defined author)

Skyciv Moment of Inertia calculator

Mechanics of Materials by Hearn – another old book (1997) which was given to me by a retiring engineer! I’m glad they did, it was really useful for Advanced Mechanical Principles with clear explanations of the formulae needed for Macaulay’s Method and Pressure Vessels

Finite Element Analysis

Open University – explanation on a free tutorial

Finite Element Procedures by Bathe (PDF Book)

Thermodynamics / Thermofluids / Industrial Services

Thermopedia – all things thermodynamics

Thermal Engineering – Good description of IC Engines with P-V cycle and moving pistons. Warning – ad-heavy

Power Generation

World Nuclear Association – useful articles for all things nuclear, including power plant cycles and the Fukushima Daichi accident

World Coal Association – has a simplified explanation of how thermal power stations work, with diagram

Duke Energy – Electricity Generation explained for conventional methods

Thermodyne Boilers – useful blogs relating to power station essentials

Nuclear Power for Everyone – in-depth discussions with diagrams such as Rankine Cycle (T-S diagram) for different stages, and easy-to-follow schematics

The Boiler House by Spirax Sarco – All things boilers


Simple Explanation of pump head

Information on heat pumps and running costs in the UK can be found at The Renewable Energy Hub and Energy Saving Trust

I hope the resources over the last three blogs have been helpful to you. Use what works for you, and all the best for your academic journey!

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