Project Examples

Winter Heat Loss Analysis for the Historic section of UTEC

Course: 10.304 Heat Transfer
Semester: Spring 2008
Instructor: Al Donatelli
Partner:United Teen Equality Center (UTEC)

UTEC provides a safe and multicultural place of belonging emphasizing the holistic development of Lowell's young people, ages 13-23, particularly those most often overlooked and labeled as 'at-risk.' UTEC reaches out to these young people through intensive street outreach, builds upon their unique strengths within a youth development framework, and creates opportunities to best support them in becoming agents of social change and organizers in the community. UTEC recently purchased the former St. Paul's United Methodist Church on 34 Hurd Street to serve as their new permanent center. UTEC continues its campaign to transform the former St. Paul's United Methodist Church to provide a safe haven for local youth development and grass roots organizing. Because the historic building was a church with old stain glass windows there are significant areas where heat loss in the winter and cooling in the summer are a problem. UML students made a site visit to take measurement and hear about the mission and function of the organization and the current space. Aaron Chalek, Development Coordinator and Building

Project Manager gave the students a tour and introduced them to some on the teens present. The students were later give data about the furnace and heating and lighting usage and cost data, broke into group each analyzing a different month. Project was similar to previous years. Analyses were by each group from a different month of the year during the winter, November 2007, December 2007, January 2008 and February 2008. A mid-term presentation was made with feedback and grading by the professor and S-L coordinator. A final presentation was made geared toward a non-technical audience: the community partner. Reports were collected and the professor is collapsing the best of the students’ ideas into one final report which will also be given to UTEC.

Learning objectives met by the S-L project were for students to:

  • Reinforce and apply their knowledge of heat transfer principles
  • Solve an actual engineering problem in a real-world setting

Community objectives met by the S-L project:

  • Analysis with assumptions spelled out
  • Useful recommendations: Information to improve the heating at UTEC and reduce and cooling heating costs