Online course and simulator for engineering thermodynamics

UNIT Community


Energy engineering will doubtless remain a major issue in the future, given the rising price of fossil fuels and the environmental impact of energy technologies. This field represents a significant challenge for all nations, be they industrial or not.

Because applied thermodynamics is traditionally a difficult subject for students, the educational challenges are numerous. The field is vast, with a great many tracks possible, and is likely to become even broader due to the interactions among the tracks and the growing complexity resulting from the need for greater efficiency.

Students must be able to handle harder problems than in the past, and they must do it more quickly and with less knowledge of mathematics.

With the successful new approach based on THERMOPTIM, the educational methods have been redesigned such that students no longer find thermodynamics intimidating. This is why THERMOPTIM is being used in more than a hundred educational institutions, including at least a dozen UNIT partners. It is an original, unrivalled approach that meets a concrete demand, as proved by the commercial distribution of the software.

The ALET Club (Software for Thermodynamics Education), composed of some twenty teachers, has been meeting from 2000 to 2010, and nearly 250 Grandes Écoles Preparatory School teachers have attended LIESSE training programs on THERMOPTIM. In early 2005, UNIT created a community to coordinate with the other groups.

The goal of the THERMOPTIM project in UNIT is to provide education not only in conventional energy systems, but also innovative, low environmental impact systems, which means that new educational resources must be developed. The UNIT community has shown considerable interest in this work, which has a direct impact on motivation among undergraduate and graduate students alike, and which is also of interest to industry.


The members of the Thermoptim-UNIT Community are teachers in the field of energy. They all belong to UNIT partners . Most of them also belong to the ALET club.


The work program of the teachers' community was initiated in the year 2004 and dir continue until 2015. The program was divided into several stages and activity reports:

  • Stage 1 : Development of components able to represent the UNIT operations relevant to process engineering and not exclusively to energetics.

  • Stage 2 : Development of new external classes and guidance pages for practical works to ease the work of teachers.

  • Stage 3 : Conception of the Thermoptim-UNIT portal, development of new guidance pages for practical works and coupling with an on-line course about global energy problems.

  • Stage 4 : continued implementation of the Thermoptim-UNIT portal, introduction of document management approach around the editorial chain SCENARIchain

  • Stage 5 :

    continued implementation of the Thermoptim-UNIT portal and document management process around the editorial chain SCENARIchain

  • Stage 6 : development and publication of educational breadcrumbs to facilitate qualitative and phenomenological understanding of key concepts of the discipline

The generated resources were included into the present portal and in the UNIT portal as soon as they were developed. For more information, please refer to the relevant activity reports.

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