Microsoft Excel is a ubiquitous tool used frequently by practicing engineers. A recent survey of alumni from The University of Alabama’s Department of Mechanical Engineering regarding software tools revealed that 100% of the respondents used Microsoft Excel regularly on their jobs, while a low percentage used standard packages such as ANSYS or MATLAB, and that none used software tools which had been bundled with textbooks. The spreadsheet environment offers a great platform for computation and organization of engineering work, and the Visual Basic engine allows for great extensibility of Excel through the development of special functions and add-in modules. This paper reports on a proof-of-concept project to implement sustained emphasis on Microsoft Excel in the thermal mechanical curriculum at The University of Alabama. Specific add-in modules for use in thermodynamic analysis and heat transfer analysis have been developed and are continually being refined. These add-in modules have been utilized in a sequence of courses Thermo I, Heat Transfer, Thermo II, and Energy Systems Design. Features of the add-in modules are detailed in this report and feedback from students and teachers are given.

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