A Connection Between Transport Phenomena and Thermodynamics


  • Ross Swaney University of Wisconsin-Madison • Madison, WI 53706
  • R. Byron Bird University of Wisconsin-Madison • Madison, WI 53706


Although students take courses in transport phenomena

and thermodynamics, they probably do not ask whether these two

subjects are related. Here we give an answer to that question.

Specifically we give relationships between the equations of change

for total energy, internal energy, and entropy of transport

phenomena and key equations of equilibrium thermodynamics. It is

revealing to see how the irreversible processes of heat conduction

and viscous flow in going from one thermodynamic state to another

are accommodated in the derivation of dUTdSpdV.

Author Biographies

Ross Swaney, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Madison, WI 53706

Ross Swaney received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1983. After four years with the process design department of Atlantic Richeld, he joined the faculty at Wisconsin. His teaching experiences include courses in thermodynamics, fluid flow, and heat transfer operations, mass transfer operations, operations and processes “summer lab,” process design, process control, process modeling, and graduate courses. His research work includes fundamentals and computational systems for macroscopic systems modeling and flowsheet synthesis.

R. Byron Bird, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Madison, WI 53706

R. Byron (Bob) Bird received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois (UIUC) in 1947 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1950. In 1953, Professor Olaf Hougen invited Bob to join the faculty at UW, to take over the responsibility for the courses in thermodynamics. However, shortly before Bob’s arrival in Madison, Bob Marshall was elevated to be associate dean of the College of Engineering, and Bob had to take over the courses in fluid dynamics and mass transfer. In the ensuing years, he worked with W.E. Stewart and E.N. Lightfoot to develop a textbook on transport phenomena and never taught a course in thermodynamics!