Mechanical Engineering Department Head Receives Online Learning Resources Award

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Dr. Allan Kirkpatrick
Dr. Allan Kirkpatrick

Allan Kirkpatrick, department head of mechanical engineering, has been recognized with an award from the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) for a website he developed on internal combustion engines. The website was selected by the MERLOT editorial board as the most outstanding resource in its discipline.

The site,, provides information on engine thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics and offers links to the Colorado State University Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory and the Colorado State online Internet engine. It also offers 21 applets that perform simple engineering calculations.  

"The website has been receiving a fair amount of attention. It is a top-ranked site in Google - that is, if you type 'internal combustion engines,' it comes up as one of the first sites listed in about 300,000 search results. The site is also used by a number of schools around the world, and I informally answer engine questions the students send me," Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick developed the website as an internet-based computational project called "Computational Applets for Internal Combustion Engines" for a senior level internal combustion engine class. Funding for the project was provided through a National Science Foundation Combined Research and Curriculum Development grant.

The MERLOT awards program recognizes and promotes outstanding online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning and to honor the authors and developers of these resources for their contributions to the academic community.

Award winners were honored at a luncheon at the 2004 MERLOT International Conference, held August 3-6 in Costa Mesa, Calif.

For more information about the MERLOT Awards Program for Exemplary Online Learning Resources, visit