Author: jdoane229@gmail.com

My Journey to Become a Professional Engineer

My name is James Doane, and I am the founder of Mechanical PE Academy.   I talk a lot on my website and in social media about how to get licensed as a professional engineer.   So, I thought I would share my personal story about how I became licensed.

A Snapshot of my Career

If you have been following me you may know I have a rather unique career that mixes industrial experience and academic experience.   To fully understand my reasoning for getting licensed, I will give you a quick overview.

My Career Path

Like most young engineers, I finished my undergraduate engineering degree and immediately went on to work as an engineer.   My first job was as an applications engineer doing a lot of job estimates for material handling.   My wife and I did not like the town, so we moved back home where I got a job in a consulting firm.   During my time at the consulting firm, I started planning to take the FE exam.   Before I had the chance to take the FE exam, the consulting firm went out of business and I was on to another job.   My journey took me to South Carolina, where I worked as an engineer for a design / build firm in material handling.  While there I took the FE exam and passed!   My plan was to prepare for the PE exam, but my interests in higher education changed my path.   I started working on my Master’s degree in South Carolina and later worked on my PhD in Louisville KY.   I completed my PhD and started my teaching career.

Why I became Licensed

In a strange path (I won’t cover all the details), I later left academics and returned to industry as a Mechanical Engineering Manager.   That position required I get my PE license.   Having just left academics, where I was teaching a lot of undergraduate courses, I did not need to do a lot of studying for the PE exam.   Luckily the topics were fresh in my mind.   I took the PE exam and passed, so I am licensed in the state of Indiana.

How do I use my License now?

I really did not use my PE license much in my career.   It was required for the management position, and it did result in a nice pay increase.   However, I use it in a strange way now… which is a nice combination of my PE license and my PhD.

Helping others

One way I use my license is by helping others pass the exam, which is what Mechanical PE Academy is all about.   I like to take my academic experience and use it to help teach review courses that help others pass the exam.  I recommend review books and offer savings on PPI materials.  I am active on social media helping answer questions about the exam or just general engineering concepts.  You can join my Facebook page here!!

Continuing Education Courses

Professional engineers need to take continuing education courses to maintain their license.   One way I use my license along with my PhD is by creating continuing education courses.   I have several on SunCam and some on EduMind.   I have also taught seminar courses.   I really enjoy creating these courses to help engineers maintain their license.

Closing Thoughts

I followed a rather unique path, but I am very happy I decided to get my PE license.   Though I don’t use it now in the traditional way, it definitely opened doors for me and allows me to create continuing education courses.   If you have questions or concerns, let me know so I can help!

Are you licensed? If so, share your story below.

The Key to Understanding Engineering Dynamics

What are the best steps for understanding engineering dynamics?

Dynamics is often difficult for engineering students (or even engineers).  But there is a very important key to understanding engineering dynamics.  The key is to focus on a systematic approach to solving dynamics problems. This blog post will explain how to use the systematic approach.

Understanding Engineering Dynamics Categories

You may have noticed that there can be many different ways to solve any given dynamics problem.  I have taught dynamics several times in my academic career, and I have noticed that students have a hard time finding the best method to use for a given problem.

Any dynamics problem will fall into one of four categories:

  1. Particle kinematics
  2. Particle kinetics
  3. Rigid body kinematics
  4. Rigid body kinetics

The key for fully understanding engineering dynamics and solving dynamics problems is to identify the proper category and understand the solution procedure for that category.

understanding engineering dynamics

Particles and Rigid Bodies

The first step to understanding engineering dynamics problems is to know the difference between particles and rigid bodies. It is common to hear the word particle and automatically assume something small.  However, that is not necessarily the case. In dynamics problems it is not uncommon to have something like a car or train be a particle. The defining difference between particles and rigid bodies is rotation. If the object is not rotating about its own centroid it can be treated as a particle because the object’s rotational properties do not matter. If the object is rotating about its own centroid, the rotational properties are important and it is considered a rigid body.

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Kinematics and Kinetics

One very important area in understanding dynamics is the distinction between kinematics and kinetics. The determining factor here is force. Kinematics problems concentrate on motion without any regard to the force required for that motion. In other words, kinematics focuses on the geometry of motion.  Kinetics problems involve forces.

The Systematic Approach to Understanding Engineering Dynamics

So, now we can put some ideas together and define the systematic approach. When you read a dynamics problem, the very first step is to ask yourself ‘is this problem dealing with particles or rigid bodies?’. Remember, if the object is not rotating about its own center of mass it is a particle. Also, rigid body problems will give additional information about the object such as moment of inertia.
Once you determine if the problem relates to particles or rigid bodies, the next step is to ask ‘is this a kinematics or kinetics problem?’. Force is the key here.

Let’s look at some examples:

Example 1

The 5 inch diameter disk shown rolls on a surface without slipping. The velocity of point O is 1.5 ft/s to the right. For the position shown calculate the absolute velocity of point P.
understanding engineering dynamics

So, the first thing we need to determine is if this is a particle or rigid body problem. Because the disk is rotating about its own center of mass it is a rigid body. The next step is to determine if the problem is in the category of kinematics or kinetics. The problem only asks about the motion (position and velocity for this problem) and does not ask or include information about forces. Therefore, the problem is a kinematics problem. Now we know the problem is a rigid body kinematics problem.

Example 2

A man completes a long jump of a distance of 21 feet. He has a horizontal velocity of 28 ft/sec at the time of takeoff. What is the vertical velocity at takeoff?
This problem does not include any rotation about the center of mass for the man. Also, notice the problem did not provide any information about the man (mass, center of gravity location, etc.). Therefore, the man can be considered a particle. The problem only includes information about motion (position and velocity) with no information about forces. So, the problem is a kinematics problem. Now we know the problem category is particle kinematics.

Example 3

A 70 kg box slides down a ramp that has an angle of 20 degrees from the horizontal and has a coefficient of kinetic friction of 0.30. The box is given an initial velocity of 3 m/s. Calculate the velocity of the box after it travels 8 meters down the ramp.
The box in this problem is not rotating about its center of gravity, so it can be treated as a particle. The question only asks for velocity, but there is a force involved in the question. The force of friction will be slowing down the box. Because a force is involved in the solution, the question is a kinetics problem. So, the problem is in the category of particle kinetics.

Example 4

The connecting rod AB for the piston assembly shown weighs 1.4 lb. The center of gravity is located 7 inches from point B, and the radius of gyration about the center of gravity is 2.5 inches. The piston head weighs 2.4 lbs. The engine is running at a constant speed of 2400 rpm. Calculate the force on the piston pin at B for the position shown.
 understanding engineering dynamics

The problem involves a piston connecting rod that is rotating about its own center of mass (it is in general plane motion). The problem also gives information about the center of mass location and the radius of gyration (which will give moment of inertia). Therefore, the problem is a rigid body problem. The question specifically asks for force, which is a kinetics problem. So, the problem is a rigid body kinetics problem.

What’s Next?

Understanding engineering dynamics first requires the ability to determine the type of problem to be solved. This blog was all about understanding the four categories. You should be able to read a dynamics problem and identify the proper category. Future blogs will go through solution methods for each category.

Get more tips like this in the study guide

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How hard is the PE exam

how hard is the PE exam

How hard is the PE exam

Most people studying for the Professional Engineering (PE) exam will be wondering how hard is the PE exam.  Unfortunately, that is not easily answered.  Some people will take the PE exam and find it relatively easy, while others will think it is nearly impossible to pass.

I have listed below some of the aspects of the PE exam that add to the difficulty

The difficulty of the unknown

Engineers like to plan.  Not knowing exactly what to expect on the PE exam is overwhelming for most engineers.  Therefore, one of the main difficulties of the PE exam is simply not knowing what to expect.

So what do you do to lessen this difficulty?

Take practice exams

One of the best ways to get a better sense of what to expect on the PE exam is taking practice exams.  It is important to note that not all practice exams provide a good representation of the actual test.  Get my recommendations on the best practice exams for the PE exam.

Use study guides and reference materials

Study guides and reference materials are a must for developing a good sense of what to expect on the exam.  You can get my recommendations of the best reference books for the PE exam.  Though I am biased toward my PE exam study guide, there are many available.

Talk with others that have taken the exam

It is always good to talk with other people that have taken the PE exam.  However, remember that everyone has differing opinions of what ‘difficult’ really means.  Try not to ask how hard is the PE exam, but rather ask questions about the overall experience.

The difficulty of the ‘most nearly’ type of question

As you are taking the exam (and while you are taking practice exams) you will notice that a lot of questions ask you to find the answer that is most nearly correct.  It can often seem that more than one of the available answers could be correct.

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NCEES describes the ‘most nearly’ types of questions as the following:

Many of the questions on the NCEES exams require calculations to arrive at a numerical answer.  Depending on the method of calculation used, it is very possible that examinees working correctly will arrive at a range of answers.  The phrase “most nearly” is used to accommodate answers that have been derived correctly but that may be slightly different from the correct answer choice given on the exam.  You should use good engineering judgment when selecting your choice of answer.  For example, if the question asks you to calculate an electrical current or determine the load on a beam, you should literally select the answer option that is most nearly what you calculated, regardless of whether it is more or less than your calculated value.  However, if the question asks you to select a fuse or circuit breaker to protect against a calculated current or to size a beam to carry a load, you should select an answer option that will safely carry the current or load.  Typically, this requires selecting a value that is closest to but larger than the current or load.

The difficulty of surviving an 8 hour exam

Probably one of the most difficult aspects of the PE exam is simply trying to stay focused for 8 hours.  The exam can be exhausting!  It can very difficult to prepare for this experience.  However, you can plan ahead by taking snacks and other essentials (maybe energy drinks) with you to the exam.  Get a good night’s sleep the night before.

Thermodynamic Phase Changes

This blog post will introduce the concepts of Thermodynamic phase changes of pure substances.  Before proceeding, we need to define a pure substance as a substance with fixed chemical composition throughout.  Note that a pure substance does not need to be a single chemical element.  Water, for example, is a pure substance but contains more than one chemical element.

Phases and Thermodynamic Phase Changes

It is commonly known that substances can occur in different phases (solids, liquids, and gases). When substances are heated or cooled they can change from one phase to another. A phase change from a solid to a liquid is known as melting, and a phase change from a liquid to a gas is known as boiling (or vaporization). In the reverse direction, a phase change from a gas to a liquid is known as condensation and from a liquid to a solid is known as freezing.

The figure below illustrates phase changes in water plotted as temperature vs. heat addition.  From state a to state b the water is a solid.  Once the temperature reaches zero degrees Celsius (the melting point for water), adding more heat will result in a phase change.  The phase change from solid to liquid is represented between points b and c on the diagram.  The region between points c and d represent the liquid phase.  More heat is added until the temperature reaches 100 degrees Celsius (the boiling point for water).  As more heat is added the phase change will occur between a liquid and a gas, which is illustrated between points d and e.  The region between points e and f is the gas phase.  It is important to note that temperature remains constant during phase changes.

Thermodynamic Phase Changes

 

Consider now the phase diagram shown below, which is a plot of temperature (T) versus specific volume (v).   The process from points 1 to 2 occur in a liquid phase, the phase change is shown between points 2 and 3, and from points 3 to 4 the substance is a gas.  Notice again the transformation from one state to another, as shown in Figure 3 from state 2 to state 3, takes place with no change in temperature (horizontal line on the T-v diagram).  The diagram will be used to define several important terms associated with phase change processes in pure substances.

 

 

When a substance occurs in a liquid state it is called a compressed liquid (or subcooled liquid). As heat is added to a liquid, it will reach a point where any additional heat added would result in some of the liquid vaporizing. A liquid at that point where it is about to vaporize is called a saturated liquid. State 2 represents the saturated liquid state on the figure.

The line between points 2 and 3 represent the substance in the phase change between a liquid and a vapor. That region is defined as a saturated liquid-vapor mixture, because both the liquid and vapor phase exists together in equilibrium.

A vapor that is not about to condense is known as a superheated vapor. As heat is removed from the vapor it will reach the point, known as a saturated vapor, where the removal of any additional heat will cause some of the vapor to condense. At a given pressure, the substance will begin to boil at a temperature known as the saturation temperature. Or, if temperature is held constant, the substance will start to boil at the saturation pressure.

The process line 1-2-3-4 occurs at a constant pressure.  If the pressure is raised or lowered a similar process curve will exist, but the locations of the saturated liquid point and the saturated vapor point would change.  The points for different pressures would form a curve defined by the saturated liquid line and the saturated vapor line.

 

 

 

Hope this helps!

I hope this short introduction to Thermodynamic Phase Changes helped!  Leave comments for ideas of other blog posts you would like to see.  Learn more like this in my FREE study guide available here!!

Pass the PE Exam the First Time

Pass the PE Exam the First Time

In this blog post I am going to give you my best tips to help you pass the PE exam the first time you take the exam.

Plan for Organization to Pass the PE exam

Probably the most important suggestion I can give you about how to be successful taking the PE exam is to be organized!  To pass the PE exam you MUST be able to work problems quickly and efficiently.  You don’t have a lot of time to waste searching for information, so proper organization is extremely important!  You only have an average of 6 minutes per problem on the Mechanical PE Exam.

Know the Test Format

It is vitally important to understand the general format of the test. The PE exam is an 8 hour exam. It is divided into two 4 hour sessions. All test takers will take the breadth (AM) exam and one of three possible depth (PM) exams. You work all problems in both sessions, and your total score is the combination of your scores from both sessions.
The exam is open-book, so you can take as many books with you as you like. I will talk more about what books to take soon, but now is the time to start planning.

The Morning Session

The AM session is called the Breadth Section and is the same for all mechanical engineering exams. The morning session is four hours and it contains 40 multiple choice style questions. Refer to the exam specifications sheet from NCEES to ensure you have the most up-to-date information. The AM exam covers topics in basic engineering practice, mechanical systems and materials, hydraulics and fluids, energy / power systems, and HVAC / refrigeration.

The Afternoon Session

The PM session is called the Depth Section and focuses more closely on a single area of practice. For the mechanical engineering exam there are three Depth sections available: Mechanical Systems and Materials, Thermal and Fluid Systems, and HVAC and Refrigeration. You must pick the Depth exam you want prior to taking the exam.
Again, you should refer to the exam specifications from NCEES to make sure you have the up-to-date information. The PM session covers topics on principles and applications.

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You will Need Some Books

To be successful on an open-book test (such as the PE exam) you will need books. On this website I give details of the reference books that I recommend. You can check out that information here. However, if you have books you currently own and are familiar with you should use them. The key is to have books you are familiar with so you can find information quickly! I also provide information on how many books you should take to the exam in this blog post.
Many test takers use the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual (often referred to as the MERM). If you plan on using the MERM make sure you give yourself enough time to become very familiar with the book because there is a lot of information in this reference. It would be a great idea to add tabs to help expedite the process of searching for information. I give more of my thoughts on the MERM on this blog post.
When you start studying, pick the books you think you will need. Store them in the area where you study and use them (and only them) to study. Modify your selection as needed, and by the time you take the exam you will have optimized your book selection.

Use Binders

Books don’t need to be your only source for reference materials. You can have three-ring binders with all types of useful information. You CANNOT have loose paper, so you must use some type of binder to contain this information.
Find information on the web that would be useful such as unit conversions, section properties, steam tables, fluid properties, beam shear and moment diagrams / formulas, and material properties. Print out the information and put it in the binder (in an organized and well planned order of course).

The one Binder that Rules them all…

Once you have your reference materials you will notice that it is a lot of information. One thing that I did, and I am certain it helped me tremendously, is make a ‘master binder’… or ‘the one binder that rules them all’. What is this ‘master binder’? Basically I put quick reference information for all (or nearly all) topics for the exam. For example… I had a Thermodynamics section that had basic essential information on types of cycles, common terms and equations, and properties that I frequently used while preparing. That same Thermodynamics section also referenced page numbers in my Thermodynamics book where I can find more information. This ‘master binder’ allowed me to find pertinent information very quickly.

Pass the PE exam

Improve your Estimating Skills

The PE exam is made up of multiple choice questions, so sometimes it is acceptable to get a good estimate of the solution rather than working all the details… especially if you don’t fully understand how to work the problem. A strong ability to estimate can help you eliminate wrong answers and improve your odds when you need to guess.

Action Steps

Here are some things to start doing to help you pass the PE exam the first time.

  • Start selecting the books you plan to take to the exam
  • Set up a designated study area
  • Get an approved calculator and use it a lot
  • Take a pre-test to see what areas need the most work (Click here to get my recommendation of the best practice tests)

PE Exam Book Review

PE Exam Book Review

It is critical to have good reference books for the PE exam, so I wanted to do a PE exam book review.  I have several suggestions of reference books on my site. The book I am going to review in this blog can be added to your list of references, but it may contain a lot of information you will not need.  The book is called Engineering Drawing and Design.

 

PE exam book review

What is in the book?

The book has a lot of information!  As the name of the book implies, it does contain a lot of information about engineering drawing.  However, the PE exam does have a section on interpretation of technical drawings.  This book can also help with engineering terms and symbols, including GD&T symbols and a great section on weld symbols.  It discusses drawing views such as section views and auxiliary views.  The rest of the information on drawing is probably not useful for the PE exam, but it is a good overall review.

 

 

What I really like about the book is the remaining content.  It covers a ton of important information on fasteners, materials, manufacturing methods, and power transmission.  There are sections that discuss fits and tolerances, screw threads, springs, casting, forging, materials, belt drives, chain drives, gear drives, couplings, clutches, brakes, bearings, cams, linkages, and hydraulics.  That is a lot of information for one book.

Can this book replace my other reference books?

The quick answer to this is ‘no’. It should be used to supplement other references or be used to help you prepare for the exam. The main reason I say ‘no’ for this is the lack of calculations. For example, the book has a great section on fasteners. It talks about the different types of fasteners and how they are used. The book does not, however, have calculations for designing bolted connections. I do feel that it does a better job describing the fasteners compared to a lot of other books.

Final thoughts

I know this was a very short review. I think this is a very good book, but I don’t know if I should add it to my recommended references list. It does a fantastic job of providing overview information on a lot of topics but lacks calculations. Regardless, it is a very good reference book. You should at least consider using it for your PE exam references.  Let me know what you think.  If you need more help preparing for the exam, check out my study guide.

 

Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual

Should you use the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam?

For most mechanical engineers planning to take the PE exam, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual (also called the MERM) is the most common reference book.  Click the link below to save 15% on the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual using promo code MPA15.
mechanical engineering reference manual
In fact, to many engineers preparing for the exam the MERM is considered essential. Some people believe that the MERM is a required book for the PE exam (that is not true by the way). So why am I even writing this blog to question using the MERM? Frankly, because the MERM may not be the best option for everyone.
Let me start by saying I do think the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual is a good and complete reference manual for the PE exam, and I do own a copy. I am also not telling you that you should or should not use it for the PE exam. Personally I did not use it for the PE exam. In fact, I didn’t even take it with me to the exam. I barely used it to prepare for the PE exam.

Why didn’t I use the MERM?

Let me explain my reasoning. Prior to taking the exam I spent several years in academics teaching undergraduate engineering courses. In that time I became VERY familiar with a LOT of different textbooks! The PE exam requires finding information from reference books very quickly. For me, I could find information in the textbooks I used over and over again much faster than I could find information in the MERM. To the point… using the MERM for the exam would have actually slowed me down in working problems.

What is the moral of this story?

OK… so what is the point of this blog?
I am basically trying to tell you that you should not feel like you absolutely must use the MERM for the PE exam. If you like it… use it. If you don’t like it… don’t use it.  Just know you have options.
You can use other reference books during the exam, and you can use study guides or other materials (such as review courses) to help you prepare for the exam. In the end, you need to use reference books during the exam that allow you to find information quickly. Use old textbooks if you like them. Use other engineering handbooks. Collect information from the web and use it for the exam. You need to pick what is best for you.  I will say that the MERM is a GREAT option for most people, but not the only option.

Tell me your story

I know this blog may be a bit controversial. I may get some bad comments about not personally using the MERM. Did you use the MERM for the exam? If you are currently preparing for the exam, are you using the MERM? What are pros and cons of using the MERM? Let’s start a friendly debate.

Mechanical PE Exam Study Guide

PE exam study guide

Mechanical PE Exam Study Guide

I wanted to provide some information about the Mechanical PE exam study guide.  It is a great tool to help you prepare for the PE exam.  I put a lot of work into making this the best PE exam study guide available.  Keep reading to learn how you can get a FREE copy!

What is the PE exam Study Guide?

This study guide is designed to give you step-by-step instructions on what you need to do to prepare for the Mechanical Systems and Materials PE exam.  Throughout the guide I give my personnel tips and suggestions of things you can do to better prepare for the exam.  I discuss thoughts on how to be best organized for the exam.  I discuss test format, recommended reference materials, review courses, and more.  I even help you prioritize your study time to get best prepared for the exam.

Probably the hardest thing about preparing for the PE exam is determining where to start.  With the study guide you complete one chapter every week as you complete the study guide; I even have weekly homework suggestions to help you learn more.  I tell you step-by-step what you need to do to prepare.

I discuss important engineering concepts, and I explain the solution thought process to solve many types of engineering topics.  I give you ways to read a problem and strategically determine the solution method to use.

Want to Get a FREE Copy of the Study Guide?

I want to make this PE exam study guide available to everyone.  Many sites have study guides, but they can be expensive.  Go here to learn how you can get your copy absolutely FREE!

Specific Heat Capacity

Get the Specifics of Specific Heat Capacity

Today’s concept discussion is on specific heat capacity.  Basically, different fluids will ‘heat up’ differently (more specifically they store heat differently).  In Thermodynamics you need a way to take the fluid’s properties for storing heat into account.  That’s where specific heat comes in.

Before we discuss specific heat capacity we need to define heat capacity.  Heat capacity, as shown in the formula below, is the heat added divided by the change in temperature.  In other words, it is a measure of how the temperature changes for a given amount of heat added.  Obviously, the temperature change of the fluid will also depend on the amount of fluid.  Therefore, the specific heat (lower case c) is the heat capacity per unit mass.

specific heat capacity formulas

Specific Heat Capacity of Gases

For gases we need to define two separate specific heat values.  The temperature change will depend on whether the volume is held constant or if gas is able to expand.  We use a subscript v to define specific heat capacity at a constant volume.  A subscript p is used to define the specific heat capacity at a constant pressure.  The specific heat ratio is defined as the ratio of the constant pressure specific heat to the constant volume specific heat.

How do we use Specific Heat Capacity in Thermodynamics?

There are several types of problems in Thermodynamics that use specific heats.  It can be used to determine final equilibrium temperatures.  It is used to determine the change in internal energy of a gas when heat is added or subtracted.  For the PE exam you want to have a table of specific heat values for common gases.

What do you think?

I hope this short blog helped define specific heat capacity.  It is commonly used in Thermodynamics, so it is important to understand its use.  Let me know if you have thoughts or questions about this topic.  Also, head over to www.MechanicalPEAcademy.com/Facebook to like my Facebook page.  It has updates and additional content.

How do I start preparing for the PE Exam?

How do I start preparing for the PE Exam

I get asked the same general questions a lot:  It has been so long since I took the FE exam… How to I start preparing for the PE exam?  I don’t remember anything from the general engineering courses… How do I start preparing for the PE exam?  I only recently decided to get my PE license after 15 years of experience… How do I start preparing for the PE exam?

One of the most difficult steps to preparing for the PE exam is determining where to start!  Just because you have been working as an engineer for the past 4+ years does not mean you remember everything from your undergraduate education.  Maybe your job focuses on hydraulic design, but you never use dynamics, mechanics of materials, machine design, vibrations, HVAC… (the list can go on and on).   How do you relearn all that material?  It can seem overwhelming just to get started in the preparations for the exam.

How do I start preparing for the PE Exam?

So what is the best way to start preparing for the exam?  There are many ways to begin, and it may depend on how much you do remember from your undergraduate years.  Many people get the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual (otherwise known as the MERM) and read it from cover to cover.  Other people grab all their old engineering textbooks and start reviewing.  Some people take review courses.  Those are all good ideas, but I would like to offer another idea that you may not have considered.

Grab your Physics book to start reviewing!

I think a great way to begin your preparations for the Mechanical PE Exam is to review an undergraduate Physics book!  Yes… I am talking about the general ‘Introduction to Physics’ books used for a freshman level college Physics course.  Yes… I realize that the PE exam is an ‘engineering’ exam not a ‘physics’ exam.

So why would you start reviewing with a physics book?  Think about it… what material does an introductory physics book cover?  They cover the concepts of statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, vibrations, and electrical circuits.  All of those topics are on the PE exam!  Reviewing a physics book will give you a quick refresher on all those topics in a way that is typically easy to understand.  It is a fast way to get your mind back into the basic concepts required for the PE exam.  Also, if you don’t have a physics book you can probably find one online for a great price or go get one from a library.  If you want to buy a new one go here.


Now, you are not going to be fully prepared for the PE exam just by reviewing a physics book.  Once you get your quick refresher from the physics book, then you can read the MERM from cover to cover or start reviewing old textbooks to get more detailed in your review.  You will go into your detailed review with a good foundation of the basic concepts.

What do you think?

So, the idea of using a physics book to review for the Mechanical PE Exam may seem odd.  I personally think it is a great place to start when you need a good general review.  What do you think?  Leave comments below with your thoughts.  Also, as always, it is a big help if you share this information.  If you found this helpful help spread the word with the share buttons.  You can also go like the Mechanical PE Academy Facebook page to get updates and other information.