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Dr. Tom’s Favorite Resources

With the PE exam being open book, there is a tendency to bring anything and everything into the exam.  In fact, the person next to me when I took the exam brought in a steamer trunk of books.  Never saw him take but a few things from it.  That said, you should only bring in materials with which you are very familiar.


Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual (MERM)

My recommended short list starts with the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual (MERM) available from Professional Publications, Inc., or PPI.

Dr. Tom’s Review Course Problems

Feedback from previous participants indicates that one of the best resources they had during the exam is a set of 3-ring notebooks containing the problems from Dr. Tom’s ME PE Review course.  Organized according to their own logic system, the handouts of problems in the pre-recorded lessons, the weekly challenge problems, and the problems presented in the ReBuild courses provided a key component to their passing the exam.

Dr. Tom’s Books

Like most teachers, I am going to recommend three books that I had the privilege to write with some of the giants in the field of machine design. The Standard Handbook of Machine Design is an excellent resource for targeted information on specific topics. Mark’s Calculation for Machine Design provides a comprehensive review of the major topics in machine design, particularly for the PE Exam, and Mechanical Design Handbook  with particularly valuable sections on Mechanical Design Fundamentals, Mechanical System Analysis, and Cam Design. Click here for more information on Dr. Tom’s Books.


Next, depending on which PM exam you have selected, several reference books are recommended.


For Mechanical Systems and Materials PM Exam

Those planning to take the Mechanical Systems and Materials PM exam would benefit having a copy of Mechanical Engineering Design by Joseph Shigley (any edition), or the 3rd Edition of the Standard Handbook of Machine Design by Shigley, Mischke, and Brown. 
A classic reference for mechanical engineers is “Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers,” however it is somewhat expensive and requires much time to absorb what and where information is located.  Dr. Tom wrote a companion to Marks’, “Marks’s Calculations for Machine Design” which is highly recommend for those choosing the Mechanical Systems and Materials PM exam.

For Thermal and Fluids Systems PM Exam

For those planning to take the Thermal and Fluids System PM exam having a copy of either Steam Tables by Keenan and Keyes or the ASME Steam Tables is recommended.

For HVAC and Refrigeration PM Exam

For those planning to take the HVAC and Refrigeration PM exam the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals is a must to have available in the exam.

Sample Exams

Several additional resources are recommended for mainly for exam preparation; however they could be valuable during the exam as well.  They include the sample exams by the NCEES and PPI, 101 Solved Problems by PPI,  and the set of three Six Minute Solutions problem workbooks: Mechanical & Materials, Thermal & Fluids, HVAC & Refrigeration, also by PPI.


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