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To Help You Make that Leap of Understanding.

I have taught every mechanical engineering undergraduate course: statics, dynamics, solids, fluids, thermal I and II, heat transfer. All of the basic courses that are part of the DTC Mechanical PE Exam Review. I’ve taught them many, many times, and I just love to see the light bulb go on when a student finally understands how to solve a problem. Because it really shouldn’t be a mystery. I have always enjoyed finding a way to help my students understand mechanical concepts and apply them.

That’s why I’m offering free videos, to help people make that leap of understanding. I created these videos to help folks taking the Mechanical PE Exam as I come across topics in the MERM and NCEES Practice Exam that needed greater clarification beyond my DTC Mechanical PE Exam Review. But from the response we have received, they have turned out to be valuable to anyone studying these concepts. The video on Distributed Loads has been watched over 50,000 times and the other top videos on Slider-Crank, Vehicle Dynamics, Zero-force Members, and other topics have been watched many thousands of times.

My goal is to keep adding new free videos as I come across topics that need them. The more I’ve worked with mechanical engineers and helping them prepare for the PE Exam, the more I have realized what a difference getting your PE can make in a person’s life. I get so excited when our participants pass the exam. That really is what I enjoy most about all this, helping to change people’s lives.

– Dr. Tom

“Many of the prep course options seemed a little impersonal to me and offered very few samples of the course content that they offer. I noticed Dr. Tom was much more generous with his free content and explained himself very clearly. I was pretty much sold after I saw his videos on exam strategy. His course requires a lot of time and work, but he had a solid plan and he was there with us every step of the way. By the time exam day came around, I was very prepared and felt I had a realistic chance of passing this exam.

– Brian, PE, Taylor Machine Works, Starkville, Mississippi

NCEES PE Mechancial Practice Exam Problems (Solution Tips)

The goal of these videos is to address selected problems on the NCEES PE Mechanical Practice Exams that have solutions that caused confusion with participants in my Mechanical PE Exam Review Courses.

DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource.  https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/

For PE Mechanical Machine Design & Materials Practice Exam Problem 12, the NCEES solution begins with an equation that has been the source of a great many questions and confusion by previous participants as to its origin. In this video, I show how this equation comes to define the problem. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom

DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
 
For PE Mechanical Machine Design & Materials Practice Exam Problem 28, the NCEES solution is fine, except there appears to be an inconsistency between the wording in the statement of the problem and the information shown in the solution as to what value of the shear force should be used. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
For PE Mechanical Machine Design & Materials Practice Exam Problem 53, the NCEES solution is fine, however it is unnecessary to draw the entire shear force diagram and then use similar triangles which is always confusing to participants. Also, there is a typo on the left side of the shear force diagram shown in the NCEES solution where 120 in should be 120 lb. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
For PE Mechanical Thermal & Fluid Systems Practice Exam Problem 14, the NCEES solution suggests that the enthalpy of the mixture is simply an average of the enthalpies of the incoming water and steam. Not showing how this equation was determined has been very confusing and the source of many questions by previous participants. And a figure like the one I show in the video would have been very helpful. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
For PE Mechanical Thermal & Fluid Systems Practice Exam Problem 19, the NCEES solution is very confusing and has been the source of many questions by previous participants. First, the problem says both the AHU-3 and the system bypass are at the same level, 75 feet, which doesn’t correlate with the given figure and isn’t needed anyway. Second, each AHU and it control valve are in parallel with the rest of the system, so the pressure drops must be equal. The rest is converting a pressure head to pressure. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
For PE Mechanical Thermal & Fluid Systems Practice Exam Problem 28, the NCEES solution has been the source of many questions by previous participants. The primary confusion has been that the given diagram of the fan and compressor does not show clearly that there are two paths for the air, one through the compressor and one through the fan and around the compressor. The NCEES issued an errata diagram for the 2016 edition which I think helped resolve the confusion, however the 2019 edition has a different diagram that I believe gives the impression that the air from the exit of the fan goes into the inlet of the compressor which it does not. Both the fan and compressor see the same inlet conditions. Also, the NCEES solution reflects that constant specific heats were to be used. That should have been stated explicitly. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
For PE Mechanical Thermal & Fluid Systems Practice Exam Problem 30, the NCEES solution is very confusing and has been the source of many questions by previous participants. This is a perfect application of the AE form of the Bernoulli Equation. The given “head” is the difference in the stagnation pressure and the pressure at another point in the flow, divided by the specific weight. However, the head is given in terms of water. And note that the specific weight of the air, not density, is given. ( lbm/ft3 = lb/ft3 ) Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
For PE Mechanical Thermal & Fluid Systems Practice Exam Problem 72, there are a couple of specialized terms used in the statement of the problem: “bottom blowdown” and “flash tank.” Then the “flash tank” is called the “heat exchanger.” Very confusing. The problem is based on the principle that the heat lost from the bottom blowdown to create steam in the flash tank must be equal to the heat gained by the water entering the flash tank that is converted to steam. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/
For PE Mechanical Thermal & Fluid Systems Practice Exam Problem 76, the NCEES solution provides the correct answer, however the steps are not clear and not in the order they should be. In fact, the term in the denominator of the expression for the thermal efficiency is incorrect. Also, there are virtually no units provided. And the assignment of a value of “1” to one of the quantities has been the source of many questions by previous participants. Give this problem a try, then watch the video, and I hope you find it helpful. – Dr. Tom
 
DTC recommends that anyone taking the PE Exam purchase the NCEES Practice Exam for the exam they are taking. It is an essential exam review resource. https://account.ncees.org/exam-prep/

Sample lessons from DTC Mechanical PE EXAM REVIEWS

MERM INSTRUCTIONAL COMPANION VIDEOS

The goal of these videos is to address tricky concepts that are important to understand if you are taking any of the Mechanical Engineering PE Exams.

STATICS

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on 2D Reactions in the chapter Determinate Statics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the sections on Determinacy and Types of Beams in the chapter Determinate Statics.
 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the sections on Couples in the chapter on Determinate Statics.


This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Distributed Loads in the chapter Determinate Statics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to Example 45.1 in the MERM relative to finding the Simplest Resultant of a Distributed Loading on a beam.


This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the sections on Finding Reactions in Two Dimensions in the chapter Determinate Statics. The beam used in other Instructional Companion is the beam presented.


This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Two-force Members in the chapter Determinate Statics.
 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Two-Dimensional Mechanisms, which I call 2D Frames, in the chapter Determinate Statics.

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Zero-force Members in the chapter Determinate Statics.
 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Pulleys in the chapter Determinate Statics.
 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Flat Friction in the chapter Kinetics.
 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Flat Friction in the chapter Kinetics.

DYNAMICS

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, presenting the argument for using “slug” vs “lbm” in Mechanics and Fluids.

 

This is an Instruction Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Power in the chapter Energy, Work, and Power.

MACHINE DYNAMICS

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Rigid-body and Relative Motion in the chapter Kinematics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on Slider Rods in the chapter Kinematics. Example worked is from the NCEES Sample Exam, Mechanical Systems PM.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the Velocity of Rolling Wheels in the section on Rotation about a Fixed Axis in the chapter Kinematics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the Acceleration of Rolling Wheels, NOT included in the section on Rotation about a Fixed Axis in the chapter Kinematics.

 

This is an instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on the Slider-Crank mechanism in the chapter on Kinematics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the topic Rigid-Body Kinetics in the chapter Kinetics.

 

This is an instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the sections on Vehicle Dynamics in the chapter Kinetics.

 

This a continuation of Vehicle Dynamics I where the use of the D’Alembert’s Principle of Dynamics Equilibrium can be extremely confusing to follow, and worse result in wrong answers.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on rotational to translational motion of a pulley and block, acting like a Simple Hoist, in the chapter Kinetics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the section on rotational to translational motion, a pulley and block being a Simple Hoist, in the chapter Kinetics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the dynamics of rolling wheels in the chapter Kinetics.

 

This is an Instructional Companion to the MERM, the Mechanical Engineering Reference Manual, covering the dynamics of Rolling Wheels in the chapter Kinetics.

 

This is a postscript to the MERM Instructional Companion – Wheel Dynamics II, where the result obtained on the last page, that the torque (T) was equal to the force (P) times the radius (R), made too many unlikely assumptions.

 

Presented are some final thoughts on the MERM Instructional Companions: Wheel Dynamics I and II, and T = PR???, specifically on what happens when the Drive Wheel and Push/Pull Wheels are connected by a solid frame.

 

Fluid Mechanics Review Videos

These videos review the topics within Fluid Mechanics that are likely to appear on the ME PE Exam. The videos are much like the lessons provided in Dr. Tom’s ME PE Exam Review Courses.

In Fluid Mechanics Review – Part I, I discuss “What the NCEES Specifications don’t tell you!” and what I recommend you do about it.
 

The Fluid Mechanics Review – Part II covers Fluid Properties and includes a discussion of viscosity for Couette and Poiseuille Flows.
 

The Fluid Mechanics Review – Part III covers the Continuity Equation and begins with a discussion on the Types of Fluid Flow.
 

“With DTC’s help I finally passed the Civil PE Exam after several previous attempts! The organization of the course material helped me out tremendously.”
-PE, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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