J. Llorens, J.F. Izquierdo, J. Labanda

University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
One of the key aspects of higher education corresponds to European Credit System (ECS). This new concept includes not only the credit classes, but all of the students' work. The adoption of the European Credit System has led to a conceptual reorganization of educational systems to adapt to new training models focused on the students' work. Thus, the European Credit involves that the workload have: given lectures, practical work, seminars, placements, fieldwork, personal work and exams or other evaluation methods. Today, the ability of engineers to properly design and operate equipment and facilities has increased strongly with the advent of powerful informatic tools. This is essential in order to address the mathematical complexity of most industrial problems. Currently, calculators or spreadsheets are used in solving problems. The coverage of the real problems that can be solved with these tools is very limited.
To improve and modernize what is currently being done, we are developing a textbook of Fluid Flow, where the theoretical basis of each item are described at the beginning of each chapter and then a collection of representative problems are solved in detail using powerful informatic tools (Mathematica, Mathcad, Mathlab, maple, etc.)
With this textbook, we plan to achieve the following objectives:

1) The student focuses on the concepts and formulations of mathematical models to be used to solve real problems. This point is essential in the learning process.
2) The student does not have to spend much time or effort to solve mechanically the complex systems of equations.
3) The student can visualize the end result of the real problems, thereby improving the understanding of the subject.
4) The student is introduced in the use of software to solve real problems that can be used in other engineering subjects.

In fact, this project implements a new methodology in the classroom to supplement the teaching of problem solving. This method of solving real problems with the help of software tools is transferable to other subjects with the same characteristics.