Mechanical PE Exam

Principles and Practice of Engineering Mechanical PE Exam Specifications
By the NCEES as of April 2012

A few general points noted about the exam, which are followed by the detailed specifications.

•    The mechanical exam is a breadth and depth examination. This means that examinees work the breadth (AM) exam and one of the three depth (PM) exams.
•    The three areas covered in the mechanical engineering examination are HVAC and Refrigeration; Mechanical Systems and Materials; and Thermal and Fluids Systems. The breadth exam contains questions from these three areas of mechanical engineering. The depth exams focus more closely on a single area of practice in mechanical engineering.
•    Examinees work all questions in the morning session and all questions in the afternoon module they have chosen. Depth results are combined with breadth results for final score.
•    The exam is an 8-hour open-book exam. It contains 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour AM session, and 40 multiple-choice questions in the 4-hour PM session.
•    Questions in Sections I–IV of the breadth module will be in either USCS or SI units. Questions in Section V of the breadth module will be in USCS units. Questions in the depth module will be in USCS units.
•    The exam is developed with questions that will require a variety of approaches and methodologies, including design, analysis, and application. Some problems may require knowledge of engineering economics.
•    The knowledge areas specified as examples of kinds of knowledge are not exclusive or exhaustive categories.
•    The specifications for the AM exam and the HVAC and Refrigeration PM exam are included here.

Part 1 (AM Exam)
MECHANICAL BREADTH Exam Specifications
I. Basic Engineering Practice  30 % of AM Exam
A. Basic Engineering Practice    30 %
1.    Engineering terms and symbols
2.    Economic analysis
3.    Project management
4.    Interpretation of technical drawings
5.    Electrical concepts
6.    Units and conversions
II. Mechanical Systems and Materials 20%  of AM Exam
A. Principles    13%
1.    Statics and dynamics
2.    Strength of materials
3.    Stress analysis
4.    Fatigue theory
B. Applications    7%
1.    Mechanical components (e.g., springs, gears, pressure vessels)
2.    Joints and fasteners (e.g., welding, bolts, adhesives)
3.    Vibration/dynamic analysis
4.    Materials selection (e.g., corrosion, weight, strength)
III. Hydraulics and Fluids 17% of AM Exam
A.    Principles 7%
1.    Compressible flow
2.    Incompressible flow
B.    Applications 10%
1.    Hydraulic and fluid equipment (e.g., pumps, turbines, 
2.    Piping systems and components
IV. Energy/Power Systems 15%  of AM Exam
A.    Principles 7%
1.    Thermodynamic cycles
2.    Thermodynamic properties
3.    Energy balances
4.    Mass balances
5.    Heat transfer
6.    Combustion
B.    Applications 8%
1.    Power conversion systems
2.    Energy/power equipment (e.g., turbines, boilers, engines)
3.    Heat exchangers
V. HVAC/Refrigeration 18%
A.    Principles 10%
1.    Psychrometrics
2.    Refrigeration cycles
3.    Heat transfer
B.    Applications 8%
1.    HVAC/refrigeration systems
2.    HVAC/refrigeration components (e.g., air handlers, 
3.    Heating/cooling loads
PART 2 – PM Depth Exam
Part 2A 
I. Principles 45% of PM Exam
A.    Materials Properties (e.g., density, viscosity) 5%
B.    Fluid Mechanics 10%
1.    Compressible fluids (e.g., Mach number, nozzles, diffusers)
2.    Incompressible fluids (e.g., friction factor, Reynolds number, 
lift, drag)
C.    Heat Transfer Principles (e.g., convection, conduction, radiation) 10%
D.    Mass Balance Principles (e.g., evaporation, dehumidification, combustion) 7%
E.    Thermodynamics 10%
1.    Thermodynamic cycles (e.g., combined, Brayton, Rankine)
2.    Thermodynamic properties (e.g., enthalpy, entropy)
3.    Energy balances (e.g., 1st and 2nd Laws)
4.    Combustion (e.g., stoichiometrics)
F.    Related Principles 3%
1.    Strength of materials (e.g., stress-strain, yield strength)
2.    Fatigue theory (e.g., Goodman diagram)
3.    Statics and dynamics
4.    Stress analysis (e.g., pipe stress, pipe hangers, hoop stress)
5.    Psychrometrics (e.g., dew point, relative humidity)
6.    Welding (e.g., processes, symbols)
7.    Safety (e.g., OSHA, industrial, ergonomics, sanitation)
8.    Quality control/quality assurance

II. Applications 55%
A.    Equipment 18%
1.    Pumps
2.    Turbines
3.    Compressors, fans, blowers
4.    Boilers, steam generators
5.    Engines and drive trains
6.    Pressure vessels
7.    Heat exchangers/condensers/feed water heaters
8.    Cooling towers
9.    Control devices (valves, flow measurement)
B.    Systems 32%
1.    Power hydraulics
2.    Pneumatic
3.    Fluid distribution
4.    Power conversion
5.    Energy recovery
6.    Cooling/heating (cycles)
7.    Power cycles
C.    Codes and Standards 5%

Part 2B
I. Principles 60% of PM Exam
A.    Statics (e.g., free body diagrams, friction, centroids, inertia) 15%
B.    Kinematics (e.g., linear/rotational motion, velocity, acceleration) 7%
C.    Dynamics (e.g., particle and rigid body) 10%
D.    Materials Properties (e.g., physical, chemical, mechanical) 18%
E.    Strength of Materials (e.g., stress/strain, shear, bending, buckling, torsion) 18%
II. Applications 40% of PM Exam
A.    Mechanical Components 10%
1.    Pressure vessels (e.g., thick/thin wall)
2.    Bearings (e.g., journal, ball, roller, lubrication, life-load relationships)
3.    Gears (e.g., spur, bevel, helical, planetary, speed and torque ratios)
4.    Springs (e.g., helical, torsion, leaf, stiffness, deflection)
5.    Belts, pulleys, and chains (e.g., flat/V, wire rope, roller chain, sprockets)
6.    Clutches and brakes (e.g., disc/drum brake, flat plate/cone clutch)
7.    Power screws (e.g., lifting and lowering torque, locking conditions)
8.    Shafts and keys (e.g., torsion, bending, static/fatigue failure, stress risers)
9.    Mechanisms (e.g., linkages, slider cranks, levers, mechanical advantage)
10.    Mechatronics (e.g., electro-mechanical interfaces, control, robotics)
B.    Joints and Fasteners 10%
1.    Welding and brazing (e.g., butt, fillet, groove, eccentric, symbols)
2.    Bolts, screws, and rivets (e.g., load capacity, grade, bolt patterns, pretension)
3.    Adhesives and soldering (e.g., butt, lap, glue, epoxy)
4.    Others (e.g., pipe threads, snap rings, interference fit)
C.    Vibration/Dynamic Analysis 10%
1.    Natural frequencies (e.g., for linear, bending and torsional)
2.    Damping (e.g., frequency, damping ratio, critical damping)
3.    Forced vibrations (e.g., magnification factor, transmissibility, unbalance)
4.    Vibration isolation
5.    Dynamic analysis (e.g., balancing, vehicle dynamics)
D. Materials and Process 10%
1.    Materials selection (e.g., impact of physical, chemical and mechanical 
2.    Manufacturing processes (e.g., machining, molding, heat treatment)
3.    Fits and tolerances
4.    Economic analysis and project management
5.    Quality control

Part 2C 
I. Principles 55% of PM Exam
A.    Thermodynamics 7%
1.    Cycles
2.    Properties
3.    Compression processes
B.    Psychrometrics 15%
1.    Heating/cooling cycles
2.    Humidification/dehumidification
3.    Heating/cooling loads
C.    Heat Transfer 13%
D.    Fluid Mechanics 7%
E.    Compressible Flow 3%
F.    Energy Balances 10%
II. Applications 45% of PM Exam
A.    Equipment and Components 20%
1.    Cooling towers and fluid coolers (e.g., configurations, conditions, flow 
2.    Boilers and furnaces (e.g., configurations, efficiencies, fuel types)
3.    Condensers (e.g., configurations, conditions, flow rates)
4.    Pumps/compressors/fans (e.g., laws, efficiency, selection)
5.    Evaporators/chillers (e.g., configurations, conditions, flow rates)
6.    Cooling/heating coils (e.g., configurations, conditions, flow rates)
7.    Control systems components (e.g., valves, dampers)
8.    Refrigerants (e.g., properties, types)
9.    Refrigeration components (e.g., expansion valves, accumulators)
B.    Systems 18%
1.    Air distribution (e.g., duct design, system type, terminal devices)
2.    Fluid distribution (e.g., hydronic, oil and/or gas distribution design, 
system type, steam distribution)
3.    Refrigeration (e.g., food storage, cooling and freezing)
4.    Energy recovery (e.g., enthalpy wheels, heat pipes, run-around systems)
C.    Supportive Knowledges 7%
1.    Codes and standards (e.g., ASHRAE, NFPA)
2.    Air quality and ventilation (e.g., filtration, dilution)
3.    Vibration control (e.g., transmission effect, isolation)
4.    Acoustics (e.g., sound control, absorption, attenuators, noise 
level criteria)
5.    Economic analysis
6.    Electrical concepts (e.g., power consumption, motor ratings, 
heat output, amperage)


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