Dr. Mehrzad Tabatabaian is a Faculty Member and Program Head for the Mechanical Engineering Department, Bachelor of Engineering program at BCIT. We asked him to tell us about the books he’s written and this is what he had to say:
When I came up with the idea of writing a book on engineering topics and discussed it with some colleagues with similar past experiences, at BCIT and other Universities, their overall feedback was unanimous – it will be a lot of work! After having published three books, I can say writing a book is a lot of work and I would give this same advice to faculty and authors interested in publishing. However, I would add that it is also a rewarding exercise, both for academic satisfaction and professional development, even more so when you see that your students actually use your book(s) and learn from them.
For me, it all started in late 2012, and from there it has been a continuous journey. Choosing the Multiphysics simulation of engineering problems as my topic was a natural fit and easy, since I had experience both in the industry and in teaching the topic. I also saw a gap in available learning resources in terms of books that actually guided students and contained practical step-by-step hints for them to build a model. Modeling is a very comprehensive process, a task that requires students to take several background courses to grasp the relevant physics, mathematics, and numerical methods, not to mention to have the real skills to operate and use a simulation tool.
After 2012, the journey continued and after a year or so my first book was published, COMSOL for Engineers (MLI, 2014), followed, relatively quickly, by the second version COMSOL 5 for Engineers (MLI, 2015, available through BCIT library). COMSOL Multiphysics is a valuable tool for engineers and scientists alike, helping them to address complex real-world problems in a virtual setting. The Multiphysics models that are featured and presented in these books address a range of simple to complex problems with corresponding engineering principles, design criteria, and mathematical fundamentals presented for each model. The third book, CFD Module: Turbulent Flow Modeling (MLI, 2015, available through BCIT library) is more focused on technical aspects of modeling complex turbulent flows and explains different models and their merits for readers to choose from.
My greatest satisfaction from writing these books is to witness students using them to learn the COMSOL software nuts-and-bolts and apply them for their Capstone projects and courses. I have received encouraging feedback from my students about the applicability and usefulness of my books.