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A Laboratory Project To Design And Implement A Process For The Production Of Beer

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.19.1 - 4.19.9

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Paper Authors

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Robert P. Hesketh

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Stephanie Farrell

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C. Stewart Slater

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number 3226

A LABORATORY PROJECT TO DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT A PROCESS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF BEER Stephanie Farrell, Robert P. Hesketh, and C. Stewart Slater Chemical Engineering Department Rowan University 201 Mullica Hill Road Glassboro, New Jersey 08028-1701


This paper describes a one-semester Freshman Engineering Clinic Course that is being implemented at Rowan University in the Spring of 1999. The focal point of the course is a laboratory project in which students investigate a process for the production of beer.

After a brief introduction to the brewing process and a comparative evaluation of commercially available beers, the students set out in teams to perform a hands-on, reverse-engineering investigation of the fermentation process. Next, each team works on the design and construction of a brewing process. The teams implement their processes, and present their designs and results to the other groups. Finally, each group performs a comparison and evaluation of the designs.

The brewing process is used to introduce freshman students to engineering fundamentals related to material balances and stoichiometry, fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, and biochemical reactions. Through this project, several educational objectives are met: to develop creative and critical thinking, to introduce design principles, to provide hands on experience, to develop teamwork and communication skills, and to stimulate enthusiasm for engineering.


Rowan University is pioneering a progressive and innovative Engineering program that uses innovative methods of teaching and learning to prepare students better for a rapidly changing and highly competitive marketplace, as recommended by ASEE [1]. Key features of the program include: (i) multidisciplinary education through collaborative laboratory and course work; (ii) teamwork as the necessary framework for solving complex problems; (iii) incorporation of state- of-the-art technologies throughout the curricula; and (iv) creation of continuous opportunities for technical communication [2]. The Rowan program emphasizes these essential features in an eight-semester, multidisciplinary Engineering Clinic sequence that is common to the four Engineering programs (Civil, Chemical, Electrical and Mechanical).

A two-semester Freshman Clinic sequence introduces all freshmen engineering students to engineering at Rowan University. In the Freshman Clinic we immediately establish a hands-on, active learning environment for the reason explained by scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I understand.” The first semester of the course focuses on multidisciplinary engineering experiments using

Hesketh, R. P., & Farrell, S., & Slater, C. S. (1999, June), A Laboratory Project To Design And Implement A Process For The Production Of Beer Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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