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Food Processing: Another Case Study In Biologically Related Product And Multi Scale Design

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Design and Computation in ChE Courses

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.637.1 - 10.637.7



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Paper Authors

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Joseph Shaeiwitz

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

Food Processing: Another Case Study in Biologically Related Product and Multi-scale Design Joseph A. Shaeiwitz, Richard Turton West Virginia University


The profession of chemical engineering is in the midst of a change. Biology is joining math, chemistry, and physics as an “enabling science.” Chemical engineers are more often required to design new products rather than new chemical processes. The past generation has seen enormous research advances in the enabling sciences in colloid-scale, nano-scale, molecular- scale, and atomic-scale technology.

In response to this expansion of the skills and knowledge required of the 21st century chemical engineer, it is necessary to adopt a new paradigm for chemical engineering education. For example, many programs are now requiring biology classes in addition to the traditional chemistry and physics classes. An increasing number of departments are changing their names to include some reference to biology (e.g., chemical and biochemical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering). Product design is either replacing part of or complementing process design in the capstone experience. There is a strong movement to alter the fundamental chemical engineering curriculum common to virtually every program to include the colloid-scale, nano- scale, molecular-scale, and atomic-scale technologies that are at the forefront of chemical engineering research.1 This curriculum would replace a significant portion of the macro-scale technology that has been taught in chemical engineering for most of its history as a profession with multi-scale technology, while retaining a sufficient amount of the traditional technology to permit teaching and learning of manufacturing. Traditional course titles may change, reflecting a rearrangement of topics based on length scales.1

In any new curriculum paradigm, there will still be a need for a capstone experience. In the new curriculum paradigm, the capstone experience may include design of a product at multiple scales, from the product at the atomic through the colloid scales, as appropriate, and the manufacture of the product at the macro scale. Therefore, a new class of design projects will be needed to replace the traditional continuous chemical manufacturing process that is most often the subject of the capstone design class. This paper describes one such design project assigned to the West Virginia University class of 2005. A different multi-scale, biologically related, product design was completed by the class of 2004.2

The Problem

This class was assigned the task of investigating food products. Specifically, they were to identify promising markets for low-carbohydrate and/or low-fat foods and suggest opportunities for a profitable venture to manufacture such products. They were to learn the ingredients in and the methods of manufacture of these food products, particularly the differences in ingredients Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Shaeiwitz, J. (2005, June), Food Processing: Another Case Study In Biologically Related Product And Multi Scale Design Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14830

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