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Ideas To Consider For New Chemical Engineering Educators: Freshman And Sophomore Level Courses

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

New Ideas for ChEs I (aka ChE Potpourri)

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.678.1 - 13.678.16



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Paper Authors


Jason Keith Michigan Technological University

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Jason Keith is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. He received his B.S.ChE from the University of Akron in 1995, and his Ph.D from the University of Notre Dame in 2001. His current research interests include reactor stability, alternative energy, and engineering education. He is active within ASEE.

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David Silverstein University of Kentucky

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David L. Silverstein is currently an Associate Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Extended Campus Programs in Paducah. He received his B.S.Ch.E. from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; his M.S. and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; and has been a registered P.E. since 2002. Silverstein is the 2004 recipient of the William H. Corcoran Award for the most outstanding paper published in Chemical Engineering Education during 2003, and the 2007 recipient of the Raymond W. Fahien Award for Outstanding Teaching Effectiveness and Educational Scholarship.

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Donald Visco Tennessee Technological University

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Don Visco is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University, where he has been employed since 1999. Prior to that, he graduated with his Ph.D from the University at Buffalo, SUNY. His current research interests include experimental and computational thermodynamics as well as bioinformatics/drug design. He is an active and contributing member of ASEE at the local, regional and national level.

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

Ideas to Consider for Chemical Engineering Educators Teaching a New “Old” Course: Freshman and Sophomore Level Courses Abstract

So, you are going to teach a core chemical engineering course next term that you have not taught before. It’s time to come up with some new ideas to revolutionize that core course in ways that will amaze students and maximize learning, right? Or perhaps the maxim about “an hour in the library is worth a month in the laboratory” might be meaningful in the context of teaching. This paper summarizes the authors’ selection of the most effective, innovative approaches reported recently in the literature or discussed at previous conferences for lower-division core courses in chemical engineering, as presented at the 2007 ASEE Summer School for Chemical Engineering Faculty. The challenges associated with particular courses and solutions successfully applied to address those challenges will also be described. Courses covered in this paper include introductory courses for freshmen, material and energy balances, fluid mechanics, introductory thermodynamics, and separations.

Objectives and Motivation

Although teaching is a critical mission of any college or university, today’s faculty members are increasingly becoming involved in other scholarly activities. Thus, when teaching a new course, developing a good set of instructional materials can be a challenging, time-consuming task. In this paper we provide a review of some of what we consider the best practices in engineering education, applied to the following courses: freshmen chemical engineering, material and energy balances, fluid mechanics, introductory thermodynamics, and separations. Note that a companion paper which covers the upper-level undergraduate classes in the chemical engineering curriculum is planned for the following year.

The format used for each course is: • Brief description of typical course content • Discussion about novel and successful methods used • Listing of “toughest concepts” for the students (and how to address them)

We note that most of this material was originally presented by the authors at the 2007 ASEE Chemical Engineering Division Summer School in Pullman, WA1.

Freshman Chemical Engineering Courses

Depending on the school, this course is either a “stand-alone” introduction to chemical engineering or is part of a college-wide introductory course (with a portion devoted to chemical engineering). Ironically, many chemical engineering educators may never have taken this course.

Keith, J., & Silverstein, D., & Visco, D. (2008, June), Ideas To Consider For New Chemical Engineering Educators: Freshman And Sophomore Level Courses Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3702

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015