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Integrating Best Practice Pedagogy With Computer Aided Modeling And Simulation To Improve Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Education

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.606.1 - 6.606.10

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Paper Authors

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Thomas Ho

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Jack Hopper

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David Cocke

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Daniel Chen

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Carl Yaws

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Kuyen Li

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John Gossage

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

Session 3513

Integrating best practice pedagogy with computer-aided modeling and simulation to improve undergraduate chemical engineering education

John L. Gossage, Carl L. Yaws, Daniel H. Chen, Kuyen Li, T. C. Ho, Jack Hopper and David L. Cocke Chemical Engineering Department, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas


Chemical engineering graduates need to have problem-solving capabilities combined with experience in computer-aided modeling and simulation (CAMS). This need has been strongly emphasized by the chemical industry. CAMS provides tools to help students conceptualized problems, explore the influence of relevant parameters, and test fundamental engineering principles. The aim of our Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement project is to meld the problem-based learning pedagogy with CAMS to produce students with an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of chemical engineering as well as the ability to use computer simulation packages effectively in the workplace. The approach used here is to integrate the use of CAMS throughout the entire chemical engineering curriculum. The Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology’s Engineering Criteria 2000 framework will be followed to evaluate the outcome of this project. This reform process will beneficially affect both Chemical Engineering teachers and students. Computer packages such as HYSYS, PRO/II, ASPEN Plus, POLYMATH, and Gaussian are employed in nine Chemical Engineering courses. POLYMATH is used in several undergraduate classes to permit students to obtain numerical solutions to problems that are difficult to solve analytically. For example, in Kinetics POLYMATH allows the students to calculate the effects of pressure drop and nonisothermal operation on the design of reactor. In Mass Transfer, HYSYS is utilized to simulate a flash vaporization and test the effects of pressure and preheating. Dynamics and control of a propylene glycol plant are analyzed by Process Control students using HYSYS, which has an integrated steady state and dynamic simulation environment. The dynamic performance of various control schemes is evaluated. In Process Design, a creative preliminary design for silane production utilizes CAMS packages including raw material requirements, energy requirements, list of major process equipment, and process economics. In addition, a computer-based problem-based learning (PBL) classroom with multiple white boards and virtual reality to maximize group learning is being developed. Finally, changes in the undergraduate Chemical Engineering curriculum at Lamar University are currently being implemented. These changes will enable the students to receive the maximum benefit of CAMS. Our progress to date will be outlined and will be discussed in terms of best practice pedagogy and cognitive science.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Ho, T., & Hopper, J., & Cocke, D., & Chen, D., & Yaws, C., & Li, K., & Gossage, J. (2001, June), Integrating Best Practice Pedagogy With Computer Aided Modeling And Simulation To Improve Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Education Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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