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Integrating Multi-scale Approaches and Innovation into Product and Process Design in Chemical Engineering Curricula

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Broad Perspectives on the Chemical Engineering Curriculum

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.2.1 - 26.2.18



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Paper Authors


Watson L. Vargas Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá

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Dr. Watson L. Vargas is Assistant Professor at the Chemical Engineering Department, Universidad de los Andes. He was educated at Universidad de America (Bogotá, Colombia), Colombia National University (Bogotá, Colombia) and University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA). He has worked at Colombia National University, Nueva Granada Military University and University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Chemical Society (Colloids division), and American Institute of Physics. Currently, he lectures on Chemical Reaction Engineering, Advanced Transport Phenomena and Fundamental aspects of Nanotechnology. His current research interests are in the areas of transport phenomena in complex systems including: suspensions, emulsions, granular media and more recently engineered nanoparticles. He is also concerned with the general topic of research and education in Chemical Engineering.

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Oscar Alvarez P.E. Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá

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Oscar Alberto Alvarez is Associate Professor and Heat of the Chemical Engineering Department at La Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Universidad America (Bogotá, Colombia), a M.Sc. from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and a Ph.D. from Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, (Nancy, France). Currently, he lectures on thermodynamic and mid-program project. His research interests include design of colloid systems for application in cosmetic, food, personal care and oil & gas topics. He is member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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Jorge Mario Gomez Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá

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Jorge Mario Gomez is a Associate Professor and former head of the Chemical Engineering Department at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá - Colombia. He received a B.Sc and M.Sc in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, a MBA from Universidad de los Andes and a Ph.D from Université de Pau et des Pays de L'Adour -France. Actually, he lectures on Optimization of Chemical Processes: His research interest include: Dynamic Optimization, Optimal Product Design and Multiscale Optimization.

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Integrating Multi-scale Approaches and Innovation into Product and Process Design in Chemical Engineering Curricula AbstractEngineering education is fundamental in enhancing the well-being of people and theenvironment, and therefore, it is important to take the necessary steps to develop it and enhanceit. There is no secret in the fact that education translates into development particularly if a highquality education is provided in the so—called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering andMathematics) fields. Finding the most effective ways to teach students and translate that learninginto productive skills is an everyday challenge in engineering education. Current research showsthat educational quality, more than quantity, has a causal impact on economic growth. The samecan be said of innovation which drives competitiveness.In today’s increasingly competitive global economy, science, technology, and innovationcapacity building can no longer be seen as a luxury, suitable primarily for wealthier, moreeconomically dynamic countries. Rather, if developing nations hope to prosper in the globaleconomy, and if government leaders expect globalization to foster sustainable development andsustainable poverty reduction, strong STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) capacitybuilding is an absolute necessity. For developing nations, globalization is not a choice, but areality. To compete in world markets in the so-called knowledge age, developing economiescannot depend only on geography, natural resources or cheap labor. They can only flourish onbrainpower, organization, and innovation. Is in such a context that curricular reform ofengineering programs becomes an important issue.Currently, there are two frontiers of engineering, each of which has to do with multi-scales intime and space and each of which is associated with increasing levels of complexity. One frontierhas to do with smaller and smaller spatial scales and faster time scales, the world of so-calledbio/nano/info. The other frontier has to do with larger systems of great complexity and,generally, of significant importance to society. This is the world of energy, environment, food,manufacturing, product design and development, logistics, health care, and communications.This frontier addresses some of the most demanding challenges to the future of the world. Manyof these challenges are the challenges that current and future engineering students have to facewhether the skills for dealing with such difficult problems are imparted on them or not.In this contribution we will provide a quick look at how a Chemical Engineering Department in adeveloping nation is dealing with the insertion in their current curricula of multi-scaleapproaches to product and process design as well as the incorporation of innovation initiativesboth for curricular reform and the developing of skills for creative thinking and entrepreneurshipin future Chemical Engineers, whose purpose is that of changing the local stereotype of ChemicalEngineers as only problem solvers of a well-defined technical problems for that of a professionalincreasingly skilled in understanding value creation and management of such generated value.Specific examples of implementations both at undergraduate and graduate level will bepresented.

Vargas, W. L., & Alvarez, O., & Gomez, J. M. (2015, June), Integrating Multi-scale Approaches and Innovation into Product and Process Design in Chemical Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23335

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