June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.2.1 - 26.2.18
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.
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