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Integration of Industrially Relevant Examples in ChE Courses

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Professional Skills Development

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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John Dee Clay Ohio State University

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Dr. Clay is currently a clinical faculty member in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University. He received a BS in ChE from the University of Toledo in 1992 and a MS and PhD from OSU in 1994 and 1997, respectively. Since graduating from OSU, Dr. Clay has worked at Battelle, a contract research firm headquartered in Columbus, OH. Dr. Clay was an adjunct faculty member at OSU for approximately ten years before moving to the clinical faculty role in January, 2014. He has taught a variety of courses in the ChE department and currently focuses on the Unit Operations Laboratory, Mass and Energy Balances, and Separations. He completed the National Effective Teaching Institute course (NETI-1) in June, 2016. Dr. Clay is married to Dr. Kristy Clay, a veterinarian, and has three children, Luke (15), Natalie (15), and Meredith (12).

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Identifying industrially relevant and/or real-world examples is an excellent technique to enhance the student learning experience. Linking theory and calculations from the lecture to something concrete to which the students are routinely exposed provides relevancy and can successfully reinforce key aspects of the topic. This session will illustrate the integration of practical examples into a chemical engineering curriculum, with examples pulled from a Mass and Energy Balances course and a Separations course. Participants will role-play the part of students in the courses, with the problems posed at a high level, followed by successive levels of detail that will clearly show how a complex problem can be deconstructed into a simpler, solvable portions. Active learning techniques will be used to engage the audience during the session. The linkage between the problem to be solved and the real world application will be stressed at multiple points during the solution process to demonstrate relevancy. Three example problems will be presented in the session, starting with a simple and quick problem and ending with a more open-ended and complex set of calculations. All three problems will utilize a similar format, with a simulated classroom session, where the theory behind a topic is presented, followed by a practical, real-world example, and concluding with a solution to the example problem. The first problem is a quick and simple calculation pulled from the early stages of a Mass and Energy Balance class, illustrating the use of unit conversions and applying the problem to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) problem us using a passive air sampler on a drone. The industrially relevant problem was calculation of the air flow rate over a sensor that would mimic the flow through a passive collector that was mounted to the undercarriage of a four-rotor drone. The second problem involves calculation of the power required to vaporize the liquid in an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette or vaporizer). Solution of this problem requires a coupled mass and energy balance and also requires some knowledge of vapor-liquid equilibrium. Obviously, some assumptions are required to analyze this problem. Even with these assumptions, a reasonable estimate of the power required for the unit is obtained. Extensions of the problem include student speculation on how their assumptions impact the calculated power and why the calculated estimate is slightly lower than the actual power delivered by a vaporizer. The third problem used in this presentation is associated with batch distillation and is taken from a course on separations. Background on Rayleigh distillation will be provided to provide the theoretical framework for analyzing the problem. Representative data from an actual distillery will be provided, and participants in this session will use the governing equations to calculate the alcohol content after distillation. In addition to the standard distillation calculations and analysis, background on the challenges in producing a high quality, reproducible whiskey will be summarized.

Clay, J. D. (2017, June), Integration of Industrially Relevant Examples in ChE Courses Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28569

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