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Nontraditional, interdisciplinary immersive approach to Chemical Engineering design: A case study assessment and analysis

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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

Novel Pedagogical Techniques II: Potpourri

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Rebecca Jo Pinkelman Technische Universität Darmstadt

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Rebecca J. Pinkelman graduated from Chadron State College with a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology in 2008. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2010 and 2014, respectively. She is currently a post-doctoral research scientist in the Mechanical and Process Engineering Department at the Technische Universität Darmstadt.

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David J. Dixon South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Dr. Dixon currently serves as a Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, in Rapid City, South Dakota (USA). He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Technical University Darmstadt in Darmstadt, Germany during the 2009-2010 year. He is a member of ASEE and AICHE and has an active interest in improving engineering education and promoting study abroad opportunities.

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Manfred J Hampe Technische Universität Darmstadt

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Manfred J. Hampe graduated from Technische Universität Clausthal in 1976 and
received his doctorate in engineering from Technische Universität München in
1980. He worked as a process engineer in the central research division of
Bayer AG in Leverkusen before he became full professor of Thermal Process
Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Technische
Universität Darmstadt in 1995. His research interests are in the field of
transport phenomena at fluid interfaces. He has been the chairman of the
Working Party on Education in Chemical and Process Engineering of the
VDI-Society for Chemical and Process Engineering and member of the European Working Party on Education in Chemical Engineering for many years. He is the vice-chairman of the council of the faculties of mechanical and process
engineering in Germany and chairman of 4ING, the German Council of
University Faculties in Engineering and Informatics. Between 2004 and 2013
he was one of the 19 German Bologna experts. He received the ars legendi
award 2013 of the Stifterverband and the German Rectors Conference.

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In our increasingly globalized world and project based, interdisciplinary industrial teams, there is a need for co-current teaching and learning of professional, e.g., teamwork, global competence (awareness), etc. and design skills. This paper describes, assesses, and analyzes a non-traditional, interdisciplinary, immersive approach to teaching intercultural, interdisciplinary, teamwork, and design skills through application. The Advanced Design Project (ADP) course is a two-week, intensive senior level design course. In 2016, the ADP course included mechanical engineers and chemists from a technical German university and chemical engineers from a German university of applied science (Fachhochschule in German) and an American university. The task of the course was the design of a low density polyethylene plant in collaboration with an industrial partner and their plant data. An assessment was developed to look at their awareness of intercultural and interdisciplinary problem solving, motivation, and knowledge needed for this type of course and team and design skills through self-assessment and reflection questions, which were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively with a rubric. Preliminary results of this case study show, overall, students recognize that their success in the course is dependent on having and applying knowledge and skills beyond content knowledge and the course is important. They do not see differences in problem solving approaches between cultures but do between disciplines. A discrepancy was seen between how students’ self-assessed their knowledge in team and design skills and their quantitative rubric scores. They assessed themselves as having higher competences in both areas compared to the standard developed. Through the qualitative analysis of the reflection questions, existing, basic knowledge, communication, and teamwork were described as important to the design process and communication including conflict resolution and splitting the workload to teamwork skills.

Pinkelman, R. J., & Dixon, D. J., & Hampe, M. J. (2017, June), Nontraditional, interdisciplinary immersive approach to Chemical Engineering design: A case study assessment and analysis Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28710

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