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Process Simulation In Chemical Engineering Design: A Potential Impediment To, Instead Of Catalyst For, Meeting Course Objectives

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.459.1 - 3.459.14

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Paper Authors

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Colin S. Howat

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

Session 3613

Process Simulation in Chemical Engineering Design: A Potential Impediment to, Instead of Catalyst for, Meeting Course Objectives

Colin S. Howat Kurata Thermodynamics Laboratory Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 66045-2223 USA

Capstone Design is creativity -- synthesis and evaluation. It is focuses on developing the confidence to practice. Any interference that detracts from this should be rooted out and discarded.

Abstract Chemical engineering design course objectives must focus on process synthesis and evaluation, specification identification and evaluation, solution estimation and information ambiguities. These should be met while reviewing fundamentals and problem solving methodology. The effectiveness of the structure of the University of Kansas Capstone Design course is evident by the number of awards that students have won in the only long-term measure of design performance, the AIChE National Student Design Competition.

Process simulation software usage is a necessary tool in professional practice. While students should be exposed to this software, the myriad of options and the ethereal ease of use pose a Sirenic temptation to students. Student use is deceptively inefficient and unproductive despite the apparent proliferation of work product embodied in software output. This inefficiency increases the likelihood that the course objectives are not met.

The competing goals of meeting course objectives and using process simulation software can only be met if the course objectives remain paramount, the software takes its proper role as a mere tool and the students are taught to use it in this context. This paper provides a synergistic integration of software into chemical engineering capstone design. Recommended practice guidelines are proposed.

1 C. S. Howat ASEE 1998 Process Simulation in Design

Howat, C. S. (1998, June), Process Simulation In Chemical Engineering Design: A Potential Impediment To, Instead Of Catalyst For, Meeting Course Objectives Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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