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Redesigning Senior Process Design

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Design and Computation in ChE Courses

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1063.1 - 10.1063.8



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Paper Authors

author page

David Miller

author page

Atanas Serbezov

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

Redesigning Senior Process Design

David C. Miller* and Atanas Serbezov Department of Chemical Engineering Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Introduction Senior design is widely regarded as an important capstone experience for undergraduate engineering students. By integrating material from previous courses, it provides a conceptual framework for tackling a wide variety of open-ended, real-world engineering problems. Traditionally, senior design consists of the following common elements: process economics, capital costing, simulation and a grass-roots design project. As the nature of the chemical engineering profession has evolved and expanded into new areas, there has been increasing pressure to modify senior process design to better prepare graduates for the realities which they will face during their careers. Some of the challenges discussed in the literature include the following: 1. Shifting the emphasis from process design to product design within the chemical industry [1-3]. 2. Including the design of batch processes in addition to continuous processes to reflect the growth areas of the chemical industry [4]. 3. The need to understand the business factors that affect design [3,5] 4. The need to incorporate sustainable development and design of green processes [6]. In addition to changes in the engineering profession, several educational challenges must be addressed to allow senior design to provide the benefits that are desired. These challenges include the following: 5. Students are often uncomfortable with open-ended problems with no single right answer. Because these types of problems typically occur primarily in senior design, they have limited opportunity to learn how to approach them [7]. 6. The design project was traditionally assigned during the latter part of the spring term of the senior year. Students often lack time and energy to wrestle with the difficult, open-ended issues and have difficulty pursuing the project to a sufficient depth. 7. Because design occurs at the end of the curriculum, it is difficult to offer electives that would build on the design material. Over the past several years, the senior design sequence at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been redesigned to address many of these seven challenges. We have expanded the design

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Miller, D., & Serbezov, A. (2005, June), Redesigning Senior Process Design Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14714

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