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Solving Material Balance Problems at Unsteady State using a Remote Laboratory in the classroom

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Real and Virtual - "New" Approaches to Teaching "Old" Courses

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1077.1 - 23.1077.16

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Paper Authors


Darinka del Carmen Ramirez Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), México

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Dr. Darinka del Carmen Ramírez Hernández
has been a professor in the Chemical Engineering Department of Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Campus Monterrey, México since 1996. She also works on the Virtual Laboratory Project at ITESM.
Dr. Ramírez earned a Ph.D. in Innovation in Education from ITESM in 2011, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from ITESM in 1989, and a B.S. in Biochemical Engineering from IT La Paz in 1987. She teaches to first and second-year chemical engineering students. Dr. Ramirez's main subjects include Material Balances, Energy Balances, and Thermodynamics. She also teaches to students from the master's program in Education using Technology at the Universidad Virtual del Tecnológico de Monterrey. She has worked on projects with Canam-Romisa, Danisco Ingredients S.A. de C.V., GBM-Grupo Bioquímico Mexicano,. Grupo Industrial Chihuahua S. A. and Siemens. She was trained in Problem Based Learning strategy by the Wheeling Jesuit University-NASA at Wheeling, West Virginia.
Dr. Ramirez has several publications, including the chapter “El profesor como agente de cambio a través del trabajo colaborativo” (Translated: The teacher as an agent of change through collaborative work) in the book La escuela como organización de conocimiento (Translated: The school as an organization of knowledge).
She co-authored the proceeding “Enhancing Innovation and Creativity through Active Learning,” and that was published in 2006. Dr. Ramirez also participated as an editor to the International Journal of Engineering in Education in their special issue: “Active Learning in Engineering Education.”

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Manuel E Macías ITESM, Campus Monterrey

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Dr. Manuel Eduardo Macías-García holds a B.Sc. in Electronics and Communications Engineering from ITESM at Campus Monterrey and a Ph.D. in Electronics from Technical University of Dresden, Germany. Currently he is an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at ITESM, Campus Monterrey. He is in charge of the Tele-Engineering Lab and leads some research projects on Computer-Assisted Learning, Virtual Labs and Remote Labs to enhance the distance Learning/Training in the areas of Electronic and Automation.

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Solving Material Balance Problems at Unsteady State using a Remote Laboratory in the classroomEngineering education when explaining material balances at unsteady state means solvingproblems formulated as differential equations with respect to time, in other words, for thestudents means hard mathematics without seeing what is actually happening in real processes.The aim of this paper is to review the experience of teaching material balances at unsteady state(or transient state) but having access to the laboratory from the classroom at the same time.Therefore, the teacher is able to explain and to show (in real time) what is going on in theprocess. Students can do experiments and calculations from their desks.In addition, this remote laboratory could be used to explain many different options and ideas ofthe concept of unsteady state processes. Also the impact of this teaching class’s dynamics couldenhance the understanding of the concept, the processes and the applications of mathematicstowards the problem solution.Another advantage is that using one lab the teacher is able to help many more students thantrying to bring the students to the lab all the time. There is a matter of cost and equipmentlimitation. The experimental lab unit consists of a simple vessel equipped with all the necessaryinstrumentation to allow access from the class, but the real impact on the learning processes forthe future engineers happens in the classroom.We are dealing with a new generation of engineers, they are used to see, to touch, to experiencemore than ten years ago, they were born in the era of technology and they are highly motivatedwith the things they can see and understand. The results show some of these statements, but farfrom this the teacher can get the students happily engaged and learning all the time.

Ramirez, D. D. C., & Macías, M. E. (2013, June), Solving Material Balance Problems at Unsteady State using a Remote Laboratory in the classroom Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia.

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