Asee peer logo

Template Based Programming In Chemical Engineering Courses

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.975.1 - 6.975.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

David Silverstein

Download Paper |

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

Session 3513

Template Based Programming in Chemical Engineering Courses

David L. Silverstein University of Kentucky


Chemical engineers today are called upon to do more with computers than their predecessors even a few years ago. Not only do they have to do more with new (and unfamiliar) technologies, they are also called upon to work with old (and unfamiliar) software that dates back 20 years or more. The limited space available in the curriculum for computer training must be utilized to provide as broad a base as possible to enable graduates to adapt to the specific computing-related requirements of their employer as rapidly as possible. When combined with a large projected shortfall in qualified personnel to fill computer related jobs over the next ten years, chemical engineers may find themselves required to fulfill some computer based duties previously delegated to MIS and other support personnel.

One approach to preparing students for the wide variety of computer related issues that may arise in their engineering duties is to take a template-based approach to developing engineering software. This method provides students with a software infrastructure, or template, that handles basic tasks, such as input and output, and requires them to utilize the basic programming skills learned in an introduction to programming course to develop the code to implement engineering designs and calculations. By using this method, the student does not have to learn, for example, how to incorporate dialog boxes in a GUI application, but focuses on the engineering aspects of the program.

Students will broaden their understanding of the software they use, as they are given the opportunity to examine code in the context of a program they understand better than an abstract calculational tool such as a spreadsheet or CAS. They will have written the "guts": only the "shell" is provided. Motivated students will work with the "shell" and deepen their understanding of broader programming concepts. The use of this approach in an undergraduate course in process modeling is examined. Some aspects of a proposed elective based upon this principle to broaden student exposure to other programming techniques (event driven, real time, etc. as opposed to procedural), languages (Java, C/C++, Visual Basic...), environments (Windows, UNIX, CE), object linking (custom ChemCAD modules, MS Office integration, DLLs), and interfaces (GUI, console, web) are presented.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Silverstein, D. (2001, June), Template Based Programming In Chemical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9897

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015