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The Minimum Core For Chemical Engineering: How Much Bathwater Can We Throw Out?

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovative Topics in ChE Curriculum

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

10.1310.1 - 10.1310.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15343

Download Count

10

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Paper Authors

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Timothy Ward

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Robert Busch

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Abhaya Datye

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David Kauffman

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

The Minimum Core for Chemical Engineering: How Much Bathwater Can We Throw Out?

David Kauffman, Robert D. Busch, Abhaya K. Datye and Timothy L. Ward The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Abstract

The field of chemical engineering is expanding. Chemical engineers are currently working in such fields as biological processing, biochemical engineering, materials science, environmental engineering, electronic materials, nanotechnology, food processing, and many others, as well as in the more traditional fields of chemical and petrochemical manufacturing and fuels processing. University chemical engineering departments are under pressure – from students as well as from employers – to provide curricula which allow new, young chemical engineers to work effectively in these fields. In addition, there is pressure – particularly from employers – to broaden students’ skills and knowledge in “soft” areas – communications, economics, business and management practices, foreign languages, etc. At the same time, there is pressure – particularly from state governments – to avoid “credit-hour creep” and to graduate students in four years. One way to meet these demands is through a layered curriculum in which all chemical engineering students would learn the minimum basic material needed to qualify as chemical engineers and then would add layers of specialization and breadth. It is our contention that a core of about twelve semester hours of chemical engineering courses, together with appropriate chemistry, physics and mathematics, can provide the minimum basic material. There could then be ample room for students to complete their undergraduate education, including laboratory and design work, in a chemical engineering specialty area program which would incorporate applications of the basic core material and fundamental material for the specialty. This paper offers one version of a minimum core along with illustrations of how specialty areas would build on it.

Introduction

The field of chemical engineering is expanding. Chemical engineers are currently working in such fields as biological processing, biochemical engineering, materials science, environmental engineering, electronic materials, nanotechnology, food processing, and many others as well as in the more traditional fields of chemical and petrochemical manufacturing and fuels processing. And it is not just our students who are finding work in these technical areas, but our faculty also. Just look at the contents of AIChE Journal1 or the academic job announcements in Chemical Engineering Progress2. University chemical engineering departments are under pressure – from students as well as from employers – to provide curricula which allow new, young chemical engineers to work effectively in these fields.

In addition, there is pressure – particularly from employers – to broaden students’ skills knowledge in “soft” areas – communications, economics, business and management practices, foreign languages, etc. At the same time, there is pressure – particularly from state governments

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

Ward, T., & Busch, R., & Datye, A., & Kauffman, D. (2005, June), The Minimum Core For Chemical Engineering: How Much Bathwater Can We Throw Out? Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15343

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