Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Northeastern University has developed a two-semester approach to the Unit Operations Laboratory introducing different modes of learning through a Discovery, Development and Design approach. Students are introduced to broader concepts that allow them to develop skills in designing experiments and analyses (discovery), build upon those concepts while working on equipment to address specific problem statements (development), and then apply their knowledge and experience in designing an experiment, unit operation, or system (design). The first semester focuses on fluid mechanics, and the second semester, emphasizes heat and mass transfer and separations. The culmination of these two semesters is a four-week design challenge on water remediation. For this project, students design and build a small circulating river system with multiple design characteristics, such as including stagnation, rapids, and an environmental setting (e.g. rural vs. urban). The student teams then select a pollution scenario (run-off or point-source, and sewage waste or industrial waste) which they will then have to design a treatment system for in order to meet the clean-water standards for rivers as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Simulated pollutants containing both chemical and particulate contaminants with unknown compositions are provided to the students for them to conduct bench scale testing as they design and construct their treatment system to address pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, conductivity, turbidity, and temperature. Using basic chemicals and novel filtration designs, students implement an integrated understanding of fluid mechanics, mass transfer, separations, thermodynamics, and kinetics in order to characterize their systems and execute their remediation systems over two trials within their river. The project concludes with a technical report written as from a company to a town council to propose their full-scale treatment system. The project also finishes with a novel presentation in which the student teams must give a town hall-style presentation and defend their proposed treatment system to an audience of upper classmen, faculty, and alumni, who act as local citizens and ask probing and demanding questions of the presenters. Our presentation will describe the methods, details, and assessment of a unique and fulfilling laboratory module.
Landherr, L. J., & Pfluger, C., & Koppes, R. A. (2018, June), The River Project: an Open-Ended Engineering Design Challenge from Bench-Scale to Pilot-Scale Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31122
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