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Undergraduate Validation Of Cutting Edge Calorimetry Of An Industrial Affiliate’s Novel Energy Source

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovations in the CHE Laboratory

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1291.1 - 14.1291.10



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Paper Authors

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Peter Mark Jansson Rowan University

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Ulrich Schwabe Rowan University

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Nathaniel Downes Rowan University

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Patrick Hoffman Rowan University

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Matthew Abdallah Rowan University

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

Undergraduate Validation of Calorimetry of an Industrial Affiliate’s Novel Energy Source

Abstract A major component of the Rowan University (RU) engineering program is the clinic course, which gives students the opportunity to work with industrial partners on real projects, while still maintaining a classroom environment. The Blacklight Power (BLP) project consists of the validation of calorimetry results of a novel heat source of an industrial affiliate. Analyzing the results of the calorimetry experiments they performed, following protocols they developed themselves, students demonstrated that their data consistently had less than 1% error. The work involved setting up rigorous protocols, MATLAB programming, Labview data collection and analysis, as well as summarizing the experimental results. These students have experienced, first hand, what is required to bring a potential novel energy source forward. This paper describes how these students were involved as part of their junior and senior clinic course work to be the first group to replicate these results in a third party location outside of the industrial affiliate’s own labs. An important part of the engineering pedagogy at Rowan University is to ensure that students have the benefit of using their engineering skills in an applied manner – to real world challenges. This paper starts with a short background on the clinic program, which provides the skeletal system for this and many other projects. It will then go into a project overview that includes the objective, test setup and procedure which entail how the students used different skills from their engineering background to troubleshoot problems within the project. The next section provides the current results of the students’ work followed by a conclusion and discussion of results.

Background The Engineering clinic program at RU provides unique projects and learning environment for its undergraduate students. Traditional lecture courses generally do not provide much practical experience and while they may effectively relate the concepts they teach, they do not provide the experience of applying these concepts the way an open ended problem might. The alternative is providing students with internships, which do take place in a professional environment and work may be tangible to the employer, but generally do not provide for a favorable learning environment.

The RU clinic program combines the relative merits of both the classroom environment with the more professional goals of an internship into one course. The students are assigned to a project, generally with an industrial partner or another university, and the students use whatever skills at their disposal towards the goal of that particular project. A wide variety of projects allows students to request projects in areas that are of interest to themselves, rather than generic problems and projects that are focused on demonstrating a particular concept. This program does have real projects where results are expected, but are conducted in more of a classroom environment, with access to engineering faculty members who can provide advice where needed.

Jansson, P. M., & Schwabe, U., & Downes, N., & Hoffman, P., & Abdallah, M. (2009, June), Undergraduate Validation Of Cutting Edge Calorimetry Of An Industrial Affiliate’s Novel Energy Source Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5701

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