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Work-in-Progress: The Design of Up-to-Date Industry Problems for a Sophomore Chemical Engineering Course: Challenges and Gains of Industry Mentors

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Betul Bilgin The University of Illinois at Chicago

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Betul Bilgin is Clinical Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering (CHE) at the University of Illinois
at Chicago (UIC) and has been teaching the Senior Design I and II courses for 6 years and Introduction to
Thermodynamics for two years. Since her appointment in 2014 she has been exploring active learning,
peer instruction, team-based, hands-on, application-based techniques in her classes to fully engage her
students. She was selected as a UIC Teaching Scholar for Spring 2017, named as an American Institute of Chemical
Engineers (AIChE) “35 under 35” winner in the education category for 2017 and named as American
Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) “20 under 40” awardee for 2018.

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James W. Pellegrino The University of Illinois at Chicago

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James W. Pellegrino is Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor and Founding Co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research and development interests focus on children's and adult's thinking and learning and the implications of cognitive research and theory for assessment and instructional practice. He has published over 300 books, chapters and articles in the areas of cognition, instruction and assessment. He has served on several National Academy of Sciences study committees, including chair of the Committee for the Evaluation of the National and State Assessments of Educational Progress, co-chair of the Committee on the Foundations of Assessment, chair of the Committee on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills, and co-chair of the Committee on Developing Assessments of Science Proficiency in K-12. For several years he served as a Senior Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education. He is a past member of the Board on Testing and Assessment of the U.S. National Research Council, and a lifetime member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Vikas Berry The University of Illinois at Chicago

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In the last decades, the chemical engineering field has expanded and now encompasses other diverse fields such as pharmaceutical, renewable energy, nanoparticles, food products, and safety. However, the chemical engineering curriculum has not evolved at the same pace. Thus, the gap between industry needs and competencies developed in chemical engineering (CHE) programs has grown. To adequately address this problem, the authors’ goal is to synergize industry-student-academia and to enculturate classrooms with industry. Implementation of this model is particularly essential in the early years of the curriculum. As the first step, the authors aim to design and incorporate up-to-date industry problems into “Materials and Energy Balance” as a course assignment. The authors of this paper have been working with industry mentors from various areas of the chemical engineering field to design up-to-date application-based problems/projects for the selected CHE class. Five industrial mentors with different areas of expertise were selected. One industrial mentor is chosen particularly from process safety experts to integrate safety into the course. The sustainability of this model is dependent on understanding the gain and challenges of industry mentors. Thus, industry mentors are interviewed prior to and following the faculty-industry mentorship to determine the challenges and gains. This study describes these efforts and the data collected. Based on the data collected and analyses, challenges, and gains are identified. The findings of this study help to reveal the effective principles of industrial engagement for the evolving field of chemical engineering. The knowledge gained provide insights regarding important aspects of industry-faculty engagement and establish best practices. The results can help other institutions to build and maintain industry-faculty relationships.

Bilgin, B., & Pellegrino, J. W., & Berry, V. (2021, July), Work-in-Progress: The Design of Up-to-Date Industry Problems for a Sophomore Chemical Engineering Course: Challenges and Gains of Industry Mentors Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38220

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