There are several problems that instructors commonly encounter when trying to create realistic design projects:
• Students usually have a limited background in solids handling, batch processing, multiphase flow, mixing, and other aspects of unit operations that are very important in industrial design and scale-up.
• Very few schools introduce students to industry codes and standards and show how these are used to simplify the design process and ensure safe, operable designs.
• Students usually have not been taught much about safety, environmental impact and quality control, which have major implications for most designs.
• The problem statement must leave room for the students to demonstrate creativity, while ensuring that they have a reasonable chance of accomplishing something significant in a short amount of time with little or no experience.
• The students probably are not familiar with computer tools for design and costing, even if these are available on campus.
Based on conversations with industrial colleagues who teach design, and my own experience at Northwestern, the paper will give suggestions on how the design course can better prepare students to enter the process industries.