- 3:20 PM

Process Control Education: Past, Present, and Future

Thomas F. Edgar, Chemical Engineering, Dept. of Chem. Eng.,The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station Stop C0400, Austin, TX 78712

The practice of process control has undergone significant changes during the past 40 years, and with it the content of typical courses in process control has also evolved, albeit more slowly. In this paper, a critical examination of the current state of teaching undergraduate and graduate students in process control is provided. In the undergraduate course suggestions are offered for streamlining the presentation of certain topics in order to incorporate new material (e.g., biological engineering). The increasing role of simulation to validate theory is discussed. While there is a plethora of established textbooks for the undergraduate course, the situation for graduate level instruction has fewer options. The development of a virtual control book as an on-line repository of material contributed by a number of faculty around the world is one way to deal with the shortage of appropriate textbooks, as well as keeping such materials up to date. Undoubtedly future advances in techolology in control and instrumentation will occur, but the undergraduate course may not change so much, being restricted to its current three credit hour format.

Web Page: www.engr.utexas.edu/che/directories/faculty/edgar.cfm