249634 Integrating the Ipad and Iphone with Mass & Energy Balances

Monday, October 29, 2012: 4:05 PM
328 (Convention Center )
Jason E. Bara1, John Patrick McLemore2, Ashley M. Parker1, Katie E. Jennings1 and Harvis J. Smith1, (1)Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, (2)Schlumberger, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

The Chemical Engineering App was conceived to transform the information presented in a typical mass and energy balance course into a fully interactive suite of tools, spreadsheets, equations and data that will enhance students' learning experiences throughout their undergraduate curriculum yet also be highly useful to current chemical engineering professionals.  While most of the relatively small number of existing apps geared to chemical engineers merely present basic mathematical formulas into which the user provides one or more inputs (e.g. the ideal gas equation) or perform routine unit conversions, we have taken a much more rigorous approach to implementing problem-solving tools in mobile devices.  The major aspect of our strategy is to allow the user to directly access actual data within the calculations, providing a rapid and robust software package for tackling undergraduate course material.  Distinct features of our app include thermophysical property data for hundreds of compounds and elements, steam tables, spreadsheet tools, graphing of VLE, Antoine Equation and heat capacity, unit converters, as well as a number of other functions and information encountered in a mass and energy balance course.  We have also incorporated engines which can randomly generate an infinite number of mass and energy balance questions for a variety of unit operations as supplementary homework problems.

This presentation will discuss the history and motivation behind the Chemical Engineering App, the design philosophy, student feedback/response, and the impacts, challenges and opportunities in utilizing iPhones and iPads in teaching a mass and energy balance course.

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