279425 Incorporating Process Simulation Across the Chemical Engineering Curriculum to Improve Student Performance On the Capstone Design Project

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 10:35 AM
Shadyside (Omni )
David A. Rockstraw and Martha C. Mitchell, Chemical Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

The New Mexico State University Chemical Engineering Department recently made changes to the core curriculum to accommodate increased training in the use of chemical process simulation (Aspen Plus®) in parallel with the fundamental topics of the discipline.  Over the course of five consecutive semesters, students learn aspects of the simulator, solving the same problems in simulation lab that were previously solved by hand calculation in their courses.  The 2012 graduating seniors received twice the exposure hours to the simulator as previous graduating classes, and the 2013 graduating class will have received twice the hours of exposure of the 2012 graduating class.  The increased level of understanding of how to properly use the simulator for process design has led to significant improvement in student performance on their capstone design projects in 2012.  This presentation will describe the curriculum changes made that have permitted this improvement in student work, and the content and methodologies of the design courses in the sequence.

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