280914 Improving Process Engineering Tools and Their Application in Chemical Engineering Curriculum

Monday, October 29, 2012: 4:45 PM
328 (Convention Center )
Ajay Lakshmanan, Aspen Technology, Inc., Burlington, MA, Boyd Gochenour, Aspen Technology, Inc., Burlington and George W. Huber, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, MA

Accurate modeling can offer valuable insight into understanding the intricacies and trade-offs involved in a process plant.  Over the past several decades different decision-support tools have been developed for specific business processes such as process modeling, design, simulation and optimization, control, production planning and scheduling.  These tools are highly specialized and were focused on expert users.  Advances in computing technology and devices have enabled educators and practitioners to introduce these tools to students and to other mainstream users earlier in the curriculum.  To stay in sync with this new user community significant steps have been made in the past decade to improve these tools.  This paper discusses how feedback from users in the universities and in the industry impacted the design of chemical engineering simulation and planning tools that are faster to learn and easier to use. 

Specific topics that will be detailed include the design of a user workflow based interface for process engineering and planning tools that improves discoverability of “expert” features by the novice user; enhanced collaboration and search capabilities that enable users to locate relevant information within seconds, improved access to process engineering tools any time anywhere through mobile devices; and the joint work with universities to develop training modules for students.

The paper will also detail case studies and best practices at various universities on how professors have applied these tools in their university curriculum to further Chemical Engineering education.

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