375099 The Senior Chemical Engineering Laboratory Course As a Communications Course

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 9:30 AM
M105 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Jonathan H. Worstell, Chemical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX

A common "buzz" word today is "innovation", as is the phrase, "idea generation". However, little is said by those using these buzzes about how idea generation becomes innovation. Communication is the first step in converting idea generation into innovation. It matters little how good your idea is: if you cannot convince others of its value, it has no value; that is --- your idea will not become an innovation.

This point is not stressed in Chemical Engineering programs. Chemical Engineering students receive little training in writing or oral presentations, both of which are required to convert an idea into an innovation. The writing courses Chemical Engineering students take are Freshman English and Technical Writing, neither of which prepares the student for selling ideas. Selling ideas requires clear, succinct writing. Freshman English and Technical Writing teach long, convoluted sentence structures, sentences not conducive to selling ideas. Besides, the longer, more convoluted the sentence, the more likely the writer will violate English grammar. With regard to oral communication, Chemical Engineering students receive scant training.

The Senior Laboratory Practices course provides an opportunity to teach Chemical Engineering students the communication skills they will need to convert their ideas into innovations.

This talk discusses how to use the Senior Laboratory Practices course as a communications course.

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See more of this Session: Professional Skills Development in the Chemical Engineering Curriculum
See more of this Group/Topical: Education Division