379684 Developing Experiments Safely in an Undergraduate ChE Laboratory
Every chemical engineer will design experiments and evaluate experimental data at some point during their career. Thus, it is important for chemical engineering students to have a meaninful experience in their Senior laboratory course. Unfortunately, during a one semester course, there is hardly time to design, build, and test an experiment. At the University of Houston, we encourate chemical engineering students to take an Independent Study course during their rising Senior summer. For that course, they are given an experiment to research, design, build, punch, and commission. They must also perform safety audits and procedural audits for their experiment. Safety is stressed during each phase of the development of their experiment.
If successful, the experiment is incorporated into the Junior or Senior laboratory sessions. Not only do these summer students learn experimentation at the fundamental level, but they get a feel for process development, since what they do during the summer is a miniature process development project.
This presentation discusses the positive and negative aspect of this concept, a concept that not only provides evergreen experiments for the Junior and Senior laboratory sessions, but also provides chemical engineering students with experience at experimental design and process development.