470396 Vertical Integration of the Chemical Engineering Curriculum By Expansive, Progressive Projects

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 9:02 AM
Continental 3 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Justin Opatkiewicz, NanoEngineering, UCSD, La Jolla, CA

Too often, students identify each course in their curriculum as isolated and unrelated to any other course, before or after. This can lead to significant confusion or anxiety when the student is “suddenly” forced to incorporate all these topics into their senior design and senior lab courses. Often, these students are left at a severe disadvantage by being forced to augment their understanding and means of analysis of a system - all because of a lack of understanding of course-to-course cohesion. A project-based approach to the entire curriculum can be utilized to avoid this situation. Years prior to the senior design project, students can be organized into groups and encouraged to analyze an overall industrial process from day one of their engineering education. They start with the most basic analysis of material and energy balances, but then expand those analyses as they progress. Instead of simply observing a whole new project with each subsequent course, they continue with the same process, utilizing material with each new course and correcting/optimizing their analysis. By the time they reach their senior year and their senior design course(s), they will have fully analyzed a single process from all perspectives and are better prepared for the detailed design criteria expected of them. Not only are they better prepared for their senior level courses, they are also more practiced for their post-academic careers.

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See more of this Session: Free Forum on Engineering Education: Junior and Senior Years
See more of this Group/Topical: Education Division