UNIVERSITY - INDUSTRY RELATIONS.
OBSOLETE CURRICULA . . . . . . . . .
ELECTRONICS LAB ............
TEACHING OPTIMIZATION . . . . . . .
CONTEMPORARY REACTOR COURSE. .
LIQUID STATE PHYSICS, II . . . . .
A THERMO PARADOX . . . . .. . . . ..
BOOK REVIEWS .............
. . . . . Holland
. . . . . .. Corcoran
. . . . . . . . . Jolls
. . . . . .. Edwards
. . . . .. Lacksonen
. . . . . Pings
. . . . . .. Brainard
. . . . Smith * Fair
. . . . . . . Weber
41/ Obert & Sell d1W 1.at ao-campud Mackfp ai.. Ad aA 4 ed
You won't just get your feet wet.
Standard Oil Company of California offers all
the experience you can soak up.
You'll start out facing practical situations and
using your academic knowl-
edge and skills to solve real
problems. You may even have
to improvise and develop
new approaches to specific
We rotate the assign-
ments of young professionals.
You will be able to work
with different groups of 0
experienced colleagues and sharpen your skills on
a variety of projects.
Talk with our representative when he comes
to your campus about the
opportunities we have for
you. Check your placement
office for more information or
write to: D. C. Reid, Coordi-
nator, Professional Employ-
ment, Standard Oil Company
of California, 225 Bush Street
-Room 105, San Francisco,
Standard Oil Company of California
An Equal Opportunity Employer
EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS ADDRESS
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Editor: Ray Fahien
Associate Editor: Mack Tyner
Business Manager: R. B. Bennett
Publications Board and Regional
CENTRAL: James H. Weber
Chairman of Publication Board
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
WEST: William H. Corcoran
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California 91109
SOUTH: Charles Littlejohn
Clemson, South Carolina 29631
SOUTHWEST: J. R. Crump
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77004
EAST: Robert Matteson
Sun Oil Company
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19100
E. P. Bartkus
E. I. du Pont de Nemours
Wilmington, Delaware 19898
Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute
Brooklyn, New York 11201
NORTHEAST: George D. Keeffe
Newark College of Engineering
Newark, New Jersey, 07102
NORTH: J. J. Martin
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
NORTHWEST: R. W. Moulton
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98105
J. A. Bergantz
State University of New York
Buffalo, New York 14200
D. R. Coughanowr
Chemical Engineering Education
VOLUME 4, NUMBER 2 SPRING 1970
58 The Educator
Professor Duane Bruley
72 Departments of Chemical Engineering
Nebraska, James H. Weber
66 The Curriculum
Obsolete Curricula for an Obsolescent Pro-
fession ? - or What About Chemical Engi-
neering Today? Wm. H. Corcoran
76 The Classroom
Toward a Contemporary Course in Graduate
Kinetics and Reactor Design, James W.
82 Teaching Optimization: The Best of all
Possible Approaches, L. L. Edwards
86 The Laboratory
Electronics and Instrumentation Techniques
for ChE Grad Students, Kenneth R. Jolls
90 Problems for Teachers
Does the Entropy of a Compound System
Always Maximize in the Equilibrium
State? Alan J. Brainard
94 Views and Opinions
The Little Red School House,
E. F. Obert and G. R. Sell
61, 97 Book Reviews
56 Division Activities
56 ChE News
62 Closing the University - Industry Gap,
C. D. Holland
98 &/eh caI ai #ee'iwsf Awatd -?ect&Me-1969
Some Current Studies in Liquid State
Physics, Part 2, C. J. Pings
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION is published quarterly by the Chemical
Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education. The publication
is edited at the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Florida. Second-class
postage is paid at Gainesville, Florida, and at DeLand, Florida. Correspondence
regarding editorial matter, circulation and changes of address should be addressed
to the Editor at Gainesville, Florida 32601. Advertising rates and information are
available from the advertising representatives. Plates and other advertising material
may be sent directly to the printer: E. 0. Painter Printing Co., 137 E. Wisconsin
Ave., DeLand, Florida 32720. Subscription rate U.S., Canada, and Mexico is $10 per
year to non-members of the ChE division of ASEE, $6 per year mailed to members.
and $4 per year to ChE faculty in bulk mailing. Individual copies of Vol. 2 and 3
are $3 each. Copyright (C 1970, ChE Division of ASEE, Ray Fahien, Editor. The
statements and opinions expressed in this periodical are those of the writers and
not necessarily those of the ChE Division of the ASEE which body assumes no
responsibility for them.
INDUSTRIAL SPONSORS: T following companieS ace donated
kWf" /04 e d"upWe4 o CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION dnfin 1970:
C. F. BRAUN & CO
DOW CHEMICAL CO.
THE PROCTER AND GAMBLE CO.
THE 3M COMPANY
MALLINCKRODT CHEMICAL CO
STANDARD OIL (IND) FOUNDATION
DEPARTMENTAL SPONSORS: The /lows //ff4 department kane
coAdued to &i e dappo/t of CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION in 1970
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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
Eulogy to Professor Jack Gerster
Sir: Professor Jack A. Gerster, Chairman of the Chemi-
cal Engineering Department, passed away January 20,
1970. His contributions to the University of Delaware
were extensive, and his death creates a significant void
in our department.
Jack Gerster was born in Pittsburgh in 1919 and re-
ceived his education through the PhD at Ohio State.
After teaching briefly at Tulane he spent the wartime
days with the Manhattan project. He came to this uni-
versity in 1946 to join the small department headed by
A. P. Colburn. He rose to the rank of professor in 1955
and was appointed H. Fletcher Brown Professor in
1962. This was changed to the Allan P. Colburn pro-
fessorship when he assumed the departmental chairman-
ship in 1966.
Jack immediately developed a reputation for effective
teaching. His skills in exposition were recognized for-
mally by the University with a teaching excellence award
in 1964 and were a cause for wonderment by his col-
leagues. Jack always selected simple yet highly instruc-
tive problems illustrations. His homework problems pro-
vided challenging yet interesting clarification of subtle
points of his arguments. His course material was well
organized and his course goals were clearly defined; he
met the personal needs of his students in detail. One of
our current seniors dropped out of school in the 9th grade
and was encouraged and motivated by Jack Gerster to
complete his education on a part-time basis. We expect
him to graduate this June with Honors.
Jack's primary research interest was distillation.
Prior to his efforts it generally was risky to build a
distillation tower without testing the system in pilot
plant equipment. His work in the engineering sciences
in fluid mechanics and mass transfer, as applied to tray
efficiencies, has made the direct construction of commer-
cial scale distillation towers upon untried systems rou-
tine. These efforts reflect Jack's penchant for developing
practical solutions to real problems. The AIChE awarded
Sir: I was most interested to read Dr. George W. Rob-
erts' letter in the Winter Issue commenting on my article
in the Fall 1969 issue. Apparently the two trends that I
had foreseen in the year 1966-67 have been moving much
more rapidly than expected.
The article "The Chemistry-Chemical Engineering
Merry-Go-Round" was written during the year 1966-67
for presentation at the Annual ASEE meeting in June
1967. The data therefore had to be from 1966-67 catalogs
and in a few cases 1965-66 data were used.
The two trends that were noted and commented upon
at the 1967 ASEE meeting were 1) A decrease in the
total number of credit hours for graduation and 2) a
tendency towards a general engineering degree at the
BS level with specialization concentrated in the 5th year
ending in the MS as the first professional designated
him the Professional Progress Award in 1962 for his
contributions in the field of distillation.
The separation of many narrow boiling mixtures often
can be accomplished by adding an extractive agent. Be-
fore Professor Gerster's efforts the selection of extractive
agents was hit-or-miss. Jack developed, interpreted and
organized the data on all extractive agents for hydro-
carbon separations into a beautifully complete and sim-
ple representation. His lead paper in the September
issue of Chemical Engineering Progress continued his
efforts to develop clear insights into a complex problem.
Jack Gerster's easy-going and relaxed manner yielded
many warm friendships. His graduate students were
always treated as equals attacking problems of common
interest. His faculty associates found him extraordin-
arily generous with his time.
Jack also was an excellent administrator, for he was
most successful in developing agreement and acceptance
of a common position on most policy decisions. However,
he was no push over, for when he thought his associates
were clearly wrong, he would reluctantly but firmly
follow his sensitive instincts. His decisions were correct
with uncanny regularity.
His administrative talent, along with his technical
competence, were effectively employed in service to the
profession. He organized the first research program devel-
oped, supported and carried forward by the AIChE.
The "Bubble Tray Design Manual" was published by the
AIChE in 1958 as a summary of the programs at Dela-
ware, Michigan and North Carolina. Although the au-
thors of the report are not cited, Jack was instrumental
in the completion of the distillation research programs
and contributed substantially to the final report.
Thus Jack Gerster was superb in teaching, research
and administration. His professional life serves as a goal
and inspiration to his associates.
Chemical Engineering Department
University of Delaware
At that time (1967) I predicted that by 1975 the ma.
jority of the engineering graduates would not specialize
sufficiently at the BS level to justify a designated degree.
The specialization would be concentrated in the 5th year
resulting in a MS degree with designation.
The other trend that was occurring in the 60's was the
decrease in total credits either on the semester or quar-
terly basis, required for the BS degree. The result was
that many courses (like general chemistry) which were
allowed 4 or 5 credits per semester were cut to 3 or 4
credits. However other courses than Chemistry were cut
so that the percentage allotted to the various categories
of Science, Engineering and Humanities was not affected
materially. Thus where previously 144 to 148 semester
credits were given for a BS degree many institutions cut
back to 128-135 semester credits.
( P CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DIVISION
The annual ASEE meeting will be held at
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio on June
22-25, 1970. The ChE Program Chairman for
the meeting is Professor John T. Cumming, The
Cleveland State University, Cleveland, 44115.
The program for the ChE Division follows:
Wednesday, June 24
Annual Lectureship Award
Professor J. M. Smith, University
of California, Davis
Conference, G. David Shilling, pre-
Innovative Teaching Techniques in
A Self-Paced Course for Sopho-
mores, J. E. Stice
Improving the Lecture: Semi-
Notes Can Help, R. A. Mischke
Teaching Design via the Time-
Sharing Computer, R. V. Jelinek
Speaker: Dr. W. H. Johannes, Ohio
State University, "Strangers in
Thursday, June 25
8:00-9:45 A.M. Department Heads Conference
10:00-11:45 A.M. Conference, L. E. Burkhart, presid-
The Use of Analog and Hybrid
Computers in ChE Education
-The Quest for Insight, R. C.
Introduction of Hybrid Compu-
tation into the Undergraduate
ChE Curriculum, D. B. Green-
Interactive Remote Analog Com-
puter Terminals in the Class-
room, D. C. Martin
1:45-3:30 P.M. Conference, A. W. Westerberg, pre-
Computer Control of ChE Labora-
A facility for Education in Real-
Time Computing, J. H. Christen-
Laboratory Equipment Control Uti-
lizing a Portable Remote Com-
puter Terminal with Patch Panel
Interface, A. W. Westerberg
The Real-Time Computing Facili-
ties at the University of Alberta,
D. G. Fisher
Dr. Roberts will check his figures in
trendy, that he will find some very
Ralph A. Morgen
Delray Beach, Fla.
ANNUAL STUDENT NIGHT
The National Capital Section hosted the chem-
ical engineering students from the University of
Maryland and the Catholic University of Amer-
ica at the Annual Student Night on February 25,
1970. The three major objectives of filling,
thrilling, and instilling the students were met by
an excellent meal, a most interesting talk by Dr.
Ellis Lippincott on "Polywater Water", and the
presentation of awards to outstanding students
of both universities.
The evening speaker, Dr. Lippincott of the
University of Maryland, could not suppress his
personal enthusiasm for his subject and, as the
talk progressed, his enthusiasm was transmitted
to his listeners, as more and more strange facts
were presented on the properties of this most
unusual material, polywater. "Normal" water
has always been considered as a rather anomalous
material, but the properties of polywater are
something else again.
Dr. Ken Bischoff, a member of the Maryland
faculty, presented a brief history of the Univer-
sity of Maryland College of Engineering and the
Glenn L. Martin Institute of Technology, as part
of the commemoration of anniversaries of these
two important segments of the University, which
occur this year.
National Capital Section Professional Prog-
ress Awards were given to Philip A. Smith of
Catholic University and to Robert F. Denier of
the University of Maryland. National AIChE
Scholastic Awards were received by Yui Lam of
Maryland and by Victor A. Atiemo-Obeng of
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
I believe that if
light of these two
What is a Chemical Engineer doing at NCR ?
Lots of things. With a BS, MS or Ph.D. in chemical engineering,
he may be working with plastics, polymers, inks, paper, metals,
foods or pharmaceuticals.
In NCR's Finishes Control Laboratory, his assignment might deal
with new process design for electro or electroless plating. Or
with new etching techniques for printed-thru-hole circuit boards.
In Chemical Development, he might be working with special
paper products for business systems (such as carbonless transfer
and thermocopy paper, punched cards, and tape). He might be
developing new media storage by changing materials and coat-
In the Plastics Laboratory, you may find him evaluating new ma-
terials, determining new methods of production, developing
new processes or improving old ones.
Capsular Research and Development would involve him in NCR's
unique microencapsulation process which locks up a material
in a microscopic capsule for subsequent release. This has appli-
cations in such fields as pharmaceuticals, foods and adhesives.
In NCR's Materials Analytial Services group, he might assist our
research organizations - qualifying production materials or
developing new wet and dry test techniques.
If your interests fit into this broad picture of process develop-
ment, product development and product application, your pro-
fessional career could be with NCR.
Write to: Mr. William J. Stephan
Executive & Professional Placement
The National Cash Register Company
Main & K Streets
Dayton, Ohio 45409
THE NATIONAL CASH REGISTER CO. O
We are an Equal Opportunity Empolyer
CEE features an
doubles as head
varsity tennis coach.
DUANE BRULEY OF CLEMSON
This feature article was contributed by Pro-
fessor C. E. Littlejohn, chairman at Clemson
At about the same time that a young gradu-
ate student in neighboring Tennessee was becom-
ing increasingly interested in a professional
teaching career, Clemson University's chemical
engineering department was making plans to
officer South Carolina's first PhD program in
These independent developments of 1960
would soon have a direct bearing on each other
and on the future of Duane F. Bruley, then a
student at the University of Tennessee pursuing
his doctorate in chemical engineering.
The pioneering effort at Clemson was sched-
uled to begin in the fall of 1962 and additional
faculty were needed to help carry the new doc-
toral program forward. Dr. Bruley joined the
department in September of that year and
launched what was to become an outstanding
Now in his eighth year at Clemson, the 36-
year-old associate professor spends equal parts of
his time in a variety of research, teaching, and
administrative activities. His main research areas
are process dynamics and control and biomedical
engineering. He devotes one-half of his research
time to each of these areas.
"Emphasis in chemical engineering should be
placed directly on process dynamics. rather than
on control stability analysis," says Dr. Bruley.
Most of his research in process dynamics has
been on distributed parameter systems and direct
digital control and on-line optimization of chemi-
cal plants and processes. Dr. Bruley believes that
research endeavors should serve mainly as a
means of broadening one's teaching capabilities
at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
"In the academic world, research makes an
individual more specialized in certain areas so he
can contribute to his students at the forefront of
subject matter," says Dr. Bruley, whose research
at Clemson has been supported by grants from
the National Science Foundation and the National
Institutes of Health.
He believes strongly in the value of teamwork
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
among researchers from various disciplines and
has worked closely with the Medical University
of S. C. for the past six years on several projects
in anatomy. Their cooperative studies in oxygen
transport in the human brain could be of extreme
value in the protection against irreparable dam-
age to brain cells and other organs.
His notable work in this area was recognized
by the Southeastern Section of ASEE which pre-
sented its first place award for outstanding con-
tribution in research to Dr. Bruley in 1967.
Dr. Bruley is interested in teaching and re-
search at all levels. He teaches graduate and
undergraduate classes in chemical engineering
including these specialized areas: process dynam-
ics and control, mathematical modeling and simu-
lation, and heat and mass transfer.
"The student is the most important factor in
the academic world. The student is the only rea-
son we are here really," Dr. Bruley emphasizes.
They are always given first priority at both un-
dergraduate and graduate levels at Clemson. He
confides that it can be frustrating at times when
endless paper work and committee meetings seem
to interfere with the main goal of educating the
Dr. Bruley favors an arrangement which
places emphasis on graduate and undergraduate
training, adding that one benefits the other. "To
have a strong undergraduate program," explains
Dr. Bruley, "you should have a strong graduate
program involving research because this infor-
mation is used to improve the undergraduate
program." He says that an overly-emphasized
graduate program can be detrimental to the un-
dergraduates. "It must be a careful balance."
Besides his numerous engineering-related ac-
tivities, Dr. Bruley has served as head varsity
tennis coach since coming to Clemson, a position
which he accepted as part of a joint appointment
at the university. Last year's overall team record
of 16 wins and no losses reflects Dr. Bruley's
ability to inspire students to excel on the playing
court as well as in the classroom. The 1969 team
won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship
hands down, compiling a perfect 7-0 record in
play against some of the top teams in the east.
His squads have won 94 matches and lost 24 since
he took over the helm.
"Tennis is a very challenging and rewarding
experience along with professional life in chemi-
cal engineering," says Dr. Bruley. "It's really a
hobby." Athletics have long been an important
part of his life and Dr. Bruley believes they are
an indispensable phase of the total university
environment. "To operate optimally mentally," he
says, "a person should maintain good physical
Dr. Bruley played tennis and football at Eau
Claire State University during his undergraduate
days, and was head varsity tennis coach at the
University of Tennessee for one year prior to
coming to Clemson.
At Clemson, the tennis coaching staff is com-
posed entirely of chemical engineering professors.
Besides Dr. Bruley, Dr. Bill Beckwith, associate
professor, is assistant coach, and Dr. Joe Mullins,
associate professor, assists periodically.
Among his other Clemson duties, Dr. Bruley
chemical engineering texts
get the right reaction.
MATERIAL AND ENERGY BALANCE
By ERNEST J. HENLEY, University of Houston;
and EDWARD M. ROSEN, Monsanto Company.
This text covers the calculation of material and
energy balances for chemical processes, includ-
ing both traditional and computer analyses.
Mathematical solutions are developed from basic
principles; a knowledge of computational tech-
niques, algorithm development, and linear alge-
bra is required. About 20 computer examples
are included, and appendices provide four
highly useful and original computer programs,
in addition to extensive references and com-
1969 577 pages $14.95
FUNDAMENTALS OF MOMENTUM,
HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER
By JAMES R. WELTY, CHARLES E. WICKS,
and ROBERT E. WILSON;
all of Oregon State University.
This introductory text for undergraduate engi-
neering students integrates the traditionally
separate fields of momentum transfer, heat trans-
fer, and mass transfer. It treats the transfer
process as a fundamental part of the engineer-
ing curriculum. The first six chapters cover the
application of the laws of conservation of mass,
Newton's second law of motion, and the first
law of thermodynamics to control volumes.
Subsequent sections apply the fundamental laws
to momentum, heat, and mass transfer, employ-
ing a consistent control volume point of view.
Special topics include radiant heat transfer and
the role of turbulence. Over 500 problems are
provided, with answers to every third problem.
Instructor's Manual Available
1969 697 pages $16.50
BY STATISTICAL METHODS
By DAVID M. HIMMELBLAU,
University of Texas.
This book describes statistical methods for the
evaluation and modeling of continuous man-
made and natural processes. It enables the stu-
dent to orient his understanding of deterministic
design and analysis to accommodate the concept
of randomness in process variables.
Modern methods are given for preparation and
comparison of steady-state and dynamic empiri-
cal models, and for estimating their coefficients.
Also presented are ways of designing experi-
ments to discriminate among models and to re-
duce parameter confidence regions most effi-
ciently. Emphasis has been given to discussion
of what happens if the assumptions made about
the process model are not fulfilled in practice
and to illustrations of some nonideal experi-
mental data actually encountered in practice.
Models based on transport phenomena receive
Although major emphasis has been placed on
describing practical tools for the scientist, en-
gineer, and advanced students, enough theory
is included to enable the student to understand
the signicance of the respective techniques.
1970 463 pages $19.95
JOHN WILEY & SONS, Inc.
605 THIRD AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y. 10016
22 Worcester Road, Rexdale, Ontario
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
is in charge of the department's process control
computer laboratory. This facility includes a
GE-312 digital process control computer and
peripheral equipment which was a competitive
gift awarded by Dow Chemical Co., Midland,
Mich., on the basis of a proposal submitted by
the department. The laboratory also contains a
TR-48/DES-30 analog/digital logic package
which was granted by the National Science Foun-
During his seven years at Clemson, Dr. Bru-
ley has had 18 articles published or accepted for
publication and filled 35 speaking engagements,
including an invitation to the University of Gote-
burg, Sweden, in June, 1968.
Dr. Bruley is a member of the AIChE, Tau
Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, the Simulation Council, and is
a registered professional engineer in South Caro-
lina. A native of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Dr. Bru-
ley is an honor graduate of the University of
Wisconsin, receiving a BS degree in chemical en-
ingeering in 1956. While there, he held a Uni-
versal Oil Products scholarship.
He then attended the Oak Ridge School of
Reactor Technology, Oak Ridge, Tenn., as a spe-
cial fellow in a one-year graduate nuclear engi-
neering program. Dr. Bruley later attended
Stanford University on an Atomic Energy Com-
mission fellowship and was graduated in 1959
with an MS in mechanical engineering.
At the University of Tennessee, Dr. Bruley
held Shell and Texaco foundation scholarships
while pursuing his PhD in chemical engineering
and serving as a graduate teaching assistant.
Dr. Bruley's wife is the former Suzanne Big-
ler. They have three sons: Scott, 6, Randy, 5,
and Mark, 2.
[ al book reviews
Design Studies in the Manufacture of Ethylene by
Pyrolysis of Naphtha, D. B. Tolmie (Ed.), The
University of Sydney, New South Wales, (Aus-
tralia), Department of Chemical Engineering,
This is a bound report of some 285 typed and
mimeographed legal-size pages. It covers the
efforts of 26 senior chemical engineering students
in the class of 1967 at The University of Sydney.
As the title suggests, the class project dealt with
the design and economic evaluation of an ethylene
plant. The plant capacity is 120,000 long tons
per year of polymer-grade (99.9% pure) ethy-
lene; because of the naphtha feedstock this en-
tails a considerable production of ethylene co-
products such as propylene, butylenes, and gaso-
The report is, divided into 12 chapters, each
covering the work of two students. Introductory
material is provided by Professors T. G. Hunter
and D. B. Tolmie and includes some treatment of
project scheduling and control. Chapters by the
students cover the following titles in sequence:
Economics and Technology
Storage and Transportation
Naphtha and Ethane Pyrolysis Furnaces
Scrubbing and Compressing Pyrolysis Gases
Heat and Power Economy, Utilities and
Acid Gas Removal
Drying of Cracked Gases
Plant and Services Layout
Optimizing Process Conditions
Each chapter includes a brief treatment of tech-
nology, a summary of detailed calculations, and a
list of references. In total, the report contains a
considerable amount of collected material on the
general subject of ethylene technology.
The contents of the report reflect industrial
practice to some extent, since the material was
reviewed and criticized by practitioners. It ex-
tends beyond conventional process design and in-
cludes such details as locations of fire hydrants
and first aid stations. It suffers from the time
constraints of students who are not able to con-
sider many of the alternate solutions to the prob-
lems at hand. However, the amount of work done
by the students and by the editor is indeed im-
pressive, and one wonders whether there was
(Continued on page 93)
CLOSING THE UNIVERSITY - INDUSTRY GAP
C. D. HOLLAND
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843
In the interest of promoting a closer relation-
ship between universities and industries, certain
programs of the Department of Chemical Engi-
neering at Texas A&M University are described.
Only those cooperative programs between indus-
try and the university which are of an unusual
nature and not in general practice are reviewed.
The programs described provide certain specific
ways in which universities and industries may
cooperate, and it is hoped that these examples
will lead to the generation of other means of
In general the Department of Chemical En-
gineering at Texas A&M University accepts the
responsibility for providing educational oppor-
tunities for people in three general classifica-
tions: (1) the undergraduate student, (2) the
graduate student, and (3) the practicing engi-
neer. A summary of some of the interactions
between our department and industry in these
general areas follows.
FRESHMAN FIELD TRIP
Shortly after our freshmen arrive in Septem-
ber, we meet with them and arrange for them
to take a one-day field trip during the second
week of classes. The trip is scheduled at an early
date in order to avoid conflicts with major
quizzes. The trip consists of a visit to a nearby
industry (or industries) within a radius of 100
to 150 miles of the university.
The primary purpose of this first field trip
is to motivate our students toward wanting to
make something of themselves. In general, most
of our entering freshmen have the ability to
handle the program in chemical engineering, but
they may not necessarily have the desire and
will to do so.
Thus far, we have taken four classes of fresh-
men on trips of this type, and we are still follow-
ing the same general format that we worked out
with Dr. W. B. Franklin (of Humble Oil and
Refining Company, Baytown, Texas) for the first
trip. To provide the necessary transportation,
we rent two large buses. We leave the campus
at about 6:30 a.m. and arrive at the plant site
(or sites) around 10:30 a.m. The remainder of
the morning is usually spent in a general session
in which the plant manager or someone well
along in the organization covers several general
topics such as why industry needs engineers,
some of the things engineers do, and usually a
brief description of their plant facilities.
Before lunch, about two or three freshmen
are assigned to each engineer. They remain with
this particular engineer for the remainder of the
day. First, they eat lunch with him, and then he
shows them some of the things he does in his job
and describes some of the responsibilities of
other jobs that they might have at some future
date. The precise program for each engineer is
left up to the respective engineer.
By arranging for our freshmen to become
acquainted with practicing engineers, we provide
them with examples of men who have success-
fully completed a degree program in chemical
engineering. Also, for each freshman, the prac-
ticing engineer that he meets represents a goal
or an example of what he can make of himself
in four years, provided he applies himself.
Since we have made several changes simul-
taneously in the operation of the university, it
is difficult to evaluate the effect of any one pro-
gram; however, our present senior class is almost
twice as large as any one of our senior classes
of recent years.
SOPHOMORE FIELD TRIP
Thus far we have taken our students on three
of these trips. The objective of these trips is to
give the student an over-all picture of the indus-
try in our area. This trip is scheduled for one
day during the first week after classes of the
fall semester begins. Last year Phillips provided
the buses and made all plans for the trip. They
followed the course of events from the produc-
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
Editor's Note: This department recently received an award from the
AIChE for its efforts in improving university-industry interaction.
Charles D. Holland is Professor and Head of the De-
partment of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M Uni-
versity. He has a BS from North Carolina State Uni-
versity and MS and PhD degrees from Texas A&M
University. Professor Holland teaches under-graduate
and graduate as well as continuing education courses.
He also directs research in the field of separation proc-
esses and is the author of numerous papers and two
books on distillation.
tion of oil at the well-head, through a gas plant,
a refinery, and a chemical complex at the Phillips'
Adams Terminal in Pasadena. This was a very
efficient trip. As soon as we had finished visiting
one facility, the guides for the next facility met
and rode in the buses to the next facility. During
this time, the guides discussed briefly the next
process that the students were to see. In this
way, most of the time at each facility could be
spent viewing the actual equipment.
We still have a conventional three-day field
trip for the juniors, but we have eliminated the
senior field trip. In addition, we have a coopera-
tive program in which the student works in in-
dustry and attends the university on alternate
Only one phase of our graduate program is
described here. The remainder of the program
is conducted in the usual way.
The following research program does, how-
ever, constitute somewhat of an innovation in
engineering research, and it is anticipated that
this approach will result in a better understand-
ing between educational institutions, industrial
organizations, and federal supporting agencies.
Briefly stated, it makes use of industrial
equipment at the plant sites as the pilot plant
to study each of several processes. The particular
processes under investigation include packed
absorbers, packed distillation columns, adsorp-
tion and desorption processes, evaporation, and
In this program, graduate students go to the
plant site and collect the data. On the basis of
these data, the students develop mathematical
models, which describe the steady state and un-
steady state behavior of each of the processes.
Simultaneously, the students develop suitable
numerical methods for solving problems involv-
ing these processes by use of high speed com-
This approach provides the opportunity for
the staff and the graduate students to work with
practicing engineers on problems that are of
common interest. Recent experience with this
method shows that the industrial assistance in
solving hardware problems, in making equipment
modifications, and in solving problems of various
types associated with the research constitute
substantial technical and financial contributions.
After it had been decided that experimental
confirmation of the mathematical models of in-
dustrial processes was needed, the following con-
siderations led to the formulation of the present
program. First, the possibility of constructing
large pilot plants at the university was consid-
ered and discarded because of the initial cost of
construction, the long period of time required to
go from the ordering of hardware to the cor-
relating of experimental results, the cost of
operating and maintaining such a facility, and
because of a variety of other problems such as
the source of a large feed stock and the disposal
of the effluent streams.
These problems were virtually eliminated by
making the decision to take advantage of exist-
ing commercial plants by using them as pilot
plants. This idea was pursued, and a small nat-
ural gasoline plant that was equipped with
packed distillation columns was found to be in
operation near Refugio, Texas. This plant is
owned jointly by the Hunt Oil Company and by
Humble Oil and Refining Company. To make use
of industrial equipment requires a great deal of
advanced planning. Before taking data on two
packed columns at this plant, thermowells and
thermocouples were inserted in two of the col-
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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
One phase of our graduate program . . . provides opportunity for staff and students to work with practicing
engineers on plant site problems that are of common interest.
umns-a packed absorber and a packed distilla-
tion column. Three students have used portions
of this research work to satisfy the research re-
quirements for their PhD degrees. One paper
describing the results of this work has been pub-
lished and three others have been accepted for
Another graduate student is working on the
modeling of systems of evaporators. He has made
several test runs on a 17-effect evaporator system
at Freeport, Texas. This plant belongs to the
Office of Saline Water of the Department of In-
terior. A paper describing the preliminary re-
sults of this project was presented at the AIChE
meeting in Los Angeles, 1968.
In another project, students are working on
the adsorption process. At the present time
there is renewed interest in the separation of
ethane and heavier components from natural gas
streams, which are relatively lean in these com-
ponents, by the use of columns filled with an
adsorbent such as charcoal.
One man has obtained laboratory data on ad-
sorption equilibria, and the other is obtaining
plant data through the cooperation of the Mobil
Oil Company. The laboratory data will be used
in the modeling of the commercial column. One
student whose dissertation was based on the
laboratory results and the correlation of these
results has received a PhD degree. Two papers
describing the results of this work have been
accepted for publication.
Another student is working on the liquid-
liquid extraction process. Arrangements have
been made to use one of the extraction columns
at the Baytown Refinery of Humble Oil and Re-
The graduate research projects described
above have been supported by the National Sci-
ence Foundation, the Texas Engineering Experi-
ment Station, and various industrial organiza-
CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM
The continuing education program consists
primarily of two parts which may be classified
as Graduate Extension and One-Week Seminars.
The first course in our graduate extension
program was presented at Freeport, Texas, at
the Dow Chemical Company in 1954. In addition
to the program at Freeport, we now offer grad-
uate courses by extension at four other locations:
Corpus Christi, Victoria, Texas City, and Kilgore.
These courses are taught by professors who cus-
tomarily teach the same graduate courses on the
main campus. The professors go to the location
and present one three-hour lecture per week.
After the students have successfully completed
a sufficient number of courses by extension, they
may earn the Master of Engineering by spending
one semester taking a full time load on the main
campus. Of course, the student must satisfy all
of the regular requirements for this degree.
Courses in the seminar program do not carry
degree credit. This program has been in opera-
tion for about three years. It differs from the
conventional seminar program in that it is of
an instructional nature. In this program, we re-
quire a great deal of work at the blackboard.
The general procedure follows. The instructor
lectures for a few minutes. Then he formulates
a problem and sends one-half of the class to the
board to work it. After the participants have
worked on it for about 10 minutes, the instructor
works the problem. The instructor then lectures
just long enough to present the fundamentals
involved in the next problem, poses a problem,
and sends the other half of the class to the boards
to work it. This approach requires the use of
simplified problems. However, this appears to
have the advantage that the fundamentals are
not lost in the arithmetic details. In this teaching
method we take the view that the learning proc-
ess is something like learning to ride a bicycle
in that one learns most by participating rather
than by watching. Also, since each man must try
to go through each problem one time by him-
self, he becomes involved and develops a desire
to see the correct solution in order to check his
own solution or to clear up some troublesome
point which prevented him from obtaining the
One other program deserves brief mention.
For the past 25 years the department has spon-
sored a three-day symposium on Instrumentation
for the process Industries. Formal papers are
presented primarily by members of the user and
seller industries. Last year over 500 engineers
were in attendance at the symposium.
M j curriculum
OBSOLETE CURRICULA FOR AN OBSOLESCENT PROFESSION?
*/al cadai ewzemical C�waeeiU &o4daf ?
WM. H. CORCORAN
California Institute of Technology
SN THE PRELIMINARY program for the 59th
Annual Meeting of the American Institute of
Chemical Engineers, the title of this paper was
given as "Obsolete Curricula for an Obsolescent
Profession." Actually the correct title has a
question mark after it, and that was inadver-
tently left out in the printing. That question
mark is a very important bit of punctuation inas-
much as it reflects the basic issue. We are bor-
dering upon obsolescent curricula, but we do not
have an obsolescent profession - hence the
question mark. In this presentation obsolescent
curricula are discussed relative to proposals for
additional change, and then comments are given
about the nature of chemical engineering relative
to other engineering professions. Even though
we are having a blurring of the lines among the
engineering disciplines, specific separate goals
still exist, and unless a great metamorphosis
occurs, chemical engineering will continue to
have a very special professional atmosphere be-
cause of its preoccupation with chemical change.
OUR PAST AND PRESENT
Very roughly it would appear that the history
of chemical engineering education and associated
research can be divided into decades almost as
if we have a decade law. Table 1 shows the
decade law applied to our history. To 1926 our
focus in teaching and research was mainly on
applied chemistry, and then we began to have an
overlap with development of semi-empirical cor-
relations in areas of energy, momentum, and ma-
terial transport. Somewhere in the region of
1936 we developed more interest in the actual
mechanisms in transport phenomena. Subsequent
William H. Corcoran received his BS, MS, and PhD
degrees from Caltech. Formerly he was ChE department
executive officer and presently is Vice-president for In-
stitute Relations at Caltech. He is past-chairman of the
Chemical Engineering Division of ASEE and was a leader
in expanding the present journal of Chemical Engineer-
ing Education. Corcoran is active in many professional
and academic societies and has received many honors for
his work, e.g., the Educator-of-the-Year Award ('68)
and the Western Electric Fund Award ('69). His research
interests continue in applied chemical kinetics. He is a
member of the ECPD Ad Hoc Accrediting Committee.
to World War II, about in 1946, we entered a
period of significant developments in applied
mathematics relative to chemical engineering.
Around 1956 the applied mathematics began to
focus more on system development which we are
still following and which certainly has not yet
received the peak attack. In 1966 one could say
within reason that we entered a period of great
focus on interdisciplinary efforts. What changing
interest we will pursue in ten years is beyond
There is a thread through all this change
inasmuch as teaching and research in chemical
engineering have concerned themselves continu-
ally with the control of chemical reactions for
some benefit of mankind. This goal will not
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
. . . the recommendation should be made that every undergraduate in science and engineering be required
to take a two-year chemistry program which does integrate inorganic and organic chemistry in the matrix
of physical chemistry.
quickly change nor should it change. On the other
hand, our abilities to deal with the goal have
changed, are changing, and will change. The
main point, then, is that we have a very clear
goal, and this focus keeps us in a special place
in the study, teaching, and practice of engineer-
ing. Some of the engineering professions are
blurring their lines unnecessarily because they
have lost sight of their goals. We are not suffer-
ing from that dilemma. The styles in chemical
engineering indeed have changed, but the changes
continually have made the goals more clear.
RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
In the change of educational style in engineer-
ing, the lead has almost always been taken by
research interests. Our applied and fundamental
interests in the laboratory today become a part
of tomorrow's teaching. That is somewhat con-
trary to critics of research who do not see clearly
where leading educational procedures are born.
An examination of research programs in various
chemical engineering schools in the country to-
day shows an amazing breadth of interest. We
are conducting research in plasma chemistry,
plasma physics, transport in biological and non-
biological systems, optimization of chemical re-
actions, system synthesis and control, physics of
liquids, physics of solids, and in many other
fields. These interests have done many things for
us in keeping our profession filled with vitality,
and today, especially, it must be said that these
interests have led us into close association with
other disciplines with a resultant strong empha-
sis on interdisciplinary efforts. So our teaching
must take that emphasis into account, and bit by
bit it is. The prime purpose of this paper is to
suggest that we should effect, however, changes
in teaching that are more than bit by bit.
W HAT ARE WE TO do then in our educa-
tional programs as we consider this begin-
ning decade of superposition of great interdisci-
plinary interests upon all the other areas that
have been of interest to us in chemical engineer-
ing? Obviously we cannot prepare our men to
be experts in each one of the interdisciplinary
efforts. Nevertheless we can prepare them to
have the willingness and confidence to study and
develop in these areas. That should be our main
goal in undergraduate education in chemical en-
Table 1. DECADE LAW IN TEACHING AND
ASSOCIATED RESEARCH IN CHE
Mechanisms of Transport
gineering. How are we to achieve this goal? A
suggestion is that it is not necessary to have a
five-year undergraduate program in chemical
engineering but that a four-year program will
suffice if we build upon the quality of the student
as he enters the university. That in turn implies
that students will be of high intellect and that
the high schools will continue to do their job in
continued development of improved programs as
they have been doing in the past several years.
So we must carefully analyze the nature of
our undergraduate program, and we have been
slow in such analysis and in subsequent change.
We must continue to provide principles for the
undergraduate to consider. Those principles can
be the warp in his educational rug, and yet we
cannot neglect the woof of technological develop-
ments. That woof can provide excitement and
incitement in a situation that otherwise could be
dreary. The technological detail cannot be too
extensive but must be sufficient for transmission
of the realities of engineering. Major attention
must be given to principles and the mounds of
technological data left to time after formal
The change of prime concern as we face new
demands upon our abilities in education in chemi-
cal engineering is one that must be made in
chemistry. We in chemical engineering at Caltech
have been concerned with this change for some
time' and are pleased to observe that significant
changes are being considered. Specific evidence
is given in the issue of Chemical and Engineering
News of November 14, 19662, which describes an
'Corcoran, W. H., "Departmentalized Curriculum
Based on Chemical Change," Presented at 57th Annual
Meeting of A.I.Ch.E., Boston, December, 1964, and pub-
lished in J. Chem. Eng. Ed., 3, 32-41 (1965).
2Anon., "Proposal Revamps Chemistry Curriculum,"
Chem. and Eng. News, 48-54, November 14, 1966.
. . . there is no reason why freshman and sophomore physics cannot be more integrated with studies in
freshman and sophomore chemistry. Here is a major source of obsolescence.
undergraduate program in chemistry proposed
by Professor George Hammond of our school.
We have hoped for some time for a combination
of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry in
teaching. Professor Hammond has come forth
with a suggestion for a combination on a three-
year basis. A hope is that the bringing together
of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry can
even be done on a two-year basis with the realiza-
tion that further advanced courses would have to
be taken depending upon the discipline being
followed by the student. As an added step, the
recommendation should be made that every un-
dergraduate in science and engineering be re-
quired to take a two-year chemistry program
which does integrate inorganic and organic chem-
istry in the matrix of physical chemistry. There
would be significant effort required in the class-
room, and the laboratories would be much differ-
ent from those that are currently used. There
would be a series of required experiments and
then there would be elective experiments which
could focus in the general direction of the
student's most probable long-term interests.
Achievement of that state would require a sig-
nificant upheaval in the teaching of chemistry in
this country. Hopefully this upheaval will come
and come rapidly. The two-year program in the
new chemistry should be of interest to all en-
gineers, not just to chemical engineers.
To implement Professor Hammond's sugges-
tion for integrated style in the teaching of chem-
istry and the additional radical step of dealing
with his suggestion in two years, a new attack
in the teaching of freshman and sophomore phys-
ics is required. There is no reason why freshman
and sophomore physics cannot be more integrated
with studies in freshman and sophomore chem-
istry. Here is a major source of obsolescence in
our curricula and where major changes in educa-
tion must be achieved.
W ITH THE PRESUMPTION that we could
achieve the millennium and have the inte-
gration of organic and inorganic chemistry in
a two-year chemistry course and intensive coop-
eration between chemistry and physics in the
instruction of engineering and science majors,
we could then look to the third year in the educa-
tion of the chemical engineer. A required third-
year course for chemical engineers in the applica-
tion of physical chemistry would be very helpful.
This course would build upon studies in chemistry
in the first two years and begin to shift into appli-
cations of engineering interest. It would, how-
ever, allow study of appropriate principles in
quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, ther-
modynamics, and chemical dynamics. Probably,
the chemistry departments will more and more
concern themselves with problems of quantum
and statistical mechanics to the exclusion of giv-
ing the breadth that we must have in looking at
the combination of modern chemistry and classi-
cal chemistry in applications in engineering and
science. Most chemical engineering faculties are
admirably equipped to provide appropriate teach-
ing in this bringing together in the third year of
modern chemistry and classical chemistry in an
applied style. Chemical engineering thermody-
namics could also be taught as a required course
in the third year.
In the fourth year, and the final year, of the
undergraduate program in chemical engineering
there would be a transport course with greater
emphasis on the role of chemical change than cur-
rently prevails. A fourth-year course to integrate
chemical and engineering ideas encountered in
the previous three years and being obtained in
concurrent efforts in the fourth year could be
designated as design, simulation, and control of
chemical systems. In this course there would be
a combination of education in applied mechanics,
industrial chemistry, process control, process
optimization, and systems engineering. That
sounds like a tremendous bite, but it is a tractable
problem if attacked properly by the whole staff
in chemical engineering. There would be a fourth-
year laboratory course given in cooperation with
other engineering groups in which fluid me-
chanics, energy transfer, and chemical change
would be treated in appropriate liaison with the
design course. Electives in science and engineer-
ing and required and elective subjects in humani-
ties would fill out the undergraduate program,
A question that could be asked at this stage is
how one could be so presumptuous as to believe
that there could be teaching of principles to give
the undergraduate a basic education and yet pro-
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
. . . the most important step to take would be to establish firmly the concept of cooperative teaching.
vide him with knowledge of representative inter-
disciplinary problems pertinent to the style of
the day. Such a background can be achieved in a
four-year program if, in addition to developing
new courses, we make a significant change in the
style of teaching. The most important step to
take in that direction would be to establish firmly
the concept of cooperative teaching. By coopera-
tive teaching reference is not made to teaching
of a course in alternate years in another depart-
ment, but rather to an actual, mutual association
of professors of chemical engineering, physics,
chemistry, mechanical engineering, and other dis-
ciplines in the attack of communication in the
classroom. Cooperative teaching is not new nor
is the tandem style of alternative years.
IN THE COOPERATIVE TEACHING, course responsi-
bility exists among several dedicated people at
a given time. As various topics are presented in
a class there can be tandem teaching in the par-
ticular semester. The point of view of the physi-
cist, of the chemical engineer, and of the chemist,
for example, could be maximized in the teaching
by assignment of parts of the semester's work to
the appropriate teacher. The student would be
introduced to a significant breadth of technologi-
cal application that is missing at the present time.
We are not omniscient, and for optimum com-
munication why not depend upon our associates
to fill in those areas where we do not have special-
ties? In a course on process control and dynamics,
for example, there indeed could be an association
between electrical engineering and chemical en-
gineering. The electrical engineers would gain
from the effort as would the chemical engineers.
This matter of cooperative teaching sounds diffi-
cult from an administrative and cooperative point
of view, but it is achievable by people who have
focus upon a goal.
Not only is the cooperative teaching an item
that we must consider from the standpoint of the
best education but it also has significance rela-
tive to improved economy in the handling of
courses in a university. Examination of catalogues
around the country shows that there is significant
duplication of course work between aeronautical
and chemical engineering, between chemical en-
gineering and chemistry, etc. That duplication
may be acceptable when there is sufficient time
and money to indulge in electives which have the
same foundation but branch out into very special-
ized application. Perhaps, though, the time for
such indulgence has passed. Integration of effort
in the framework of cooperative teaching is a goal
for chemical engineering in particular. Imagine,
for example, the educational opportunities ex-
istent in materials science for cooperative teach-
ing of the undergraduate by the physicist, the
electrical engineer, the chemical engineer, and
the metallurgist. Maybe there is a new world of
excitement for the undergraduate. Possibly one
of the reasons for loss of some of our excitement
in the past few years has been lack of sufficient
breadth of new examples in the application of
basic principles which do not change very rapidly.
These cooperative efforts can be even broader
than just suggested. Not only can there be co-
operation among people in the physical sciences
and engineering, but there can be association, as
an example, between those groups and medicine.
Study of a transport problem in cooperation with
an individual who is expert in hemodialysis would
put transport in a completely new light in the
classroom. Opportunities for technological de-
velopment really are unlimited and yet do not
require extension of undergraduate education to
THE PRODUCT OF THE CURRICULUM AND TENSION
IN ITS PRODUCTION
Mr. Peter Ellwood in an article entitled "Edu-
cating Tomorrow's Chemical Engineers" and pre-
sented in Chemical Engineering3 noted on page
105 that "For the educators, the problem is also
how to make the curricula-already jammed with
subjects and under pressure to accept more -
more attractive and less arduous for incipient
engineers. The trend at present is the industry-
regretted one of throwing out the subjects that
are least amenable to the teaching process: to
replace practice-oriented subjects such a shop
work, machine drawing, and even old chemical
engineering standbys such as unit operations
and heat and mass transfer, with science-
oriented subjects such as transport phenomena,
process dynamics, and computer calculations.
Alongside this juggling with technical courses
is a strong desire for both shorter hours and
3Ellwood, Peter, "Educating Tomorrow's Chemical En-
gineers," Chemical Engineering, 103-124, September 26,
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ways to extract it and get it moving.
Projects like this take imagination
and fresh viewpoints. The kind that
come from young innovators like
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kind of ideas-to keep making
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the new AtlanticRichfieldCompany *
more humanities." Suggestions presented in
this present discussion would within reason solve
this problem of jammed curricula. In the same
paper, Mr. Ellwood gives a table which shows how
the chemical process industry regards the com-
petence of its engineers. That table is excerpted
Table 2. CPI EXAMINES ENGINEERS'
Willingness to Consider
Graphics and Engineering
Willingness to Take Risks
Practical Problem Solving
Engineering Drawing and
in Table 2. The weaknesses shown for recent
graduates could also be treated in the framework
of the program suggested here. Especially can
the cooperative approach to teaching mitigate the
John R. Whinnery, Professor of Electrical En-
gineering at the University of California at
Berkeley, published in "The World of Wiley" in
the spring of 19664, the thought that "The in-
clusion of design in an engineering education is
only part of the larger problem of constructing
an engineering curriculum, which is really a stag-
gering task. For an engineer's education, a good
case can be made for including all the courses
taken by a physics major and a mathematics
3From Peter Ellwood, "Educating Tomorrow's Chemi-
cal Engineers," Chem. Eng., 116, Sept. 26, 1966.
4Whinnery, John R., "Engineering in the Multiversity,"
The World of Wiley 1, New York, Spring 1966.
. . . A third year course in applications of physical
chemistry to be taught by ChE faculty . . .
major, an increase in the amount of chemistry,
new courses in the biological and geosciences, and
a marked increase in the number of humanities
and social science courses. All the while, the en-
gineering point of view must be communicated
along with some selection from any one of the
rapidly exploding bodies of knowledge in the fields
of engineering. Such a curriculum cannot be given
in four years or even eight years. The problem of
selection is a difficult one, requiring understand-
ing and cooperation by all segments of universi-
ties." Professor Whinnery's very appropriate
statements again focus upon the tension that
exists as we consider our curricula. We cannot be
all things to all men, and there is no reason why
cannot examine our situation carefully and
achieve the education of the student at the Bache-
lor's level in the four-year program. The key to
the matter is just exactly the point mentioned by
John Whinnery, namely, there must be under-
standing and cooperation by all segments of the
university. With that understanding we can
achieve quality in engineering education that we
have not touched before at all.
T HE REPORT ENTITLED "The Dynamic Objectives
for Chemical Engineering," presented in
19615, also alludes to the problem of time and
technological explosion. The report notes that
". . . there has been a decline in the amount of
chemistry in the undergraduate curriculum, ow-
ing primarily to the elimination of analytical
chemistry courses and failure to substitute com-
pensating chemistry courses." That problem
should not be a great worry to us if we can get
the people in chemistry to make some significant
changes in their educational program. That
change is possible.
The Dynamic Objectives report goes on to
state " . . . This unfortunate trend should be re-
versed. It is imperative that chemical engineering
undergraduates receive a thorough grounding in
inorganic, organic, physical, and instrumental
chemistry. Indeed students might well take addi-
tional courses in polymer chemistry, surface
chemistry, biochemistry, or electrochemistry.
Chemical engineering students should receive the
finest chemistry instruction available on the
(Continued on page 78)
5"The Dynamic Objectives for Chemical Engineering,"
Chem. Eng. Progress, 57, No. 10, 69-100 (1961).
JAMES H. WEBER
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, Neb. 68508
THE DEPARTMENT of Chemical Engineer-
ing at Nebraska, similar to many depart-
ments, grew from the Department of Chemistry.
The initial chemical engineering course offerings,
two in number, were made in 1920 and the first
degrees granted in 1922. The courses were
taught by a chemist converted into a chemical
engineer. It is hard for us today to appreciate
the many problems that confronted our predeces-
sors. The lack of textbooks and laboratory facili-
ties comes first to mind, but the lack of recogni-
tion of Chemical Engineering as a separate field
of endeavor also plagued them.
Chemical engineering activities grew slowly
through thetwenties and thirties. In 1938 the
Department of Chemistry was renamed the De-
partment of Chemistry and Chemical Engineer-
ing in recognition of the increased chemical
engineering activities. By this time there were
four required ChE courses and optional courses
in the present day "in" areas of water supplies
and waste disposal. During World War II the
potential students were involved in other activi-
ties, and universities were not expanding their
activities. Consequently, there was an hiatus in
However, wars do end-believe it or not. And,
near the end of World War II, the State of
Nebraska and the University decided to develop
an accredited program in Chemical Engineering.
Credit for bringing about this decision and for
guiding its implementation goes to Dr. C. S.
Hamilton, Chairman of the combined depart-
ment. I am pleased to have this opportunity to
indicate Dr. Hamilton's contribution to the
chemical engineering program at Nebraska and
to thank him for his help and guidance to me,
To implement the decision required the con-
struction of suitable facilities and the hiring of
individuals who had earned degrees in Chemical
Engineering. In the period from 1943 to 1950
both of these tasks were accomplished. $300,000
were expended to build a wing on the Avery
Laboratory of Chemistry to house Chemical En-
gineering and the staff hired during that time
included Merk Hobson, who is now Executive
Vice-Chancellor of the University and Jim
Weber, who serves as Departmental Chairman.
In 1954, Professor John H. Rushton inspected
us for AIChE-ECPD accreditation and recom-
Having reached one milestone, the next im-
mediate objective was to institute graduate work
leading to the Master of Science degree. This
was done and the first MS degrees were granted
Naturally, a thought that had been in our
minds for a number of years was to set up a
separate Department of Chemical Engineering.
The fledglings-ready or not-are always eager
to leaves the nest. While this change was in-
evitable, the date was advanced by the fact that
Merk Hobson was made Dean of Engineering
and Architecture. Chemical Engineering closely
followed him, and in 1958 a separate department
was established in the College of Engineering
and Architecture. From that time to the present,
the Departmental staff has increased from three
to its present size of seven. In 1963 graduate
work was extended to the PhD level and the first
PhD degree was granted in 1968. Five PhD de-
grees have been awarded subsequently.
When writing of the growth of the Depart-
ment of Chemical Engineering, it is appropriate
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
to say a word about the growth of the entire
engineering program at Nebraska. For many
years, the sole objective of the College was un-
dergraduate teaching. The research effort was
minimal and essentially restricted to the 25th
hour of the day, and a few MS degrees were
granted annually. Dean Hobson changed this.
Graduate education and research were now im-
portant objectives, also. The more balanced
program continues under our present Dean, John
R. Davis. To enhance the research effort, Dean
Davis obtained legislative approval for activa-
tion and funding of the Engineering Research
Center. Now, most engineering departments offer
the PhD and the two that do not, will be doing
so in the near future.
T HE PAST IS but prologue to the future, to
borrow a phrase, hence a few words concern-
ing our hopes and aspirations appear fitting. We
wish to have a good department. We want our
graduates, whether holders of the BS, MS, or
PhD degree, to perform well as chemical engi-
neers and make contributions as citizens. These
are general objectives and every faculty member
could subscribe to them. So, what's new?
We must think in more definite terms. Given
a land grant and state university located in the
Great Plains area of the United States, what are
logical, specific objectives of its Department of
Chemical Engineering? First, we have a definite
commitment to undergraduate education. Hence,
all staff members have a serious interest in
teaching. This means not only exercising care
and thought in the preparation of lectures, but in
working on new techniques and utilization of
teaching aids, ranging from tape recorders to
various visual aids. It is no secret that frequently
undergraduate education has ben slighted during
the recent rapid growth of universities. We say,
"It will not happen here."
A second specific objective concerns the ef-
fort in the graduate and research area. The chief
resource of the area is food. Hence, we should
look there for uniqueness. It is not hard to find.
Food must be processed, and chemical engineers
can assist and apply their special knowledge to
many processing steps. However, the chemical
engineer cannot operate alone in this area. The
processing of food from producer to consumer
involves many others including the food scientist
and technologist, the agriculture engineer, and
the microbiologist. So, while maintaining a good,
basic chemical engineering program which will
enable our graduates to enter any number of
industries, we wish to help develop and contrib-
ute to a multi-discipline program in the area of
N OW A FEW WORDS about the staff, the
individuals charged with the immediate re-
sponsibility of achieving both the general and
specific goals. In a relatively small department,
as in a small industrial concern, the staff member
must be a versatile individual. We cannot afford
an individual who will teach only at a single
level, be it graduate or undergraduate. Further,
he should develop a research program and super-
vise the research work of MS and PhD students.
Also, a staff member is expected to carry his
share of the departmental, college, and universi-
ties chores. Along the line of this last item, we
are particularly proud of the contribution the
members of our department have made on
Faculty Senate Commitees, Graduate College
Committees, etc. This contribution has been
made in spite of the fact that we are one of the
smaller departments in the University.
The staff consists of seven members and each
is the holder of the PhD degree. They represent
quite a cross-sction: J. M. Eakman (Minnesota
'66), R. E. Gilbert (Princeton '59), P. J. Reilly
(Pennsylvania '64), W. A. Scheller (North-
western '55) [who is now enjoying a years leave
of absence at the University of Erlangen in West
Germany], L. C. Tao (Wisconsin '52), D. C. Timm
(Iowa State '67), and J. H. Weber (Pittsburg
'48). All have had some industrial experience
The world of Union Oil
salutes the world
of chemical engineering
We at Union Oil are particularly indebted to the colleges
and universities which educate chemical engineers.
Because their graduates are the scientists who contribute
immeasurably to the position Union enjoys today:
The thirtieth largest manufacturing company in
the United States, with operations throughout
Union today explores for and produces oil and natural gas
in such distant places as the Persian Gulf and Alaska's
Cook Inlet. We market petroleum products and petro-
chemicals throughout the free world.
Our research scientists are constantly discovering new
ways to do things better. In fact, we have been granted
more than 2,700 U.S. patents.
We and our many subsidiaries are engaged in such
diverse projects as developing new refining processes,
developing new fertilizers to increase the food yield, and
the conservation of air and water.
Today, Union Oil's growth is dynamic.
Tomorrow will be even more stimulating.
Thanks largely to people who join us from leading
institutions of learning.
If you enjoy working in an atmosphere of imagination and
challenge, why not look into the world of Union Oil?
Growth...with innovation. Union Oil Company of California.
Professor Delmar C. Timm and student Rajul Desai
work on experimental crystallizer.
and a good majority, a considerable amount.
There is not a department in the country less
in-bred than ours. No member has received a
degree from the University of Nebraska.
Given the seven staff members, what sort of
programs, undergraduate and graduate, have
been developed? Our undergraduate program, as
those in all accredited departments, is pretty well
fixed by the accreditation requirements. This
does not preclude lively discussions within the
Department and within the College for that
matter on the subject of curriculum. While ac-
creditation requirements establish some princi-
ples, guidelines and objectives, there are many
possible variations on any given theme. Each
department must determine which set of varia-
tions best suits its staff, students, and local
A review of our curriculum would be of little
interest, but mention of a few items which en-
tered into our thinking might have some appeal.
First, only full time staff members have responsi-
bility for classes and laboratories. Graduate as-
sistants function as paper graders and lab as-
sistants. Second, the preparation of students
coming to the University and, in turn, the De-
partment varies widely. Third, the interests of
students differ markedly; i.e., some are thinking
of industrial employment or seeking MBA's after
earning the BS degree, while others are thinking
in terms of graduate work. Fourth, we can ex-
pect a specific level of financial support. Fifth,
staff members should be available to students.
Sixth, the time of our staff members is a precious
We want our graduates to perform well as ChEs and
make contributions as citizens . . . better than 50
per cent of our graduates go on for graduate work.
resource, so we must use it wisely. Seventh, the
student's program should be flexible and include
a number of technical electives.
Some, or all, of the factors must be consid-
ered when we are trying to decide, for example,
whether our junior level courses should be "Bird"
or unit operations oriented, or when we are con-
sidering a freshman or senior level special prob-
lems course. In the final analysis, a number of
value judgments are made.
AS INDICATED EARLIER, the development
of the graduate program started immedi-
ately after the undergraduate program was
accredited. We have been quite successful in
arousing in our students an interest for advanced
work and are proud to point to the fact that
between the time the Department was estab-
lished in 1958 and the recent change in the draft
status of graduate students, a period of ten years,
better than 50% of our graduates went on for
advanced work. While a good share stayed at
Nebraska, a number went to Kansas, Oklahoma
State, Iowa State, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan,
Purdue, Rice as well as other institutions.
With seven staff members we can offer a
reasonably large number of graduate courses,
particularly when some are offered on an "every
other year basis". Also, to date we have re-
quired all of our MS students to write a thesis.
By this means we could get more research proj-
ects started in the Department, so our motives
were not entirely altruistic, but still this type of
experience can be of considerable benefit even for
those students who intend to work for th PhD.
Also, in most cases, and this applies more
strongly at the PhD than at the MS level, re-
search projects involve experimental work.
A number of interesting research projects
are under way, but rather than mention them I
shall indicate the general areas of research.
These would include biochemical engineering,
bio-engineering, kinetics and catalysis, crystal-
lization, ion-exchange, digital computer applica-
tions, polymerization, process dynamics and
control, transport phenomena, thermodynamics,
desalination, and tray efficiencies. We feel the
student has ample choice in the selection of a
TOWARD A CONTEMPORARY COURSE IN GRADUATE KINETICS
AND REACTOR DESIGN
JAMES W. LACKSONEN
The University of Toledo
Toledo, Ohio 43606 k i
There are a number of intermediate size
Universities today which are offering graduate
programs in Chemical Engineering. One com-
mon characteristic of many of these schools is
their limited supply of technical experts through-
out the University in all areas of contemporary
technology. At the same time, the Chemical En-
gineering faculty has a responsibility to the
graduate student to present up-to-date graduate
courses which consider contemporary topics and
material. It is also common to find a limited
graduate enrollment such that well-defined spe-
cial topics courses cannot be offered to cover
such subjects specifically.
To meet this need, the University of Toledo
offered a one-semester graduate course in kinet-
ics and reactor design which selected a few of
these contemporary subjects and integrated them
into a Master's level course. The topics chosen
were non-ideal mixing and residence time dis-
tribution, biochemical kinetics, polymerization
kinetics and reactor design, and heterogeneous
kinetics and reactor design. (It should be men-
tioned that at the Doctorate level a separate
course is offered in heterogeneous kinetics and
reactor design). Obviously, the purpose of the
course was not to develop expertise in the field,
but rather to extend the student's undergraduate
kinetics into more advanced and topical areas.
The particular subjects chosen were based pri-
marily on departmental and student research in-
terests. Other topics such as electrochemical
kinetics, fuel cells, photochemical reactor design,
plasma arc high temperature kinetics, etc., are
examples of other equally appropriate areas. The
primary objective of the course was to expose
the student to a number of advanced areas in
which kinetic analysis and reactor design have
application and that the basic concepts are inter-
related. This approach of topic integration has
been exemplified in the areas of heat, mass and
Dr. Lacksonen is currently Assistant Professor of
Chemical Engineering at The University of Toledo. His
teaching and research interests include chemical kinetics,
catalysis, reactor design, and mass transfer processes.
He obtained his BChE, MSc and PhD degrees at The
Ohio State University.
TABLE I-COURSE OUTLINE FOR AN INTEGRATED
KINETICS AND REACTOR DESIGN CLASS
1. Review of Basic Concepts
a) Equivalent of first eight chapters of "Chemical
Reaction Engineering," Levenspiel, Wiley, New
b) Vector analysis approach to transport equations as
per "Transport Phenomena," Bird, Stewart and
Lightfoot, Wiley, New York (1963).
2. Non-ideal mixing
a) Residence time distribution measurements.
b) Alternative math models to describe real systems.
c) Experimental study with 25 gallon CSTR.
3. Heterogeneous kinetics and reactor design (gas-solid
a) Physical and chemical adsorption.
b) Microporous catalysts (surface area measurement
and pore diffusion).
c) Active site gas-solid kinetic models.
d) Fixed bed reactor design isothermall case only).
4. Polymerization kinetics and reactor design
a) Kinetics of free radical and condensation poly-
b) Heat transfer problems.
c) Case study (suspension PVC process).
5. Biochemical Kinetics (enzyme systems).
a) Kinetic models for enzyme kinetics.
b) Michaelis-Menten equation.
c) pH effects.
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
momentum transfer by the now classic "Trans-
port Phenomena" by Bird, Stewart and Light-
foot. Chemical reaction engineering does not at
present enjoy such a beautiful single treatment
of the subject as an integrated phenomena.
Other approaches to graduate courses in this
area are perhaps more conventional in that they
usually concentrate on a particular aspect of
kinetics or reactor design. For example, J. J.
Carberry recently published (This journal, Sp
'68) an outline for a graduate course in Chemical
Reaction Engineering. The course, as he pointed
out, is about 75% devoted to heterogeneous reac-
tion-reactor problems. There are many other
areas of equal importance which a Master's can-
didate student should appreciate, particularly
if he is taking only one course in graduate kinet-
ics and reactor design. More detailed emphasis
of specific topics might better be spared for Doc-
torate level or special topics courses. Considera-
tion should be given to the fact that many of the
Master's degree students will not be working
directly with heterogeneous kinetics problems.
There is a greater probability, however, that a
working knowledge of kinetics and reactor de-
sign in such areas as water pollution, plastics,
and heterogeneous systems in general will involve
a greater majority of the students upon gradua-
The outline of the course shown in Table 1
represents an attempt to integrate kinetically
related topics within one graduate course. The
choice of subjects was admitedly somewhat arbi-
trary, but could easily be altered if so desired.
Approximately one month was allowed per
topic, which for a three credit-hour course gave
about twelve student-contact hours per area. The
students were given current journal articles for
analysis and critique as take-home exams in
each of the topics, except non-ideal mixing where
they mathematically analyzed laboratory resi-
dence time-distribution data which they took on
a 25 gallon CSTR. This procedure spared class
time for lecture and discussion and also forced
the students to apply their knowledge.
Material for the course came from a variety
of texts and literature articles. A few of the
references are listed in Table II.
The references given here were those primar-
ily used to develop the course. Others of lesser im-
portance were used when appropriate, but those
listed are quite satisfactory for the complete de-
velopment of the course. The material in these
references is sufficiently concise and well-written
that an instructor interested in kinetics and reac-
tor design should not encounter any difficulty in
developing the course. It does not require exper-
tise in all areas.
At a first glance, this may seem like an over-
ambitious approach, both for the students and
the professor. Previous experience, however,
showed that the material could be covered in
some depth and that the students were not over-
burdened. There are a number of areas with com-
mon elements which make the concepts easier to
present. For example, the steady-state assump-
tion made in free-radical kinetics is also used in
enzyme kinetics. Once the student grasps the
basic concept, transfer to other areas is both easy
TABLE II. - SUGGESTED REFERENCES
Bischoff and McCracken, "Tracer Tests in Flow Systems,"
I&EC 58, No. 1, p. 18 (1966).
Levenspiel, "Chemical Reaction Engineering," Chapter 9,
Wiley & Sons, N. Y., (1963).
Wolf and Resnick, "Residence Time Distribution in Real
Systems," I&EC Fund, 2, No. 4, p. 287 (1963).
Heterogeneous kinetics and reactor design
Corrigan and Mills, "Catalytic Reactor Design," CE Re-
fresher Series, Part IX, McGraw-Hill, (1956).
Froment, "Fixed Bed Catalytic Reactors," I&EC, 59, No.
2, p. 18 (1967).
Hougen and Watson, "Chemical Process Principles,"
Part III, Kinetics and Catalysis, Wiley & Sons, N. Y.,
Petersen, "Chemical Reaction Analysis," Prentice-Hall,
N. J., (1965).
Polymerization kinetics and reactor design
Albright, "Vinyl Chloride Polymerization by Suspension
Processes Yields Polyvinyl Chloride Resins," Chem.
Eng., June 5, p. 145 (1967).
Billmeyer, "Textbooks of Polymer Chemistry," Intersci-
ence Publishers, N. Y., (1966).
Flory, "Principles of Polymer Chemistry," Cornell U.
Press, Ithaca, N. Y., (1953).
Tanford, "Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules," Wiley
& Sons, N. Y., (1960).
Amdur and Mammers, "Chemical Kinetics: Principles
and Selected Topics," Chapter 7, Enzyme Kinetics,
McGraw-Hill, N. Y., (1966).
Arba, Humphrey and Millis, "Biochemical Engineering,"
Academic Press, N. Y., (1965).
King and Altman, "A Schematic Method of Deriving the
Rate Laws for Enzymecatalyzed Reactions," J. Phys.
Chem., 60, p. 1375 (1965).
The purpose of this article has been to present
a case for upgrading the graduate chemical en-
gineering course in kinetics and reactor design,
particularly for the intermediate size schools
which cannot support the development of more
sophisticated courses in all of the contemporary
areas. The course outline presented is an exam-
ple of a successful program presented as a one-
semester course at the University of Toledo. Se-
lections of the course can obviously be changed
to accommodate the needs and interests of stu-
dents and faculty.
If sufficient interest is shown to support the
expansion of one of the areas in particular, it
could be given as a special topic course or as a
seminar. Graduate students in the Chemistry
Department should also be contacted as potential
candidates for such courses.
CORCORAN ON OBSOLETE CURRICULA
(Continued from page 71)
campus. Generally this requires that they be
trained side by side with majors in chemistry
rather than be placed in service courses with non-
chemists. It is important not only that the chem-
istry training be up-to-date but also that it be
used in the subsequent chemical engineering
courses. This means that the chemical engineering
staff too must keep itself informed on modern
chemistry." Those ideas are excellent, but in
keeping up with chemistry, we must insist that
chemistry keep up with itself. Also we as chemical
engineers must see that the chemistry training
is used in the subsequent chemical engineering
courses. We have no other choice.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The conclusion is that we must change our
style in chemical-engineering education. If we do
not, we will not as chemical engineers make the
contribution to society that we must. A good
fraction of our goal is to provide people who
have the ability to work in the area of optimum
control of chemical reactions for the benefit of
mankind. If we are not careful, we will lose that
ability and even franchise to deal with one of the
most important needs of society. How de we meet
our responsibility? Specifically, the following
changes are suggested as the avenue to capture
our new style:
1. A two-year course in chemistry be given by the
chemistry department, for chemists and engineers alike,
in which inorganic and organic chemistry are combined
in the framework of physical chemistry. Appropriate
laboratory work would be given, with required experi-
ments plus optional experiments which would be of special
interest to the student as he looks ahead to his future.
2. There be a requirement that all engineering and
science students take the two-year course in chemistry.
3. A real association of the first two years of physics
and chemistry be effected.
4. A third-year course in applications of physical
chemistry be taught by the chemical-engineering faculty.
This third-year course would focus upon the first two
years of chemistry and consider chemical principles in
terms of applications in real systems. In this course, mod-
ern chemistry and classical physical chemistry would be
combined in the study of applications. A course of this
type probably will not be taught in the framework of
chemistry's interest in these days. The responsibility is
ours, and we must meet it.
5. Major emphasis on chemical change be established
in the transport change.
6. A senior course in design be more encompassing
than envisioned to date. It should be a course with a title
such as "Design, Simulation, and Control of Chemical
Processes." This course would bring together the students'
training in chemistry with added information in industrial
chemistry, process dynamics, applied mathematics applied
mechanics, and other areas of engineering endeavor. In
particular the focus would still be control of chemical
7. Cooperative teaching of key courses be introduced
as a must in engineering training and especially in chemi-
cal engineering. There is no reason today for a compart-
mentalization of courses and especially no reason for use
of the older style of tandem teaching of courses of mutual
interest. Rather courses of mutual interest must be
taught in a mutual way. In the interest of conserving
time and improving quality of education, the cooperative
teaching must expand in a way that we really do not
even dream of at this moment. The cooperative teaching
requires not only cooperative effort within a school but
cooperation between schools such as engineering and
8. There be a fourth-year, all-engineering laboratory
with elective experiment in chemical change.
Finally, it is necessary to emphasize that our
curriculum efforts are obsolescent, not obsolete,
and that our profession is not obsolescent but
very much alive. We must make changes, never-
theless, in our programs that we have not dared
to make before. We must elicit the cooperation
of all parts of our schools. These changes are not
changes that can be made internally in the de-
partments of chemical engineering; they encom-
pass the attitude of the whole university. Let us
not be shaken by such a goal and step ahead and
lead, because we have a unique position of leader-
ship in our concern with chemical change.
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cal) which make use of similar techniques. This
is the first book that treats flows of solid-liquid,
liquid-gas, and gas-solid mixtures in ducts, chan-
nels, and nozzles in any detail and with such a
broad range of practical applications.
DISCONTINUOUS AND OPTIMAL
IRMGARD FLtGGE-LOTZ, Stanford Univer-
sity. McGraw-Hill Series in Modern Applied
Mathematics. 256 pages, $16.50
This book uses second-order systems to acquaint
the prospective engineer with the basic phenom-
ena of discontinuously controlled systems and
with higher-order systems. The material is of
particular interest to students who, in future
work, may want to use the rugged relay element
in their design work.
MATTHEW VAN WINKLE, University of
Texas. McGraw-Hill Series in Chemical Engi-
neering. 704 pages, $16.50
A guide to distillation process design, this text
includes all the information necessary to make
a complete distillation column process design
without reference to other sources, except for
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covers the principal subjects of vapor-liquid
equilibrium, evaluation of equilibrium stages,
azeotropic and extractive distillation, and plate
and column design methods.
GAS- LIQUID REACTIONS
P. V. DANCKWERTS, University of Cambridge.
256 pages (tent.), $11.50 (tent.). Available
This book summarizes all that is known of gas-
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cal calculation presented and illustrated by nu-
merical examples. Many pertinent references are
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ture in general.
Volume I: 272 pages, $5.95
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CHARLES E. WALES, University of West
These programmed-learning volumes cover the
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classical thermodynamics. Volume I is devoted
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verbal, and mathematical statements. Because of
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section of material is followed by a self-quiz
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
and a summary which lists the student perform-
ance objectives, the student receives immediate
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HEAT TRANSFER, Second Edition
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This revision of a standard text for undergradu-
ate courses contains new material on thermal
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conduction shape factors, an analytical model
for liquid metal heat transfer, and many other
PLANT DESIGN AND ECONOMICS FOR
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MAX S. PETERS and KLAUS D. TIMMER-
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496 pages, $11.50
The basic macroscopic principles of thermody-
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Starting from .first principles (the Navier-
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The basic approach, which treats the major
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H. C. VAN NESS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Insti-
tute. 128 pages, $4.95
In this short book, the author has presented
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LABORATORY PREPARATION FOR
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Available Spring, 1970
This is the first book which provides a complete
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principles involved in the experiment, and a de-
tailed presentation of the experimental instruc-
tions to facilitate the mechanical operations.
McGraw-Hill Book Company
330 West 42nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE APPROACHES*
L. L. EDWARDS
University of Idaho
A distant cousin to modern day optimization
was the philosophy of optimism articulated about
1700 by Leibniz, the German pholisopher and
mathematician. From his experience and in-
sights, Leibniz deduced that this is the "best of
all possible worlds." With such a historical prece-
dent the author, with tongue-in-cheek, is cavalier
enough to propose the "best of all possible ap-
proaches" to teaching optimization. However,
before discussing the teaching of optimization, it
is appropriate to consider the question, "Why
teach optimization at all?"
WHY TEACH OPTIMIZATION ?
Engineers, and most everyone for that mat-
ter, are concerned about doing the "best" they
can. Optimization concepts and formal optimiza-
tion procedures provide a framework and a
means by which one can be more systematic
about doing the best possible job. Using opti-
mization methods, the engineer may be able to
design a more profitable process or to reduce the
costs of operating an existing system. Aside
from these obvious benefits, there are other sig-
nificant advantages that can accrue from teach-
ing optimization. First, the fact that a criterion
of goodness must be established in order to carry
out an optimization, forces identification of a
single goal. This goal is usually economic in na-
ture and thus can serve to develop the student's
ability to identify and concentrate upon econom-
ically significant portions of the system. Second,
because the process or system to be optimized
must be described quantitatively, the student
must draw upon his previously acquired engin-
eering know-how. As part of the problem formu-
lating activity, the economic trade-offs and op-
* Presented at the ASEE Los Angeles Meeting,
June 17-20, 1968.
Louis L. Edwards is a graduate of Rensselaer Poly-
technic Institute, the University of Delaware, and the
University of Idaho (PhD '66). He was a Ford Founda-
tion Resident at Union Carbide ('67-68). His teaching
and research interests are in the area of process modeling,
design and optimization.
timizable variables must be determined. The net
result is a sharpening of the student's techno-
logical and economic insights. Third, upon com-
pletion of an optimized design, the student can
more fully appreciate the rules of thumb that
are used for quick estimates. For example, after
optimizing an extraction system design, the rule
of thumb that the optimum solvent to feed ratio
is usually in the range of 0.5-1.0 will ring true
to the student. Finally, there are certain useful
generalities that the student encounters in study-
ing optimization. Such adages as "in engineering
economics you don't get something for nothing,"
"look before you leap," and "it is often better to
plan as you go rather than make complete plans
ahead of time," are vivified in the study and
application of optimization concepts.
PERSPECTIVE AND BACKGROUND
The focus of this paper is upon teaching op-
timization at the introductory level. The two-
fold objective of such teaching is to lay the
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
foundations for more advanced studies in op-
timization theory as well as to equip the students
with some tools and ideas that will be directly
applicable in their engineering careers.
Because the generalizations and suggestions
presented in this paper are deeply rooted in the
author's experience in teaching optimization to
chemical engineers in a continuing education
program,* this experience will be described
briefly. The extrapolation of this experience plus
that gained in teaching optimization material to
both graduate students and undergraduates in
chemical engineering at the University of Idaho
provide the background for the teaching guide-
lines and subject matter coverage proposed by
EXPERIENCE WITH TIME-SHARING
The idea of using time-shared computer ter-
minals as a tool to teach optimization occurred
to the author during his Ford Foundation Resi-
dency* and began to take shape at the University
of Michigan Computer Workshop** in April
1967. An optimization course actually using
time-shared computer terminals was presented
to thirty-six$ of Union Carbide's chemical engin-
eers in May 1967. Three computer terminals,
tied to the GE-265 system, were installed in the
classroom. The course content is shown in Table
I. During the eight, 3%-hour classes, approxi-
mately two-thirds of the time was spent in work
sessions. In these work sessions, teams of three
used the remote terminals while the others in the
class worked on problems which were suited to
hand calculations. Typically an optimization
method was first introduced in a lecture session,
then some simple hand calculations provided
familiarization with the basic concepts. Thirdly,
the participants would solve a "realistic" chemi-
cal engineering problem using the remote termi-
nal to do the calculations of the objective func-
tion but doing the optimization logic off-line. This
allowed the use of interesting, relevant problems
but avoided tedious hand calculations. Finally,
the participants set-up and used a fully auto-
mated version of the particular optimization
method programmed for the time-sharing sys-
tem. This general approach was adapted as
*Union Carbide Corporation, South Charleston, West
Virginia, June 1967-September 1968.
**National Science Foundation Workshop on Compu-
ters in Engineering Design Education.
$Two sections of eighteen each.
TABLE I - CONTENTS OF PILOT COURSE TAUGHT
AT UNION CARBIDE CORPORATION
1. Introduction to Optimization Concepts and Attitudes
2. One-Dimensional Optimization; Golden Section Search
3. Multi-dimensional Search Techniques (including La-
grange multiplier and penalty function approaches
to constrained problems).
A. Nongradient Methods-("Pattern" Search)
B. Gradient Methods-(Steep Ascent)
C. Stochastic Optimization-(Simplex EVOP)
4. Introduction to Linear Programming
5. Exploiting System Structure-Introduction to Dy-
necessary to the different optimization methods
covered. As a secondary benefit to this course,
the participants were thoroughly familiarized
with the time-sharing computer system without
the usual fanfare attendant to courses in com-
puter programming and usage.
From the above described experience and that
gained at the University of Idaho without a time-
sharing system, the author proposes the follow-
ing general guidelines for teaching introductory
material in optimization. Suggested subject mat-
ter coverage follows in the next section.
I. Optimization should be taught in the con-
text of applications. For the engineer, optimiza-
tion is somewhat like economics and computers
in that its utility lies in applying it to real prob-
lems. Thus a substantial number of the problems
used in teaching optimization need to be of en-
gineering significance so that the student sees
optimization in its proper context. Use of pithy
problems also provides the student with a situa-
tion in which he learns about the technical and
economic aspects of engineering as well as learn-
ing about optimization. Some typical problems
for the chemical engineering student include;
1. Optimization of chemical processes or sys-
tems. The Denbigh reaction problem2 and
extraction system described by Treybal9
are examples that can be adapted for use
in teaching optimization.
2. Free energy minimization in complex
chemical equilibrium problems".
3. Nonlinear parameter estimation by mini-
mizing sums of squares. For example,
estimation of kinetic parameters from ex-
4. Root finding for nonlinear equations and
solution of implicit functions. Solving for
specific volume from virial-type equations
of state can be attacked as an optimization
problem. In fact, any trial and error cal-
culation can be cast as an optimization
II. Optimization material should be integrated
into the curriculum through courses rather than
being taught as a separate course. This method
of presentation emphasizes that optimization is
part of a bigger picture and not an end in itself.
Most all engineering curricula have an introduc-
tory course in the freshman or sophomore year
in which a one-dimensional and a simple multi-
dimensional direct search optimization method
could be introduced. The students could actually
write computer programs for these methods.
Whether they write their own or become familiar
with an existing program, the optimization pro-
grams should be readily available to them for use
in other courses.
The senior year process analysis and process
design courses are where the other optimization
concepts and methods are introduced. Optimiza-
tion and engineering economics should be devel-
oped in parallel and applied to engineering exam-
ples. In chemical engineering, the recent text-
book by Rudd and Watson10 is particularly good
in this regard. Finally, when the students are
ready to attack a substantial design problem,
they have some optimization know-how at their
III. Emphasis should be placed on "learning
by doing" through a lecture-laboratory sequence.
At the introductory level, students seem to grasp
the concepts and methodology of optimization
more quickly by actually trying to put them to
use than by listening to formal lectures. It is in
the laboratory situation where the initial insights
and understanding develop most quickly. Some
formal presentation of material is necessary but
should be held to a minimum.
At this point, time-shared computing comes
on the scene. The combination of significant en-
gineering problems in a "learn by doing" or
laboratory context is made possible by remote
computer terminals used in a conversational
mode. The computer does the calculations that
would be too lengthy to be done by hand or simu-
lates experimental or process equipment includ-
ing random error. This frees the student to con-
centrate on optimization logic and the engineer-
ing significance of the results. The laboratory
actually involves three-way interaction among
the instructor, students and computer. The in-
structor must be available for questions and dis-
cussion as well as to provide general guidance.
Figure 1 is a block diagram depicting a gen-
eral sequence for presenting optimization meth-
ods. All the steps in this sequence need not re-
ceive equal emphasis. In fact, steps should be
omited entirely in some situations. For example,
in introducing linear programming it is not de-
sirable to do the optimization logic off-line but
rather to use an existing program after the stu-
dent appreciates the essentials of the underlying
At present the primary disadvantage to the
extensive use of a time-sharing system as de-
scribed above is cost. Although it is sound
pedagogy to have students conversing with the
computer, it is also expensive. Fortunately time-
sharing costs are on the downtrend and the, fu-
ture looks promising in this regard3.
A look to the future also sees the scheme
shown in Figure 1 being used in a programmed
learning environment. The lecture material could
be on video tape and the time-sharing system
itself could conduct the laboratory sessions.
The importance of
cannot be overempha-
Phase I: Use of time-sharing system to do
calculations; optimization logic
Phase II: Write and/or use fully automated
optimization algorithms on time-
sharing system. Parameter inves-
Phase III: Use of optimization program in
batch processing mode.
CRITICISM OF RESULTS
Figure 1. General Lecture-Laboratory Sequence for
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
SUBJECT MATTER COVERAGE
Although the optimization literature is vo-
luminous and generally sophisticated, there are
many optimization techniques that are both easy
to understand and of practical importance. The
specific topics listed below are of this type. They
also include a broad spectrum of concepts. These
topics are effectively presented using the lecture-
laboratory sequence shown in Figure 1 with
modifications and adaptions as appropriate.
I. Direct Search Optimization Methods.
A. One-Dimensional: Golden Section Search13.
Simple but very efficient. Serves as a good start-
ing point for introducing students to optimization
B. Multi-Dimensional: Pattern Search5.
Alarmingly simple but very useful. Exposure to
the concepts of multi-dimensional geometry
broadens the student's horizon.
C. Constraints: Penalty Functions1.
Simple and convey to the student the idea of con-
strained optimization. Used in combination with
Pattern Search. Penalty functions have some-
thing of an ad hoc nature and can handle only
a limited number of constraints.
D. Stochastic Optimization: Simplex EVOP'.
The Spendley, Hext, Himsworth method is easy
to use and very powerful.
The time-shared terminal can simulate an actual
piece of equipment or process, including random
error, by superimposing normally distributed,
random values8 on the computed values for the
criterion function. Since the student does not
know the underlying computational routine, the
results obtained from the remote terminal for a
given set of independent variables are in fact
experimental data. This type of experimental
data can be obtained quickly and easily. There-
fore students can use the remote terminal as if
it were on actual process and search for the
optimum operating conditions using the EVOP
II. Indirect Optimization Methods.
A. Linear Programming4.
Without a doubt, linear programming is the most
widely used optimization technique. Linear pro-
gramming on the time-shared terminals allows
the student to experiment with shadow prices and
B. Geometric Programming14.
A novel approach to optimization and should be
included to broaden the student's base. Problems
with one or two degrees of difficulty can be solved
using Golden Section Search or Pattern Search.
III. Optimization Methods that Exploit System Struc-
true: Dynamic Programming12.
Elementary dynamic programming concepts are
easily grasped and form the basis for future learn-
ing in this area. For simple problems the time-shared
terminal can be used to perform individual stage
optimizations while the student applies the "Prin-
ciple of Optimality" off-line.
The key point in this paper is that availability
of remote time-shared computer terminals opens
a new dimension in teaching optimization at the
introductory level. This new dimension is a
laboratory in which the student can attempt to
apply optimization techniques to stimulating en-
gineering problems without long turn-around
times or burdensome hand calculations.
The paper proposes that optimization material
be integrated into the engineering curriculum
rather than taught as a separate course. This
emphasizes optimization as an engineering tool
rather than an end in itself. The subject matter
coverage suggested by the author combines sim-
plicity, practicality, and breadth.
1. Carroll, C. W., "The Created Response Surface Tech-
nique for Optimizing Nonlinear Restrained Systems",
Opns. Res., 9, 169 (1961).
2. Denbigh, K. G., "Optimum Temperature Sequences
in Reactors," Chem. Engr. Sci., 8, 125 (1958).
3. Fano, R. M., "The Place of Time Sharing," ASEE
Jour. 58, 917 (1968).
4. Hadley, G., "Linear Programming," Addison-Wesley,
Reading, Mass. 1962).
5. Hooke, R., and T. A. Jeeves, "Direct Search Solution
of Numerical and Statistical Problems," J. Assn.
Comp. Mach., 8, 212 (1961).
6. Peterson, T. I., "Kinetics and Mechanism of Naph-
thalene Oxidation by Non-linear Estimation," Chem.
Engr. Sci., 17, 203 (1962).
7. Spendley, W., G. R. Hext, and F. R. Himsworth,
"Sequential Application of Simplex Designs in Op-
timization and Evolutionary Operations," Tech-
nometrics, 4, 441 (1962).
8. Tayyabakhan, M. T., and T. C. Richardson, "Monte
Carlo Techniques," Chem. Engr. Prog., 61, No. 1, 78
9. Treybal, R. E., "Liquid Extraction," 2nd Ed., p.
556, McGraw-Hill, New York (1963).
10. Rudd, D. F., and C. C. Watson, "Strategy of Process
Engineering," John Wiley, New York (1968).
11. White, W. B., S. M. Johnson and G. R. Dantzig,
"Chemical Equilibrium in Complex Mixtures," J. of
Chem. Phys., 28, 751 (1958).
12. Wilde, D. J., and C. S. Beightler, "Foundations of
Optimization," p. 345, Prentice-Hall, Englewood
Cliffs, N. J. (1967).
13. Wilde, D. J., "Optimum Seeking Methods," p. 32,
Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J. (1964).
14. Zener, C., and R. J. Duffin, "Geometric Program-
ming," John Wiley, New York (1967).
ELECTRONICS AND INSTRUMENTATION
TECHNIQUES FOR CHE GRAD STUDENTS
KENNETH R. JOLLS
Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York
A course in basic electronics and instrumenta-
tion techniques has been developed in this depart-
ment for graduate students interested in experi-
mental research. Notwithstanding the single
"service" course in electrical engineering that
most undergraduate engineers take, the majority
of those who go on to graduate study are ill-
prepared in even the most elementary of instru-
mentation techniques. The modern trend away
from analog devices with vacuum tube circuitry
toward digital devices with solid state circuitry
has compounded the problem even more. Inevit-
ably this has resulted in good research often going
undone, or at best, done poorly through the im-
proper use or understanding of measuring instru-
ments by research personnel.
One might argue that training of this sort
need not be an essential part of a chemical engi-
neer's preparation for a career in research. In-
deed, industrial research organizations and many
universities, as well, maintain a staff of con-
sultants in the area of electronics and instru-
mentation to provide "know-how" and relieve the
principal investigator of concern with problems
that might seem secondary to his actual research.
Clearly, this is the "task force" approach whereby
a team of specialists collaborate, each contribut-
ing in his particular area of specialty.
Although this has presented a workable
scheme in many important instances, one senses
an immediate handicap to the researcher who
must rely solely upon instrumentation consultants
who, by virtue of their specialty, are probably un-
familiar with the essence of his research. Consider
the kineticist interested in minute variations in
Kenneth R. Jolls has undergraduate degrees from
Duke University (music '58) and N. C. State University
(ChE '61). He obtained his MS and PhD degrees under
Professor Thomas J. Hanratty at the University of
Illinois and is currently in his fifth year at the Poly-
technic Institute of Brooklyn. His research interests are
in fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and research instru-
mentation, the last of which developed under the guidance
of Professor Howard Malmstadt at Illinois. Music re-
mains his avocation for which he finds an outlet through
playing professionally in the New York area.
the heat evolved by a certain reaction. To the
instrumentation engineer such a system origi-
nates simply as resistance fluctuations within a
thermistor bead. Think further of the materials
engineer interested in the dielectric properties of
a new polymer yet unable to characterize fully
its possible applications in electronics.
The only sound solution to this problem, in
the author's view, is the education of our research
students through exposure to practical electronics
and basic instrumentation systems at a level con-
sistent with their general scientific capability.
For many years chemistry departments have
faced similar problems and have responded with
courses in electronics and instrumental techniques
geared to those operations of particular import-
ance to the chemist. It is, therefore, the objective
of this paper to underscore the need for similar
training for our own engineering graduate stu-
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
IMPLEMENTATION OF A COURSE VIA THE
In response to the growing need for training
in instrumentation a number of books have ap-
peared 2 5 6 .7, each directed toward research
applications in some field of science or engineer-
ing. Inasmuch as this paper calls for a "practical
exposure" to electronic instrument as well as
training in the theoretical concepts, the need for
laboratory work becomes of the essence. Fortu-
nately, our chemistry colleagues have laid much
of the groundwork in this area as noted at a con-
ference on the "Teaching of Electronics to Chem-
istry Students" which was held at the 1966 East-
ern Analytical Symposium in New York City8.
Three significant points emerged from the dis-
* There is a definite need for instruction of research
students in basic electronics with an emphasis placed
upon modern instrumentation.
* There is a distinct advantage in this training being
offered by instructors with backgrounds similar to the
students' as opposed to its being given, for example, by
electrical engineering instrumentation people.
* Irrespective of the classroom presentation, the
laboratory should incorporate the "modular" concept of
instrumentation design. In this way the student first
becomes familiar with the basic electronic, electrochemi-
cal and electromechanical principles common to all in-
strumental devices and then proceeds to synthesize com-
plete measurement systems based upon these building
The PIB course is based upon the Heath/
Malmstadt-Enke system 3 46 which offers the
convenience of being commercially available.
Chemistry departments in many schools have
equipped their laboratories with moderately-
priced instruments, kit-form instruments and
even through prudent selections among surplus
electronics. Any department initiating such a
course will surely proceed with consideration
given to economics, staff availability, and per-
haps, staff experience in a field somewhat peri-
pheral to chemical engineering.
Regardless of the mechanics involved in
acquiring the laboratory and scheme of experi-
ments suggested here, experience teaches that the
student benefits most when he works individually
at a laboratory "station." This requires, there-
fore, that there be available several positions or
desks, each equipped as a complete experimental
unit within the scope of the course. Clearly, this
presents an economic disadvantage when com-
pared with the more traditional approach wherein
only the low to medium-priced instruments would
be provided at each desk with the more delicate,
high-priced items being centrally available in the
lab. Reasoning in the traditional sense, one might
provide each student with a power supply, a
vacuum-tube voltmeter, a basic laboratory oscillo-
scope, etc., and retain operational amplifiers,
digital voltmeters and potentiometric recorders
as central lab equipment with the rationale that
one of these more expensive instruments for every
two or three desks should provide ample service.
Economics notwithstanding, however, one sees
an immediate disservice done to students who
must wait their turn to use a particular instru-
ment. In order to develop a sense of independence
in electronics the student must be placed "on his
own" in the laboratory. Providing him with a
complete experimental unit guarantees the flex-
ibility desired. He may proceed at his own speed,
diverge at will from the prescribed experimenta-
tion, and even repeat earlier work. He develops
an acquaintance with his station that opens new
doors to investigation. One frequently finds stu-
dents exploring experimental techniques quite
different from those suggested.
Still more important is the student's respon-
sibility for the precision and accuracy of his
equipment. Techniques of standardization and
calibration become firmly implanted in contrast
to the situation in which the calibration accuracy
of an instrument is "accepted" on no sounder
basis, perhaps, than a statement by the instruc-
tor. A typical laboratory station need only include
one secondary voltage standard. Time is devoted
early in the course to practicing the calibration
techniques that the student will need in using the
THE WORKING MODEL
We call our course "Research Instrumenta-
tion," and although it carries three graduate
credits in both Chemistry and Chemical Engi-
neering, it is administered completely by the
latter. At the beginning of the semester each stu-
dent is handed a package of descriptive and sup-
plementary material to guide his study and work
in the lab. Samples of this material may be ob-
tained by writing to the author. Physically, the
laboratory comprises twelve student stations and
a work station for the instructors. Blackboard
space and storage for tools, hardware and demon-
stration instruments make the lab a complete
The first half of the semester is devoted to
. . . there is a need for instruction of research
students in basic electronics with emphasis placed on
basic electronics. Lectures, demonstrations and
training films are presented each week to supple-
ment the students' reading, and the laboratory
experiments are performed by each participant
during a single weekly session. An extensive
reference shelf is also maintained as an added
source of information.
Although our course does follow the Malm-
stadt-Enke text, the topics considered are typical
of those treated in any "first exposure" to elec-
tronics. The outline for the first seven weeks is
1. Weeks one and two are devoted to basic circuit
analysis with Ohm's and Kirchhoff's laws introduced
for the solution of both resistive and reactive net-
works. The oscilloscope is studied in the laboratory
together with the common meters (VOM, VTVM,
etc.), and demonstrations illustrate the loading of a
system with improper instrumentation.
2. Power supplies are treated during the third week
with consideration given to both thermionic and
semiconductor rectifiers. Various configurations of
filtering networks are constructed, tested and evalu-
ated in terms of the well-known theoretical correla-
tions. The theorems of Thevenin and Norton are
discussed with the concepts of "ideal" voltage source,
"perfect" current generator and intrinsic source
3. Amplification is the subject of the next three weeks.
The notion of a "controlled source" is discussed, and
vacuum tube and transistor characteristics are re-
corded with the idea of predicting their performance
in triode circuits constructed subsequently. Further
experiments deal with frequency response, phase
shift, harmonic distortion and stability in multistage
amplifiers. In conclusion, each student builds a per-
manent, two-stage audio unit for use in experiments
4. The seventh week is set aside for the study of
oscillators. Both feedback and negative resistance
oscillators are discussed in class and in the laboratory.
Information transmission on a modulated carrier
wave is treated, and experiments enable the student
to view an RF carrier enclosed by an AF envelope.
Group demonstrations illustrate the occurrence of
sidebands and elementary frequency modulation.
The lecture/demonstration. Each week the
entire group meets for a two-hour session during
which lecture material and demonstrations of the
more complex or specialized instruments are pre-
sented. Typical among the latter might be the
demonstration of an oscilloscope with a delayed
time base or, late in the course, the setting up of
differential equations on an analog computer. In
general, those techniques which require consider-
able practice are withheld for presentation to the
group as a whole. Certain bridge techniques,
differential amplifier methods and automatic
curve-tracing procedures fall naturally into this
The lecture topics are chosen to supplement
the text material and stimulate group discussion.
In this context the similarity in backgrounds
between instructor and students offers an advan-
tage in terms of certain analogies and pedagogi-
cal techniques which can be called into play. For
example, the chemical engineer is well versed in
thermodynamics and readily understands the use
of partial derivatives to characterize property
changes along a given path on a P-V-T surface.
He needs only be shown that the operating vari-
ables of a triode (plate voltage, plate current, and
grid voltage) form a similar "equation of state"
to be able to understand the performance char-
acteristics of the tube. Plate resistance, ampli-
fication factor and transconductance become the
"new" partial derivatives, and the path is pre-
scribed by the circuit configuration.
Discussions of servomechanism response and
operational amplifier applications are also facili-
tated by the engineer's mathematical background.
Most chemical engineers have sufficient experi-
ence with differential equations that much of the
introductory material on the use of operational
amplifiers in simulation becomes unnecessary.
Similarly, in the area of digital instrumentation,
the concepts of finite sampling, logic networks
and binary operations are well known.
Instrumentation systems are the subject of
the second half of the semester. A variety of
signal forms are measured and recorded; instru-
ment performance is evaluated, and existing cir-
cuitry is modified to fit new needs. Specifically,
the time divides as follows:
5. Comparison measurements are made during the
eighth week. Several null detectors are evaluated,
and chopper modulation and demodulation is studied.
The student experiments with the Wheatstone bridge,
while other configurations such as the Wein, Hay and
Schering are considered in class. The complex nature
of impedance is discussed with emphasis placed upon
dissipation and storage factors.
6. Servo systems are studied during weeks nine and ten.
The response of the Heath Servo Recorder to step
and ramp commands, its zero suppression, dead zone
and damping are among the characteristics investi-
gated. Servo-controlled constant voltage and current
supplies are also constructed, and operational feed-
back is introduced in reference to an electromechani-
cal system. Finally, the monitoring of continuous pH
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
in solution is demonstrated using a recorder equipped
with an electrometer input.
7. During the eleventh and twelfth weeks the electronic
operational amplifier is studied. Voltage and current
control as well as impedance matching are considered
first with the final emphasis placed upon integration,
differentiation, and the other mathematical operations
needed for equation solving. An elementary simula-
tion problem is carried out in the lab, and more
sophisticated problems are set up in class on an
8. Digital instrumentation is the subject of the last
two weeks of regular laboratory work. The new
Malmstadt-Enke text on digital electronics7 has broad-
ened this area into virtually a course in itself, and
we are emphasizing switching circuits, counting sys-
tems and discrete measurement devices accordingly.
Semiconductor logic gates (AND, NAND, OR, etc.)
are described, and the various multivibrators are
constructed for application in storage and triggering
circuits. Both A to D and D to A conversions are
discussed in class with laboratory experiments illus-
trating these and other signal processing techniques.
For those students who complete the labora-
tory with time remaining, a special project re-
lating to the individual field of research is rec-
ommended. In addition to providing the oppor-
tunity for him to further his own work, the
project offers a logical transition for the student
from the restricted framework of the course to
the general field of research instrumentation.
We feel that there are three principle objec-
tives involved in this work.
* That the student become sufficiently familiar with
the field to be able to assess future instrumentation re-
quirements, choosing the best measurement system from
among many possibilities.
* That he become able to evaluate the performance of
an instrument in terms of its stated specifications, thus
eliminating guesswork from the analysis of measurement
* That he acquire a sufficient understanding of instru-
mentation fundamentals to be able to talk intelligently
with design engineers and instrumental consultants when
a problem arises to which there is no immediate solution.
It has been the author's experience that stu-
dents in their second or third year of graduate
study profit most from this course. Clearly, with
a scope such as has been outlined, one must cover
considerable ground in one semester. First-year
graduate students and even the most able senior
undergraduates have difficulty in committing
themselves to this extent. However, for the more
advanced student who has much of his course
work behind him, the program works quite nicely.
A WORD ABOUT STAFF REQUIREMENTS
The successful presentation of a course simi-
lar to the one outlined here will depend largely
upon staff interest. Neither an extensive back-
ground in electrical engineering nor lengthy ex-
perienc in practical electronics are felt to be es-
sential. Experience with one's own thesis re-
search combined with that gleaned while direct-
ing graduate students can frequently provide an
excellent basis for starting such a program. A
further boost in staff competence can be obtained
through attending one of the Summer Institutes
given at various schools. Many of these programs
offer support to faculty members and require only
a few weeks of the professor's time*. Assuming
a reasonable period for course development
(which may include attending a summer pro-
gram), an effective instrumentation course could
easily become operational within a year after
It is interesting to note that electrical en-
gineering departments rarely object to this ap-
parent "intrusion" into their discipline. On the
contrary, they frequently welcome being relieved
of another service course and even offer their
facilities to the instrumentation people in return.
This has, indeed, been the case here at Brooklyn,
and our work in the course has benefited accord-
Teaching assistants play a vital role in the
operation of the laboratory, the setting up of
demonstrations and the grading of lab reports.
Once the program is under way, the course is
self-generating insofar as teaching assistants
are concerned. The first run, however, can cause
problems, and the author sought help within the
Analytical Chemistry Division and the Depart-
ment of Electrical Engineering. The normal se-
mester's registration of 25 students is handled
by one senior staff member and two teaching
It has been the purpose of this discussion to
indicate the need for training in the fundamen-
tals of electronics and applied instrumentation
for chemical engineering research students. It
*During the summers of 1968 and 1969 the course
here at Brooklyn was offered on this basis with the latter
being supported by NSF under its College Teacher
has been pointed out that the interplay between
instructor and student is enhanced in such a
course when a sound basis for communication
exists between them. The problems associated
with establishing a laboratory facility consistent
with the instructional level have been outlined
and a workable scheme suggested. A syllabus
drawn from one of the standard texts has been
described, and a number of variations and peda-
gogical techniques found to be successful in the
author's presentation of the course have been
outlined. Typical objectives that one might
realistically hope to achieve in a course of this
kind have been set forth and a student body
capable of realizing these objectives noted. Fi-
nally, the suitability of this course for presenta-
tion by chemical engineering faculty members
has been pointed out with suggestions for course
development and staffing.
The author welcomes questions and comments
from those interested in such a program or
already involved in its presentation.
1. Benedict, R. R., "Electronics For Scientists and En-
gineers," Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jer-
2. Brophy, J. J., "Basic Electronics For Scientists," Mc-
Graw-Hill, New York, 1966.
3. Heath Company, "Malmstadt/Enke Electronics, Edu-
cation & Research Instrumentation," brochure ME-
965-20M, Benton Harbor, Michigan, 1965.
4. Heath Company, "Operation Manual for the Malm-
stadt-Enke Instrumentation Laboratory Station,"
manual EUA-11, Benton Harbor, Michigan, 1967.
5. Hunten, D. M., "Introduction to Electronics," Holt,
Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1964.
6. Malmstadt, H. V., C. G. Enke and E. C. Toren, Jr.,
"Electronics For Scientists," W. A. Benjamin, New
7. Malmstadt, H. V., and C. G. Enke, "Digital Electron-
ics For Scientists," W. A. Benjamin, New York, 1968.
8. Proceedings of the Eastern Analytical Symposium
and Instrument Exhibit, Sessions on Teaching Elec-
tronics, New York, November, 1966.
9. Suprynowicz, V. A., "Introduction to Electronics,"
Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1966.
rgi.f 4 problems for teachers
DOES THE ENTROPY OF A COMPOUND SYSTEM
ALWAYS MAXIMIZE IN THE EQUILIBRIUM STATE ?
ALAN J. BRAINARD
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Penn. 15213
T IS CONVENTIONAL in thermodynamics to
introduce two different types of walls which
are impermeable to matter - adiabatic and dia-
thermal. An adiabatic wall is used in introducing
the first law of thermodynamics and also is re-
quired in developing the concept of isolation.
In the strictest sense, no real material does form
an adiabatic enclosure, but rather approximates
one to varying degrees. A Dewar flash is a well-
known example of an enclosure that approxi-
mates adiabatic behavior to a very high degree.
A diathermal wall is used in the statement of the
"zeroth" law, the condition of thermal equilib-
Excellent discussions of the properties of both
types of walls are available1-3. It is not the pur-
pose of this paper to improve on those discus-
This provocative paper elicited considerable
interest when presented at a recent AIChE meeting.
CEE publishes it with the expectation that it will
stimulate discussion and response from our readers.
sions. Rather its purpose is to point out a fact
which is felt to be too little appreciated in appli-
cations of the subject - the presence of an
adiabatic wall constitutes a constraint on equilib-
rium. The following question will bring this last
statement into sharp focus. Do examples exist
of systems which can be treated using classical
thermodynamics for one type of wall (i.e. dia-
thermal) and not the other?
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
The answer to this question is yes, and the
particular example chosen causes one to recognize
the great importance of a careful statement of
the entropy maximum principle. The paper will
show that the principle as commonly stated does
NOT always apply to the prediction of the squi-
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
CONSIDER A COMPOUND system composed of two
subsystems which are simple compressible
fluids. The subsystems are each in equilibrium
states and are separated by an adiabatic wall.
The wall is pinned in a fixed position initially
and the properties of the subsystems are given
by P.', VI', T/', Pi", VI", and TI". The subscript
refers to the state of the system and the super-
script is used to differentiate between subsys-
tems. Figure 1 is a schematic representation of
Pi > P;
Fig. 1. - Schematic Representation of the Compound System.
Both subsystems are enclosed totally within adia-
batic walls. For all cases considered in this paper
different initial pressures, P1' > P," are assumed.
As described, the compound system is subject
both to a mechanical constraint, the pinned wall,
and a thermal constraint, the adiabatic wall. The
mechanical constraint, the constraint on the ini-
tial position of the wall, is removed, and the wall
(assumed to be frictionless) will oscillate a num-
ber of times, but will eventually come to rest in
another equilibrium position. At that time the
subsystems will satisfy the condition of mechan-
P2, = P/' (1)
Can the other parameters of state, V/, T/,
V'2", and T," be predicted? That question has
been discussed4-6 and the answer is negative. If
the dividing wall is a diathermal one, however,
the entropy maximum principle may be employed
to yield the additional condition
T2 = T2" (2)
This together with an equation of state
V = V(P,T) (3)
for each of the subsystems, will be sufficient to
determine the parameters of the final equilibrium
state. Equation (2) holds with a diathermal
separating wall as this wall does not constrain
the establishment of thermal equilibrium.
These findings can be summarized in the fol-
lowing manner: the ability of classical thermody-
namics to analyze a compound system which
clearly starts and ends in equilibrium states is
dependent on the choice of the dividing wall. The
analysis is possible for a diathermal wall but is
not possible for an adiabatic dividing wall. This
fact has been recognized and careful statements
of the entropy maximum principle7-9 make direct
reference to it.
The remainder of this paper will be devoted
to an elaboration of the limits of thermodynamics
in predicting the parameters of state of a system
in constrained equilibrium.
A TTENTION IS ONCE again directed to the exam-
ple introduced earlier, the compound system
with an internal adiabatic wall. For simplicity
all analyses are limited to subsystems which are
monatomic ideal gases. If more realistic equa-
tions of state were employed, more involved argu-
ments would be necessary. The ability to predict
the final equilibrium state does not depend upon
the functional form of the equation of state, in
The second law written for the changes of
state for each of the subsystems yields,
A S' = S/ - S_' > 0
A S" = Si - Si" > 0
for the change of state from the initial equilib-
rium state, state 1, to the final equilibrium state,
state 2, under adiabatic constraints. The author
has shown4 that only the inequalities given in
equations (4) and (5) can hold in this case.
The subsystems do not experience quasi-static
adiabatic changes of state. This result, which
is almost obvious, will be of importance to us in
our subsequent analyses.
Suppose, for example, one assumes that while
the entropy of the compound system does not
maximize, the subsystems do attain states which
yield the maximum entropy for the compound
system subject to the adiabatic constraints. This
state is designated as state 2*. Figure 2 is a
representation of the equilibrium states of the
compound system. State 2* is the final equilib-
rium state with maximum entropy which results
with an adiabatic dividing wall. State e is the
equilibrium state which would result with a dia-
thermal dividing wall.
Removal of Constraints
Fig. 2. - Equilibrium States of the Compound System.
In general, states 2* and e do not coincide. In
addition, it can be shown that in general the
subsystems do not attain equilibrium states
which maximize the entropy of the compound
system. The compound system cannot reach
state 2* either. The following will establish this
CONSIDER THE CASE where the initial states of
the two subsystems have the values given in
TABLE 1. Initial Equilibrium States of the Subsystems
prime double prime
Volume, cu. ft.
These conditions are sufficient to set the pressure
of state 2, when both subsystems are monatomic
ideal gases, which can be calculated to be P,' =
P.," = 300 psia.
In order to evaluate the change in any other
thermodynamic property, a second parameter of
state must be given. As pointed out earlier, this
parameter is not known. The entropy change of
each of the subsystems can be evaluated how-
ever from the known value of P,' and from as-
sumed values of V/. Equations (6) and (7) can
then be employed to evaluate AS' and AS".
AS'=n'R 5 In V- + In (6)
S \T " 2 n "
A S" = n" R 2In + -2- In p (7)
Various V' values were assumed and used along
with the values of the other variables given in
equations (6) and (7) to determine the results
given in Table 2.
TABLE 2. Dependence of Entropy Changes of Assumed
Values of V,'
A S" AS'+ AS"
The reader will recall that only those states
where AS' and AS" are > 0 can be realized. Fig-
ure 3 has been prepared using the range of
values of V,' where both AS' and AS" are > 0.
-21 I I I
9 101 1 12
Assumed V'i values, ft3
Fig. 3 - Entropy Changes vs. Assumed Final Volumes.
From Figure 3 it is seen that the range of
possible V' values must be in the zone indicated
(between points A and B in Figure 3). The sum
of AS' and AS" is also plotted as the dotted line
on this Figure. By inspection of either Table 2
or Figure 3, it is seen that the maximum of the
sum of AS' and AS" occurs at a V,' value of 12,
and that AS" is < 0 for this value. The state
with a V,' value of 12 corresponds to state e in
Figure 2. Clearly the compound system cannot
attain this state when subject to the thermal
constraint of the adiabatic wall. The point of
immediate interest is to demonstrate that the
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
compound system cannot attain state 2* either.
Inspection of Table 2 and Figure 3 reveals
that the state where AS = 0 corresponds to state
2* in Figure 2. Over the range of possible V2'
values (A < V,' < B) the function AS' + AS"
is monotonically increasing and it reaches its
maximum value where AS"= 0. It was shown
earlier, however that both AS' and AS" must be
> 0 when separated by an adiabatic wall, and so
the possibility of the compound system ever at-
taining this state can be dismissed. In short, for
the initial conditions selected, the entropy of the
compound system did not maximize in the pres-
ence of an internal adiabatic constraint. The
compound system was not able to reach state 2*.
An infinity of initial states having this property
exist. The author has shown4, however, that
another infinity of initial states also exist for
which we may not make that statement. There
are initial states for which we may not exclude
the compound system from attaining the state
of maximum entropy. One such state is to use
the initial pressures and temperatures given in
Table 1 but to let V,' = 2 cu. ft. and V'" = 14
cu. ft. This set of initial conditions will give
equilibrium values whereby both AS' and AS"
are > 0 even with a diathermal separating wall.
What statement can be made concerning the
final equilibrium state of the compound system
shown in Figure 1? Certainly the entropy of the
compound system does increase when the me-
chanical constraint is removed. In general, how-
ever, the entropy does not reach its global maxi-
mum (state e) nor does the compound system
maximize the entropy subject to the adiabatic
constraint (state 2*). Just how much the entropy
does increase cannot at present be determined by
the tools of classical thermodynamics.
The key point in our discussion has been the
following - the presence of an adiabatic internal
wall represents a constraint on thermal equilib-
rium and a system in constrained equilibrium
need NOT be in the state of maximum entropy.
Thus the characteristics of the dividing wall,
which may at first appear to be an unimportant
element, are critical for the prediction of the final
n- number of moles, lb. moles
p - pressure, psia
R -ideal gas constant, psia-fts/lb mole- �R
S - entropy, e.u.
T - absolute temperature, R
V - volume, cu. ft.
A - refers to change in value of a thermodynamic
1, 2 refer to equilibrium state with adiabatic separat-
prime, double prime - used to designate subsystems
1. Landsberg, P. T., Thermodynamics, pp. 6-12, Inter-
science Publishers, New York (1961).
2. Wilson, A. H., Thermodynamics and Statistical Me-
chanics, pp. 65-67, Cambridge University Press, Cam-
bridge, England (1966).
3. Buchdahl, H. A., The Concepts of Classical Thermo-
dynamics, pp. 13-14, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, England (1966).
4. Brainard, Alan J., Il Nuovo Cimento, Series X, 62B,
5. Tisza, Laszlo, Generalized Thermodynamics, p. 89,
MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1966).
6. Callen, Herbert B., Thermodynamics, pp. 321-323,
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (1965).
7. Ibid, 24.
8. Reference 1, p. 149.
9. Hatsopoulos, George N., and Joseph H. Keenan, Princ-
iples of General Thermodynamics, pp. 393-396, John
Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (1965).
BOOK REVIEW (Continued from page 61)
very much time left for other university work
during the senior year.
This report should be of value to teachers of
chemical engineering design who are willing to
bite off a rather formidable chunk of a large and
involved process. Some pitfalls are that naphtha
is not a representative feedstock for U. S. ethy-
lene manufacture, that the economics must be
adapted to U. S. circumstances, and that the in-
formation is only that which has been gleaned
from the open literature. The counsel of prac-
titioners engaged in the ethylene business would
be advisable. Perhaps the best use of the report
would be in providing material for short design
studies. Example sections amenable to adapta-
tion would be cracked gas drying, acid gas sweet-
ening, and acetylene removal by hydronation.
In summary, this is a collection of design
problem solutions that in whole, or in part, can
be of value to the teacher of chemical engineering
design. Reviewed by Dr. James R. Fair, Mon-
santo Company, St. Louis, Mo.
Continued on page 97)
Lin Ps views and opinions
THE LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE
EDWARD F. OBERT and GEORGE R. SELL
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Wisconsin, Madison
THREE THOUSAND years ago the teacher neces-
sarily had to lecture to his classes since the
printing press had yet to be invented. Today,
despite the printing press, despite the many
forms of copying machines, despite the tests of
educational psychology, the same inefficient sys-
tem of teaching is still practiced. As a conse-
quence, the little red school houses are no longer
little and threaten to engulf the community both
physically and financially. The students produced
by the system, like their counterparts of 3,000
years ago, cannot study by themselves and, most
important, do not desire self-study, since they
have been conditioned that the learning process
requires a teacher and a classroom!
This last point bears repeating: We are
creatures of habit-habit dictates our entire
mode of living. Consider the habits instilled in
our students. From the time that they are 6
years of age until they are 18 years and graduate
from high school, or until they are 22 years and
graduate from college, they are conditioned to a
teacher lecturing to them at a set hour as the
first prerequisite for learning! They graduate
and the learning process practically ceases in
many cases. Obsolescence at 40? Certainly it
can be laid to the habits instilled in the students
in their 12 or 16 years of conditioning.
Suppose that the student follows carefully the
lecturer's words and thoughts;* here he is being
conditioned to accept without thinking! If the
student digresses from following the lecturer (if
he thinks independently), of what use is most of
the lecture material?
It is often argued that the lecturer (at least
the good lecturer) stimulates the students to
think. This is a valid point if the lecture is used
as a flavoring! Recall your own days in school.
Did you have a brilliant lecture at 8 A.M. fol-
*Classroom, moving pictures, audio-visual methods
and television included.
lowed by other equally brilliant lectures at 9, 10,
and 11 A.M.? Even with the best lecturers it is
impossible to listen and be stimplated every hour
on the hour, day by day, and week by week.
It is our considered opinions that the over-use
of the lecture system has produced in our former
students a profound distaste for self-study (and
for graduate school) that explains why obsoles-
cence at 40 is not uncommon.
THE AIM PLAN
T O OVERCOME the distaste for self-study and,
at the same time, to provide educational op-
portunities for people who do not have educa-
tional institutions and instructional personnel
available in their immediate vicinity, The Univer-
sity of Wisconsin initiated its AIM program in
1964. This experimental program, sponsored
jointly by The University of Wisconsin and the
Carnegie Corporation, titled Articulated Instruc-
tional Media (AIM) was to provide undergradu-
ate educational opportunities throughout the
State of Wisconsin by using a wide variety of
instructional techniques and media.
The Mechanical Engineering Department
carried the AIM Concept a step further by de-
veloping graduate courses as a means of provid-
ing continuing education for practicing engineers
who do not have access to graduate programs
in their geographical locations.
The Mechanical Engineering program is bas-
ically the tutorial system (texts, course outline,
assigned and illustrative problems and tests)
with the instructor meeting the students once a
week, or once every two weeks, as the class needs
dictate. Students could also contact instructors
by telephone at scheduled hours (say 7-9 P.M.
on Tuesday) to discuss problems. In addition,
some of the courses such as "Experimental De-
sign" and "Analysis of Metal Cutting and Form-
ing" have a truck-mounted laboratory so that a
wide variety of experiments were available to
students at various centers throughout the state.
To assure maintenance of course standards,
the AIM students are required to take midterm
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
Edward F. Obert is Professor of Mechanical Engi-
neering at the University of Wisconsin. He has written
several texts in thermodynamics and internal combustion
engines. In 1953 he received the ASEE George Westing-
house Award for teaching. (left photo).
George R. Sell is Professor and Coordinator of Co-
operative Education and AIM Programs in the University
of Wisconsin Extension He is instrumental in the devel-
opment and expansion of continuing education programs.
and final examinations with the regular students
on The University of Wisconsin Campus.
The AIM program provides a number of side
benefits as well. For example, once a course has
been developed, it can be offered at little extra
cost for several years. Almost any number of
students from one to one-hundred can be en-
rolled. Thus, educational opportunities can be
provided at the lowest possible cost; and a rela-
tively large graduate program can be offered
providing maximum flexibility in fitting the
graduate program to the needs of the off-campus
The graduate program for off-campus stu-
dents started in 1964. Each semester since that
time four or five courses were offered with an
average enrollment per course of about ten. To
date there have been two MS graduates but sev-
eral other graduate students will probably com-
plete degree requirements during 1970.
THE AIM (WISCONSIN) RESULTS
* Reduction of undergraduate costs.
T o CHECK the adequacy of the AIM approach in in-
struction, the undergraduate Mechanical Engineering
students enrolled in beginning thermodynamics were
divided into two groups by lot with two classes following
the traditional lecture system (three one-hour lectures
per week), and two classes following the AIM plan (one
one-hour lecture per three weeks). All classes had
3,000 years ago the teacher had to lecture to his
classes . . . the same inefficient system of teaching
is still practiced.
The distribution of grades for both the traditional
approach and the AIM approach shown in Example 1
exceeded our expectations. The AIM students did as
well, if not better, than did "traditional" students.
Example* 1 Undergraduate (Jr.) Thermodynamics
A=4.0 B=3.0 C=2.0 D=1.0 F=0 Avg. GPA
Lecture 2 11 15 10 3 1.98 2.61
AIM 6 9 12 7 3 2.22 2.59
Note that with a teacher contact-hour load of 6 hours/
week, and with twelve 3-hour sections (same subject)
meeting on the AIM plan once in two weeks:
*All data are from official records at Madison.
A teacher (plus one graduate assistant) on the AIM plan
can replace six teachers on the lecture system (in large
schools with multiple-section courses), and requires only
one-sixth of the class room space.
With a more-realistic six sections, the reduction is three-
fold, and the teacher's load is minimal! (Freedom for
* Expansion and Financing of the Graduate Program
THE GRADUATE PROGRAM at most engineering schools is
limited because of the small number of graduate
students enrolled. This limited graduate-course offer-
ing results in slow growth because graduate students are
not attracted. The AIM plan enables schools to develop
additional graduate courses and to schedule greater
numbers of courses which will attract greater numbers
of graduate students. In addition, these courses can be
made available in many localities to meet the needs of
personnel employed by industries throughout the State
(an incentive for attracting or expanding industrial
operations in the State).
Example 2 Nuclear Power Plants
(Beginning graduate: El-Wakil)
No. Enrolled Grade - A B C
Campus 2 - 1 1
AIM 9 3 1 -
The campus enrollment of two students was not sufficient
to allow the course to be offered. However, the nine AIM
students brought the total to eleven, and therefore the
course could be financed.
Even in a large graduate program, the problem of
"low-income" courses invariably arises with high-level
Example 3 Advanced Conduction
(Several prerequisites: G. Myers)
No. Enrolled Grade - A B C
Campus 4 2 2 -
AIM 9 - 5 -
The low-income courses (Examples 2 and 3) can be
balanced by basic courses which tend to have a large
campus enrollment (and therefore the AIM income is a
definite gain) :
Example 4 Mechanical Design
(Beginning graduate: Seireg)
No. Enrolled Grade - A B C
Campus 12 6 5 1
AIM 16 8 4 1
Thus the AIM program not only increases the number
of graduate courses offered each term, but also becomes
the means for financing low-enrollment specialty courses
and advanced courses that are so vital for faculty devel-
opment. Note, too, that the AIM plan is a means for
financing graduate assistants.
HILDEGARDE'S 3th Law is as follows: The attrition in
graduate off-campus courses is proportional to the
work required of the student.
Another generalization: A high-level off-campus grad-
uate course, with the students working full-time in indus-
try, will have an attrition of about 50 per cent.
That these generalizations are approximately true can
be deduced by considering that the usual graduate student
on-campus carries 12 units of credit and spends about 60
hours/week in study, or about 15 hours/week per 3-hour
course. The man in industry thus needs at least two
"days" of free time to compete. The AIM program has
essentially the same attrition as our older plan of one
3 hour lecture per week given at night to men in industry.
Example 5 Attrition in AIM versus Lecture System
NUMBER OF STUDENTS
1st 1st 2nd pleted
Course Method Class Exam Exam (Passed)
A AIM 12 5 -- 4
B AIM 8 7 6 6
C AIM 25 24 20 20
A Lecture 13 9 -- 5
X Lecture 25 17 10 9
Y Lecture 41 36 -- 22
Observe in Example 5 that the attrition for Course A
was about the same for the two distinctly different meth-
The students produced by the system cannot study
by themselves and do not desire self-study.
ods of teaching. The attrition varies from course-to-
course depending upon the course severity.
To digress: It is not unusual to find attrition much
lower than shown in the above five examples in the vari-
ous off-campus programs given throughout the country
by other schools for the MS degree. At Wisconsin, the
AIM MS degree has essentially the same quality as the
campus degree, since the AIM students take the same
examinations at the same time as the campus students.
(Whether a "cheaper" degree should replace our AIM
degree is a matter for argument; admittedly, the indus-
trial need is for courses requiring, at most, 8 hours per
week of study.)
* Usual Questions and Criticisms
Q. Do students prefer the AIM plan?
A. All things being equal, a majority of the students on
or off-campus prefer the AIM plan because of
On-campus: The saving of 3 to 5 hr/week by not
attending classes (for one subject.)
Off-campus: The freedom in not being tied to a 3
hour lecture on one night-a night on which the
man may be tired, sick or out-of-the-city.
Those who dislike the AIM plan say: "I like a lecture
first to get some feel for the subject so that it
will come easier to me when, later, I study the
Query: Will he expect the same briefing after grad-
uation on each new topic?
"I attend the lectures to study the teacher-to
see what he emphasizes-so the tests can be
Query: Is this good teaching?
"Teacher x delivers a very deliberate, well pre-
pared, lecture and therefore I have a minimum
of study after each lecture." ("I don't have to
crack the book.")
Query: Is this good teaching?
Q. Do the faculty prefer the AIM plan?
Q. In your opinion, why the NO to the foregoing ques-
A-1. The AIM program demands that the teacher care-
fully examines all of the material, and the textbook,
from the student's viewpoint before the term begins.
Thus considerable time (and typing help) is required
to develop the printed material which is to replace
about 30 hours of verbal instructions. (We pay $500
to $1,000 extra compensation for this work.)
A-2. Most teachers like to lecture.
A-3. They're uneasy in the hidden thought that AIM
may cause faculty overloading and a reduction in
Q. What do faculty members say who oppose AIM?
A-1. "The good teacher inspires (motivates) the student
and AIM (prevents) (reduces) (destroys) the in-
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
[Please-a little self analysis: How many teachers
"inspired" you as a student? Where? In the class-
room? Or in their offices? Motivation may be neces-
sary at the high-school level but at the college level?
Can't the coop plan supply this motivation? What
about the graduate level?]
A-2. "Many (most) of my students need to be prodded
by being forced to go to class, or to turn in home-
work, or to have me (the teacher) review the ma-
terial three times a week."
[Can we afford to accept such a condition at the col-
lege level? Isn't this statement an indictment of
present educational methods?]
A-3. "I bring to class the latest developments in the
literature (or from my research) and so illustrate
and extend the textbook as well as the subject."
[A fair answer, if we are discussing high-level gradu-
ate seminars for the PhD degree; even here a Xerox
BOOK REVIEWS (Continued from page 93)
Mass Transfer in Heterogeneous Catalysis
Charles N. Satterfield
267 pages, M.I.T. Press, (1970)
This book is a sequel to the 1963 volume 'The
Role of Diffusion in Catalysis" written by Pro-
messors Satterfield and Sherwood. The arrange-
ment of the material and the point of view are
the same as in the earlier work. The new volume
retains the objective of emphasizing the practi-
cal, problem-solving approach.
The first chapter treats diffusion in gases and
liquids in a brief way and then presents in detail
mass transport in porous catalysts. Binary mix-
tures are used almost exclusively to illustrate
diffusion phenomena and little attention is given
to the molecular theory of diffusivities. However,
rather complete up-to-date data are presented
for liquid and gaseous, binary systems. Models
of pore structure applicable to diffusion calcula-
tions are discussed along with a reasonably com-
plete summary of data on tortuosity factors.
From a historical viewpoint, Rothfield's work
[AIChE Journal 9 19 (1963)] might have been
given credit, along with the other two groups
mentioned, for deriving the accepted relations
for diffusion at constant pressure in a pore where
both Knudsen and bulk transport are significant.
Chapter 2 treats transport resistances be-
tween fluids and solid particles and includes a
summary of available information for fluidized
beds and slurries.
copy of a Ditto statement of the "new" material
could save a good deal of chatter.]
A-4. "The students are not exposed to the presence of
other students, and to the questions of other students
which may be novel to them, and to the reactions
of the students."
[True, but need it be 3 times a week times 5 to 7
subjects? The experienced teacher finds few novel
questions, and these should be anticipated in the
course printed material.]
Q. Isn't the graduate student (or the professor) over-
worked in answering the phone (one 2-hour period
during the week)?
A. Surprisingly, the phone load is very light except for
a night or two before an examination. (And there-
fore we call the phone service a psychological
The major share of the book is devoted to the
interaction of diffusion and heat transfer and
reaction in influencing the effectiveness of porous
catalysts. The conventional isothermal problem
is considered first (Chapter 3), and then intra-
particle temperature effects are introduced.
Methods of predicting the effective thermal con-
ductivity are mentioned only in passing in order
to present the available experimental data. Con-
siderable space is given to the effect of the form
of the rate equation on the effectiveness factor, a
subject in which the author has done consider-
The final chapter describes the effects of poi-
soning on rates and selectivity and the related
subject of regeneration of coked catalysts. Poi-
soning is analyzed using the Wheeler classifica-
tion [A. Wheeler, Advances in Catalysis III, p.
249 (1951)]. The data on carbon gasefication is
summarized with the objective of presenting
working equations for the rate of burnoff. For
the high-temperature case of diffusion-controlled
burnoff (the shell model) data are given, but the
theory is not included. In general, the concepts
of gas-solid non-catalytic reactions are not dis-
cussed. As the title indicates, the treatment is
limited to catalytic reactions.
The book presents a convenient source of data
(much of it recent) on transport effects in solid-
catalytic reactions and as such will be a most
valuable addition to the literature. The material
is presented clearly and the data abstracted from
the literature are reproduced and analyzed with
sufficient detail and care to be useful.
J. M. Smith
University of California, Davis
SOME CURRENT STUDIES IN
1969 4aw9 d 1eck*e
LIQUID STATE PHYSICS*
Part 2. Dielectric and Critical State Phenomena
C. J. PINGS
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California 91109
DIELECTRIC BEHAVIOR IN NONPOLAR FLUIDS
T HE DIELECTRIC constant of a material medium
is a function of state. Upon first analysis this
would suggest dependence of the dielectric con-
stant e or equivalently the refractive index n
(and in these systems for all practical purposes
e = n2) upon two variables, for example, temper-
ature and pressure. However, there exist the
simple Clausius-Mossotti or Lorentz-Lorenz theo-
ries stemming from derivations now almost one
century old, which describe the dielectric behav-
ior of nonpolar substances solely in terms of the
CM = [(e-1)/(e+2)]p-1 = -- Tra, (1)
LL = [(n2-l)/(n2+2)]p-1 = 4 ra, (2)
where a is the polarizability.
The interested reader is referred to the review
article by Brown' for discussions of derivation
of above expressions. Briefly, one plausible deri-
vation follows from an assumption that in the
vicinity of a given molecule the local field from
neighboring molecules vanishes. This is an as-
sumption that can be shown to be rigorously
true in the case of certain idealized solids because
of the high symmetry of the crystal lattice. An
equivalent justification for other states of matter
is lacking, although it has been known for many
years that Eqs. 1 and 2 seem to have general
approximate validity even for dense fluids. Ex-
panded theories of the dielectric behavior have
produced corrections to the equations, but for
fluid systems those corrections often called for a
knowledge of the structure or correlation func-
tions in liquids, information often lacking. Since
*ChE Division Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by
the 3M Company and presented at the ASEE Annual
meeting at Penn State, June 24, 1969.
those corrections are both temperature and dens-
ity dependent, a test of the primitive theory is
to inspect whether the computed values of the
Lorentz-Lorenz function exhibit any density de-
pendence at constant temperature, and whether
there is any systematic shift from isotherm to
There are a number of published measure-
ments of either the dielectric constant or refrac-
tive index for argon, mostly at room temperature
or near atmospheric pressure. Michels and
Botzen2 measured n at 25�C for pressures up to
2300 atm. Orcutt and Cole3 presented very pre-
cise results for the dielectric constant at 50�,
100', and 150�C for pressures 2-100 atm. A few
measurements have been made on argon at low
temperatures. Amey and Cole4 measured the
dielectric constant at the melting and normal
boiling points, 84� and 850K. Jones and Smith5' 6
reported the refractive index of liquid argon
near the triple point, 84�K. Smith and Pings7
reported refractive index measurements for the
solid at pressures up to 100 atm over a narrow
range of temperatures near 900K. These latter
data were subsequently used8 in conjunction with
recent accurate density data9 in order to compute
the Lorentz-Lorenz function for the solid. Our
laboratory10 previously reported a set of meas-
urements of the refractive index and computa-
tions of the Lorentz-Lorenz function for satur-
ated gaseous and liquid argon.
Until 1968 there was apparently no compre-
hensive investigation of the refractive index or
dielectric constant of the dense fluid region for
a simple liquid. The author's laboratory, there-
fore, undertook a study of the refractive index of
argon from near the normal boiling point to
above the critical temperature. This filled in the
unstudied region and made available a complete
picture of the dielectric properties of argon from
the solid region to the high temperature gas
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
Fig. 1. Optical geometry involved
in measurement of refractive in-
dex of a prism-shaped specimen.
Optical measurements were made on speci-
mens of fluid argon under controlled conditions
of temperature and pressure in a sample cell with
supported sapphire windows. The windows were
set at 45� to each other, effectively defining a
prism-shaped specimen with an apex angle A
of approximately 45�. Refractive indices were
then obtained from the following formula:
n = sin 1/2 (A+D) /sin 1/2A, (3)
where D is the measured angle of minimum de-
viation. See Fig. 1.
Results of measurements along eight iso-
therms and some data along the coexistence
curve are shown in Fig. 2. Further data for the
11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99
Fig. 2. Experimental values of the refractive index as a function of
temperature and pressure. All of the points shown are experimental
except the one indicated for the critical state, which was inferred
from analysis of data in the critical region.
two-phase region near the critical state of argon
are shown in Fig. 3. Many of those measure-
ments were literally taken upon coexisting gas
and liquid, i.e., with a well-defined two-phase
system in the sample cell, it was possible to see
both phases and to make independent determina-
tions of the refractive indices of the gas and
The temperatures of the one-phase isotherms
had been selected so as to coincide with those
studied in the extensive PVT measurements of
Levelt.11 Therefore, it was possible to combine
150.00 150.20 150.40 150.60
Fig. 3. Refractive index in the critical region. The almost horizontal
line is the locus of the rectilinear diameter in n, including 95%
confidence limits. The indicated critical temperature was ascertained
by visual judgment as to the closure of the coexistence curve,
yielding a provisional value of T of 150.7090K.
our measured refractive index values with those
density values as in Eq. 2 to form the Lorentz-
Lorenz function as a function of pressure and
temperature. The reader is referred to the
article by Teague and Pings12 for detailed analy-
sis of the data. An indication of the test of the
theory is shown in Fig. 4, which demonstrates
computed values of the Lorentz-Lorenz function
as a function of density for three different iso-
therms. Although there are faint suggestions of
slight density dependence, the reader should note
that those data are portrayed on a greatly ex-
panded scale, and the general conclusion is that
at the level of our experimental accuracy there
can be at most minor deviation from the elemen-
tary theory even in the dense fluid region.
FINALLY, A BRIEF SUMMARY of the Lorentz-
Lorenz function for argon in the three states
of matter may be of interest. The present work
suggests values for the effective molar polariz-
ability, i.e., the LL function (47ra/3, of 4.15 cm3/
mole for the saturated gas, 4.21 for the saturated
liquid, 4.20 for the limiting value at the critical
state, and values ranging from about 4.16 to 4.22
along the one-phase isotherms. For the gas at
room temperature in the limit of zero pressure,
Orcutt and Cole's3 dielectric constant work cor-
U 4.250 -
4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
Fig. 4. The calculated Lorentz-Lorenz function for three gas-phase
rected to 5893 A gives a value of LL of 4.21,.
Recent analysis ' 1. 14 of refractive index meas-
urements by Smith and Pings7 and Eatwell and
Jones'5 (both sets at 5893 A) for the solid indi-
cate values of about 4.15 at 800K decreasing
to 4.12 at 200K Considering the available evi-
dence, it therefore seems possible to assert that
there is no more than a 1.5% variation from a
LL value of 4.19 cm2/mole throughout the three
states of matter, including the critical point, and
with temperature variation from 200-3000K.
There are practical ramifications to the conclu-
sion that these elementary theories have broad
range of validity. Consider Eq. 2 rewritten as
n -1 1
p = A n 2- (4a)
where A = a (4b)
Knowledge of density, or its reciprocal the speci-
fic volume, of a fluid is usually a minimal require-
ment in handling any liquid system in real ap-
paratus; also it is well-known that characteriza-
tion of the specific volume as a function of pres-
sure and temperature (or some equivalent ac-
cumulation of PVT data) in conjunction with
heat capacity measurements as a function of
temperature is the necessary and sufficient in-
formation for mapping of thermodynamic prop-
erties. Conventional techniques for density
measurements, i.e., measuring the total volume of
a measured mass of a substance are painstaking
if even low accuracy is required. On the other
hand, Eq. 4a is suggestive of a relatively easy
intensive optical measurement with great poten-
tial for both absolute accuracy and particularly
for precision. Furthermore, since the direct
measurement is optical, observation of density
with input to direct control systems seems plaus-
ible. This should have applications both in the
research laboratory and in the monitoring and
control of process streams.
EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES OF CRITICAL STATE
N A BRIEF portion of one lecture it is impossible
to provide a background of critical state phe-
nomena or the scope of present theoretical ex-
perimental study of critical region singularities.
Fortunately, there are several recent review
articles available. 16-21
The critical state was first described22 one
century ago, and since that time has sporadically
been the subject of attention in scientific articles
and text books. However, until recently this was
largely confined to the curiosity of critical opa-
lescence or to the recognition of vaguely defined,
but nevertheless quite real practical difficulties if
separation units were operated too close to the
critical state of any given component. About ten
years ago there developed a renewed interest in
the subject particularly when suggestions begin
to emerge that perhaps there might be universal
laws of critical region phenomena embracing not
only the gas-liquid transition, but also liquid-
liquid, magnetic, superfluid, and superconductor
transitions. Furthermore, it appeared that
rather good theoretical estimations of the singu-
larities in equilibrium properties were predicted
from one of the most primitive of the many-body
theories, namely the three-dimensional Ising or
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION
I I [ t I I I t I
We will attempt to discuss here only three
types of singularities for the gas-liquid critical
state of a single component system, namely i)
the rate of the difference between the coexisting
liquid of gas densities as the critical state is ap-
proached from below the critical temperature in
the two-phase region, ii) the rate of divergence
of the isothermal compressibility as the critical
state is approached from above along the critical
isochore, and iii) the rate of divergence of the
isochoric heat capacity along the same path.
These phenomena can be represented in quantita-
tive form by the following equations:
pr - pG = D (Tc-T) ; T
KT =P A(T-T,) -; p= pc, T>Tc
Cv = B (T-Tc) -; p = pc, T>Tc (7)
Cast in this form, the thermodynamic behavior
of a fluid near its critical state then is character-
ized by such exponents as a, 8, y. Inspection of
In a sense, the critical region is a domain of singularity
would seem that any attempts to carry gaseous theories
cope with problems in the critical region.
the values of these exponents provides a sharp
tool for intercomparison of various theories or
models, macroscopic equations of state, and real
It is well-known that even a simple equation
of state like the van der Waals equation predicts
gas-liquid phase transitions (of course using
some technique such as balancing of equal areas
under the loops in the analytically continuous
two-phase isotherms) and provides a closure of
the two-phase dome. This suggests at least quali-
tatively the existence of a critical state. It is
possible to show that not only the van der Waals
equation, but all analytical equations of state
predict the following values for the critical ex-
ponents: a = 0 (actually a discontinuity in Cv),
3 = 1/, Y= 1.
It has been known for many years that avail-
able experimental data were in disagreement
with at least the above values for 8 and y. The
rate of divergence of the compressibility was sus-
pected experimentally to be of the order of y =
1.25, and it appears that 8 was much closer to
one-third than to the classical value of one-half.
In other words, the experimental data suggested
that the shape of the coexistence curve involved
a cubic dependence of temperature difference
upon density difference compared to quadratic
behavior suggested by van der Waals equation
(there are alternate interpretations of the van
der Waals equation which would suggest quartic
or sixth power behavior but would not permit
variation as any odd power such as cubic). Be-
havior of the heat capacity was less well under-
stood until the appearance in 1963 of work by
Voronel23 on argon which was suggestive of a
logarithmic divergence of Cv, or alternatively a
value of a close to zero, but slightly positive. It
was also known that the shape of magnetization
versus temperature curves near magnetic critical
points also was approximately cubic.
T IS POSSIBLE to make a simple model of a sys-
tem exhibiting magnetic phase transitions in-
cluding a Curie temperature by consideration of
a idealized lattice, each site of which contains a
small magnet, which can be positioned either up
or down in the magnetic field. Solution of the
resulting combinatorial problem suggests a phase
separating gas-like from liquid-like behavior . . . it
into the liquid state . . . depend upon our ability to
transition and a Curie temperature, i.e., a mag-
netic critical state. The problem in two dimen-
sions was solved by Onsager,24 with explicit ana-
lytic values for the various critical state expon-
ents. The three-dimensional case has not been
solved analytically, but a sequence of investiga-
tors have obtained numerical approximations to
the various critical exponents, and those results
are reviewed in the paper by Fisher.16 Results
are summarized in Table I. It will be seen that
the computed value of 8 = 0.313 while not the
reciprocal of an integer is nevertheless much
closer to the experimentally observed values than
is the value of 8 =1/, predicted from classical
equations of state. The exponent y, is predicted
from the Ising lattice model to be 1.25 � .01,
again significantly closer to experimental facts
than the predictions of the classical equations of
The Ising lattice model for magnetic proper-
ties is isomorphous with a lattice gas model for
fluid behavior. Instead of having the "up-down"
possibility for the orientation of the magnet, we
have an "occupied-unoccupied" possibility in the
case of the lattice gas. Of course, the nature and
characteristic of the short-range forces acting
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Table I. Summary of Critical Exponents
Classical theories describe dielectric behavior of non-
polar substances solely in terms of density.
(1) T(L - PG= ( T1 - T ) J ( 3)
between the particle
for liquids is surely
type of fluidity is in
tion of the occupied
fore, although the 1
good qualitative repr
behavior, and in actu
agreement with obse
one should not be to
not exact, nor if there
properties from one
C, =B(T -TC) _
.P =E Io
T C ^ '
fined experimental values of the critical expon-
ents on selected systems are highly desirable.
This becomes an interesting intellectual quest on
its own merits as an attempt to better under-
stand the critical region as such. There is a fur-
ther enticement stemming from the fact that in a
sense the critical region is a domain of singular-
ity separating gas-like from liquid-like behavior,
and therefore it would seem that any attempts
to carry gaseous theories into the liquid state
would be dependent upon our ability to under-
stand and cope with problems in the critical
The author's laboratory has been conducting
critical region experiments for several years.
Specifically, we reported in 1965-66 an extensive
set of sound absorption measurements near the
lower consolute (critical point) of the nitro-
benezene-isooctane system. 25, 2 Frequency de-
pendent deviations from the classical predictions
of sound absorption in fluids were found, reach-
ing as much as factors of fifty times the classical
Fig. 5. Detailed refractive index measurements near the critical
state of argon. Tc is approximately 150.72�0K.
' ^ '- - t value at frequencies of 1.5MHz. Those measure-
ments were in reasonable agreement with the
1) (2) 3) predictions from a semiphenomenalogical theory
for transport in the critical region due to Fix-
'c2 1 0 man.27 Our research group is currently studying
tinuity) the viscosity of xenon as its critical state is ap-
1/3 1iA - - preached from above in the one-phase region.
1/ 1/ 0 (los) 15 We have also been making heat capacity measure-
ments near the upper consolute point of the
.313 1.250 /s8 5.20 CH,-CHF, system, and provisional results sug-
.003 + .003 � .015 _� .015 gest a lambda-like transition of the type by Voro-
0.34 1.21 0 (log?) > 4.2 nel for argon. Analysis of those date are incom-
0.36 - .01 plete, but preliminary inspection indicates a value
of a that is either logarithmic or compatible with
**p = pc; t T = To a small positive value.
We have also made extensive measurements
s in the two cases is quite of the equation of state surface in the vicinity
ire, any sort of lattice model of the critical state of liquid argon. The optical
overstructured, although a cryostat described in the previous section is used
produced by the randomiza- as a means of deducing density from direct ob-
and unoccupied sites. There- servation of refractive index, assuming that the
attice gas model may be a Lorentz-Lorenz theory of Eq. 2 holds. Data of
esentation of the gas-liquid the type show in Fig. 3 were used directly to
al fact has semiquantitative ascertain a value of 83. Those measurements were
rved experimental behavior, carried to within 7x10- �C of the critical tem-
o surprised if agreement is perature requiring temperature control under
re is systematic variation of these conditions to be better than _-10-4'C. The
fluid system to another. Re- reader is referred to a paper by Teague and
Pings12 for details of the refined analysis of the
data, which leads to a value of 83 = 0.364 � .007.
We are currently making extensive measure-
ments on one-phase isotherms above the critical
temperature of argon using the same technique.
Preliminary data, in terms of refractive index
versus pressure, are shown in Fig. 5, and the
resulting values of computed compressibilities in
Fig. 6. It is apparent from Fig. 6 that the com-
pressibility is indeed rising very rapidly and
1 14 .18 1 1 I I I I I I 1
2 - _ _0
I I I I I I _ I I I
48.2 48.6 49.0 49.4 49.8
Fig. 6. Compressibility of argon near the critical state. Values
obtained by differentiation of the data shown in Figure 5.
sharply as the critical state is approached from
above. Provisional analysis of those data indi-
cates a value of y = 1.21 _+ 0.1. That number will
doubtlessly be revised somewhat as more experi-
mental information are obtained and as a refined
data analysis is carried out.
To the extent that the above numbers are
credible, they are clearly in disagreement with
a) classical values, b) Ising lattice values, and
c) numeralogical guesses that 8S should be the
ratio of integers, i.e., 1/3, 5/16, etc. Experi-
mental values from other sources are discussed
in the review article by Heller17 and in a recent
paper by Vicentini-Missoni, Sengers, and Green.2s
Information now available on a number of differ-
ent substances seems to indicate the emergence
of vlaues of /3 in the range of 0.34 to 0.36. See
. . . there can be at most minor deviation from
elementary theory of the Lorentz-Lorenz function even
in the dense fluid region.
Table I. Incidentally, the latter paper contains
an interesting discussion of a scaling analysis in
the critical region which suggests the possibility
of a universal law of critical behavior in terms
of reduced variables.
1. W. F. Brown, Jr., in Handbuch der Physik, S. Flug-
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