Chemical Engineering Education ( Journal Site )

Material Information

Chemical Engineering Education
Alternate Title:
Abbreviated Title:
Chem. eng. educ.
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 22-28 cm.
American Society for Engineering Education -- Chemical Engineering Division
Chemical Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education
Place of Publication:
Storrs, Conn
Publication Date:
annual[ former 1960-1961]


Subjects / Keywords:
Chemical engineering -- Study and teaching -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
serial   ( sobekcm )
periodical   ( marcgt )


Chemical abstracts
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
1960-June 1964 ; v. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 1965)-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Publication suspended briefly: issue designated v. 1, no. 4 (June 1966) published Nov. 1967.
General Note:
Title from cover.
General Note:
Place of publication varies: Rochester, N.Y., 1965-1967; Gainesville, Fla., 1968-

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 01151209
lccn - 70013732
issn - 0009-2479
lcc - TP165 .C18
ddc - 660/.2/071
System ID:

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Full Text

Featue Aricle

[M21 teaching tips

SThis one-page column will present practical teaching tips in sufficient detail that ChE educators can-
adopt the tip. The focus should be on the teaching method, not content. With no tables or figures
the column should be approximately 450 words. If graphics are included, the length needs to be
reduced. Tips that are too long will be edited to fit on one page. Please submit a Word file to Phil
Wankat , subject: CEE Teaching Tip.


University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa

ith an increase in student numbers and a decline
in the teaching assistant numbers, the contact time
between students and staff has become more and
more valuable. With this decline in contact time, the students
requested that they could be given worked solutions to any
problem assigned to them. Unfortunately, these did not exist
for the material to be covered and the following solution was
(1) Assign various tasks where students were required to
provide their own exam questions together with the
fully worked solutions (see similar exercise by Libera-
tore, et al.11). These covered all topics (different topics
for different students) across the second-year chemical
engineering majors; and
(2) Make all appropriate examples available to students

1000 *---
750 --
0 *
0 500 --

E 250 # K f -
0 ^* *41,>*Z~ I *
30 40 50 60 70 80
Final Course Mark
Course average (49%)
......... Pass mark (50%)
Total number of files available
Figure 1. Distribution of number of files downloaded vs.
final course mark

Copyright ChE Division of ASEE 2013

In total, 500 questions were deemed suitable by the course
coordinator (based solely on suitability of content) and placed
online for students to download. A breakdown of the student
download frequency against their final course marks (Figure 1)
shows that some students downloaded more often than the num-
ber of files available, while the majority downloaded less than
half the examples. It appears that students who failed down-
loaded more often than those that passed. All three students who
downloaded the most available files scored less than 45% for
the course, while the three students who obtained marks above
70% only downloaded a combined total of 109 files.

Some suggestions have been put forward on possible trends:
Some students saved the files and only needed to down-
load them once;
Some students worked in groups and could share files;
Students with higher marks felt less pressure to work
towards doing well in the exam and did not download
as often;
Once students with higher averages understood a topic,
they moved to the next without downloading further
examples in that topic; and
Low downloads could exist from students with low year
marks as students may have given up on the course/topic.

From the data presented, there is no obvious correlation
between the number of downloads and student marks. Making
worked solutions available did, however, free up staff time to
concentrate on other aspects of the course/teaching.

1. Liberatore, M.W., D.WM. Marr,A.M. Herring, and J.D. Way, "Student-
Created Homework Problems Based on YouTube Videos," Chem. Eng.
Ed., 47(2), 122 (2013) 0

Chemical Engineering Education
5200 NW 43rd St., Suite 102-239
Gainesville, FL 32606
PHONE: 352-682-2622
FAX: 866-CEE-0576

Tim Anderson

Phillip C. Wankat

Lynn Heasley

Daina Briedis, Michigan State

William J. Koros, Georgia Institute of Technology


C. Stewart Slater
Rowan University
Jennifer Sinclair Curtis
University of Florida
Tennessee Tech University
Lisa Bullard
North Carolina State
David DiBiasio
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Stephanie Farrell
Rowan University
Richard Felder
North Carolina State
Tamara Floyd-Smith
Tuskegee University
Jim Henry
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Jason Keith
Mississippi State University
Milo Koretsky
Oregon State University
Suzanne Kresta
University of Alberta
Marcel Liauw
Aachen Technical University
David Silverstein
University of Kentucky
Margot Vigeant
Bucknell University
Donald Visco
University of Akron

Chemical Engineering Education
Volume 47 Number 2 Spring 2013

74 John L. Falconer of the University of Colorado Boulder
Richard D. Noble

81 Professional Skills Needed By Our Graduates
Donald R. Woods, Daina Briedis, Angelo Perna

91 Unit Operation Experiment Linking Classroom with Industrial
Tracy J. Benson, Peyton C. Richmond, Weldon LeBlanc

99 Analyzing the Function of Cartilage Replacements: A Laboratory
Activity to Teach High School Students Chemical and Tissue
Engineering Concepts
Julie N. Renner, Heather N. Emady, Richard J. Galas Jr.,
Rong Zhang, Chelsey D. Baertsch, Julie C. Liu

115 An Educational Laboratory Experiment to Demonstrate the
Development of Fires in a Long Enclosure
Khalid Moinuddin

133 Use of Pre-Recorded Video Demonstrations in Laboratory Courses
Bradley A. Cicciarelli

97 You Got Questions, We Got Answers 2. Active Learning
Richard M. Felder

107 An Interactive Virtual Tour of a Milk Powder Plant
Alfred Herritsch, Elin Abdul Rahim, Conan J. Fee,
Ken R. Morison, Peter A. Gostomski

122 Student-Created Homework Problems Based on YouTube Videos
Matthew W. Liberatore, David W.M. Marr, Andrew M. Herring,
J. Douglas Way

inside front cover Teaching Tip: Providing Several Hundred Worked
Examples To Undergraduates
Kevin G. Harding

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION[ISSN 0009-2479 (print); ISSN 2165-6428 (online)] is published quarterly
by the Chemical Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education, and is edited at the University of
Florida. Correspondence regarding editorial matter, circulation, and changes of address should be sent to CEE, 5200 NW
43rd St., Suite 102-239, Gainesville, FL 32606. Copyright 0 2013 by the Chemical Engineering Division,American Society
for Engineering Education. The statements and opinions expressed in this periodical are those of the writers and not
necessarily those of the ChE Division, ASEE, which body assumes no responsibility for them. Defective copies replaced if
notified within 90 days of publication. Write for information on subscription costs andfor back copy costs and availability.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Chemical Engineering Education, 5200 NW 43rd St., Suite 102-239, Gainesville,
FL 32606. Periodicals Postage Paid at Gainesville, Florida, and additional post offices (USPS 101900). www.che.ufl.edulCEE

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

Le= educator
-- ------------------

John L. Falconer

of the University of Colorado Boulder

John presenting the December 2008 campus graduation speech at the University of Colorado.

University of Colorado Boulder, CO
ohn Falconer grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, in one of
the row houses with marble steps for which Baltimore is
well known; it was less than a mile from Johns Hopkins
University. John's father, who had dropped out of the 10th grade
to support his mother and four siblings, drove a truck deliver-
ing bread to stores. This job required that his father work six
days a week, rising at 3 a.m. and leaving for work at 3:30. He
usually arrived home by 6 or 6:30 p.m. John occasionally went
to work with his father on Saturdays, and this early exposure
to hard work was a big influence on his life.

John first showed an interest in engineering when he decided
to attend a city-wide high school, Baltimore Polytechnic In-
stitute, that emphasized engineering. All students at Poly took
engineering courses, including surveying, thermodynamics,
statics, electricity and magnetism, and forge, foundry, and
machine shops, in addition to chemistry, physics, and math
courses. John's first exposure to teaching was when he was
asked by a teacher to tutor a fellow student who had failed a
course and needed to prepare for a make-up exam. He devel-

Copyright ChE Division of ASEE 2013
Chemical Engineering Education

oped an interest in chemistry in high school and received an
award at graduation for the highest chemistry grade; unlike
most schools, Poly gave numerical grades (1 100) at the end
of each semester. Although Poly was a public high school, it
was all-male and all students were required to wear ties, and
thus John developed his lingering distaste for wearing ties.

John attended Johns Hopkins University, starting in 1963
while living at home with his parents, grandmother, and
five siblings. By this time his family lived a few miles from
Hopkins. To pay tuition, he started working as a carhop in
a drive-in restaurant in the spring of his freshmen year, and
for the next two years he worked 25 hours a week during the
school year and full-time during the summer. Later, he had
jobs doing calculations for a professor in mechanical engi-
neering and insulating pipes for the gas and electric company.
At that time, chemical engineering was a small department at
Hopkins. Only eight chemical engineers graduated in 1967,
and only three graduated in 1968, at which time Hopkins
eliminated the department. It was not until about 10 years
later that a new chemical engineering department was started
in a new engineering college at Hopkins.
When John attended Hopkins, all freshmen were required to
take two semesters of gym. Because lacrosse is the major sport
at Hopkins (Hopkins has won nine NCAA national champion-
ships in lacrosse), all students were required to learn to play
lacrosse, and this was John's first exposure to the game he
later spent many years playing. His first research experience
was also at Hopkins, in the summer after his junior year, in
Professor Jerome Gavis's laboratory. His project involved
measuring radial temperature profiles in non-Newtonian
fluids in circular Couette flow. During his senior year, he was
a teaching assistant for a laboratory course, which further
reinforced his interest in teaching.
After graduating from Hopkins, John worked for a summer
at Exxon Research and Development in Baytown, Texas. He
ran a bench-scale reactor to characterize catalysts used in a
large pilot plant to liquefy coal to gasoline. He also made
measurements on a three-phase fluidized bed. After this, he
concluded he was much more interested in catalysis than
fluid mechanics.

John began graduate school at Stanford University in
1967, during the early stages of the Vietnam War. He started
surface science research in Bob Madix's group and worked
with Jim Schwarz, who later became a professor in chemical
engineering at Syracuse. The research used modulated mo-
lecular beams to carry out reaction studies on single crystal
surfaces. Students entering graduate school in 1967 could
only receive a one-year deferment before becoming eligible
for the military draft, whereas those entering in 1966 or

earlier received deferments until they graduated. Thus, after
two years at Stanford, John was drafted into the army and
sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for basic training. He
was next stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama, which was the
base where all Army helicopter pilots were trained. John was
originally assigned to be a truck mechanic, but fortunately he
convinced a clerk, after some effort, that he really did have
a Master's in chemical engineering. So the clerk changed
his job to petroleum laboratory technician, and John spent
most of his time in the army (when not pulling guard duty
or KP) running ASTM tests on fuels used in helicopters and
fixed-wing planes. Unlike most soldiers in his unit, who were
either sent to Vietnam after a few months in Alabama or had
already been, John spent 19 months at Fort Rucker. With help
from his former mentor Madix, he obtained a two-month
early release from the army and was finally able to return to
graduate school at Stanford.
Back at Stanford in 1971, John resumed surface science
research with Madix and was teamed up with Jon McCarty,
another third-year graduate student. They worked closely to-
gether carrying out reactions in ultrahigh vacuum using Auger
spectroscopy (a new technique at the time) and low-energy
electron diffraction to characterize single crystal surfaces. Ini-
tially John and Jon studied reactions on single crystals using
modulated molecular beams, but Bob Madix returned from a
meeting and suggested they run flash desorption experiments
for a few weeks. A few weeks turned into two and a half years,
and both Jon and John's theses used temperature-programmed
desorption (TPD) and temperature-programmed reaction
(TPR, or temperature-programmed surface reaction, TPSR)
to study catalytic reactions on a single crystal nickel surface.
Bob started the study of catalytic reactions on single crystals
using TPR/TPSR with John and Jon's research. Bob is one
of the most highly cited chemical engineers with more than
17,000 citations, and these techniques are now a standard in
surface science studies of catalysis. In their research, Jon and
John observed for the first time a two-dimensional autocata-
lytic reaction, referred to as a surface explosion. John feels
very lucky to have had Bob Madix as an advisor and mentor.
As Jon and John neared graduation, Bob organized weekly
presentations (given by Jon and John) on surface science
and catalysis on single crystal surfaces for the new graduate
students in Bob's group. This teaching experience further
reinforced John's interest in teaching. Stanford trained
many graduate students who became chemical engineer-
ing faculty during the time John was a student, including
Cal Bartholomew, Bill Dean, Nick Delgass, Jim Dumesic,
Gary Leal, Dave Ollis, Mike Paulatis, Rex Rexlatis, Chan-
ning Robertson, Bill Russell, Jim Schwarz,Al Vannice, and
Israel Wachs.
John received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1974, and after
hitchhiking around Eastern Europe for six weeks with a
Hopkins classmate, he started a post-doc position at SRI

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

International in Menlo Park, California,
under the direction of Henry Wise. He
studied hydrazine decomposition on Aproject.
supported iridium catalysts, which were ki- -
used in small rockets in satellites to orient A I
them in space; they are still used today
for this purpose. This type of research
at atmosphere pressure on high surface i...-. 0
area catalysts was quite different from
catalysis on single crystals in ultrahigh
vacuum, and it provided a good basis for
starting his research at the University of

John was hired in 1975 as an assistant
professor in chemical engineering at
the University of Colorado Boulder. He "\
was promoted to associate professor in,_
1980 and to full professor in 1985, and
in 2007 he was appointed the Mel and
Virginia Clark Professor. The chemical .
engineering students at Colorado have
recognized John for his teaching six times -" conceptests
questions lB.
with departmental teaching awards, and Stuies sho
in 1990 he received the College of Engi- dnsmticati
neering and Applied Science Hutchinson understandir
Memorial Teaching award. In 1997 he below.
received the ASEE Rocky Mountain
Section outstanding teaching award and ") I'
a national teaching award: the Chemical
Manufacturers Association Catalysis Screenshot of
Award. In 2000 he was appointed as
a President's Teaching Scholar at the
University of Colorado; this is the high-
est teaching award in the university system and is a lifetime
appointment. John has also received the College of Engineer-
ing Research Award and the College's Max S. Peters Service
Award. Only one other faculty member has received all three
college awards (teaching, research, and service) in the last
25 years. He also received the college outstanding advisor
award, the Boulder Faculty Assembly Service Award, the
Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Research award,
and the American Chemical Society Colorado section award
in chemistry.
In 2008, he was honored with the Hazel Barnes Prize from
the Boulder campus. This is the highest award given for teach-
ing and research on campus and included $20,000 and the
opportunity to present the December 2008 graduation speech.
John wryly observed that presenting to thousands of people
is quite different from teaching thermodynamics to a class of
100 undergraduates. In his graduation speech, he emphasized
that it is critical for graduates to find something they really

challenge students with qualitative
at are not answered by memorization.
that conceptests and peer instruction can
improve functional understanding.
instructors can gauge students
ng Immediately and tailor their instruction
Examples of Conceptests are provided

Developed at tihe Unitversitl
Department of Chemical and

Screencasts are short screen captures of material with
narration by an instructor. Students view these videos
outside of dcass. They present detailed problem
solutions, explanations of concepts, mini-lectures,
software tutorials, exam reviews, and provide learners
with alternatives to lecture notes and textbooks. These
can also help to teach students a systematic approach
to solving engineering problems. Some recently posted
screencasts are to the right
Sof Colorado Boulder
I Biological Engineering: home page, where chemical engineering
screencasts and Concep Tests are available

enjoyed doing, something they would continue doing even
if they won the lottery. He also emphasized the need to work
hard, but not necessarily 80 hours per week like his father.
John is quick to point out that he has received these awards
because he has been in a department with department chairs
who were very supportive and faculty colleagues who have
taken the time to nominate him. These chairs include Max
Peters, Klaus Timmerhaus, Rob Davis, Chris Bowman, and
the current chair, Dan Schwartz.
John served as department chair from 2007 to 2011; this
was a period of dramatic growth in both undergraduate and
graduate enrollments and new research funding increased to
$16 million in one year. A large part of his time as chair was
devoted to planning for a new building and meeting with the
architects who were designing the building. In spring 2012
the department moved into the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Bio-
technology Building, which it shares with the Biochemistry
division and with the Biofrontiers Research Institute.

Chemical Engineering Education

Even though he only missed one class in his four years as
an undergraduate, John felt that most of the time he spent in
class was not effective for learning. He remembers an elective
course that he took as a senior that met at 8 a.m. and only had
three students enrolled. Even though all three students did not
always show up, the professor lectured the entire time while
continuously writing on the board and smoking a cigarette!
His experiences in these courses motivated John to try various
approaches to teaching. Much of what he has done has been
heavily influenced by Rich Felder of North Carolina State and
the articles he published in Chemical Engineering Education.
If you can talk to John about teaching for any length of time,
he will undoubtedly cite at least one of Rich's publications.
In addition to incorporating Rich Felder's teaching ideas
into his classes, John also began studying what the Physics
Department at Colorado was doing to improve teaching.
They were using personal response systems clickerss) with
ConcepTests and peer instruction to make their classes more
active and to focus class time on the important concepts.
Studies have shown that students learn how to solve problems
that require a numerical answer without understanding the
concepts involved. Thus, in 2002, John started using click-
ers in his classes, and it totally changed his teaching. He also
convinced Janet DeGrazia, a lecturer in chemical engineering,
to try clickers in her classes. Because the only type of clicker
available at the time used IR line-of-site detection, several
receivers had to be permanently mounted on the wall near
the ceiling of a classroom. Since no one else in engineering
was using clickers, this meant that John and Janet personally
installed receivers in a few classrooms in the engineering
building on Saturday mornings. Now, they and other faculty
in their department use RF clickers, which use a small receiver
that can be carried to class.
Good multiple-choice conceptual questions are required to
use clickers effectively, and thus John and Janet started devel-
oping these questions, which are referred to as ConcepTests,
and began building a library of chemical engineering Con-
cepTests. Along with Will Medlin, an assistant professor in the
department at that time, they obtained NSF funding to develop
ConcepTests, and currently more than 1,400 chemical engi-
neering ConcepTests are available on com> and on the AIChE Concept Warehouse website ( jimi>).
John switched all his classes from lecturing to ConcepTests,
peer instruction, group problems in class, and responding to
questions that arose from the ConcepTests, which elicited
more and much better questions than lectures had. Some
students, however, complained that they were not seeing
example problems in class. To address this concern, John
recorded some screencasts, which are short videos produced
by capturing the screen of a tablet PC while simultaneously

recording an audio explanation. They are similar to what
might be presented on the board in class. The initial response
of students to screencasts was overwhelmingly positive, with
students saying that they loved screencasts and they wanted to
see more. Student surveys showed that more than 90% of stu-
dents thought the screencasts were useful or very useful. Thus,
the NSF proposal that was funded to develop ConcepTests also
involved developing screencasts, and Dr. Garret Nicodemus
was recruited to coordinate the effort and prepare screencasts.
Currently, more than 775 screencasts for nine courses are
available online (, Tube/LeamChemE>, and on iTunesU), and more are being
added. The screencasts are organized by topic and textbook
table of contents on In 2012, which is the
first full year in which these screencasts were available on
YouTube and iTunes U, they were played/downloaded more
than 1.25 million times. Because only 500 screencasts were
online at the beginning of 2012, this means that on average
each screencast was watched more than 2,000 times in 2012.
The use of screencasts accelerated during the year, so that
more than 500,000 plays/downloads occurred in the last three
months of the year.
John uses a tablet PC and Microsoft OneNote in class;
this allows him to write on the screen during class and then
post the PDF version of class notes after class. He is a strong
advocate of using OneNote in class and outside of class for
almost everything. He is also a strong advocate of time man-
agement and gives talks to graduate students on how to use
their time efficiently.
John maintains an open-door policy for students. Like most
faculty, he sets office hours and tells students he essentially
guarantees he will be in his office during office hours. In ad-
dition, he invites them to stop in with questions any other time
he is in his office. He also gives students his home phone and
invites them to call him at home with questions and concerns.
John has also combined teaching and research by co-
directing an NSF-funded REU site program for 18 years. He
started this program with Bill Krantz and continued it with
Rob Davis and then Dan Schwartz. This program brought 10
to 15 students to Boulder each summer to carry out research
in department laboratories and to attend weekly seminars on
various topics.
In addition to the influence that Rich Felder has had on John
through his many articles on teaching and learning, Rich also
handed over to John part of a short course that Rich and Dr.
Gary Huvard had developed on polymer reactor engineering.
Gary and John taught the course nine times, including four
times in Amsterdam. Part of John's motivation for teaching
this course was to improve his undergraduate and graduate
reaction engineering courses at Colorado, and this course gave
him significant insight into the issues and problems encoun-
tered by engineers running polymer reactors on a large scale.

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

John and his students and post-docs
have conducted highly cited research in
heterogeneous catalysis and inorganic
membranes. The 220 publications of
his that have been indexed by the web
of science (not counting abstracts and
proceedings) have been cited more than
8,700 times (h-index = 50), which cor-
responds to an average citation rate of
38 citations per publication.
His catalysis research has emphasized
using transient methods to study surface
processes and reaction mechanisms.
He recognized the importance of using
temperature-programmed desorption
(TPD) and temperature-programmed
reaction (TPR) with mass spectrometric
detection to separate reaction steps and
obtain new understanding of surface Rich Noble, Dr.
processes, and was one of the first to
apply these techniques to supported
metal catalysts. In 1983 he and Jim Schwarz published an
extensive review of these techniques, which are now widely
used in heterogeneous catalysis research. John's group used a
number of variations of TPD/TPR to study catalytic reactions,
including: interrupted reaction to partially react adsorbed
species and then carry out subsequent surface processes,
labeling surface species on different adsorption sites with
different isotopes, temperature-programmed hydrogenation
(TPH) to remove surface intermediates that would otherwise
decompose before they desorbed, and higher-pressures TPH
to study hydrogenation reactions
His group used TPR to study oxidation of organic on
supported metal catalysts. They also used TPD/TPR in com-
bination with isotope labeling to study spillover processes
and showed the first example where two species adsorbed on
different surface sites could be labeled with different isotopes.
The species adsorbed on the metal particles reacted at a dif-
ferent rate from those adsorbed on the support, and thus they
could be distinguished by TPR. Professor Curt Conner (at the
University of Massachusetts and a fellow undergraduate at
Johns Hopkins) and John co-authored a review on spillover
in heterogeneous catalysis that has been cited more than 400
times, and the number of citations per year has increased each
of the last nine years.
His group also applied TPD/TPR and isothermal transient
reaction methods, along with isotope labeling, to study pho-
tocatalytic oxidation on TiO2 catalysts. They were the first to
apply transient methods to photocatalyts in order to obtain
information on surface mechanisms, reaction intermediates,
and the role of oxygen in the support, and three of their papers
in this area have been cited more than 100 times each. They

Shiguang Li (post-doctoral fellow), and John in the membrane

observed for the first time UV-enhanced oxygen exchange
between 02 and H20 on TiO2 catalysts.
His current research in heterogeneous catalysis is carried
out jointly with Will Medlin and Al Weimer, all in Chemical
and Biological Engineering at Boulder. This research uses
atomic and molecular layer deposition to create catalysts
with desired properties. These techniques give atomic-level
control over which species and how much of those species
are deposited on high surface area supports.
In the early 1990s, John changed the direction of much of
his research by teaming up with Rich Noble, a fellow professor
in the department and a longtime friend. John first met Rich
at the ASEE Chemical Engineering Summer School in 1977
at Snowmass, Colorado. They used to run together and have
done many one- to two-week bicycle trips together. After
knowing each other for 15 years, they decided to initiate a
research program in zeolite membranes by combining John's
expertise in adsorption and catalysis with Rich's expertise in
membrane separations to study catalytic membrane reactors.
Initially they published a few papers on membrane reactors,
but the preparation and understanding of zeolite membranes
turned out to be a challenging research area, and thus they
concentrated their joint research on zeolite membranes for
separations. This has been an incredibly fruitful collaboration,
and they have co-authored more than 100 papers on zeolite
membranes, as well as a few papers on carbon nanotube
membranes and molecular layer deposition membranes
Most of their current work in zeolite membranes concen-
trates on SAPO-34 membranes for natural gas purification,
and this work is carried out jointly with Hans Funke, an
adjunct professor in the department. With generous support
Chemical Engineering Education

John on the Palo Alto Lacrosse Club way back when
wooden sticks were still used.

from Shell Global Solutions, their group has prepared mem-
branes that separate CO2 from CH4 at 70 bar pressure with
high selectivity and high flux. This high-pressure separation
is particularly challenging because small defects can have a
disproportionate effect on selectivity at high pressures. When
SAPO-34 membranes were first prepared in their laboratory,
both CO2/CH4 selectivities and fluxes were low, even at low
pressures. The fluxes of their current SAPO-34 membranes
are two orders of magnitude higher than obtained for their
early membranes, and the selectivities are also much higher.
These current membranes have low concentrations of defects,
as evidenced by spatial distribution of fluxes they measured
and by the separation selectivities of binary gas mixtures
in which one of the molecules is larger than the SAPO-34
pores (0.38 nm). For example, the CO2 /i-butane separation
selectivities are greater than 20,000, and the CO2/CF4 separa-
tion selectivities are greater than 10,000. These are some of
the highest selectivities reported for gas-phase separations
in zeolite membranes. Because i-butane and CF4 are both
larger than the SAPO-34 pores, these separations are due to
molecular sieving.
The fluxes and selectivities of their SAPO-34 membranes
are high enough that they have potential for large-scale appli-
cation, and this potential is being actively evaluated by Shell.
As part of this effort, more than 25 patents applications on
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

SAPO-34 membranes are currently pending, corresponding
to nine distinct inventions (some patent applications were
submitted to multiple countries). To date, John and Rich
have 12 joint patents, most of them on SAPO-34 membranes.
John has supervised or co-supervised 30 Ph.D. students,
34 post-doctoral fellows, 35 M.S. theses, and hundreds of
undergraduates in research at Colorado. For the last 32 years
he has also had one or two high school students working in
his lab each summer with funding from the Academy of Ap-
plied Sciences, and some of these high school students have
co-authored publications.

John has tried to balance teaching, research, and service to
his department while continuing to be physically active. In his
first year at Stanford, he joined the Palo Alto lacrosse club,
even though he had never played a lacrosse game previously,
and all the other team members had played on NCAA teams in
college. He played on the Palo Alto team for six years, while a
graduate student and a post-doc, and played on midfields with
graduate students who were All-Americans in college. The
high point of his lacrosse playing days was when he scored
two goals in one game and just missed a hat trick when another
shot bounced off the goal pipe. He broke his ribs one year and
he broke his leg another year, and as a result was on crutches
when he interviewed at Colorado. He played lacrosse another
five years in Colorado, including a few years on the Univer-
sity of Colorado club team, which was composed mostly of
undergraduates. When he first started playing lacrosse, he
realized he would have to become a runner, and he was an
avid runner for the next 25 years until multiple knee surgeries
forced him to give up running and skiing.
Colorado turned out to be the ideal place for John to live
since he loved hiking, backpacking, alpine and Nordic skiing,
running, canoeing, rafting, and biking. When he first came to
Colorado, he was recruited by Max Peters, dean of the college
at that time, to compete on the department's AIChE 4-mile
relay team. This was a yearly competition with faculty from
other universities in which each team member recorded his
best mile time during the fall before the annual AIChE meet-
ing. Both Max Peters and Klaus Timmerhaus, associate dean,
were runners who encouraged this competition. Although
John was one of the four fastest faculty in the department
each year, he was never able to break five minutes; his best
time for the mile was 5:01. John also participated in many of
the local road races including the Bolder Boulder, which is
held every Memorial Day in Boulder and currently attracts
about 50,000 runners.
The emphasis on health and exercise in Boulder certainly
influenced John, who has been a vegetarian for the last 34
years. He also continued commuting to campus by bicycle
almost every day, something that he started while at Stanford,
even though the winters in Colorado are a bit more challeng-

Above: John and
Kay biking in
Corsia, France,
in 2009.

Right: To their
surprise, they
made the cover of
a bicycle tour com-
pany catalog.

ing for biking than C L A S S I C
the California win- .
ters. When his knees V ADVENTURES
prevented him from
running, his main ex-
ercise became road
and mountain biking
in the mountains im-
mediately west of
Boulder. He rides 5,000-6,000 miles a year on his road bike
and climbs about 500,000 feet a year on his bike. He also
takes his golden retriever Jesse for a "walk" every morning
around 5 a.m. using a bike with a spring-loaded attachment
that allows her to run alongside. He puts more miles on his
six bikes than on his car. Like the experimentalist he is, John
has kept careful records of his bicycle mileage since 1994
when Rich Noble suggested they do the Ride the Rockies (a
400-mile-plus, week-long ride in the Colorado Rockies). In
the last 19 years, he has ridden more than 108,000 miles, and
climbed more than 8.5 million feet. He owns a titanium road
bike whose frame breaks apart for travel and a Bike Friday,
which folds and has small wheels so it can be quickly packed
in a suitcase for the airplane.
While at Stanford, and for many years after he arrived in
Colorado, he did week-long backpack trips and multi-day
canoe and white water raft trips. In his first canoe trip, he
and a fellow graduate, Robert Bradshaw, canoed the Eel

River in Northern California. Since neither had
done river canoeing previously, the trip was a learn-
ing experience in which the canoe filled with water
in the first hundred yards of the trip. John and Bob
subsequently did canoe trips in Montana and Min-
nesota, and a two-week trip on the Nahanni River in
the Northwest Territories in Canada. John and Bob
also did week-long backpack trips in California and
Wyoming. One of his most interesting outdoor trips
was to spend a week watching grizzly bears up close
in Clark National Park in Alaska.
John met his wife, Kay Rice, on a week-long bike ride
in Colorado. They came from different backgrounds
with John growing up in Baltimore whereas Kay grew
up on a farm in western Nebraska and attended a one-
room schoolhouse. They found common ground, how-
ever, in their love of dogs, bicycling, and the outdoors.
Coincidently, Kay also went to Stanford, where she obtained
her law degree. They married in 2005 on top of a Colorado
mountain in the middle of an incredible thunderstorm. Kay is a
trial attorney who specializes in representing doctors in medical
malpractice cases. She has successfully defended doctors injury
trials for more than 25 years. Kay and John have enjoyed many
multi-day back-country skiing trips and mountain bike trips, but
now their vacations are one- or two-week long road bike trips
in beautiful settings such as the mountains of France and Italy.
Their favorite biking vacations have been in locations with
mountains and lots of climbing: the Alps and the Pyrenees in
France, Corsica, the Dolomites in northern Italy, the island
of Crete in Greece, the island of Mallorca in Spain, Norway,
California, Utah, and Colorado. They were quite surprised
recently to find a photo of the two of them on the front cover
of the 2013 catalog from Classic Adventures, a tour com-
pany that organized their bike ride on Crete. Because Kay is
competitive (perhaps a trait of trial lawyers) and also a very
strong bike rider, she has encouraged John to try some bike
races as well as the Triple Bypass ride each July. The Triple
Bypass is a 120-mile bike ride that climbs more than 10,000
feet over three mountain passes. The most challenging ride
they have done together, however, is the 28-mile Mount
Evans Hill Climb race, which starts at 7,500-feet elevation
and finishes at 14,000 feet on the top of Mount Evans.

As he mentioned in his graduation speech, John considers
himself incredibly lucky to have ajob that he would continue
to do even if he won the lottery. He feels particularly lucky
to be at the University of Colorado, which is perhaps the
most beautiful location of any university in the country, and
where he has wonderful colleagues. He also feels privileged
to have worked together on research with a fantastic group
of high school students, undergraduates, graduate students,
and postdoctoral fellows. J
Chemical Engineering Education

Mn curriculum



McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ

hat skills are needed by university and college
graduates so that they do well in their careers? Yes,
we expect our graduates to be well grounded in the
fundamentals and practice of their discipline. But what about
so-called professional or career skills such as problem solving
and communication? For engineering graduates the accredita-
tion agencies, ABETM' in the United States and CEAB121 in
Canada, expect graduates to possess skills such as teamwork,
lifelong learning, problem solving and communication, and
others. A key article 3J suggests how these professional skills
might be developed in engineering programs. Are these skills
currently needed and used by current graduates in their first 10
years? Should the outcomes and attribute lists of engineering
accreditation agencies be updated? Are there other profes-
sional skills that might be considered that graduates value
highly in their professional practice?
Four surveys of business and industry have given feedback
about the skills recruiters are looking for in graduates of col-
leges and universities and skills use by our graduates.
In 2010, Dean Blagrave141 of the Faculty of Arts and So-
cial Sciences at Huron University College held discussions
with 20 business leaders on Liberal Arts for Life. This led
to a survey of recruiters to identify key skills needed for
success. The survey response in 2012 (N= 45) was that oral
communication and written communication each weighed
in at "very important" for 93% of respondents. Teamwork,
problem solving, critical thinking, ethical decision making,
and analytical thinking were each ranked "very important"
by 87% of respondents. Computer skills were ranked as very
important by only 33% of the respondents.

Concerning frequency of use, 87% of respondents reported
that proficient written communication was a daily require-
ment, and for 80%, effective oral communication was a
daily need. Understanding of organizational structures and
ethical decision making were a daily requirement for 40%
of respondents. Problem solving, critical thinking, and time
management were competencies reported to be called on
daily by 73% of respondents. Creativity was seen to be used
daily by only 33% of respondents, but 60% applied it weekly.
In the second study, surveys of employers of graduates of
Tennessee Technological University from a wide variety of

Donald R. Woods is professor emeritus of chemical engineering at Mc-
Master University. His research interests are in improving student learning,
developing professional skills, motivating and rewarding faculty to improve
student learning, and problem-based learning. He has received three
honorary doctor of science degrees (from Queen's, Guelph, and McMaster
Universities) and won numerous awards for leadership and teaching. He
is author/co-author of more than a dozen books and has presented more
than 500 workshops internationally on teaching.
Daina Briedis is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical
Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University and as-
sistant dean for the College of Engineering. She is involved in education
research in the areas of assessment, student retention, and curriculum
redesign. She is active nationally and internationally in engineering ac-
creditation and is a Fellow of ABET and of the AIChE.
Angelo J. Perna received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson
University and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. He is a professor
of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at New Jersey Institute of
Technology and holds the distinction of master teacher. He is the author
or co-author of more than 100 papers and has presented more than 90
papers. During his academic career he has served as acting department
chair and dean of Newark College of Engineering, and is currently director
of the Ronald E. Mcnair Program.

Copyright ChE Division ofASEE 2013

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

majors were done in 2003 and 2008
(N= 139). Figure 1 shows the results
from the 2003 survey; Figure 2, the
results from the 2008 survey. Those \
skills with the highest rating on both
surveys were teamwork, problem
solving, and communication. The
more recent survey added learning
skills, technical skills, critical think-
ing, and adaptability as having almost
the same high rating. The surveys
considered importance, and did not
ask about frequency of use.15'61
The third study, from Japan, con-
sidered engineering graduates work-
ing in the materials field.17] In 2006,
a survey of 17 industries showed
that the professional skills that the
highest percentage of companies ex-
pected of undergraduate hires were,
in decreasing order of importance:
communication, problem identifica- -
tion, teamwork, initiative, the ability
to comprehend a situation, and flex-
ibility. In 2010, 116 graduates, about
10 years after graduation, were asked
to free write about specific skills improve
through university education. High score
were given to research, oral and written
communication, problem solving, and critic
cal thinking. Many reported that the profe,
sional skills were mainly developed through
extracurricular activities while at university,
These three studies asked employers t
identify important skills. It is not clear whe
these skills would be used by the graduate
although it might be assumed to be in thei
early years of employment.

In the fourth study, Passow181 surveyed
graduates in 11 engineering disciplines. Her
excellent survey asked graduates (from 1989-
2003) to rate the importance, in practice, of -
the 11 knowledge areas and skills given in the f
ABET criteria. The top four knowledge areas
and skills (in the category quite important to
extremely important) were teamwork, communica
analysis, and problem solving. The next three in in
were math, ethics in science and engineering, an
learning. The lowest five, in the category "somewh
tant" to "quite important," were: design; engineer
contemporary issues; experiments; and understai
social, economic, and environmental impact. What i
ing is that some professional skills are rated more i

Relative Importance of Skills for Employers

tery important



Imnortant 5

~ ~3



Knowledge/Skill Type





Figure 1. (2003 TTU Employer Survey) Reproduced with permission from the
author, Barry Stein.151

figure 2. (.

tion, data
d lifelong
[at impor-
ing tools;
hiding the
s interest-

2008 employer survey of TTU)t61 Reproduced with permission
from the author, Barry Stein.161

than subject knowledge in three of the surveys. The survey
of engineers working in the Japanese iron and steel industry
and Passow's survey of 11 engineering disciplines focused
on graduates with 10 years of experience. For the Japanese
study, these graduates listed six skills of importance. Pas-
sow's study focused on the ABET criteria. Our interest is
to identify the skills that we should be developing in our
students before they graduate. We liked the idea of rating the

Chemical Engineering Education

Relative Importance of Skill to Employers

Strongly Agree 6


Agree 5

////KnowledgelSkll Type
Knowledge/Skill Type

importance and gaining information about the frequency of
use. We also focused beyond engineering programs. As did
the first two surveys, we wanted to identify skills needed
by most, if not all, graduates in any subject program from
universities or colleges. Our goal was to contact those who
graduated between 1990 and 2005 in any discipline and ask
each to identify important and frequently used skills they
needed in the first 10 years of their career. Since the survey
was circulated to many people in personal networks, those
respondees who were older, and even retired, were asked
to respond from the viewpoint of the first 10 years of their
careers. Our rationale in choosing the first 10 years is as fol-
lows. We wanted to identify the skills that our graduates need
soon after graduation. We think these would have our top
priority for development. Secondly, as professionals advance
in their career, they develop those additional skills needed
either naturally or by attending development programs and
workshops. As an example of professional advancement in
engineering, the Association of Professional Engineers of On-
tario describes seven levels of professional practice of which
the first five are most pertinent since these consider engineers
in the first 10 years since graduation. Level A, entry level:
routine technical decisions, works under close supervision.
Level B, two to three years from graduation: assignments of
limited scope and complexity; technical guidance available
and results reviewed. Level C, three to five years from gradu-
ation, independent studies of difficult, complex, and unusual
situations; usually not supervised. Level D, minimum five to
eight years experience, supervisor, assigns and outlines proj-
ects, advises on technical problems, and reviews for technical
accuracy; the time perspective is usually one year. Level E,
minimum nine to 12 years, makes responsible decisions that
are not usually subject to technical review, coordinates work
programs, acts to expedite projects; the time perspective is
usually about two years. The emphasis for Levels A to C is
on calculations and projects whereas for levels D and E this
shifts to projects, people, and decision making. Further, to be
promoted the skills needed at the next higher levels of profes-
sional practice should probably be in place by the end of the
10 years. It is from this perspective that we selected the skills
to be included and the first-10-year perspective.

The survey is included in the Appendix. First, we wanted
to include most of the skills described in the previous studies
and important for engineering accreditation,[''3] although we
decided to focus on only the professional or career skills. We
included skills in chairing meetings or being a chairperson,
change management, verbal and written communication, cre-
ativity, decision making, initiative, intercultural understand-
ing, leadership, lifelong learning, problem solving, research
skills, self-assessment, stress management, teamwork, and
time management. We separated the four elements of "ana-
lytical thinking" into two: analysis (classification, series, and

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

consistency) and critical thinking. Next, some research sug-
gests the importance of what is called emotional intelligence
or emotional quotient, EQ.[94121 There is some disagreement as
to which skills and emotions should be included in EQ.J12-151
Nevertheless the following five skills were included by all
authors: trust, empathy, social awareness and management
of relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness, and
management of emotions. Thus, we had a set of 23 skills in
this survey.

Just as was done in the first two surveys described above,
we wanted to survey professionals from many different
disciplines, and not just engineering graduates. The survey
was sent to about 350 people directly, and each was asked to
pass the survey on to others in their professional network. At
least 10 sent it to between 30 and 50 others in their network.
We received 104 responses. The respondees were lawyers,
doctors, elementary school and high school teachers, college
and university teachers, ministers, veterinarians, nurses, occu-
pational therapists, writers, artists, youth workers, engineers,
businesspeople including entrepreneurs and managers, and
accountants. In the sample, as best as we can tell, 33 graduated
with engineering degrees -of whom several received MBAs
(of those who focused on business), some are consultants,
and some are lawyers.

The results can be considered from five different points of
view. The data can be considered based on importance and
on frequency of use. Because the results for importance and
frequency were so similar we combined the two using an
arithmetic average of the pooled two sets of data. We also
combined the five contributing elements of EQ and used the
single entry for EQ to see its relative ranking. Of the 104
respondees, 33 had graduated in engineering. We analyzed
their results. Consider each in turn.
3.1 Importance
For importance, those skills that 104 professionals rated
as being between very important (5) and vital/absolutely
essential (6) were, in order of decreasing importance: verbal
communication (5.69; standard deviation, sd, 0.62), written
communication (5.52; sd 0.70), problem solving (5.51; sd
0.61), time management (5.37; sd 0.81), decision making
(5.24; sd 0.88), critical thinking (5.20; sd 0.84), initiative
(5.18; sd 0.89), teamwork (5.14; sd 0.86), self-confidence
(5.08; sd 0.86), and trust (5.03; sd 0.98). It is interesting to
note that the standard deviations of those results > 5 are all
less than 1. Those skills that were rated between moderate
importance (3), important (4), and very important (5) were:
stress management (4.94), social awareness and management
of relationships (4.84), lifelong learning (4.83), self-awareness
and management of emotions (4.71), leadership (4.62), self-

assessment (4.5), analysis (classification, series and patterns,
and consistency) (4.36), empathy (4.22), creativity (4.22),
change management of self and others (3.95), intercultural
understanding (3.91), research (3.85), and skill in chairing
meetings (3.40). The standard deviations range from 1.0 to
1.4 for those rated <5 (very important).
Based on these results, here are some points for discussion.
1) For the accreditation, ABET (indicated as 3()) and
CEAB (indicated as 3.1.) explicitly include analysis 3(b)
3.12, teamwork 3(d), 3.1.6; communication 3(g), 3.1.7;
problem solving 3(e), 3.1.2; and lifelong learning 3(i),
3.1.12. These key skills identified by the Engineering
Accreditation agencies are indeed in the top 10, except
for lifelong learning (ranked 13th) and analysis (ranked
2) Those skills missing from being explicitly mentioned
by accreditation include the following in the top 10:
time management (ranked 4th), initiative (ranked 7th),
self-confidence (ranked 9th), and trust (ranked 10th).
Since analysis (ranked 17th) is explicitly included in the
accreditation listing, all those ranked higher than 17th
could be claimed to be important and worthy of inclu-
sion in ABET documentation. This would include stress
management, social skills and management of relation-
ships, self-awareness and management of emotions,
leadership, and self-assessment.
3) In most undergraduate engineering programs emphasis
is placed on creativity (ranked 19th) and critical think-
ing (ranked 6th). Should we reconsider the emphasis we
place on these?
4) The two surveys, of graduates from any discipline, rating
importance (by Huron College University and Tennes-
see Technical University summarized in the literature
review) include communication, problem solving,
teamwork, learning skills, analytical thinking, decision
making, and critical thinking. The missing skills in those
surveys (that have higher ratings than 17, the rating for
analytical thinking) include time management, confi-
dence, initiation, trust, social awareness and manage-
ment of relationships, stress management, self-awareness
and management of emotions, and leadershipw
5) Passow's survey of engineering graduates used the
ABET words "data analysis," whereas our survey used
the words "analytical thinking" and she combined oral
and written communication into a single word: "commu-
nication." Her top ratings were teamwork, communica-
tion, data analysis, and problem solving-which agreed
with our ratings except for data analysis. Lifelong learn-
ing in both surveys ranked much lower.
6) It should not be a surprise that chairperson skills were
rated last at 3.4 while team skills were rated 5.14. Re-
searcht "6'18about teams shows that a) an effective group/
team works more effectively if there is a designated
chairperson who facilitates the task and morale parts of
group/team activity. Research also shows that b) leader-
ship and chairperson roles should not be confused. The

chairperson facilitates the process and is usually the
single person designated for this role for the time the
group works together. Leadership is assumed by the per-
son who has the most experience and knowledge for the
issue under consideration at one time. Leadership moves
from person to person as different issues are considered
by the team. Nevertheless, professionals in the first 10
years, while they are team members, would not usually
become chairpersons until, perhaps, in years 8 to 10.
Indeed, one responded was quite specific and indicated
that during his first four years he was never chair but
currently, in year five, he chairs meetings.

3.2 Frequency
For frequency, those 12 skills that professionals rated as
being used between weekly (5) and daily (6) were, in order of
decreasing frequency: verbal communication (5.98, sd 0.14),
time management (5.78; sd 0.59), self-confidence (5.78; sd
0.88), written communication (5.76; sd 0.49), problem solving
(5.56; sd 0.69), decision making (5.50; sd 0.75), teamwork
(5.44; sd 0.78), critical thinking (5.39; sd 0.81), initiative
(5.18; sd 0.95), trust (5.17; sd 1.01), social awareness and
management of relationships (5.11; sd 1.15), and stress
management (5.09; sd 1.06 ). It is interesting to note that the
standard deviations of most of the results > 5 are less than 1.
Those skills rated between occasionally/once in three
months (3), monthly (4), and weekly (5) were: self-awareness
and management of emotions (5.0), leadership (5.0), analysis
(classification, series and patterns, and consistency) (4.73),
empathy (4.72), creativity (4.49), lifelong learning (4.44),
self-assessment (4.20), intercultural understanding (4.15),
change management of self and others (3.95), research (3.78)
and skill in chairing meetings (3.47). The standard deviations
were in the range 1.08 to 1.3 except for intercultural under-
standing that had a standard deviation of 1.48.
Based on these results, the points are as follows:
1) The top 12 skills based on frequency of use are the
same as the ratings for importance discussed in
Section 3.1. The only notable difference is that self-
confidence was rated 9th in importance but ranked
3rd for frequency of use. Two additional skills-social
awareness and management of relationship and stress
management- moved into the top priority class based
on frequency. The other skills shifted slightly to ac-
count for this change.
2) These top skills identified by the Engineering Accredita-
tion agencies are indeed in the top 12, except for life-
long learning (ranked 18th) and analysis (ranked 15th).
3) In general the ratings for importance and frequency of
use are essentially the same, although lifelong learning
(ranked 13th in importance) was ranked 18th in fre-
quency of use and two skills were added to the priority
4) Those skills missing from being explicitly mentioned
by accreditation include the following in the top 12:
Chemical Engineering Education

time management (ranked 2nd), initiative (ranked 9th),
self-confidence (ranked 3rd), trust (ranked 10th), social
awareness and management of relationships (ranked
llth), and stress management (ranked 12th). Since
lifelong learning (ranked 18th ) is explicitly included in
the accreditation listing, all those ranked higher than
18th could be claimed to be important and worthy of
inclusion in ABET documentation. This would include
self-awareness and management of emotions, leader-
ship, empathy, and creativity.
5) The Huron College University survey based on fre-
quency of use, given in the literature review, includes
communication, problem solving, teamwork, analyti-
cal thinking, decision making, time management, and
critical thinking. The missing skills that have higher
ratings than 15 (the rating for analytical thinking)
include confidence, initiative, trust, social awareness
and management of relationships, stress management,
self-awareness and management of emotions, and lead-

3.3 Combined importance and frequency of use
Because of the similarity in trends based on importance vs.
frequency of use, an approach might be to pool the two sets
of data and arithmetically average the results of importance
and frequency. The results are shown in Figures 3 and 4. For
combined importance and frequency of use, those skills that
104 professionals rated as being between very important and
used weekly (5) and vital/absolutely essential and used daily
(6) were, in order of decreasing importance: verbal communi-
cation (5.83, sd 0.48), written communication (5.64; sd 0.65),
time management (5.57; sd 0.79), problem solving (5.56; sd
0.63), decision making (5.37; sd 0.84), teamwork (5.30; sd
0.84), critical thinking (5.30; sd 0.83), self-confidence (5.23;
sd 0.90), initiative (5.21; sd 0.95), trust (5.10; sd 0.98), and
stress management (5.0; sd 1.01).
Those skills rated between moderate importance and used
once in three months (3), important and used monthly (4), and
very important and used weekly (5), were: social awareness
and management of relationships (4.97; sd 1.04), self-awareness
and management of emotions (4.86; sd 1.11), leadership (4.67;
sd 1.03), lifelong learning (4.63; sd 1.23), analysis (classifica-
tion, series and patterns, and consistency) (4.55; sd 1.13), self-
assessment (4.55; sd 1.14), empathy (4.48; sd 1.27), creativity
(4.35; sd 1.16), intercultural understanding (4.03; sd 1.44),
research (3.81; sd 1.15), change management of self and others
(3.69; sd 1.19), and skill in chairing meetings (3.44; sd 1.3).
Since the general results are the same as discussed in Sec-
tions 3.1 and 3.2 further discussion seems redundant.
A minor change has occurred because of the criteria. For
importance, there were 10 top skills. For frequency of use,
there were 12 top skills (with additions of social awareness and
management of relationships and stress management). For the
combination of importance and frequency, there were 11 top
skills with stress management being retained in this category.
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

3.4 Emotional Quotient, EQ, or Emotional
EQ based on the characteristics used in this survey is the
average among the five elements: trust, empathy, social aware-
ness and management of relationships, self-confidence and
self-awareness and management of emotions. For the com-
bination of importance and frequency of use, EQ = 4.95, sd
=1.12. This places EQ skill just below the top 11, in between
stress management and leadership.
As an aside, although the sample size is small, EQ for
nurses (N=9) was 5.35 with sd = 1.10; for veterinarians it
was (N = 7), 5.59 with sd = 0.71. This illustrates one of the
weaknesses of this survey. Some professions, and subsets of
professions, would show different ratings. Those who interact
extensively with the people, such as nurses, veterinarians,
lawyers, ministers, and those in sales, probably would have
higher ratings for EQ elements. Those who work in relative
isolation, such as accountants and computer programmers,
might rate EQ as relatively unimportant and low frequency
of use. Engineers who specialized in product design and new
product development and design might rate creativity much
higher. Research engineers would undoubtedly rate research
skills much higher than almost last in this study. Neverthe-
less, for our purposes-identifying important and frequently
used by our graduates during their first 10 years-we feel the
results provide useful guidance as to the skills we should be
prioritizing in our undergraduate programs.

3.5 Engineering graduate subsample
Of the 104 responses to our survey, 33 graduated with
engineering degrees. Not all continued to practice engineer-
ing; some completed MBAs and went into business. Not all,
but most, graduated as Chemical Engineers. For combined
importance and frequency of use, those skills that 33 profes-
sionals rated as being between very important and used weekly
(5) and vital/absolutely essential and used daily (6) were,
in order of decreasing importance: verbal communication
(5.8; sd 0.53), written communication (5:66; sd 0.59), time
management (5.53; sd 0.81), problem solving (5.49; sd 0.74),
decision making (5.19; sd 0.94), critical thinking (5.16; sd
0.90), teamwork (5.11; sd 0.97) and self-confidence (5.04;
sd 1.0). The standard deviations of those results > 5 are all
less than or equal to 1.
Those skills rated between moderate importance and used
once in three months (3), important and used monthly (4),
and very important and used weekly (5) were: initiative
(4.9; sd 1.01), stress management (4.8 sd 1.18), trust (4.78;
sd 1.08), social awareness and management of relationships
(4.73; sd 1.2), self-awareness and management of emotions
(4.71; sd 1.08), analysis (classification, series and patterns,
and consistency) (4.53; sd 1.17), leadership (4.5; sd 1.03),
lifelong learning (4.21; sd 1.53), creativity (4.04; sd 1.17),
self-assessment (4.03; sd 1.15), skill in chairing meetings

(3.97; sd 1.38), empathy (3.94; sd 1.27),
intercultural understanding (3.69; sd 1.5),
research (3.67; sd 1.24), and change man-
agement of self and others (3.64: sd 1.21).
For EQ the rating was 4.63 with a standard
deviation, sd, of 1.27.
1) For this sample of engineering gradu-
ates, only eight skills have ratings >5;
whereas for the 104 sample, 11 skills
had values >5. The skills that missed
the >5 rating were initiative, stress
management, and trust.
2) Most of the skills received lower ratings
by the engineering graduate sample
than the full 104 cohort.
3) In general, the ranking by the engineers
was about the same as the full cohort.
4) The survey of Passow,'1] using the
ABET wording, showed about the same
ratings with the exception of "data
analysis" vs. "analysis" that was
discussed in section 3.1. Although the
two surveys were challenging to
compare because different skills
were considered, some top skills
were rated higher than the engi-
neering fundamentals,'l] and the
skills common to both surveys
showed relative agreement in
the rating.

some unmportance,
If these are skills important for our used occasionally 2
.rn a year
graduates, from engineering or more a year
generally from any discipline, in their never used I
first five to 10 years, what might we
do in our courses tt) help our students
acquire confidence and skill, espe-
cially in the top skills?
1. Do something. It is not easy ,t
to change your customary way of
teaching; it takes time away from
research and grant applications, from Figure 4, Important
committee work and from keeping in three months to t
up-to-date in your subject specialty.
Use intrinsic motivation to make
that change. A 7-step intrinsic motivational process is 1)
understand the context of your goals, the culture in which
you work, and your personal life, 2) perceive a discrepancy
between your current teaching and a perceived desired state
of helping students acquire some of the top skills; set a goal,
3) acknowledge the ambivalence or the pros and cons for

easenta, Iusedualy 6 --

used monthly 4

mode Fgra e 3 Importmnto
used ocSml0lly 3epn
evly 3 months *

SS?$S~~y2- -
in a year

Figure 3. Important and used frequently. The top 11 skills.
Sample, 104 responses.

and used frequently. Skills that were important and used once
hose skills rated very important and used weekly. Sample, 104

changing your teaching, 4) accept that the pros exceed the
cons and say "I want to." 5) develop confidence that you can
pull it off, 6) develop a plan, and 7) do it.19'201
2. Talk with colleagues about what you and the department
are doing and might be doing to explicitly help students de-
velop confidence and skill with the professional skills.

Chemical Engineering Education

vital. aslzutely
essential, used dally 6

very important,
used weekly 5 -
used monthly 4 ,

3. In your first class, provide the context by emphasizing the
need for skills via survey data: Figure 1 (to show the relative
importance of the subject knowledge) and Figures 3 and 4
to show rich variety of skills valued by recent graduates to
succeed in their career.
4. Select a skill with which you are comfortable working.
Include in your class syllabus"211 the context of how that skill
will be developed in your course or the importance you place
on it. For example, "Here's what you can expect from me:
understanding, teamwork so that by working together you
will know that I want you to succeed in this course, trust
and integrity, and good time management (in structuring our
class activities and getting marked assignments back to you
promptly). Here's what I expect from you...."
5. Model the skills. Characteristics of peak-performing
professors are that they: are enthusiastic, show integrity and
ethics, and build trust. They are skilled at communication,
listening, problem solving, critical thinking, interpersonal
and group skills, and assessment. Demonstrate these skills
in all you do.211
6. For the skill selected, give students written goals for
improvement. Hand out target behaviors that are based on
research and evidence.21'221 Use a form or require a journal
that asks students to monitor their progress in developing
those skills.
7. Realize that internalization and development of the skill
by the students will probably not occur by the previous sugges-
tions one to five. Those five ideas create the atmosphere for the
development and highlight your focus on trying to help your
students acquire the skill. Most of these skills, however, can-
not be acquired by reading, listening to, or watching othersJ.1[
For example, we, as experienced instructors in our subject
discipline, cannot demonstrate problem solving. We know too
much'241; at best we demonstrate exercise solvingE21'251 (or working
forward from the given data to solve the problem by recalling and
adjusting information from problems solved in the past). Rather,
as BanduraE261 recommends, we can use workshops with activi-
ties that ask students to try the skill and receive prompt positive
feedback using the five strengths and the two areas to work on.
Example workshops that have been proven to be effective in
developing confidence and skills[231 are available.1221
8. To help both you and your students celebrate progress,
use pre- and post-tests available for your focus skill(s).,271
Now consider some suggestions specific to the top skills:
communication, problem solving, time management, decision
making, teamwork, critical thinking, self-confidence, trust,
and stress management.
1. For communication skills, remind students that the fun-
damental concept is "if the message is not communicated,
it's your fault!" One of the frustrations that students have
is that most instructors seem to use a different rubric for as-
sessing students' skill in communication: different criteria
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

for a speech, for a lab report, for a project report, and for a
research report. Students become frustrated when trying to
fulfill different rubrics. We should select an evidence-based
marking scheme and use it for all communications (oral or
written) in all courses in the program. An example evidence-
based criteria/rubric has been developed."28291
a) Focus your feedback on five strengths and the two areas
to work on. When we cover a student's written report
with many red-ink corrections and suggest "hundreds"
of mistakes, students tend to give up in frustration. Our
experience is that they feel defeated and give up on at-
tempts to rework.
b) We tend to emphasize what the final product-the report
or the delivered speech-will look like. We can help stu-
dents develop confidence and skill by sharing research
about the process of writing a communication. Target
skills summarizing that research about the writing
process are availablet21'22J
c) For oral communication, we can use material from The
Toastmasters organization.1301 For example, in McMaster
University's required sophomore course on communica-
tion, Professor Jack Norman used in class the Toastmas-
ters model to develop oral communication skills.

2. For problem solving, research suggests that the biggest
challenge is for students to spend time creating an accurate
internal representation of the problem.031 Workshop material
can be downloaded to help students become more aware of
the process they use (MPS 1),[221 use an organized strategy1321
systematically ( MPS 4),[221 explore to create the internal rep-
resentation (MPS 15),[221 and create the look back (MPS 14).[221
3. We find that time management and stress management are
interconnected. A basic book for time management, that was
adapted to workshop form,E22' is Covey.331 Download the two
workshops (MPS 5 and MPS 17)1221 on these topics and con-
sider devoting 4 hours of workshops with your students. Tim-
ing, PowerPoints, and workshop materials are available.J221
At McMaster, for our first attempt in 1982 to develop stress
management skills (in a required sophomore course) we asked
the Canadian Mental Health Association to run the 2 hour
workshop. This worked well. Later, when we had more confi-
dence, we ran the workshop.1221 Initially, we did not appreciate
the great need the students had for this workshop. (However,
we soon realized its importance because, on the Holmes Rahe
inventory of annual stress ,[2234] most of us score in the range
150 to 300; however, more than 30% of our students have >
600 and some have >1,000.)
4. For decision making, teamwork, and critical thinking,
workshop materials have been developed and are available
(MPS 24, MPS 28, and MPS 30),i22] with some details about
teamwork available in additionJ311 We use group work in
many of our learning activities. A valuable investment for
your students is to give them a 50 min. activity to address 17
issues that contribute to the group culture.1351

5. For self-confidence, Bandura's 6-step model1261 of the
process to develop self-confidence is useful. His steps are 1)
self-awareness, 2) awareness of others, 3) self-acceptance and
acceptance of others, 4) know target behaviors and accept that
assessment is based on performance-not self-worth-and
that key elements include trust, initiative, and willingness to
risk, and positive self talk, 5) enactivee mastery" in which you
successfully complete achievable goals posed by others and
get positive feedback, and 6) enactivee mastery" where you
set your own achievable goals, achieve them, and self-assess
your success. Self-confidence results.
For steps 1 and 2 to improve self-awareness and awareness of
others, we recommend that the students complete about a dozen
inventories related to their style of relating (Jungian typology or
Myers Briggs,[361 Kellner Sheffield inventory 371 about self-image
and long-term/short-term stress, FIRO B138,391 for roles in teams/
groups, Risk or Kirton KAI1401 about how you use your creativity,
Johnson's style of conflict141' resolution,Rotter locus of control,f421
Basadur's attitude about creativity,1431 Self-Directed Learning.
Readiness scale related to lifelong learning,14446,271 approaches to
studying related to your lifelong learning style,1471 Holmes Rahe
related to annual stress,1341 Billings Moos related to problem
solving and problem avoidance,1481 Weinstein's Learning and
Study Strategies Inventory, LASSI,149' Heppner's PSI'1 related
to confidence in problem solving, Perry inventory1471 related to
students' attitude about their role in learning and Beck's hap-
piness scalet151). Enrich that experience by having activities to
help them see and appreciate the styles of others. Such example
activities are given in MPS 11, "the unique you."1221
For steps 4 to 6 in Bandura's model, self-assessment, al-
though not in the top 10, is a skill that is needed.
Skill in self-assessment is also very useful to provide self-
and peer assessment of learning activities and group work,
and that helps with students writing resumes and learning
journals.1521 Workshop activities for self-assessment are avail-
able (MPS 3).J22]
For steps 5 and 6 in Bandura's model, students are assigned
a series of tasks where, with coaching, they build success upon
success. Thus, their self-confidence increases. Scaffolding152'
is a learning approach you can use to achieve this. Scaffold-
ing is empowering students through learning with stagewise
training. You have temporary and adjusted roles starting with
introduction and rationalization of the task, then modeling
how you solve the task, then guiding them (via resources,
scripts, questions, templates, storyboards) as they tackle and
successfully complete the task. You coach as they tackle more
complex tasks, support them, and finally fade because your
assistance is no longer needed while they solve more complex
tasks successfully.1521
6. For trust three components are competency, integrity, and
benevolence. Suggestions about how to measure and develop
trust are available.1211

7. For Emotional Intelligence or Quotient, the compo-
nents include 1) trust, 2) empathy, 3) social awareness and
management of relationships, 4) self-confidence, and 5)
self-awareness and management of your emotions. Many of
these behaviors have been discussed previously in this paper.
Workshop materials on listening and conflict resolution are
available.1221 Drummond provides suggestions about develop-
ing emotional intelligence.151

The results from four different surveys related to the skills
needed by professionals showed top importance and fre-
quency of use to be communication skills, problem solving,
team skills, and critical thinking. The current survey asked
young professionals in many different professions to identify
the importance and frequency of use of 23 "skills."
The results (from a sample of 104 respondees) were that
the top skills in importance and frequency of use were verbal
communication, written communication, time management,
problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, team-
work, self-confidence, initiative, trust, and stress management.
Those that were important and used weekly to occasionally
in three months were social awareness and management of
relationships, self-awareness and management of emotions,
leadership, lifelong learning, analysis (classification, series
and patterns, and consistency), self assessment, empathy, cre-
ativity, intercultural understanding, research, change manage-
ment of self and others, and chairperson skills. A consideration
of those who graduated with engineering degrees suggests
little change from the responses from the total sample. Some
of the professional skills important for graduates are not
considered explicitly in the accreditation criteria.
Some of these skills are components of emotional intelli-
gence (trust, empathy, social awareness and management of
emotions, self-confidence, and self-awareness and manage-
ment of emotions). Subject to the limitation that these are the
component skills used to represent EQ, EQ was rated by the
respondees as being very important and used weekly.
Some suggestions are given on what to do in your courses
to develop skill and confidence in those key skills needed for
your students' careers.
We thank the respondees who promptly shared their ratings
with us. Special thanks to those who forwarded the survey to
many friends and colleagues in their network: Bob Marshall,
Kathleen Fowler, Denise Gibbons, Suzi Peters, Cynthia and
Scott Veals, Karen Rogers Whiteman, Janice Manson, Ljuba
Simovic, David Pubrat, Paul Sarkissian, and Ashley Coon.
Margaret Jane Wallace alerted us to the AISI article. Carm
Vespi, McMaster University, gave helpful assistance. We
thank the reviewers and Phil Wankat for their very useful

Chemical Engineering Education

1. ABET accreditation, see
2. CEAB accreditation, see creditationCriteriaProcedures_2010.pdf>
3. Felder, R.M., and R. Brent,"Designing and Teaching Courses to satisfy
ABET engineering criteria," J. Engng. Ed., 92(1), 7 (2003)
4. Blagrave, M., "Campus Community Roundtable II," May 18 (2012),
Huron University College, London, Ontario. personal communication
May 21 (2012)
5. Stein, B., "TTU Employer Survey," (2008) personal communication,
, May 21,2012
6. Stein, B., et al.,"Assessing Critical Thinking Skills," Paper presented at
SACS/COC Annual Meeting / Nashville, Tennessee / December 6 9,
7. Kojima,A., "Issues of Engineering Education in Japanese Universities,"
Iron & Steel TechnologyApril 2012,9(4) (2012)
8. Passow, H.J., "Which ABET Competencies do Engineering Graduates
Find Most Important in Their Work?" J. Engng. Educ., 101(1) 95 (2012)
9. Goleman, D.E.,"What makes a leader?" Harvard Business Review,
Nov/Dec. (1998)
10. Kim, S.S., et al.,"The effects of Physician Empathy on Patient Satisfac-
tion and Compliance," Eval. Health Prof., 27,237-251 (2004)
11. Jensen, K.,"Intelligence is overrated: what you really need to succeed,"
Forbes,April 12(2012)
12. Goleman, D.,Emotional intelligence, Bantam Books, New York (1995)
13. Mayer, J.D., P. Salovey, and DR. Caruso, The Mayer-Salovery-Caruso
emotional intelligence test: User's Manual, McLellan Stewart, Toronto
14. Sala, F., "Emotional Competency Inventory, Technical manual," Hay
Group, McClelland Centre for research and Innovation.> (2002)
15. Drummond, H.,"Emotional Intelligence," Blogs, Mohawk College,
Hamilton, ON
16. Whetten, D.A., and K.S. Cameron, Developing Management Skills,
Scott Foresman (1984)
17. Kimbell, R., et al., The Assessment of Performance in Design and
technology, School Examinations and Assessment Council, SEAC,
London, W11 3JB (1989)
18. Dimock, H.G., Factors working in groups, how to observe a group, how
to analyze and evaluate group growth, Planning group development,
Concordia University Bookstore, Montreal (1970)
19. Miller, W.R., and S. Rollnick, Motivational Interviewing: Preparing
People for Change, Guildford Press, 2nd ed., New York (2002)
20. Woods, D.R., Motivating and Rewarding University Teachers to
Improve Student Learning: A Guide for Faculty and Administrators,
Chapter 7, City University of Hong Kong Press, Hong Kong (2011)
21. Woods, D.R., Motivating and Rewarding University Teachers to
Improve Student Learning: A Guide for Faculty and Administrators,
Chapter 3, City University of Hong Kong Press, Hong Kong (2011)
22. McMaster Problem Solving program: ca/MPS/defaultl .htm> provides target behaviors for a projected 60-plus
skills. Website being updated.
23. Woods, DR., AN. Hrymak, R.R. Marshall, P.E. Wood, C.M. Crowe,
T.W. Hoffman, J.D. Wright, P.A. Taylor, K.A. Woodhouse, and C.G.K.
Bouchard, "Developing Problem-Solving Skills: the McMaster Prob-
lem Solving Program," J. of Engng. Ed., 86(2), 75 (1997)
24. in Woods, D.R., Problem-based Learning: Resources to gain the most
from PBL, Section 4.7, downloadable from the web at> (1996)
25. Woods, D.R., Successful Trouble Shooting for Process Engineers,
Wiley VCH (2006)
26. Bandura,A., Self-efficacy: The exercise of control, W.H. Freeman,New
York (1997)

27. Woods, D.R., Problem-based Learning: Resources to gain the most
from PBL, (1996) Chapter E, Download from> and scroll down to the book, download
Chapter E. Undate by including, for critical thinking, the critical think-
ing test (Stein, Barry, Critical Thinking Assessment Test, CAT,> accessed July 2012), and Self-
Directed Learning Readiness Score, SDLRS (based on Guglielmino,
L., (1977) "Development of Self- directed Learning readiness scale,"
Ph.D. Thesis, University of Georgia; Stewart, R.A. "Evaluating the
self-directed learning readiness of engineering undergraduates: a
necessary precursor to project-based learning," World Transactions
on Engineering and Technology Education, 6(1) 59 (2007); Fisher,
M., J. King, and G. Tague, "Development of a self-directed learning
readiness scale for nursing education," Nursing Education Today, 21,
516-525 (2001)
28. Woods, D.R., and S.D. Ormerod, Communicating Effectively, McMas-
ter University, Hamilton, ON (1990)
29. MPS Unit 48, workshop. McMaster Problem Solving program: 1 .htm>
30. Toastmasters. 0-competent-communicator/> accessed July 2012
31. Woods, DR., Problem-based Learning: How to gain the most from
PBL, Waterdown (1997) (available from McMaster University Book-
store, Hamilton, ON) Chapter 3 on problem solving
32. Woods, D.R., "An Evidence-based Strategy for Problem Solving," J.
Engng. Ed., 89(4), 443 (2000)
33. Covey, S.R., The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Simon and
Schuster, New York (1989)
34. HolmesT.H., and R. Rahe, "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale,"
J. Psychosomatic Research, 11, 213-218 (1967)> and modified by Walter H.
Gmelch to include items more related to university students. Personal
communication (1983)
35. Woods, D.R., "Problem-based Learning: Resources to gain the most
from PBL," Table B-18, p. B-35 Download from> and scroll down to the book,
download Chapter B
36. Keirsey, D., and M. Bates, Please Understand Me, character and tem-
perament types, Prometheus Nemesis Book Co, Del Mar, CA (1984)

37. Kellner, R., and B.F. Sheffield, "A self-rating scale of distress," Psy-
chological Medicine, 3, 88-100 (1973)
38. Whetten, D.A., and K.S. Cameron, Developing Management Skills,
Scott, Foresman and Co., Glenview, IL, (1984) p. 80-81, and p 56-61
39. Ryan, L.R., Clinical Interpretation of the FIRO-B, Consulting Psy-
chologists Press, Palo Alto, CA (1970)
40. Kirton, MJ., "Adapters and innovators, a description and measure,"
J. Applied Psychology, 61,622-629 (1976)
41. Johnson, D.W., Reaching Out, interpersonal effectiveness and self-
actualization, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall (1986) p 206-207
42. Rotter Locus of Control: documents/Rotter- locusofcontrolhandout.pdf> downloaded Oct. 2012
43. Basadur, M., and C.T. Finkbeiner, "A Measuring preference for ideation
in creative problem solving training," J. Appl. Behav. Sci., 21(1), 37
44. Litzinger, T.A., J.C. Wise, and S.H. Lee "Self-directed Learning
Readiness Among Engineering Undergraduate Students," J. Engng.
Ed.,April, 215-220 (2005)
45. Guglielmino,L., "Development of the Self-directed Learning Readiness
Scale," Ph.D. Thesis, University of Georgia, (1977)
46. Fisher, M., J. King, and G. Tague, "Development of a self-directed
learning readiness scale for nursing education," Nurse Education Today,
21,516-525 (2001)
47. Woods, D.R., Motivating and Rewarding University Teachers to
Improve Study Learning a guide for faculty and administrators, City

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

University of Hong Kong Press, Hong Kong (2011) Appendix
48. Billings, A.G., and R.H. Moos, "The Role of Coping Responses and
Social Resources in Attenuating the Stress of Life Events," J. of Be-
havioral Medicine, 4(2), (1981)
49. Weinstein, C.E., and A.C. Schulte, Learning and Study Strategies
Inventory, LASSI, H&H Publishing Co., Clearwater, FL>
50. Heppner, P.P., and C.H. Petersen, "The Development and Implications
of a Personal Problem-solving Inventory," J. of Counseling Psychology,
29(1), 66 (1982)
51. Beck,A.T.,R.A. Steer, N. Epstein, and G. Brown, "Self-conceptTest,"
Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology, 2(2), June, 191-197, (1990) modified by D.R. Woods and
renamed the Happiness Scale
52. Woods, DR.,450 Ideas to improve student learning,forthcoming book

Skill survey
Many general skills are needed by our university graduates
for them to have successful careers. Of the many, we want
to identify the ones that should have top priority in under-
graduate and graduate programs. Which ones would be most
important for their career development in the first 10 years
after graduation? Please rate importance: unimportant = 1;
some importance = 2; moderate importance = 3; important
=4; very important = 5; and vital, absolutely essential = 6.
Please rate frequency of use: never = 1; occasionally in
a year = 2; occasionally every 3 months = 3; monthly = 4;
weekly = 5; daily = 6.

Skill importance frequency of use
analysis: classification, series, consistency
chairperson skills, running meetings
change management, for self and others
communication, verbal
communication, written
critical thinking
decision making
intercultural understanding
lifelong learning
problem solving
research skills
self-awareness and management of emotions
social awareness and management of relationships
stress management
time management
trust, developing and maintaining

Chemical Engineering Education

M laboratory




1 Lamar University Beaumont, TX 77710
2 Lamar Institute of Technology Beaumont, TX 77710

n an effort to provide a link between classroom/textbook
learning and real-world application, senior-level chemi-
cal engineering students at Lamar University performed
a unique crossover experiment within their unit operations
laboratory. Adjacent to Lamar University is a two-year tech-
nical school, Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT), that has
a training program for technicians going into the chemical
operations occupations. As a teaching tool, LIT has a 20 ft tall,
1 ft diameter packed distillation column (Figure 1), complete
with reboiler, pumps, holding tanks, fin fan, control valves,
and Distributed Control System (DCS) control board.
The students were tasked with performing a non-structured
(i.e., open-ended) unit operation experiment that would chal-
lenge their ability to apply knowledge learned in the classroom
to a distillation system that would be comparable to that found
in industry. By breaking into 4- or 5-membered teams, a class
of 19 students could evaluate several parameters, including
feed flow rate, reboiler temperatures, and vacuum pressures.
The overall objective was to suggest ways of operating the
column, which distilled propylene glycol and water, with
greater efficiencies and lower energy costs. LIT and Lamar
University would mutually benefit by the students' findings
-LIT with better operating parameters and Lamar with a
challenging unit operation experiment.
In recent years, the availability of laptop computers and
chemical engineering simulation software, such as Aspen
Plus, has brought about a decrease in physical chemical
engineering unit operation laboratory experimentation with
an increase in virtual laboratory simulation. Virtual labs cre-
ate a "lab anywhere" atmosphere whereby students can redo

experiments or try out new parameters far more cheaply than
performing the actual experiment.P1 There are, however, pros
and cons to this concept. Complex concepts, such as vapor
liquid equilibria, are easily understoodt121l using Aspen Plus,
which is the standard in the chemical process industry and
should be incorporated throughout the chemical engineering
curriculum.1,3'41 As Feisel and Rosa pointed out, however,

Tracy J. Benson is an assistant professor of
chemical engineering at Lamar University in
Beaumont, TX. He received his B.S. (2000) and -
Ph.D. (2009) from Mississippi State University.
His research interests include CO2 conversion
strategies and biomass conversion. He cur-
rently teaches the momentum and mass transfer
classes and the unit operations laboratory
Weldon J. LeBlanc
Jr. is an instructor I
at Lamar Institute of
Technology in Beau-
mont, TX. He received his associate of applied
science from Lamar University. He is a retired
process operator of 35 years and currently
teaches process
technology and unit
Peyton Richmond -
is an associate pro-
fessor of chemical engineering at Lamar Univer-
sity in Beaumont, TX. He received his B.S. from
Lamar University in 1983 and his Ph.D. from
Texas A&M University in 1988, both in chemi-
cal engineering. His research interests include
industrial process control and undergraduate
education. He currently teaches the undergradu-
ate process control laboratory

Copyright ChE Division of ASEE 2013

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

Figure 1. Pictures of the distillation unit illustrating the relative size of the vessels and personal
protective equipment worn by the students. The distillation column is tucked within the steel
structure shown in top left.

simulation cannot completely replace physical, hands-on
experience. A chemical engineering student that is ready for
the industrial world is one that has sufficient aptitude for
safety, communication, teamwork, and sensory awareness
issues that are best learned within the physical laboratory.151
By giving students a limited amount of information, we
required them to assess what additional information was
needed to solve the problem at hand. This open-ended nature
was designed to enhance creativity among the students and
to empower them as young engineers through the develop-
ment of their own unique experiment.t6] Teamwork, chemical
process safety, increased communication skills, and sensory
awareness were the goals of this experiment. (Sen-
sory awareness is the use of our human senses to
gather and interpret experimental results with the
purpose of making well thought-out, engineered Team
decisions.) 1

As a final laboratory experiment during their se-
nior-level unit operations class, the four teams each
had a specific parameter to investigate (Table 1).
The main objectives of the experiment were 1)
to increase problem-solving skills for distillation






Tower &



ene glycol) and
typical column pressure (28.05 in Hg). Since the density
(i.e., specific gravity) of a mixture changes with respect to
changes in concentration, product purity was measured by
specific gravity of the propylene glycol stream using a coriolis
meter. The students were provided this information, along
with the process flow diagram (Figure 2), two weeks prior to
the experiment. As student safety was a top priority, students
were required to use the personal protective equipment (PPE)
appropriate for this facility. This included hard hats and
safety glasses, which were already part of the unit operations
laboratory protocol. Other PPE required were safety shoes,
flame retardant clothing, and leather gloves for climbing up

Description of the testing parameters
# Parameter to be tested Comment
Feed Flow Rate Measured density and flow rate of
bottoms product
Column Pressure Measured column temperatures and
density of bottoms product
Reboiler Temperature Measured density of bottoms product
and reflux rates (liquid feed kept
Feed Location Aspen 7.0 process modeling program

Chemical Engineering Education

systems and 2)
to bolster team-
work and com-
munication skills.
These objectives
were developed
to engage the stu-
dents' ability to
think outside the
typical classroom
setting. Distilla-
tion also served
as a great example
for teaching en-
ergy conservation
as distillation ac-
counts for 20%
of the energy con-
sumption by the
U.S. manufactur-
ing sector.J71
The students
were provided a
short list of oper-
ating parameters,
which included
feed composition
(60 wt % propyl-

Figure 2. Process flow diagram for the packed column

stairs and ladders. Many of the students used flame retardant
clothing obtained from their co-op or intern positions. Others
were able to borrow what was needed.
On the day of the experiment, the class assembled at the
experiment site. The student teams were organized into inside
DCS operators and outside crew sub-teams. The sub-team
members used two-way radios to maintain constant commu-
nication. The inside sub-team took turns making step changes
from the DCS control board, and the outside crew monitored
the effect on product purity using field readings from a coriolis
meter. The coriolis meter was only readable locally, as there
was no connection to the DCS board. The total time for the
experiment was approximately six hours, most of which was
spent waiting for the process to come to steady state after a
step change was made. All operating results shown are those
obtained from the students' experimental results.

Team l's task was to evaluate the feed flow rate, given a con-
stant feed concentration, on purity of the bottoms product. The
feed flow rate generally used by LIT is 45 gph and was taken
as the starting point. Step changes of 5 gph were made above
and below the starting point with a range of 30 60 gph. The
students found that as the feed flow rate increased, so must the
reboiler steam flow rate, linearly, to maintain proper operating
temperature. The optimum feed rate was found to be 50 gph,
and the estimated steam usage would cost ~$32,850 per year
for a continuously operating column. One can see in Figure
3 where regions of flooding and entrainment, which lead to
poor efficiency, occurred due to changes in feed flow rates.

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

Students of this group were
able to identify the loading
_______ ~ and flooding regimes based
NSER on product purity. What was
believed to be entrainment
and flooding led to mal-
distribution of the vapor and
PRODUCT liquid streams causing poor
~-Lu vapor-liquid equilibrium
U within the packed column.

The effect of column
vacuum pressure was the
target of Team 2's inves-
-tigation. Vacuum distilla-
PRODUCT tion increases the relative
volatility of the distilling
components, thus lowering
temperature requirements .[8]
In the case of aqueous/
organic mixtures, however,
underwetting can be prob-
n distillation unit. lematic with pressures < 2
psia. Underwetting, a phe-
nomenon due to high surface tension, causes height equivalent
to a theoretical plate (HETP) to increase towards the aqueous
end of the column.191
The distillation system was found to be sensitive toward
steam rate and vacuum. As vacuum decreased, distillate and
bottoms temperatures increased, as well as bottoms product
density. Higher vacuum produced higher product purity and
needed lower reboiler duty for a particular product purity.
Although vacuum distillation can be quite expensive in energy
costs, it is often used in the distillation of crude petroleum
where vacuum columns are operated at reduced temperatures,
thus preventing the cracking of paraffins to olefins.101
The students realized from this exercise that higher vacuum
pressures are difficult to maintain over extended periods of
time due to potential leaks within the equipment. This illus-
trated mechanical limits to a chemical process, which would

1.0330 y 0.0002x + 1.0243
1.0325 Q=W o+q Normal Operation
S1.0320 MEntrainment
1.0315 A AFlooding
S1.0300 T
25 35 45 55 65
Feed Flow Rate (gal/hr)

Figure 3. Effect of feed flow rate on density The outliers
were taken as conditions of poor liquid/vapor contact.

1.036 146
Ev 144
S1.034 _U 144
142 ~
1.032 140 ,
E 138 E
V. 0 136
S1.028 134
0 134 2
. 1.026 132
| 1.024 :130
1.02 128
1.022 126
0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
Column Pressure, psia

Figure 4. Effect of column pressure on product purity and
reboiler duty (F = 30 gph).

T 114
X 106
E 104
S02 / y = -1.0971x2 + 16.513x + 52.77-
100 R2 = 0.9977
98 ...
3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7
Reflux Ratio

Figure 5. Effect of reflux ratio on steam usage. Operating con
F = 30 gph,
P-=27.4 in Hg.

3 4913.3

LC 4912.3V

= 4911.8

0 5 10 15 20 25 30

Figure 6. Aspen modeling results demonstrating the
enthalpy of the distillate stream at various feed locations.
The minimum, found at Stage 11, is the optimum feed
stage. Note that due to a relatively easy separation, there
are only marginal differences in enthalpies for various
feed stage locations.

not be as quickly learned in a classroom setting. As can
be seen in Figure 4, a high product purity can be achieved
either by reducing the column pressure (P = 0.8 psia)
while maintaining a lower reboiler temperature (T = 127
F) or vice versa (P = 2.6 psia, T = 144 *F). Intermediate
values of temperature and pressure resulted in poorer
product purity.
Energy efficiency and energy conservation with em-
phasis on the column's reboiler were the focus of Team
3. Reboilers drive separation by providing heat to the
column thus creating vapor traffic in the distillation
column. Higher vapor velocities improve vapor-liquid
contact through high dispersion but can lead to exces-
sive entrainment of liquid in the vapor and high pressure
drops in the column. It should be noted, however, that
if one increases the fluid velocities inside the column,
the contact time (i.e., space time) between both
S phases decreases, resulting in poorer separation.
In addition, higher reflux ratios require more
reboiler duty to vaporize the additional liquid
inside the column. Steam usage vs. reflux ratio
is graphed in Figure 5 and was fitted using a
quadratic equation. Results indicated that, on an
annual basis, the incremental cost of additional
production was $13,500 for 30 vs. 55 gph (feed
7 rate). Also, $2,000/yr could be saved if 4 vs. 7
gph (reflux rate) was used. (Steam costs taken
-, as $7.70/GJ.)
7.5 Team 4 had a slightly different task and that was
___ to determine the optimum feed location; however,


the feed line to LIT's distillation unit entered at
a single point only. The column was originally

designed for the separation of ethylene glycol
and water, but propylene glycol was substituted
for environmental reasons. The actual column
packing was a structured wire mesh material manufactured
by Sulzer Chemtech, Ltd. (Humble, TX); however, specific
information concerning the column packing was not known.
For modeling purposes, therefore, 1-inch Raschig rings were
assumed. From the outside of the column, the students mea-
sured and determined that the column had ~14 ft of packed bed
height and the feed was located 5 ft from the reboiler. Aspen
Plus was used to model the process using the Non-Random
Two Liquid (NRTL) thermodynamic model. To determine the
optimum feed location, the enthalpy of the product streams
was compared at different feed stages (Figure 6) and then
applied the HETP calculation for a packed column.E81 This
was a small column (i.e., D,01 < 0.67 m); therefore, HETP =
18*Do, where D and HETP are in meters.111
In distillation process optimization (i.e., once column is
built and in operation), one does not want to sacrifice product
quality simply for lower production costs. Aspen results indi-
cated that Stage 11 was the optimum, which is equivalent to

Chemical Engineering Education

5.5 ft. Therefore, the team found that the current feed location
is appropriately placed even though the column was originally
designed for another purpose.
If one considers the McCabe-Thiele analysis for binary
distillation, the optimum feed tray location will be the tray
(i.e., stair step) where the Top and Bottom Operating Lines
intersect. If the feed stage is too low (or too high), however,
additional equilibrium stages will be necessary to achieve
a desired separation. For a column that is already built and
in use, this means that the desired separation will not be
achieved for a feed stage improperly located. Therefore, one
would expect a difference in the enthalpies of both the top
and bottom products due to the thermodynamics of mixtures
at various concentrations. In this exercise, the students chose
to model and report their findings based upon enthalpy rather
than convert to a concentration.

For assessment, the students completed a questionnaire that
consisted of questions concerning appropriate health and safety,
increased communication skills, and independent thinking
skills. A 5-point Likert scale was used with 1 being "strongly
disagree" and 5 being "strongly agree." Of the 19 students, 16
responded to the questionnaire. The students rated the labora-
tory experiment a 4.37 (out of 5), indicating a good overall
rating for the experiment. The students were very positive with
the competency of instructors, the amount of information given
prior to the experiment, and health and safety measures. Some
of the responses, however, indicated that additional experiment
time would have provided better results. This was also made
apparent during the poster presentations. A summary of the
students' responses can be seen in Table 2.
An overall assessment by the instructors was that the
students developed increased interpersonal communication
skills with the team/sub-team structure. While half the team
was inside at the control board, the other half was outside
monitoring various gauges and reporting back to the inside
team members. Giving the students flexibility to establish
testing parameters using a unit operation most likely to be
found in industry allowed them to feel more like engineers,
and less like students. Realiza-

tion of integrated mass and heat
flows (i.e., changing one variable,
such as reboiler temperature, also
changed required reflux ratio and/
or feed flow rate) by the students
was also accomplished. In addi-
tion, the students had a heightened
sense of personal safety, both for
themselves and their fellow team
members. With ABET's new em-
phasis on process safety, this was
certainly an added bonus.

Each team was required to present, as a team, a poster dem-
onstrating their results. This was an exercise to enhance the
students' ability to give oral presentations with the hopes of
less anxiety within a group format. The teams were asked to
allow for approximately 3 minutes of speaking time for each
team member. The presentations were scored based on format
and layout of posters, speaking time for each member, and
responses to questions. According to the questionnaire, most
students responded very positively to the poster presentation
format; however, 2 out of 16 respondees reported that the
poster was no better or worse in terms of nervousness than a
typical oral presentation. One comment made was "a presen-
tation is still a presentation." Overall, the posters had good
visual quality and were easy to follow. The students appeared
to be more relaxed during these presentations compared to
oral slide presentations that were also a requirement of the
Unit Operations class. Individually, however, some students
tended to rely more on fellow team members for technical
explanations of the experiment. Subsequently, technical ques-
tions can be asked by the instructors to separate those who
have been diligent thinkers and those who were not.

This paper describes a Unit Operations experiment for
linking classroom learning with industrial application. The
students gained hands-on knowledge for teamwork, process
safety, sensory awareness, and communication. Although
much of chemical engineering education is focused on seg-
regating each unit operation from a process, each of those
units come together to form that process, and what changes
are made to one unit will affect the remainder of the process
units. With this experiment, students were able to see these
intertwined facets firsthand. The chemical engineering stu-
dents at Lamar University are chiefly employed within the
many local chemical process industries of Southeast Texas.
Prospective employers, therefore, would hold this type of
experiment in high regard. Future iterations of this experi-
ment, or ones similar, are expected to include "other" uses
for old or existing columns and multi-component separations.

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

Summary of student responses to questionnaire
Statement Agree Neither Disagree
________________________________(%) (%) (%)
1. This experiment led to increased experimental design 84 11 5
and problem-solving skills in a real-world setting
2. Sufficient information was provided prior to experi- 89 11 0
ment and instructors were sufficiently competent
3. Experiment is likely to be discussed with potential 90 8 2
employers and should be used for future laboratory
4. This experiment led to increased teamwork and com- 88 8 5
munication skills development II

The authors would like to acknowledge the support and
encouragement provided by both Lamar Institute of Tech-
nology Process Operator Program and the Lamar University
College of Engineering.

1. Vaidyanath, S.,J. Williams, M. Hilliard, and T. Wiesner, "The Develop-
ment and Deployment of a Virtual Unit Ops Laboratory," Chem. Eng.
Ed., 41(2), 144 (2007)
2. Silva, C.M., R.V. Vaz, A.S. Santiago, and P.F. Lito, "Continuous and
Batch Distillation in an Oldershaw Column," Chem. Eng. Ed., 45(2),
3. Rockstraw, D.A., "Aspen Plus in the ChE Curriculum: Suitable Course
Content and Teaching Methodology," Chem.Eng. Ed.,39(l),68 (2005)
4. Wankat, P.C., "Integrating the Use of Commercial Simulators into

Lecture Courses," J. Eng. Ed., 91, 19 (2002)
5. Feisel,L.D., and AJ. Rosa, "The Role of the Laboratory in Undergradu-
ate Engineering Education," J. Eng. Ed., 94(1), 121 (2005)
6. Connor, W.C., K.D. Hammond, and R.L. Laurence, "A Moveable
Feast-A Progressive Approach to the Unit Operations Laboratory,"
Chem. Eng. Ed., 45(3), 193 (2011)
7. U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Engergy,
Industrial Technologies Program, "Hybrid Separations/Distillation
Technology: Research Opporunities for Engergy and Emissions Reduc-
tion," Washington, D.C. (2005)
8. Wankat, P.C., Separation Process Engineering, 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall
9 Schweitzer, P.A., Handbook of Separation Techniques for Chemical
Engineers, 3rd Ed., McGraw Hill, New York (1984)
10. Gary, J.H., G.E. Handwerk, and M.J. Kaiser, Petroleum Refining:
Technology and Economics, 5th Ed., CRC, Boca Raton, FL (2007)
11. Perry, R.H., D.W. Green, and J.O. Maloney, Perry's Chemical Engi-
neer's Handbook, 7th Ed., McGraw Hill, New York (1997) 0

Chemical Engineering Education

Random Thoughts...


2. Active Learning*


sometimes at the end of a workshop, a participant suf-
fering from information overload asks, "If I want to try
just one thing you told us about, what should it be?"
My answer is always active learning. For those who came in
late, that means engaging students in course-related activities
in class other than watching and listening to the instructor.
They may be asked to answer a question, begin a problem
solution or derivation or figure out the next step, explain a
concept, interpret an observation, brainstorm a list, predict the
outcome of an experiment, or any of a hundred other things.
Reference 2 offers suggestions for implementing active
learning and answers to frequently asked questions about it,
Can I use active learning and still cover my syllabus?
(Short answer: Yes.) Won't it take me a huge amount
of time to plan all those activities? (Short answer:
No.) What should I do about students who complain
bitterly if I do anything but lecture? What should I do
if some students refuse to participate?
If you're not experienced with active learning, reading that
short paper first will make this one- which answers different
questions more meaningful. The web address for it is in the
bibliography; if you want to check it out I'll wait here for you.
Otherwise, forge on.
What are the most persuasive arguments for in-
structors to try active learning?
Active learning fully engages most students in a class in-
stead of just the two or three who normally do all the talking;
the class atmosphere is much livelier than the wax museum
most traditional lectures resemble; and cognitive science
and tons of classroom research have established that people
learn far more through active practice and feedback than from
simply watching and listening to lectures .[2]

Second set of questions raised by a reading group at New Mexico
State University. The first set can be found in Reference 1, and these
were prompted by the group's reading References 2-4.
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

But don't they get practice and feedback in assign-
Sure, but preliminary in-class activities make assignments
far more effective. For instance, in a traditional lecture you
might outline a problem-solving method and give one or two
examples. If you're a decent lecturer it might all seem clear
to the students, and only later when they spend hour after
frustrating hour on assignments do they discover that they
didn't understand critical parts of it. In active learning, they
are taught the method in small steps that they can practice and
get immediate feedback on. Their chances of being able to
integrate what they learned to solve entire problems are then
much greater than if they have to do both the initial learning
and the integration simultaneously.
How can I prove to others that active learning
works? (My department head,for instance, who
occasionally hears complaints from students that
I'm making them work in class instead ofjust tell-
ing them everything they need to know.)
You can cite solid research that demonstrates the effective-
ness of active learningt21 and compare your class's perfor-
mance with the performance of previous classes you taught
traditionally (no activities). If you teach one of two parallel
sections of a course and the other instructor teaches tradition-
ally, you might also compare the average grades of the two
classes on common exams or exam questions.

Copyright ChE Division of ASEE 2013

Richard M. Felder is Hoechst Celanese
Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineer-
ing at North Carolina State University. He is
co-author of Elementary Principles of Chemi-
cal Processes (Wiley, 2005) and numerous
articles on chemical process engineering
and engineering and science education,
and regularly presents workshops on ef-
fective college teaching at campuses and
conferences around the world. Many of his
publications can be seen at effectiveteaching>.

What proportion of the class period do you, your-
self, lecture?
Anywhere from 90% (rarely that much) to 20% (rarely that
little); usually around 60%. I haven't used a "flipped class-
room," in which the basic material is presented to students
before class in online videos or tutorials and most or all of
the class period is devoted to activities. If I were still teach-
ing regularly I would be inclined to move to that approach,
but I would need really good online materials before I made
the switch.
What process do you go through to try to connect
activities to what you're discussing?
Every activity I've ever done flowed directly from what I
was discussing. I don't know how else you would do active

Some students are terrified of being called on to
speak in class, such as to report on the outcome of
an activity. What should I do about them?
That's an important issue. Many students-either for
cultural or psychological reasons-are strongly averse to
speaking up in class, either to ask or answer questions. They
generally have no trouble speaking to one or two classmates in
a small group, however, and so active learning is no problem
for them. Even if they are called on to report out following an
activity, the threat level is low because they are speaking for
their group and not themselves, and they are not being asked
to think on their feet but merely to share what has already
been worked out.
The method doesn't work for everyone, however. Once in
my career, a student came up to me after class and begged
me never to call on her. I simply said "OK" and honored the
request. I can't think of any possible benefit of forcing the
issue that would compensate for the severe emotional distress
it might cause.
When using active learning, are there any things I
shouldn't do?
Don't (a) make the activities trivial; (b) make them longer
than about three minutes; (c) always call for volunteers to
summarize their group's responses (sometimes call on indi-
viduals or groups); (d) grill or ridicule students who respond
incorrectly. Reference 2 discusses the drawbacks of mistakes
(a), (b), and (c), and the problems with (d) should be obvious.

Problems in my course take much longer than
three minutes to solve. Can't I use active learning
for them?
You can have students work through long problems or
derivations, but they should be chunked into small activities
with reporting out and feedback interspersed. If you give
students five minutes or more to solve a problem, some
groups may finish early and waste valuable class time on
irrelevant conversation; other groups may flounder for the
entire interval, become intensely frustrated, and also waste
class time. Chunking avoids both problems, gets students who
are lost back on track fairly quickly, and illustrates the steps
of whatever method you are trying to teach them.
Can I use active learning in an online environ-
Absolutely! The key to active learning is engagement, and
with the right software you can engage students online in ways
you can't use in a live class. You can have them work through
interactive multimedia tutorials that provide information,
pose questions and problems, and affirm or correct student
responses; perform experiments and optimize processes using
virtual laboratories and simulations; complete activities and
projects in virtual groups using e-mail, instant messaging,
and Skype; and incorporate activities into synchronous and
even asynchronous online lectures .5]

Do you ever advocate "non-active" learning?
Mixing lecturing (non-active learning) with activity? Al-
ways. Straight lecturing with no activity for 50- or 75-minute
stretches? Never!

1. R.M. Felder & R. Brent. You got questions, we got answers. 1. Miscel-
laneous issues. Chem. Engr. Education, 47(1), 25 (2013), edu/felder-public/Columns/QandA-1 .pdf>
2. R.M. Felder & R. Brent,Active learning: An introduction.ASQ Higher
Education Brief, 2(4), August 2009, Papers/ALpaper(ASQ).pdf>
3. R.M. Felder, Sermons for Grumpy Campers. Chem. Engr. Education,
41(3), 183 (2007), pdf>
4. R.M. Felder. Hang in there: Dealing with student resistance to learner-
centered teaching. Chem. Engr. Education, 45(2), 131 (2011), ncsu.edulfelder-publiclColumnslHanglnThere.pdf>
5. R.M. Felder, FAQs. II. Groupwork in distance learning. Chem. Engr.
Education, 35(2), 102 (2001), FAQs-3.pdf> 0

Chemical Engineering Education

All of the Random Thoughts columns are now available on the World Wide Web at
I and at

eL 1=1 laboratory

Analyzing the Function of Cartilage Replacements:





Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100
C compared to the demographics of the general popula- Julie N. Renner graduated summa cum laude from the University of North
tion, a disproportionately low number of minorities Dakota with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. She worked as
ion, a ispropoonaely low numer minorities a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the School
and women are in engineering.11' Although more of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. Her research focused on
women than men obtain bachelor's degrees, men earn a protein-based scaffolds for cartilage repair. She graduated with a Ph.D.
in chemical engineering from Purdue University in 2012. Currently, she
higher proportion of degrees in science and engineering than works as a National Science Foundation Small Business post-doctoral
women.tEl Women comprised only 20% of national engineer- research fellow.
ing undergraduate enrollment between 1999 and 2004.[2] Heather N. Emady attended the University of Arizona, where she received
Because engineering is not a subject typically taught in the her chemical engineering in 2007 She completed a Ph.D. in chemi-
Because engeeng IS not a subject typically taug cal engineering at Purdue University in 2012 and is pursuing an academic
K-12 curriculum, it is not an obvious career choice to most career.After fbiishing at Purdue, Heather did post-doctoral work at Procter
students, particularly if they are not exposed to engineering and Gamble and is now a post-doctoral researcher at Rutgers University.
Her research interests lie in the broad area of the design of particulate
in their extracurricular activities or at home.t2] A lack of un- delivery forms for high-value products.
derstanding of what engineers do is cited as being a reason Richard J. Galas Jr. graduated magna cum laude from the University at
for the scarcity of female engineers.3' Thus, providing more Buffalo, The State University of New York with a Bachelor of Science in
information on what engineering is may increase women's chemical and biological engineering. He is a doctoral candidate in the
i n w School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. His research is
interest in pursuing engineering careers.[3,4] focused on developing microenvironmental cues for the endothelial dif-
ferentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.
Many interactive programs promote engineering aware-
6 u 8 Rong Zhang received a B.E. degree in environmental engineering from
ness,5, 6 including multi-day camps.[7,' A weeklong camp Jilin University in China in 2003 and obtained a Ph.D. degree in chemical
for high school students focusing on biomedical engineer- engineering from Purdue University in 2011. Her research interest focuses
ing was successful at familiarizing students with the field.[9' on developing selective catalytic microthermo-sensors.
Other efforts to use interactive demonstrations and modules Chelsey D. Baertsch obtained a B.S. in chemical engineering from the
University of Colorado at Boulder and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering
with biologically oriented content have been successful in from the University of California at Berkeley. She was a post-doctoral
the past, especially with K-12 students.'0, 11] Although others research assistant at M.I.T from 2001-2003 and an assistant professor
of chemical engineering at Purdue University until 2011. Her research
have included both chemical and bioengineering concepts focused on heterogeneous catalysis and the development of selective
in modules for high school girls,'8] to our knowledge no one catalytic micro-sensors.
else has described an activity that incorporates the tissue Julie C. Liu received a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton
engineering of cartilage to encourage learning about chemi- University. She received a Whitaker Foundation Fellowship in Biomedical
cl Engineering to pursue her Ph.D. in chemical engineering with a minor in
cal engineering. biology from the California Institute of Technology. She was an NIH post-
The presentdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is
The present program targeted female high school students currently an assistant professor at the School of Chemical Engineering at
to increase their knowledge about the engineering profession. Purdue University. She has been awarded a 3M Nontenured Faculty Grant,
The goals were to enhance awareness about both chemical a National Science Foundation grant, and the American HeartAssociation
Scientist Development Grant to support her research in protein engineer-
Copyright ChE Division of ASEE 2013 ing, biomaterials development, and cell-microenvironment interactions.

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

AM Sunday, July 24 Monday, July 25 Tuesday, July 26 Wednesday, July 27 Thursday, July 28 Friday, July 29
8:0 Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
8:30 Camp Overview Load Bus
-- CRatifor Shoes Platfor Shoes Plfoml Shoes
9: 00HILL C103 ARMS 1103 ARMS 1103 ARMS 1103
1000 Team Builing Activity Super Chair Project Super Chair Project Super Chair Project
10:30 ARMS 1109 ARMS 1109 Fled Trip ARMS 1109
11:00 ____ _____ ____ Indianapolis Zoo
11:30 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
12:00 ______________________(Lunch Included)
12:30 Dourrms to Change Clothes Walk to Focus Area Location Load Bus Change for Baunquet
100 Walk to Fountain Industry Tour *
1:30 Group Picture Engineering Focus Areas* Subaru of Indiana Engineering Speaker ARMS 1109
2:00 Automotive Behind the Scenes Tour
Innovetions in Engineering
2:30 ARMS 1109 BME MJIS 1053 Engineering Hunt" Camp Wrap Up
3:00 ChE- FRNY G124 Load Bus (ARMS 1109)
3:30Super Chair Prec Herrick East Doo pr Wroject ear Camp T-Shirts Recognition Dinner
--Super Chair Project Super Chair Project i \
4:0 ARMS 1109 ARMS 1109 & have dosed toe shoes! forCampers
4:30 & Families
5:00 Dinner Dinner Dinner Load Bus
5:301 Dinner Downtown IND ARMS Atrium
6:0O Check-In Load Bus Load Bus Spaghetti Factory Check Out of Dorms
6:30 HILL C100 Load Bus Load Bus
7:00 Orientation All Fired Up Bowling Tropicanoe Cove Drive back to dorms
7:30 Hillebrand Hall Pottery Studio
8:00 CampActvifies Load Bus Load Bus Load Bus
8:30 w/chaperones Load Bus Camp Activities CampActivities Camp Activities
9:00 HILL C30 Camp Activities HILL C30 (No location) HILL C30
9:30 HILLC30
10:00 Rooms Campers in Rooms Camper in Rooms Campers in Rooms Campers in Rooms
10:30 Lights out ULights out Lights out Ughtsout Lights out _____
SMust wear closed toed shoes to these events .. .
A activities : H i M ,, *"
Super Chair Project (CE, ME, ECE, MSE, BME) Combines several disciplines to make one unique chairl IE Industrial
C~hE- Chemical
Platform Shoes (BME, CE) Design shoes out of cardstock that are at least 2* tall and wearable! ENV Environmental
Indianapolis Zoo (Various)- Looking at how engineering is integrated at a large zoo BME- Biomedical
Subaru Tour (ME, MAAE, IE, ECE) i MSE Materials
Engineering Focus Areas Campers will choose an area for in-depth focus with a faculty member ECE- Electrical and Computer
Herrick Labs (ME, ECE, ENV) CE- Civil (Structural)
Tissue Engineering (ChE w/ BME & MSE) ABE Agriculturl & Biological
Physiological Signals (BME w/ ECE, ME, ChE) NE Nuclear

Figure 1. 2011 EDGE Summer Camp schedule.f11

Schedule of events for the focus session on "Analyzing
the Function of Cartilage Replacements."
Activity Time (minutes)
Welcome and Pre-survey 15
Chemical Engineering Overview 20
Panel Discussion 40
Tissue Engineering Overview 20
Review of Handout 10
Safety Overview 15
Laboratory Activity 60
Calculations 40
Discussion 10
Post-survey 10
TOTAL = 4 hours

and tissue engineering to help students
form stronger opinions about their future
careers. To achieve these goals, students
engaged in interactive discussions, a
hands-on laboratory component, and a
few typical engineering calculations.
Social relevance and group work were
both utilized to increase learning.12t4]
Educating students about science and
engineering practices fits into the frame-
work of K-12 education developed by
the National Research Council (NRC). E5'
The NRC lists activities students should
engage in to learn science and engineer-
ing practices. The activity described in
this manuscript utilizes the following
NRC learning objectives: asking ques-
tions; developing and using models;
planning and carrying out investiga-
tions; analyzing and interpreting data;
using math and computational thinking;
constructing explanations; designing
solutions; obtaining, evaluating, and
communicating information; and engag-
ing in argument from evidence.

The activity described in this article is
part of the Exciting Discoveries for Girls
in Engineering (EDGE) Summer Camp
sponsored by the Women In Engineering
Program at Purdue University.'16]1 The
EDGE Summer Camp schedule for 2011
is shown in Figure 1. The weeklong camp
is for girls completing their freshman or
sophomore years of high school. Adver-

tisements for the camp are sent to students who indicate to
Purdue University Admissions that they wish to receive more
information about STEM careers. Students are selected based
on a letter of recommendation from a teacher and an essay.
During the camp, students receive an overview of Purdue
engineering, participate in hands-on team activities, and spend
a four-hour focus session exploring an area of engineering of
their choice. Students choose one of the two or three focus ses-
sions based on brief written descriptions provided by faculty
members, who design and implement these focus sessions.
For the past three years, we organized a focus session on
"Analyzing the Function of Cartilage Replacements." The
schedule of events for our focus session is outlined in Table 1.
This manuscript describes each activity, provides instruc-
tions for completing the activities, and shares the lessons
learned based on survey data. Copies of the handouts given
to the students can be found online at>. 171
Chemical Engineering Education

After welcoming the participants and introducing the
volunteers, a pre-survey was distributed to the participants.
The survey was designed to ascertain the students' awareness
of chemical engineering before participating in the session.
Participants received a series of statements and were asked the
extent to which they agreed or disagreed based on a Likert-
type scale. We implemented the pre-survey in 2010, and it
was composed of the first four statements shown in Table 2.
In 2011 and 2012, we added the statement, "I think chemical
engineering is a profession where you get the opportunity to
help people." This statement was added based on research
that shows that women may be unaware of the social impacts
of engineers .[3,4]

A 20-minute PowerPoint presentation that described the
chemical engineering profession was delivered to the partici-
pants. The presentation emphasized that chemical engineers
work in teams and have high societal impact. The variety of
fields in which chemical engineers work was described, and
it was emphasized that tissue engineering was just one of
the many areas. The laboratory activity was highlighted as
just one example of what a chemical engineer could do, and
other non-traditional opportunities such as venture capital

and law were also discussed. After the presentation, the high
school students engaged in an interactive 40-minute panel
discussion with 3-4 graduate students from different research
groups in chemical engineering. Often, half of the panelists
had previous experience with high school outreach activities
and had some industry experience through internships or
co-ops. The graduate students introduced themselves, gave
a short description of their research, and explained why they
became chemical engineers. The participants were encouraged
to ask questions about chemical engineering, engineering in
general, or college life.

A 20-minute PowerPoint presentation provided a definition
of and motivation for tissue engineering. After a brief over-
view of biomaterials, the presentation focused specifically on
cartilage tissue engineering and background for the laboratory
activity. We described cartilage tissue structure and func-
tion and the medical need for cartilage repair. In particular,
we found that including YouTube videos of traumatic joint
injuries captured the participants' attention. The participants
learned about different cartilage extracellular matrix compo-
nents and histological staining techniques used to visualize
those components. The staining techniques led to a description
of colorimetric assays used to quantify extracellular matrix
components. The colorimetric reaction used in the laboratory
activity was presented along with a basic description of spec-

Pre- and post-survey results show changes in student awareness of attitudes toward engineering after participating
in the activity.
Question Survey Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Std. # of Re-
Disagree (2) (3) (4) Agree Avg. Dev. spouses
(1) (5)
I am interested in Pre-
chemicaleengin Srey 0% 0% 20% 61% 20% 4.0 0.6 66
chemical engineer- Survey
ing. Post-
Post- 0% 2% 18% 50% 30% 4.1 0.7 66
I am interested in Pre-
Iaineetdi Pr-3% 3% 50% 29% 15% 3.5 0.9 66
tissue engineering. Survey
ostu 3% 11% 29% 40% 16% 3.5 1.0 62
I understand what Pre-
chersclneginers Surey 0% 26% 54% 18% 2% 3.0 0.7 65
chemical engineers Survey
do. Post-
do ostu 0% 2% 11% 60% 28% 4.1 0.7 65
I see chemical engi- Pre-
neerinemasa esi Srey 2% 0% 26% 47% 26% 4.0 0.8 66
needing as a desir- Survey
able career option. Post-
alcaeroto S 2% 3% 17% 48% 30% 4.0 0.9 66
I think chemical Pre-
ItikceiaPr-0% 0% 9% 34% 57% 4.5 0.7 47
engineering is a pro- Survey 0 07.
fession where you Post-
get the opportunity Survey 0% 0% 0% 36% 64% 4.6 0.5 47
to help people.

Vol. 47, No.2, Spring 2013 10

trophotometric methods for detecting color. We learned that
including a slide that described how to construct a calibration
curve primed the participants for content they encountered
later in the activity.

We developed a handout to serve as a guide for the partici-
pants' laboratory experience.["171 The handout consisted of six
separate sections: summary, background, safety information,
calculations, protocol, and discussion questions. The summary
section included a description of what we expected the partici-
pants to learn about tissue engineering and contained a brief
overview of the tasks the participant would perform during
the laboratory activity. The background section summarized
the Tissue Engineering Overview presentation. The safety
information consisted of an abridged version of the mate-
rial safety data sheet (MSDS) on the chemicals used in the
experiment. Initially, we included the entire MSDS for each
chemical, but the students were overwhelmed by the lengthy
text and were confused by unfamiliar acronyms. Subsequent
versions of the handout contained an abridged version of the
MSDS written in common English. The calculation section
introduced the concept of material balances to the participants.
The last two sections related directly to the laboratory activ-
ity. The protocol section included the procedure to perform
the experiment and a 96-well plate map for the participants
to record their sample locations. To promote active decision-
making during the experiment, the protocol was intentionally
vague regarding details such as the exact number of replicates
and plate layout. The discussion section asked students to
comment on variations in replicates, explain the shape of the

Figure 2. Set-up of colorimetric assay for determin-
ing GAG concentration. (Left) 1,9-dimethylmethylene
blue reagent in a reagent reservoir and (right) a 96-well
plate in which the colorimetric assay is performed. After
mixing the dye with samples of chondroitin sulfate, the
solution changes to appear purple or pink, depending on
the concentration of chondroitin sulfate. Liquid shown in
photograph appears blue.

standard curve, and include estimates for unknown concen-
trations. Students were also asked to think about potential
changes to the experiment and additional experiments that
would be required to fully characterize replacement cartilage
tissues. An instructor's versiont71 of the discussion section
containing appropriate answers to the discussion questions
was distributed to the volunteers to facilitate an accurate and
extensive discussion.
To cater to students with different learning styles,[181 infor-
mation within the handout was presented in text, graphs, and
through a short verbal overview. Additionally, the handout
provided a basis for conversations between the students and
volunteers. For example, the abridged MSDS information was
used to explain the industrial role of chemical engineers or
to relate a personal experience in acquiring a new chemical
for use in the laboratory.

Before the participants began the laboratory activity, a
graduate student who works in the laboratory on a regular
basis delivered a 5-10 minute safety talk in the hallway outside
of the laboratory. Most students were familiar with common
laboratory rules from high school laboratories, such as no eat-
ing or drinking in the laboratory. We reminded them of these
basic rules and gave a brief overview of the safety concerns
specific to our laboratory, such as the presence of bacteria
and toxic chemicals. The graduate student also explained the
meaning of the hazard signs posted on the door.
Upon entering the laboratory, students put on personal
protective equipment (safety glasses, laboratory coat, and
gloves) and participated in a safety demonstration on ap-
propriate techniques for donning and removing gloves.[1191 To
keep the experience interesting, shaving cream was used as a
mock contaminant.1201 Participants attempted to remove "con-
taminated" gloves without spreading the shaving cream onto
themselves or other students. Variants of this exercise include
using different mock contaminants such as UV fluorescent
powders and creams, which are sold commercially under
the GloGermTM and GermBLINGTM brands, respectively.1211
Mastering the glove-removal technique was not required for
safe completion of the lab; however, we used this exercise to
teach students about mammalian cell culture, a different facet
of tissue engineering in which removing gloves properly is im-
portant in controlling the spread of bloodbomrne pathogens.t191
By leading this safety technique, participants were exposed
to the real-life safety skills that a tissue engineer uses on a
daily basis.

Before beginning the activity, participants were given
5-10 minutes to read through the laboratory background and
procedures. Also, students were asked to form groups of 2-5
participants and pick a team name. In the laboratory activity,
Chemical Engineering Education

participants performed a colorimetric assay that measured
the soluble amount of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a major
component of cartilage.'22' The handout explained that when
the dye and GAGs react, the color of the solution changes from
blue to a purple or pink color (see Figure 2). [171 The students
were asked to use this reaction to determine the concentrations
of two unknown solutions and were given six standard solu-
tions of known concentrations to create a calibration curve.

This laboratory requires the use of 500 pL capacity pipettes
and 20 pL capacity pipettes. One of each pipette is required for
a group of 2-5 students. This laboratory also requires the use
of one plate reader (or cuvette reader, see Variations section)
and a balance. The directions below assume that a balance,
pipettes, and plate reader or cuvette reader are already present
in the laboratory. Additional materials and estimated prices
for a group of three students are shown below:
Pipette tips
Approximately two 500 ,IL capacity tips andfive
20 ,iL capacity tips for each student
Example products: VWR 83007-376 and VWR
Estimated cost: $0.23 per student
Microcentrifuge tubes to hold standard and unknown
Eight 1.5 mL tubes per group
Example product: VWR 14231-062
Estimated cost: $0.19 per student
Reservoirs to hold reagent and water
Two reservoirs per group
Example product: VWR 89094-676
Estimated cost: $0.36 per student
1,9-dimethylmethylene blue (DMB) reagent (0.04 mM
1,9-dimethylmethylene blue dye, 0.04 Mglycine, 0.04
MNaCI, and 0.01 MHCI in water. Mix with a stir bar
Approximately 10 mLper group
Example products: Sigma 341088, Sigma G8898,
VWR MK758106, Sigma 258148
Estimated cost: $0.75for 500 mL, less than $0.01
per student
Chondroitin sulfate
Approximately 0.5 mL of each standard or un-
known in one microcentrifuge tube for a group.
Example product: Sigma C4384
Estimated cost: $0.15for 1 mg, less than $0.01 per
Optically transparent 96-well plates and a plate
One plate per group
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

In particular, we found that

including YouTube videos of traumatic joint

injuries captured the

participants' attention.

Example product: VWR 15705-066
Estimated cost: $0.95 per student
Approximately two pairs for each student
Example product: VWR 40101
Estimated cost: $0.75 per student
The cost of the laboratory is estimated to be about $2.50
per student. To initially purchase all reagents and materials,
the cost is expected to be $615 or less. All materials were
purchased separately and assembled.

Before the laboratory activity
Volunteers prepared the DMB reagent and the chondroitin
sulfate standard and unknown solutions for all participants.
Any chondroitin sulfate concentrations in the linear range
may be used for standard solutions, but we found that chon-
droitin sulfate concentrations of 0, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 40 jg/
mL worked well for a calibration curve. A stock solution of
chondroitin sulfate was made by dissolving chondroitin sul-
fate in water, and the standards were made by serial dilution.
We also chose one unknown concentration within the calibra-
tion curve (e.g., 20 pg/mL) and one unknown concentration
outside of the curve (e.g., 60 gig/mL) for the participants to
analyze. The unknown solution whose concentration lay
outside of the standard curve was used to spark discussion at
the end of the activity. Before the activity, a graduate student
tested the assay to ensure all solutions were made properly.

During the laboratory activity
After reviewing the laboratory handout, participants formed
groups of 2-5 people. The volunteers gave a short tutorial on
using a micropipette and had each group member practice
her technique using water. We found that it was important to
teach the participants how to pipette properly because pipet-
ting error was a significant source of variation in the results.
All groups were given the following experimental procedure:
1) Add 20 tuL of each GAG standard (samples A-F) to a
96-well plate in duplicate or triplicate. Mark the loca-
tion of your samples on your plate map. Do the same
with your unknown samples.
2) Add 250 ,uL of DMB reagent to each well. Be careful
to not bring liquid from one well into another well.
3) Measure the absorbance of each sample at 525 nm in
the plate reader immediately after adding the reagent
to the samples.

4) Record the data in
the plate map or .
the plate orp ore Unknown concentrations
print your results.
Volunteers and participants Participant
discussed the number of rep- Values
licates and how to set up the (/g/mL)
plate maps. Participants were Unknown 1 6,14,16,
encouraged to split the work 17.5,19,22,
equally but decided amongst _______ 26.5
themselves how to distribute Unknown 2 1,32,45,
the work. Volunteers guided 49,60,77,
the participants through the ________ 100
activity and were available
to answer any questions. The
student groups filled out plate maps, added samples to the
appropriate wells, and then added the DMB reagent. Next, a
volunteer led the group to the plate reader, and the volunteer
took the absorbance data with the machine. The volunteer
explained how the machine works while the data was being
collected. The students were provided with a printout of the
data, which consisted of absorbance values for each well.
This activity could easily be completed with the use of a
cuvette reader instead of a plate reader. Larger volumes can
be used, and fewer replicates and samples can be analyzed. In
addition, if a laboratory cannot accommodate a large number
of participants, laboratory access can be staggered, and par-
ticipants not conducting the laboratory activity can work on
the calculations section of the handout. Finally, this laboratory
activity can be adjusted to be appropriate for undergraduate
students by: increasing the difficulty of the calculations, hav-
ing students make their own standard solutions, and providing
less guidance than provided to high school students.

The calculations section of the handout, which introduces
material balances, can be performed before or after the labora-
tory activity. In the calculations section, the handout described
how the standard solutions were made.171 The participants
were asked to calculate the concentration of the 40 gig/mL
solution by performing a material balance. The remaining con-
centrations of the standard solutions were calculated based on
a simple dilution series. To simplify the calculations, all unit
conversions were provided for the participants. Originally, a
material balance was used to calculate the concentration of
each standard solution; however, we discovered that students
found too many calculations to be frustrating and that one
calculation still taught participants how to perform a mate-
rial balance.
Students completed the discussion section of the handout
after the laboratory activity. Participants were asked what
shape their standard curve was and what the concentrations
of the unknown samples were. Scaffolding provided by

estimated by participants compared to typical graduate student
results and actual values.
Graduate Student Values Actual
(___________g/mL)________ Values
Average Standard Deviation Replicates (,ug/mL)

21 1.9 3 20

61 4.8 3 60

the volunteers indicated that the students should plot the
absorbance readings vs. the known concentrations of the
standard solutions, draw a best-fit line through these points,
and use the standard curve to determine the concentrations
of the unknown samples. Table 3 shows the range of values
participants estimated for the unknown samples. Compared
to a typical graduate student, participants often had a larger
variance in data, which was largely due to pipetting errors.
For participants who had particularly poor data, it was nec-
essary to implement additional scaffolding such as sugges-
tions to remove an outlying data point. These discussions
also presented a learning opportunity when the student was
not familiar with the concept of an outlier. During the group
discussion of the results, the values obtained by each group
and the actual values were written on a white board. We
used this as a starting point to discuss what to do with the
unknown concentration that was outside of the standard curve.
Volunteers explained that because the curve may not remain
linear, values outside of a standard curve often are not trusted.
Participants were encouraged to think of methods to improve
their data, including the use of additional standard solutions
or diluting the unknown sample.
Discussion questions also included asking the participants
to comment on how much variation occurred in their data
and potential sources of variation. Participants were asked to
comment on the accuracy of their estimates and what could
be done to improve their results. Finally, participants were
asked to think of other measurements that would be impor-
tant to perform when developing a fully functional cartilage

We distributed a post-survey to the participants at the end
of the activity. To assess whether students' knowledge about
engineering changed as a result of participating in the activ-
ity, the post-survey included the same statements as the pre-
survey. The post-survey also included statements addressing
the panel discussion, the hands-on laboratory, and the data
analysis and calculations (see Table 4). Additional statements
assessed the students' perceptions of the session. In 2011, we
Chemical Engineering Education

Post-survey results show the satisfaction with the activity
and indicate areas for improvement.
Question Average Standard Deviation Number of Responses
I enjoyed the panel discussion during this session. 4.3 0.8 66
I enjoyed the hands-on lab component of this session. 4.6 0.6 66
I enjoyed the data analysis and calculations component of this session. 3.2 1.0 65
The lab instructors were helpful in increasing my understanding of the 4.3 0.8 66
The lab instructors increased my interest in the material presented. 4.0 0.9 66
In the future, I am more likely to take classes related to tissue engineering 3.2 0.9 46
because of this session.
In the future, I am more likely to take classes related to chemical engineer- 4.0 0.9 47
ing because of this session.
I would recommend this session to a friend. 4.0 0.7 66
Overall, I enjoyed participating in this session. 4.4 0.6 66

added two statements related to students' interest in taking
classes related to chemical engineering or tissue engineering.
The post-survey also contained four open-ended questions
that allowed the students to articulate their feelings about the
session, what they learned, and suggestions for improvement.
Both the pre- and post-surveys provided valuable feedback
to continuously improve the activity each year.

Results from the pre- and post-surveys are shown in Tables
2 and 4. Data were collected in 2010, 2011, and 2012 with
two sessions being held per year. The average and standard
deviation were calculated by pooling data from all years. It
should be noted that in 2011, three questions were added to
the surveys, which were, "I think chemical engineering is a
profession where you get the opportunity to help people," "In
the future, I am more likely to take classes related to tissue
engineering because of this session," and "In the future, I am
more likely to take classes related to chemical engineering
because of this session." Because those questions were only
asked in 2011 and 2012, the number of respondents was lower
for those survey questions.
Table 2 directly compares the results from the pre- and post-
surveys. The activity appeared to achieve the goal of educating
students about what chemical engineers do because students
increased their agreement with the statement "I understand what
chemical engineers do." A similar result was seen in response
to the statement "I think chemical engineering is a profession
where you get the opportunity to help people." The responses to
these two statements suggest that the activity achieved its goal
of increasing student awareness about chemical engineering
and the opportunities to help people as a chemical engineer.
We believe these are important results because women are
more attracted to professions where there is social impact.3'51
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

After the activity, interest in chemical engineering appeared
to increase, with 30% strongly agreeing with the statement
"I am interested in chemical engineering." We also note that
students seemed to form stronger opinions after the activity;
their responses shifted away from neutral or agree to disagree
or strongly agree. A very similar result was achieved with the
statement "I see chemical engineering as a desirable career
option." One potential explanation for the shift is that the
activity provided students with the information they needed to
make stronger opinions about the profession. After the activ-
ity, many students may have learned that they really enjoyed
chemical engineering whereas others may have learned that
chemical engineering was not as suitable for them as they
previously thought. After the activity, stronger opinions also
appeared to form about the statement "I am interested in tis-
sue engineering."
Table 4 shows additional post-survey results that provide
insight into how participants feel about different aspects of
the activity. Participants indicated that the data analysis and
calculations were the least enjoyable part of the activity.
This dislike was also reflected in the written responses to
the question "What did you like least about this session?"
Many participants listed the calculations or graphing as their
least favorite aspect. Future efforts will be made to make the
calculations portion more engaging for the students. One
potential alternative is to physically demonstrate how the
standard is made and to ask questions and do calculations
along the way. Another potential improvement is to add an
open-ended design element to the laboratory and focus less
on the calculations. For example, based on their results and
information given to them in the handout, students could be
asked to brainstorm different implant designs.
Participants also gave low responses to the statements about
taking classes in chemical and tissue engineering. Students
may genuinely have felt that they had no interest in taking

more classes in the subject. Students also may have been
thinking about high school classes, however, and it is unlikely
that their high schools offer the opportunity to take engineer-
ing classes. In the future, we plan to specifically describe what
classes students can take in high school to help them learn
more skills a chemical or tissue engineer might need. We
expect this will improve the responses to these statements.
Not surprisingly, students responded positively to the state-
ment "I enjoyed the hands-on laboratory component of this
session." Their enjoyment was reflected in the participants'
written responses to the question "What did you like most
about the session?" Many participants listed the laboratory
in their response.
We found that participants generally liked the panel discus-
sion. Many students actively participated and asked questions.
The panel was included in the participants' written response
about what they liked most about the session. Based on the
survey results, we recommend that if alterations are made
to the activity, the panel discussion should remain a part of
the activity.
The survey also indicated that the participants felt the in-
structors were helpful. Given that the volunteers provided a
significant amount of scaffolding to the students, this result
is not surprising. The individual interactions provided more
personal opportunities for students to ask questions about
the material, about chemical engineering, or about college in
general. We plan to ensure this interaction remains a major
portion of the lab in the future. The survey also indicated that
the students generally enjoyed participating in the session.
In conclusion, the survey data indicate that the goal of
educating participants about the chemical engineering pro-
fession was met. Participants left the activity knowing more
about chemical engineering and that chemical engineers
help people. This knowledge appeared to help them form
stronger opinions about their career interests. Participants
generally liked the activity, especially the hands-on portion
in the laboratory. Thus, this activity was helpful in providing
female students the information necessary for them to make
educated career choices.

This work was supported by the Women in Engineering Pro-
gram (WIEP) at Purdue University and the National Science
Foundation (Award No. 0927100-EEC). We thank Jennifer
Groh for providing the WIEP camp schedules and for helpful
discussions. We also thank all graduate and undergraduate
student volunteers who helped to successfully organize and
implement this activity.

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Chemical Engineering Education


Ie.] classroom
-- -_______________



1. University of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand
2. Lincoln University Lincoln, New Zealand

understanding the design and operation of a complex
chemical process facility is difficult and requires the
integration of various types of interrelated informa-
tion. Figure 1 shows some of the different ways a complex
facility may be represented; other ways include financial,
control strategies, health/safety philosophy, and time. The
university environment is optimized for teaching some of
these areas (fundamentals, control, and design theory) but
site visits and internships are an important complement to the
classroom environment to help put theory into context and
improve students' understanding of complexity and scale.
Field trips are thus a pivotal part of chemical engineering
education. Although the benefits to the curriculum of such
trips are often debated, research has shown that students have
improved retention of practical knowledge on various sub-
jects when it is backed up by visits to physical locations.'l3-1
With on-site access limited due to accessibility, safety,
product quality, and intellectual property, it is increasingly
difficult for students to engage directly with industrial sites.
Internships/summer work, by their nature, are unique to each

Figure 1. Areas of information that contribute to the
understanding of a complex facility.

student and therefore do not provide the collective breadth
of the industrial environment during the students' academic
training. A lack of industry exposure leads to deficiencies in
the students' understanding of the design and operation of
complex process systems.
Improved Web technologies allow the creation of new forms
of active learning that successfully connect students and learn-
ing.'6' YouTube Fridays have proven to be an effective way
to engage the current generation of students .73 The current

Alfred Herritsch is a research associate with the Chemical and Process
Engineering Department at the University of Canterbury He received his
M.S. degree from the Technical University Graz, Austria, and his Ph.D.
degree from the University of Canterbury, both in chemical and process
engineering. His current research interests are in e-learning and process
technologies. He is currently developing the virtual training environment
for the milk powder production process.
Elmn Abdul Rahim is a Ph.D. student in the applied computing group,
Lincoln University. She received her B.IT(Hons) from Multimedia University,
Malaysia and PG.Dip. from Lincoln University all in information technology
Her current research interests are in human computer interaction mainly
on spatial knowledge acquisition in VR, usability, and multimedia learning.
Conan J. Fee is a professor with the Chemical and Process Engineering
Department at the University of Canterbury. He received his B.E. degree
and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Canterbury, both in chemical
and process engineering. He is also co-director of the multi-disciplinary
Biomolecular Interaction Centre and his current research interests lie in
protein modification (mainly protein PEGylation), protein chromatography,
and biomolecular interactions.
Ken R. Morison is an associate professor with the Chemical and Process
Engineering Department at the University of Canterbury He received
his B.E degree from the University of Canterbury and his Ph.D. degree
from Imperial College, University of London, all in chemical and process
engineering. His current research involves dairy process engineering.
Peter A Gostomski is head of the Chemical and Process Engineering
Department at the University of Canterbury. He received his B.S. at Penn
State University and his M.S. and Ph.D degrees at Rensselaer Polytech-
nic Institute, in chemical engineering. His current research interests are
educational software and bioprocess engineering.

Copyright ChE Division ofASEE 2013

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

generation is also referred to as "Digital Natives" and their at-
traction to gadgets is well recognized.181 This susceptibility can
be used to engage technology-savvy students and can improve
their academic achievements.E9g For example, Wiki technol-
ogy implemented in a capstone design course improved the
communication between group members and lecturers.[10] The
increasing processing capacity of desktop computer systems
allows the implementation of simulation studies into tradi-
tional engineering science education. The traditional division
of engineering education into experimental and theoretical
studies is now completely outdated and virtual laboratories are
being implemented in the classroom to either assist or replace
"hands-on" laboratory experiments .[1-14] Safety education is
an important topic in process engineering but it has proven
to be a difficult area in which to stimulate students' interest.
One reason is thought to be the significant amounts of study
material involved. Therefore, an animated software module
has been developed to teach the HAZOP safety technique to
chemical engineering students in Hong Kong.[15'
Another example is the "virtualization" of entire process
plants, allowing students to gain insight into the structure, be-
havior, and performance of complex engineered systems. The
first of this kind of immersive learning environment is based
on BP's crude distillation unit in Brisbane, Australia.116, 11
The foundation of the environment is a series of viewing nodes
using high-resolution, spherical photography. The individual
nodes use a 360- X 180-degree panorama image, allowing the
user to move through the plant while rotating, zooming, and
interacting with specific unit operations (hot spots). A number
of activities are provided, including a guided, narrated tour
through the facility and interactive programs for reviewing
pump isolation procedures, personal protective equipment,
and distillation-phase behavior. A process flowsheet is also
available that includes the major product streams. Certain
process flow diagrams (PFD) are accompanied by their pip-
ing and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs). This software
framework is being adopted for a variety of processes, and
applications under development include a methanol synthesis
plant and a water treatment facility.,18,191
The increasing availability of such educational aids in sci-
ence education raises the question of their impact on learning
outcomes. This question has been investigated in the area of
computer simulation in science education and it has been
shown that the use of computer simulations to replace or
enhance traditional lectures has a positive impact on learning
outcomes .[20,21]
Apart from that, studies on the use of virtual reality applica-
tions such as "virtual" field trips have also provided promising
results. Several studies comparing both physical field trips
and virtual field trips found that there is no significant differ-
ence in the achievements of the students in both groups .[22,23]
Although this suggests a promising future for virtual field
trips, students, however, do not prefer virtual field trips as


replacements of a physical one but consider the virtual real-
ity (VR) application to be useful as a preparation tool for
physical field trips.24-27]
This paper compares the application's impact on learning
outcomes to that of traditional course material in an intro-
ductory design course. The learning-style preferences of
the individual students are also assessed and are utilized to
rationalize the findings. Further survey results are included
for a case study with a different group of students where the
immersive learning application is used to create a virtual field
trip in a classroom environment.

There are strong rationales for developing immersive
learning tools:
Such tools expose students to complex systems earlier
and more regularly in their academic career, thereby
engaging them and improving academic focus and thus
completion rates.
Students require a certain level of practical training
but practical placements outside the tertiary education
provider are limited and of quite variable quality and
context. Taking students on site visits can be difficult
to arrange and is a large time commitment for both
students and staff, especially if the teaching institute is
remote from appropriate process industry.
Immersive learning techniques can represent information
that is impossible to experience in real-world training
situations and give students a greater understanding of
complex processes.
Students have the opportunity to explore the process
plant at their own pace of learning.
The use of these tools will enable students to have educa-
tional experiences that they could not gain by visiting a real
workplace or by undertaking practical training.
A Fonterra milk powder production facility provides the
content for the immersive learning application in this paper.
Fonterra is a New Zealand multinational dairy co-operative
owned by almost 10,500 New Zealand farmers. Fonterra Co-
operative Group Limited is New Zealand's largest company
with an annual revenue of NZ$ 16.7 billion.1281 In the produc-
tion of skim milk powder, raw milk is pasteurized and the
cream is removed. The remaining skim milk is concentrated
in evaporators under vacuum at low temperatures. The con-
centrated milk is then atomized into hot air to further reduce
the water content and form dry milk particles. Depending
on the milk composition, about 10 kg of milk powder can
be produced from 100 litres of milk. The specific facility
described here is capable of producing 10,000 to 14,000 kg of
milk powder per hour. Due to its large scale, stringent hygiene
and safety conditions, compact nature, and the diversity of
process units involved, this facility is an ideal candidate for
an immersive virtual learning environment.

Chemical Engineering Education

Due to the rapid development of Web-based technology,
new learning applications increasingly showcase the capa-
bilities of new technologies rather than being based around a
validated educational theory. For this application, the develop-
ment principles for educational multimedia are followed.129'301
These principles are derived from the cognitive load theory,
which is based on the assumption that individuals possess a
maximum processing capacity for information through learn-
ing channels. Exceeding the threshold capacity overloads the
user, which in turn hinders the absorption of information .J291
The main principles followed in the development are: [29,301
Multiple representation principle: Explanations in the
form of a combination of words and pictures are more
effective than words or pictures alone.
Contiguity principle: Simultaneous presentation of
words and pictures works better than presentation in
Spatial contiguity principle: Closer proximities of text
and image enhance the learning outcome.
Personalization effect: Deeper learning can be achieved
by conversational-style text rather than formal-style
Adobe Flash is chosen as the delivery platform for this
immersive learning application. Adobe Flash (formerly Mac-
romedia Flash) is a multimedia platform frequently used as a
tool to run "Rich Internet Applications" that have similar char-
acteristics to desktop applications but are delivered through
Internet browsers, via a browser plug-in. Adobe Flash Player
is currently the most common plug-in, with a penetration rate
of 96% of Internet-enabled desktops as of March 2011 .[311
To avoid browser compatibility issues, the cross-platform
runtime environment Adobe AIR hosts the application.1321
The immersive learning application tightly integrates four
different "views" of the process plant that can be viewed
simultaneously on the screen or in various combinations:
Over 50 360- X 180-degree panorama photographs
document the process from the tanker reception to the
packaging of the milk powder.
A text description of the relevant portion of the process
accompanies each panoramic photograph.
Detailed PFDs and P&IDs support the images and
allow a deeper understanding of the process from an
engineering perspective.
Detailed 3-D technical drawings of the overall plant,
the spray dryer, and the evaporators are used as
"geographic" maps and create the links between the
process engineering representations and the panorama
photographs. These models also help students to gain
a spatial awareness of the environment that otherwise
may be limited due to the node-to-node navigation
within the confined building. A model person is also
added to the 3-D models to provide the students with
the sense of scale of the actual unit operations in

the building. The 3-D drawings include the main unit
operations and the piping for the main process streams,
better linking the PFD and P&ID to the drawings.
The application framework hosts several inter-linked mod-
ules. Once the application is started, the "Home" screen is dis-
played where the student has access to background information
and an introduction on how to navigate through the application.
From the "Home" window, the user enters the main part of the
application via a button click. The main part of the application
is referred to as the plant virtual environment and contains the
four labeled windows: "Info Panel," "Pano Viewer," "Process
Flow Diagram," and the "3-D Map" (Figure 2).
The "Info Panel" enables the student to follow a virtual tour
through the milk powder plant from the tanker reception to
packing. This tour contains 18 of the most significant nodes. A
node is a specific location in the plant that was photographed as
a 360 panoramic view. The "Info Panel" contains basic infor-
mation about the nodes, identifies areas of interest (hot spots),
and provides a link to the appropriate P&ID. The panoramic
view is located in the top right panel. In the "Pano Viewer"
window, the panoramic view can be rotated and zoomed in/out
via a mouse or a touchpad. In addition, the size of the panel can
be increased to enlarge the photograph. The bottom left panel
contains PFDs of the process. Depending on the current position
within the virtual tour, the bottom right panel contains either
a 3-D model of the entire plant, the evaporator, or the spray
dryer. Green highlighted camera symbols are displayed on the
PFD and 3-D model to indicate the position of the currently
displayed photograph in the "Pano Viewer."

Figure 2. The plant virtual environment displaying the
different representations of the milk powder plant. The
mouse is hovering over the "tanker reception" hyperlinked
text in the info panel in the upper-left quadrant causing the
tanker reception in the photograph to be highlighted light
gray. The node location is denoted by the camera in the two
lower quadrants.

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

As shown in Figure 2, the design principles for mul-
timedia are closely followed by explaining the milk
powder production with a combination of text, images,
and engineering representations. The personalization ef-
fect is achieved by conveying the informational text in
conversational manner, similar to a tour guide showing
a real plant. Following cognitive load theory, to avoid an
over-loading of the cognitive memory, a simplified process
flow diagram is displayed initially and the more complex
P&IDs are excluded from the "Plant VR." The darker-gray
highlighted camera symbol creates the important cogni-
tive bridge between the individual representations. The
cognitive bridge for the text representation is achieved by
hyperlinking text with highlighted areas in the photograph.
This feature is invoked by hovering the mouse cursor over
an underlined text area within the "Info Panel" window,
which in turn rotates the light-gray highlighted hot spot
into view (Figure 2). The highlighted area disappears once
the mouse cursor is removed from the hyperlink area.
The student navigates through the tour by clicking the left
(backwards) or right (forward) arrows, located in the "Info
Panel," which updates the text, displays the new panoramic
view, and highlights the new camera symbols within the
"Process Flow Diagram" and "3-D Map" windows. The user
is able to leave the pre-defined tour and directly jump to the
node of interest by clicking on the gray camera symbols in the
PFD. Hovering the mouse cursor over a PFD camera symbol
displays a tooltip and a white camera symbol is shown in the
"3-D Map," indicating the physical location in the plant. This
feature assists the user in selecting the next node of interest
(Figure 3). More screen space can be allocated to the "3-D
Map" window, allowing for a larger display of the 3-D draw-
ing. In addition, the 3-D drawings can be rotated via a slider
located below the drawing (Figure 3).
The student gains access to the P&ID either by clicking
on the current P&ID button located in the "Info Panel" or by
clicking on the P&ID button in the main panel. The second
option starts the P&ID selector, which assists the students
in choosing the correct P&ID by displaying a detailed PFD
containing active buttons linking to the corresponding P&IDs.
The entire process is represented by 17 P&IDs and to reduce
the complexity of an individual diagram, the user can view
or hide service lines such as CIP (clean-in-place), vacuum,
air, and water, which is another important implementation
of cognitive load theory. Figure 4 shows a screenshot of
part of the dryer P&ID, with the air stream enabled. On the
right-hand side additional services can be accessed, such as
the drop-down selector for P&IDs, the explanations for ab-
breviations, and the interactive legend. Hovering the mouse
cursor over an equipment symbol reveals its technical name.
More detailed information is displayed in a pop-up window
via a mouse click. This detailed information can contain text,
detailed drawings and animations, or videos.

During the application's development period, several studies
were performed to test the user interaction, to evaluate possible
areas of use, and to compare the application's impact on learning
outcomes to that of traditional course material.

The undergraduate program in the Department of Chemical
and Process Engineering at the University of Canterbury is
a four-year program that currently enrolls approximately 60
students per year. To investigate the immersive learning pack-
age's impact on learning and to identify weaknesses, a 3rd-year

--. -,,. tl[J
Evaporatom- NVR
WWe'eRGVc e, 3. r~oa" r ,eI r
conrenu-'-ale me mrk Tie meairarMcl .&pOtI
redpmi,y .. p VR, .R sr t an I-n cras A lThe

oFigurl e 3. Screenshot of the node preview feature. The
mouse gis hovering Sover a different node in the PFD panel
ft,,a~orao Tnls enat.,1 s I0, 4 w'a orar n w caf
,no w on, vr$ wh% le mprmal energy tS103nm I aurorg
i 'wucbo. Thus tmere c. no ado-.brial amat to
I b~e conck-.sed

Figure 3. Screenshot of the node preview feature. The
mouse is hovering over a different node in the PFD panel
that indicates the location of that node by the white high-
lighted camera symbol in the 3-D diagram.

Figure 4. Screenshot of the part of dryer P&ID with the air
process stream option enabled (shown in gray).

Chemical Engineering Education

introductory course on process
engineering design provided C
the testing environment. The
course covers heat exchanger Cohort n
design, risk reduction tech-
niques, basics on material Conventional 60
science, and an introduction Multimedia 60
Multimedia 60
to the UniSimTM and SuperPro Tt 1
Designer' process simulation Total 120
packages. Students attending
this course have a basic knowledge of process engineering
and are accustomed to self-study.
An assignment contributing 10% to the total mark of the
course was thought to provide the right incentive for the
students. For the task, the class was divided into two evenly
distributed grade point average (GPA) cohorts to allow a
statistical comparison. The GPA calculated was the average
of each student's course grades from the previous year.
During the second semester of 2011,62 students completed
the assignment. The two cohorts received different sets of
course material and had one week to study. At the end of
the week, the students took a closed-book test, duration of
one-and-a-half hours. The course material for cohort "Mul-
timedia" consisted of the immersive learning application
with reduced information (only containing 18 nodes). The
application was installed on a server and could be launched
from desktop computers located in two computer suites.
Only students from cohort "Multimedia" were given com-
puter rights to launch the application. The course material
for cohort "Conventional" was a 35-page document derived
from the modified immersive learning application. The text
information consisted of the information found in the "Info"
panels and the more detailed information from the interactive
legends. PFD and P&IDs were modified and integrated into
the document. Photographs and animation material were not
included in the conventional course material. Upon starting
the assignment, the students were assembled and the task
was explained. Cohort "Conventional" received the paper
hand-outs and cohort "Multimedia" gained access to the
application along with a brief explanation of how to drive
the software. During the introductory session, the purpose of
the two cohorts was explained and students were asked only
to use the material given to them and not to share it. In ad-
dition, students were asked to keep track of their time spent
studying the material. Final grade scaling was performed to
adjust the two cohorts to enable fair student outcomes for
course assessment.
After the test, students were surveyed to assess their indi-
vidual learning style. A shortened version of the index learning
style questionnaire, adapted from Felder and Solomon,1331 was
used to identify visual or verbal learners. A visual learner is
someone who learns best from what they see (i.e., diagrams,
pictures, demonstrations, etc.) and a verbal learner learns best

comparison of assignment marks by cohort.
Mean Standard
Mean .
% Deviation Unpaired t-test results
[__] [%]____________
63 13 t-value 2.38
68 14 Significance (p) = 0.019
95% confidence interval: 1.0% to 10.5%
66 13

from written or spoken words. The questionnaire included an
adapted version of the USE questionnaire'341 to measure the
usability of the learning materials.
The text information within both packages was of a basic
nature with the aim of introducing the production of milk
powder to the students. P&IDs were not explained in detail. To
answer the research questions, Bloom's Taxonomy served as
the guideline for the development of the closed-book test ques-
tions. Bloom's Taxonomy is a classification of learning ob-
jectives for the cognitive domain involving six categories.J351
The test questions addressed the lower-order learning objec-
tives of knowledge and comprehension, as the course on
process engineering design was of introductory nature. In
addition, these questions allowed the establishment of an
unbiased marking base.
For the evaluation of the learning outcomes, the effect size
provides an indication of practical meaningfulness. [21,36-381 The
effect size factor used to quantify the differences between the
two cohorts was Cohen's d, which measured the difference
between means, based on their pooled standard deviations.[39]
The interpretation of Cohen's d effect size scores are:
< 0.2 small effect size
~ 0.5 medium effect size
> 0.8 large effect size
During the first semester of 2012, the study was repeated for
the same introductory course into process engineering design.
Fifty-eight students participated. The information content
stayed the same apart from minor grammar corrections.

A total of 120 students participated in the two studies. It
took the students an average of one hour to answer the ques-
tions in the closed-book test. The test questions were identical
for both studies.
The facts that neither the information nor the exam questions
were changed and that both cohorts inhabited comparable GPA
distributions enabled the combined analysis of the two studies.
Among third-year students participating in the studies, there
was a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between the
test marks of the two cohorts; see Table 1. Therefore, the null
hypothesis that there was no difference between the two

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013



C- C C+ B- B B+ A- A/A+

SMultimedia 9 Conventional

Figure 5. GPA-grouped assignment marks.

types of course materials was rejected. Further, Cohen's effect
size value (d=0.44) suggested a moderate practical significance.
Figure 5 shows the combined averaged marks and correspond-
ing standard deviations according to the students' grouped GPAs,
for both studies. For each GPA group, the combined average
marks are higher for the Multimedia Cohort than for the Con-
ventional Cohort.
On average, the Multimedia students reported studying the
application for approximately 5.4 hours, whereas Conventional
students studied approximately 1 hour longer. Twenty percent
of the students did not answer or gave an invalid answer to the
question on how long they studied the material. The unpaired
t-test (Table 2) results did not indicate a statistically significant
difference. The Cohen's d indicated a small to medium effect
(d=--0.34). In 2012, more students answered the question on
how much time the students spent studying the material, which
revealed a statistically significant difference between the two
cohorts in regards to the students' study time, shown in Table 3.
The index learning style (ILS) questionnaire identified that
S the majority of the students from both
groups were prone toward the visual di-

Comparison of assignment study times by cohort.
Mean Standard
Cohort n Deviation Unpaired t-test results
~_________[ ________ [%]__________
Conventional 52 6.3 3.0 t-value = 1.63
Multimedia 44 5.4 2.3 Significance (p) = 0.1073
Total 96 5.9 2.6 95% confidence interval: -2 to 0.2
Total 96 5.9 2.B

Conmnarison of assignment studv times, for the vear 2012. bv cohort.

..... r n.o.... .. .. .......... ...... the... ... 20... ... cohort
Cohort n Ma Deviation Unpaired t-test results
[h] [h]________________________
Conventional 25 7.6 3.2 t-value = 2.369
Multimedia 25 5.8 2.2 Significance (p) = 0.022
Total 50 6.7 2.7 95% confidence interval: -3.4 to -0.28 h

mension compared to the verbal dimen-
sion. Students with preferences toward
the verbal dimensions were expected
to perform better in the Conventional
group and students with preferences
toward the visual dimensions were
expected to perform better in the Mul-
timedia group. This hypothesis was
inconclusive (Table 4), possibly
due to the low number of students
with verbal-style preferences.

An ad
als (on a
Only re

Conventional Multimedia
Learning Style Preference Marks Standard Marks Standard
(mean) Deviation (mean) Deviation
Strong preferences VISUAL 64 14 16 70 11 13
Moderate preferences VISUAL 65 11 14 67 17 13
Mild preferences VISUAL 62 12 15 66 16 16
Mild preferences VERBAL 58 13 5 72 6 10
Moderate preferences VERBAL 68 17 3 67 18 5
Strong preferences VERBAL 63 1

apted version of the USE
nnaire1341 measured the
Sof the learning materi-
Sscale from 1 = Strongly
Sto 7 = Strongly Agree).
elated statements were
included in the
questionnaires. Due
to mistakes in the
2011 questionnaire,
only the data from
2012 was included
in the analysis. The
results showed that
the usability of the
Multimedia mate-
rial was rated higher
compared to the
Conventional mate-
rial (Table 5).

Chemical Engineering Education


Average test marks based on students' learning-style preference.

Nineteen fourth-year chemical
engineering students volunteered
to participate in this study. Ten of
them had recently attended a physi-
cal field trip and the remaining nine
did not attend. The trip did not
include a dairy plant. The students
were split into four groups where
two groups consisted of students
who attended the physical field
trip (five students for each group)
and the other two groups consisted
of students who did not attend the
physical field trip (group size of
five and four students).
For each group, a guide with
in-depth knowledge of the process
plant introduced the process and led
the participants through the virtual

1 2 3 4 5

I would like to see more use of similar
applications in university teaching.
It would be good to use the application as a way
of preparing me for a physical field trip.
It would be good to use the application as a
revision tool after the physical field trip.

I learned a lot from the application.

The application could be used in place of a
physical field trip.
* The application covers the same sort of things
as one would encounter during a field trip.

I No Field Trip Experience 1=Strongly Disagree 5=Strongly Agree
Field Trip Experience Not applicable for students without field trip experience.

Figure 6. Summary of the virtual field trip questionnaire.

tour. Similar to a physical field trip, the sessions were interac-
tive where both the students and the guide discussed what they
were seeing and exchanged questions and answers throughout
the session. Only the guide operated the application while
the students watched and listened to the explanations given
(average session time: 35 45 minutes).

At the end of the session the students were asked to fill in a
questionnaire. The results (Figure 6) suggest that the virtual
field trip could be used as an alternative for a physical field
trip where a physical site visit is not available, similar to
findings by Harrigton.1261
For the question "The application could be used in place
of a physical field trip," the responses received from students
who attended the physical were inclined toward disagreement
(Median = 2) compared to students who did not attend the
physical field trip (Median = 4). The main reasons for the
disagreement were social aspects (the fun factor, hanging
out with friends) and real-world experience (smell, noise,
dust) associated with a physical field trip, which cannot be
reproduced by the application. It was noted, however, that
noise and the inability to hear the tour guide inhibited learning
during physical field trips in some instances.

An immersive learning application has been developed for the
milk powder production process. The learning effect analysis
showed that learning outcomes can be improved by the immer-
sive learning application but that structured information must
be consistently implemented in the information delivery flow.

Results for the adapted USE questionnaire, 2012 data.
SCtgreConventional Multimedia
USE Categories (Median) (Median)
Usefulness 4.25 4.75
Ease of Use 4 5
Satisfaction 3.5 4.75

In case an actual field trip is not possible, the field trip study
showed that the application would be accepted as an adequate
replacement. Students from both groups of the field trip study
agreed that the application would be a good tool to be used as
a preparation (pre-) and a revision (post-) tool for a physical
field trip. They also agreed that the application was a good
learning tool and they would like to see more such applica-
tions in university teaching.
The learning effect analysis showed that learning outcomes
were improved by the immersive learning application. Mul-
timedia students not only performed better, the application
enabled the students to study more efficiently, according to
the statistical analysis for the study in the year 2012.
The increased performance of Multimedia in all the GPA
groups needs to be investigated further, both to determine
its statistical significance and to identify possible causes, for
example taking into account the learning-style preference of
test groups.

The authors would like to thank Fonterra Co-operative
Group Limited and its staff for their cooperation in permitting

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

access to the production facility and reviewing the technical
details. We also thank Professor Ian Cameron, University of
Queensland, for his contributions to the project. This work
has been supported by the New Zealand Tertiary Education
Commission (ESI 920: Immersive Learning through Virtual

This software package is intended to be used freely in uni-
versity environments. For further information please contact
the Chemical and Process Engineering Department at the
University of Canterbury (

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Chemical Engineering Education

[L] laboratory

An Educational Laboratory Experiment



Victoria University Melbourne, Victoria 8001, Australia

currently there is enormous pressure to incorporate
safety education into the chemical engineering cur-
riculum and this article is dedicated to developing
understanding related to fire safety. Fire safety is a complex
issue that attracts much public concern and makes up the
majority of the requirements in building regulations. Build-
ings and infrastructures need to be designed against fire risk
to provide safety to the occupants and firefighters and in some
cases for property and business protection. To meet these
objectives, engineers require a knowledge of combustion,
fluid dynamics, fire development and propagation, heat and
mass transfer, steel structure in fire, etc.
Buildings usually consist of one or more enclosures. Fire
growth and development in an enclosure is primarily domi-
nated by ventilation and size and shape of the enclosure as well
as by the fuel itself (its amount, properties, and distribution).
Generally four components are required for sustained com-
bustion: (a) fuel to combust, (b) heat to initiate and maintain
combustion, (c) oxygen to act as an oxidizer, and (d) chemical
chain reactions to sustain the combustion. This is known as
the fire tetrahedron. Within an enclosure that has an opening
(means of ventilation), fire will travel toward the source of
oxygen, in this case toward the opening. This behavior of fire
within an enclosure can be clearly observed within a deep
enclosure (high depth-to-height ratio) with a single opening
and it can be demonstrated and associated theories can be
elucidated to students by means of a laboratory experiment.
The importance of laboratory experiments in engineering
education has been extensively discussed in References 1
and 2. A total of 13 fundamental objectives of engineering
instructional laboratories were set by a colloquy organized in
San Diego, Calif., in January 2002.[31 The objectives covered
all three domains of learning-cognitive, psychomotor, and
affective-and to produce an effective engineer, it is vital
to expose students to these three domains.1] The laboratory
experiment proposed in this article is primarily aimed to
cover five of 13 objectives mentioned above-Models, Data
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

Analysis (cognitive), Safety, Creativity (affective), and Sen-
sory Awareness psychomotorr). It can be noted that in similar
disciplines (combustion, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, etc.),
a number of laboratory experiments can also be found in the
literature .(4-61
The intention of the proposed experiment is to observe the
effects of restricted ventilation on the motion of a fire over the
fuel packages, and to allow observation of the concentrations
of fuel within the enclosure with the elapsed time. This type of
test can assist with the assessment of the severity of exposure
experienced by structural members to the fire within the enclo-
sure and at different locations and times. This understanding
can be used to devise strategies to protect structures in case
of fire. In addition, this experiment illustrates the triumvirate
of heat transfer mechanisms-conduction, convection, and
radiation-that occur during real fires. These mechanisms
relate to rise in temperature on the one hand, in combustible
solids and liquids leading to flame spread through heating,
pyrolysis/ evaporation, and ignition, and on the other hand
in structural members leading to reduction in their strength.

To evaluate fire severity there is a crucial empirical equation
used to determine the mass flow rate of air into a fully devel-
oped fire in an enclosure. This mass flow rate is required to
estimate the maximum heat release rate (HRR) of a potential
Khalid Moinuddin is a senior lecturer at Victoria
University's Centre for Environmental Safety
and Risk Engineering (CESARE) where he co-
ordinates and teaches post-graduate courses
in fire safety engineering. He received a Ph.D.
in mechanical engineering (fluid dynamics)
from the University of Melbourne. He has con-
ducted numerous research projects on various
aspects of turbulent fluid motion, fire growth
and development within compartments and
their modeling, behavior of steel construction in
fire, and reliability of various fire safety systems.

Copyright ChE Division of ASEE 2013

Figure 1 (right). A
schematic representation
of typical ventilation-
controlled fire in terms of
HRR vs. time.81

Figure 2 (below). Schematic
diagram of the test set-up
and location of the thermo-

ventilation-controlled fire. The HRR (expressed in W, kW, or
MW) is generally regarded as the most important parameter
in a fire because it represents its severity. A fully developed
fire is one for which the HRR reaches a maximum. Figure 1
shows three distinct stages of typical ventilation-controlled
fire: growth, fully developed, and decay. In a real fire, espe-
cially with liquid pool fire, the growth period is very short; a
quick transition (known as flashover) to the fully developed
stage occurs. At this stage, the fire is essentially controlled
by available ventilation through openings and approaches a
steady state (as shown in Figure 1). This is the most significant
stage as the fire severity is maximum during this period. In
this situation, large amounts of unbumrnt fuel flow out of the
enclosure, in the form of a gas layer through the upper portion
of an opening. This gas might also be burning. At the same
time, cool, ambient air is drawn into the enclosure in the lower
portion of the opening, under the hot gas layer.


The classical equation for the mass flow rate into the enclo-
sure is stated in Eq. (1) in which C is an empirical constant
0.4 to 0.61 kg.s'l.m5/2, dependent on the discharge coefficient
of the openingM7T and is normally taken to be 0.5 kg.s-1 .m5/2,
A0 is the area of the opening (m2), and H0 is the height of the
opening (m):
rh. =CA0FH- kg.s-' (1)
The HRR can be estimated from the consumption rate of
oxygen (02) and the energy released per kg of 02.
HRR =,02 (kg.s-')x Energyreleased (') (2)

If each kg of air contains 0.23 kg of 02 and all the 02 of
air that enters in the enclosure is consumed then (02) can be
obtained from the following relationship:
02 =0.23ha =0.23x0.5A0IH kg.s-' (3)

Chemical Engineering Education

---- Decay -- -----------


- F ,y developed-

-. Growth-- -


It has been empirically found that the consumption of each kg of 02 releases approximately 13
MJ of energy.E91 The theoretical HRR associated with an enclosure fire can be now be expressed as:
HRR,Rhooica, = 0.23x0.5 A0fH0 (kg.s-')x13(')=1.5lAo HMW (4)

To obtain the experimental value of the HRR (assuming a steady state fire with negligible
growth and decay periods as is often the case for liquid fuels), Eq. (5) can be used:

HR experimnl

_ Volume of fuel [m3 ] x density[kg n-3 ] x calorific value[MJkg-' ] MW
burning duration [s]

Enclosures in buildings assume a wide variety of sizes and
shapes. Many rooms are found to be roughly cube shaped (e.g.,
length, height, and width are all similar magnitudes) in dif-
ferent types of accommodation. Eq. (1) was developed based
on the experimental study of fire in cubic shaped enclosures
where all fuels burned simultaneously. In many buildings,
however, the spaces can be very wide, long, or both, in com-
parison to their height. If, in a fire situation, they are ventilated
only from one side, then the depth-to-height ratio can be quite
highf10 (up to ~20 in open-floorplan offices).
To understand the behavior of a flame front and its move-
ment across the fuel package located within deep enclosures,
this experiment is designed to be conducted in a prototype
enclosure. As the structural members in a building are exposed
to heat during a fire, evidence of all three types of heat trans-
fer processes (conduction, convection, and radiation) will be
demonstrated as well.

Figure 3. Incense sticks are placed to assist the
observation of the behavior of air currents moving in and
out of the opening.


Within an enclosure
that has an opening
(means of ventila-
tion) ,fire will travel
toward the: source
-of ox.ygen....

The enclosure used for this experiment is 1.5 m long, 0.3 m
wide, and 0.3 m high and is primarily constructed of sheet steel.
One 0.3m X 0.3m side of the enclosure (Figure 2) is used as
the opening (to enable air flow inside the container since fire re-
quires oxygen to bum). The other sides are completely enclosed.
To assist observation, one 1.5 m X 0.3 m side is constructed
of fire-resistant glass to allow details of the fire behavior to be
safely viewed. Fire-resistant glass is recommended as a safety
precaution as the inside gas temperature may rise above 800 C.
Five fuel trays are placed within the enclosure, as shown
in Figure 2. The fuel trays are 0.3 m X 0.25 m and are con-
structed of sheet steel. Each tray contains 500 ml of methyl-
ated spirit (calorific value 26', density 780 kg.m-3).
Type K thermocouples are placed just above the center of
each tray and 25 mm below the enclosure ceiling (numbers
T/C1 T/C5). Tray 3 has an additional air thermocouple (T/
C 11) located ~ 170mm below the roof and positioned toward
the glass wall. These thermocouples are used to record gas
temperatures. Additionally, one thermocouple is spot-welded
to the steel on the enclosure roof above each tray (numbered
T/C6 T/C10) and these are intended to measure the tem-
perature of the steel.
One 6 mm diameter steel rod is penetrated through the
middle of the longitudinal steel sidewall of the enclosure
which is ~150mm above the enclosure floor. Four thermo-
couples are spot welded to the rod, one (T/C12) being within
the enclosure, and the other three (T/C13- T/C15) outside.
Two thin steel plate targets are placed 25 mm apart at half
the longitudinal distance and 100 numm outside the glazed
wall of the enclosure, directly opposite to T/C 11. These are
directly exposed to the radiation caused by the burning fuel.
Of these two plates, one has insulated backing while the other
has been left exposed. One thermocouple is spot welded to
each of these plates: T/C 16 on the insulated plate and T/C 17
on the uninsulated plate. Thermocouple (T/C18) measures
the ambient temperature.
All thermocouple readings are recorded using a data-logger
at an interval of 5 seconds.
To assist the observation of the behavior of air currents
moving in and out of the opening, a number of incense sticks
at different heights (usually at 1/4 H0, 1/2 H0, and 2/3 H0)
from the enclosure floor are positioned as shown in Figure 3.

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

The sequence of events is to be recorded manually using
a stopwatch.

Job safety analysis
The instructor needs to apply project risk analysis (PRA)
first to ensure that the students have assessed the experiment's
safety aspects before igniting the fuel. A laboratory protocol
on risk assessment including a plant inspection checklist, and
materials' safety data sheets (MSDS) for its hazards should
be in place. The relevant laboratory protocols of the author's
laboratory111' can be obtained on request.
Based on an area tour and plant inspection, using the
checklist and reviewing the MSDS, students will assess the
hazards and risks of this experiment before it begins. This part
of risk assessment needs to be documented by the students.
This practice of risk-based approach will develop students'
awareness of safety.
During the experiment the ambient temperature should be
below 20 TC to avoid any flash flame movement. Above this
temperature (vapor pressure is 4 cm Hg or 0.0526 atmosphere
and lower flammability limit is 3% volume of air at 20 C),
flammable mixture is produced. If this guidance is not fol-
lowed, a flash fire may develop upon ignition that can blow

flame out of the open end of the enclosure and/or may shatter
the glass. For safety precaution, the students should be at least
2m away from the rig at the start of the test.

The trays are filled with fuel and placed within the enclosure
at least 15 minutes prior to ignition (allowing liquid to settle
down to avoid eye and skin injury of students from splashing
of liquid). The fuel is ignited in the rearmost tray (i.e.,Tray 5)
through a small hole, which needs to be closed immediately
after the ignition. An electronic match or gas lighter can be
used to ignite the fuel. The minimum ignition energy required
for methylated spirit is approximately 0.65 mJ.
The movement of the flame front needs to be carefully
observed. Initially the flame front will likely move quickly
from left to right (Figure 2) jumping from tray to tray estab-
lishing a fire in Tray 1 and subsequently slowly in the other
trays from right to left. The explanation can be obtained from
Reference 10. The times when jumping of the flames from
tray to tray during the rearward movement is observed should
be recorded using the stopwatch to observe the variability of
the burning duration over various trays. The incense sticks
should be placed after the flame front is established at the
second tray. It will be observed that during the test, fresh air
is entrained into the enclosure through the lower portion of

Chemical Engineering Education

L toR R
movement Traj 1 burning Try 2 burning :Tray 3 burning Tray 4 burning Tray 5 burning:
800 -- .------ . ..--- ---- ---- .. ... .. ... ...------ --.-.-

100 -- --- .--- -- ----------------- ------- -----------
o- -. -- -

700 ---------------- ...........-----------
5 0 0 - - -
Ti me (-- --

300 ...
2T03 0TC 4 TTIC 5

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time (min)

Figure 4. Air/combustion gas temperature above each tray for the entire duration of the fire.

the opening and hot gases flow out through the upper portion
of the opening. The location of the neutral plane above the
floor should be identified (expected to be located 1/3 to 1/2
opening height below the top surface) and recorded.

The logged temperature data, particularly the recordings
of T/C1 to T/C5, will provide evidence of the sequence of
tray ignitions. In the first few seconds after ignition, the air/
combustion gas temperature within the enclosure will begin
to rise, with the thermocouples above the burning tray dem-
onstrating the highest temperatures. When the temperatures
of T/C5, located above the last burning tray, fall below 500
*C, it will be considered that the burning duration is ended.
The graphical evidence (the rise, steadiness, and fall of the
temperature-time profiles) will need to be correlated with the
times recorded by a stopwatch. An example of the presenta-
tion of the results of an actual experiment is given in Figure
4. It is to be noted that in the given time scale of Figure 4,
the evidence of left-to-right movement could not be clearly
observed. The slowest rise of the temperature recorded by
T/C1 can be noticed, however. The figure also shows that
while the burning duration over Trays 1-4 does not change
much, a shorter duration over Tray 5 is observed. The likely
reason is that while the fuel was burning in Trays 1-4, hot
gases rise and on reaching the top surface (ceiling) develop
an inward ceiling jet behind the flame front. This ceiling jet
on reaching the cooler back wall drops down. As the fire
continuously generates heat, the cooler fluid that flowed in
from the back of the enclosure (entrained fluid) to replace
the rising warmer fluid will warm up and also rise. Thus a
convection current becomes established that draws fuel from
the back to the front.
A plot of the gas temperature histories recorded by T/C1
(located above the front tray) and T/C5 (above the rear tray)
during the test, should be produced. From this, observations

Convection -I- radiation

Al I11\' It



Figure 5. The protrusion of the rod as a fin-like
arrangement and heat transfer mechanism in and out
of the rod.
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

should be drawn of whether the temperature near the ceil-
ing above the front tray is higher for the majority of the test
duration than the temperature above the rearmost tray. This
will indicate whether the severity of exposure of structural
members at a particular location in a building is equal through-
out the fire duration. If the area under the temperature-time
curve is taken as indicative of severity of exposure, then the
difference of severity experienced at the front tray will need
to be determined, compared to the rear tray. Alternatively, if
the duration of high recorded temperatures (above 600 C),
which can cause structural weakening, is used as the criterion,
the difference in exposure duration needs to be calculated. A
plot of T/C6 and T/C10 recordings representing corresponding
steel temperature will substantiate this finding.
As this is a liquid (pool) fire, the growth and decay periods
are negligibly small, hence HRR can be determined using
Eqs. (4) and (5), separately, and the results of these equations
should be compared. Based on these findings, it is expected
that the students should comment on the validity of the classi-
cal formula used for long enclosure fires and look for a more
appropriate formula in Reference 10.
For the heat transfer calculation, it is expected that a com-
parison of the steel rod temperature, at the rod-enclosure
junction, with those outside of the enclosure, throughout the
burning duration, will be presented. This will include calcula-
tions to illustrate that a temperature difference is expected.
The protrusion of the rod can be considered similar to a fin
arrangement as shown in Figure 5.
Using the concept of conservation of energy, Eq. (6) can
be derived for the above arrangement:
d2T P {h+oe(T2+T)(T+T)}(T -T)=0 (6)

An analytical solution of Eq. (6) can be obtained using a
set of boundary conditions (see Reference 12).

coshm(L-x)+ h sinhm(L-x)
) v / mk '+
I ~ 1 T.' 1

cosh mL + sinh mL

h= convective heat transfer coefficient (38 W.m"2 K-'1-
overall value calculated based on the formula given in
Reference 13)
k= thermal conductivity of steel (46 W.nrm K'1 varia-
tion with respect to temperature difference is ignored)

m= 2-x-h +m with D= rod diameter and m.
VkxD ro
=( T2 + T'2 )(T +T,8)
L = rod length (outside the enclosure)

T=(T -T8

P = perimeter of the rod
A = cross-sectional area of the rod
x = longitudinal location on the rod where the
temperature is calculated
o = Stefan-Boltzmann constant (5.67x10-8 W.m-2 K")
e = emissivity factor, taken as 0.9 for the steel rod
For the spreadsheet format, see Table 1.
As m. contains T, iteration is required to obtain the correct
value of T, anyti. Spreadsheets are required to be developed
(one each for T14 and T15) as shown in Table 1. Values under
the heading TsJtera, close to the values of T ,analyicaI need to
be included, which will be used as T to calculate m d. As a
result, T, alytical will change. The values of T teaon will need
to be changed until T iteao, =T Tyc Columns Taalcal and
T _xroshould be compared graphically for validation.
Finally, a plot comparing temperatures of T/C 16 and T/C 17
in one graph should be presented to determine which external
target is hotter. It is expected that both targets should receive
the same amount of radiative heat flux from the enclosure.
The likely primary reason for one target to be hotter than
the other is related to its slower heat loss via convection and
radiation from target to ambient.

The outside part of the steel rod, in addition to conduction,
will receive some radiation from the hot enclosure wall. As a
result Texperimental is likely to be slightly higher than Tsanalytica1.
Bare-bead thermocouples are expected to be used for this
experiment to measure gas temperatures (T/C 1-5 and T/C
11) as these are inexpensive compared to aspirated thermo-
couples. Although air temperature readings using this type
of instrument can be significantly altered by radiation errors,
these thermocouples will be used for qualitative observations.
Details of the radiation correction are beyond the scope in
this experiment.

1. Document the understanding of the potential hazardous
events related to the project before experimental work begins.
2. Describe the burning sequence of the trays of fuel. Offer
an explanation for this phenomenon.

3. In what region of the opening does air
appear to flow into the enclosure? Give a
reason for this.
~T_.x ~ 4. Determine whether the severity of ex-
(T 14 or T5) posure of structural members, at a particular
location in a building, is equal throughout the
fire duration for a long-enclosure fire.
5. Check the validity of the classical formula
for long enclosures by comparing the HRR
determined using Eqs. (4) and (5), separately.
6. Undertake some basic calculations (by developing
spreadsheets) to illustrate that the steel rod temperature dif-
ference outside the enclosure is valid. Calculate for T/C 13 to
T/C14, and then T/C13 to T/C15.
7. Considering the two external targets (T/C 16 and T/C 17),
explain why one target is hotter than the other. You will need
to provide a qualitative explanation of this difference (based
on heat transfer principles).

The laboratory experiment provides students an under-
standing about fire and process safety that can be translated
to engineering practices in the areas of building design,
industrial safety, etc. The intended learning aspects of the
cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains are elucidated
by performing this flame propagation experiment.
The test showed that the fires tend to move toward the
opening and are not at all uniform through the depth of a deep
enclosure. As a result, the severity of exposure of structural
members varies at different locations. The test method can
be used for preventative design using scaling consideration
as given in Reference 10. Last but not least, it illustrates how
the heat transfer mechanisms in practical fire scenarios can
be quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed.

1. Feisel,L.D., and A J. Rosa, "The role of the laboratory in undergraduate
engineering education," J. Eng. Ed., 94(1), 121 (2005)
2. Krivickas, R.V., and J. Krivickas, "Laboratory Instruction in Engineer-
ing Education," Global J. Eng. Ed., 11(2), 191 (2007)
3. Feisel, L., and G.D. Peterson, "A colloquy on learning objectives for
engineering educational laboratories," 2002 ASEE Annual Conference
and Exposition, Montreal, Canada, June (2002)
4. Cumber, P.S., and J. Murray, "Simple rig for measuring radiation heat
fluxes from a jet fire," Int. J. Mech. Eng. Ed., 39(1), 46 (2011)
5. Alves, M.A., A.M.F.R. Pinto, and J.R.F. Guedes de Carvalho, "Two
simple experiments for the fluid mechanics and heat transfer laboratory
class," Chem. Eng. Ed., 33(3) 226, (1999)
6. MacNeil, J., and L. Volaric, "Incomplete combustion with candle
flames: a guided-inquiry experiment in the first-year chemistry lab,"
J. Chem. Ed., 80(3), 302, (2003)
7. Rockett, J.A., "Fire-induced gas flow in an enclosure," Combustion
Science and Technology, 12, 165-175 (1976)
8. Australian Building Codes Board, International Fire Engineering
Guidelines, Edition 2005
9. Huggett, C., "Estimation of Rate of Heat Release by Means of Oxygen
Chemical Engineering Education

Consumption Measurements," Fire and Materials, 4(2), 61 (1980)
10. Moinuddin, K.A.M., and I.R. Thomas, "An experimental study of fire
development in deep enclosures and a new HRR-time-position model
for a deep enclosure based on ventilation factor," Fire and Materials,
33(4), 157 (2009)
11. Centre for Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering (CESARE),
Victoria University. Safety Operation Procedures Using Methylated
Spirits in Enclosure Tests, Version 1.1 (2006)
12. Holman,J.P.,Heat Transfer, 9th Ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, (2002)
13. Drysdale D., An Introduction to Fire Dynamics, 2nd Ed., John Wiley
and Sons, New York, (1999)


A0 m2
Ho m
h W.m2 K-1
K W.m-1 K-1
o -

opening area
opening height
heat release rate
calorific value of the fuel
convective heat transfer coefficient
thermal conductivity
Stefan-Boltzmann constant

e emissivity factor
Q kg. m-3 fuel density 0

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

15 =1 classroom

Student-created homework problems


Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colorado 80401

nline education has become a pervasive topic over
the last decade. The advent of for-profit, online-
only universities as well as free online resources for
various subjects and levels, e.g., Khan Academy, MITx, or
open courseware initiatives, are changing the face of higher
education. Specifically related to chemical engineering, re-
sources have been developed, mostly by faculty, to enhance
the core chemical engineering curriculum. Examples include
the BioEMB data for integrating biological engineering into
coursest1l or screencasts-which are mini lectures lasting 10
minutes or less that allow students to watch the instructor step
through relevant examples for many courses.[2] Other pedago-
gies have been developed specifically to engage students who
have grown up in an Internet-based environment, so called
"digital natives." Another way to interact effectively with
these digital natives is to integrate their digital habits into the
higher-education classroom. From texting with students[31 to
using wikis or social media,1461 higher education is adapting
to current students' strengths.
While the examples listed above are innovative ways to
integrate online tools into the classroom, almost all of these
methods are instructor-centric, i.e., the instructor dictates
the "new" content. Active learning and student-centered
pedagogies demonstrate larger learning gains than traditional
teacher-centric techniques such as lecture.17-91 The focus of this
paper is a new way to develop new, quality, course content
through a practice called YouTube Fridays.
Two previous publications centering on YouTube Fridays
are summarized here and provide a basis for our new work.110',111
First, videos from YouTube were used to connect with
students in sophomore thermodynamics and material and
energy balances courses. The student-selected videos tied

into the topic of the course in the case of thermodynamics
or injected significant enthusiasm about becoming a chemi-
cal engineer. While engaging the students was a successful
use of five minutes of class time per week, YouTube Fridays
evolved into a group project where students selected a video
and had the class estimate something related to actions in the
video. Estimates included calculating the amount of energy
stored in bacon (as the bacon was turned into a torch in the
video) or finding the heat of combustion from the cream of
a Cadbury egg. These engineering estimate problems were
also used to translate events from a video into a process flow
diagram (PFD). As creating PFDs from problem statements
is an integral part of any material and energy balances course,
the ability to use videos or written text is an excellent way to
reinforce course concepts.

Matthew W. Liberatore is as an associate professor of chemical and
biological engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. He earned a
B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in chemi-
cal engineering. His current research involves the rheology of complex
fluids as well as active and self-directed learning.
Andrew M. Herring is an associate professor of chemical and biological
engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. He earned B.S. and Ph.D.
degrees in chemistry from Leeds University. His current research interests
include electro- and photochemistry in the areas of fuel cells as well as
thermochemical conversion of biomass.
David W. M. Marr is a professor and head of the Chemical and Biological
Engineering Department at the Colorado School of Mines. He earned a
B.S. degree from the University of California-Berkeley and M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from Stanford University, all in chemical engineering. His current
research interests include colloidal assembly for medical applications.
J. Douglas Way is a professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering
Department at the Colorado School of Mines. He earned B.S., M.S., and
Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder, all in chemical
engineering. His current research interests involve the synthesis of new
materials for novel separation processes.

Copyright ChE Division of ASEE 2013

Chemical Engineering Education

Visuals to enhance learning are well studied in education
and learning science.07,123 While it has been found that all of
the senses can be used to learn new things, vision trumps the
others senses in creating short- and long-term memory.12,13'
Therefore, the engagement and productive learning from
searching for, identifying, watching, and translating YouTube
videos ties in well with cutting-edge research in neuroscience
and learning science.
Another need of engineering faculty is to overcome the
prevailing notion of many digital natives that Google (or any
Internet search engine) will provide answers to their home-
work. As discussed in previous publications, many textbook
solutions manuals are available on the web.114,151 Students (a
significant fraction, in our experience) believe that copying
the solutions manual is equivalent to learning the material.
Both homework and exam scores have shown in the case of
one semester of material and energy balance students that
copying the solutions manual as a form of studying does not
lead to success in the course. Therefore, faculty need to find
new ways to develop interesting and textbook-quality home-
work problems to both engage the digital native students and
maximize time working on the problems (i.e., avoiding the
solutions manual dilemma).
Creating creative engineers through writing their own
homework and/or exam problems is a concept developed
many years ago.116181 Here, the method is refreshed to allow
the students to produce textbook-quality homework problems
based on YouTube videos. The project was completed over
three semesters in Material and Energy Balances and Trans-
port Phenomena courses. The quality of one set of student-
written problems was compared with textbook homework
problems by a group of students who were not the YouTube
problems' authors. The evaluation and assessment of the new
problems completes this work.


Defining the assignment
The objective of the YouTube project is to write a home-
work-style problem based on a video. The project involves
small groups of students (usually 3 or 4) identifying a You-
Tube video and creating textbook-quality homework prob-
lem based on the video's content. The assignment is largely
open-ended but a small number of bounds keep the students
focused. Generally, the YouTube problems and corresponding
solutions are at least as thorough and rigorous as the problems
in many textbooks, a hypothesis that was tested and reported
on later in this manuscript.
The assignment is initiated by students selecting a video.
To receive full credit, the video cannot repeat earlier video
selections, which are cataloged."191 From the video, a problem
is written that could be assigned as a homework problem for
the current or prerequisite course. One way to ensure the

video is well integrated into the problem statement is to have
the students clearly indicate any values estimated from the
video. In addition to the problem statement and detailed solu-
tion (examples given below), a 100- to 150-word reflective
summary about the course concepts addressed by the video/
problem is required. The assignment encourages the inclusion
of at least one schematic, drawing, or figure with the problem
statement and solution, similar to many textbook and online
homework problems. Also, listing necessary assumptions is
required for most problem statements.
An example of the three-page layout is included on the
course's website (i.e., Blackboard in this case). A standardized
layout provides the ability to efficiently grade the projects
and subsequently use the problems in class or as homework
problems during current or future terms. The first page of the
layout contains the written summary, the students' names, and
the title and web address for the video. Having students' names
appear only on the first page allows for this page to be removed
and seamlessly, as well as anonymously, integrated into the
course (e.g., using a document camera). The second page is
the problem statement page with the title and web address for
the video at the top followed by the problem statement format-
ted with equations and units and, in many cases, a schematic
or diagram to help facilitate solving the problem. The types
of problems have varied greatly, from mimicking textbook
problems to problems with single questions, problems with
multiple parts (similar to one author's exam questions), and
a set of conceptual questions.
A basic rubric has been useful across the various courses.
The first graded topic is the selection of the video, which
must be length (~5 minutes or less) and content appropriate
as well as provide new and/or interesting information. The
majority of the points come from the written document includ-
ing 1) The reflective summary communicates effectively the
concepts covered in the problem, 2) The problem statement
is complete and the difficulty is appropriate for the current
or prerequisite course, and 3) The problem statement clearly
covers the correct problem type/concepts. The solution must
also be complete, correct, and appropriately difficult, and the
situation in the video must be sufficiently integrated into the
problem statement (i.e., what value or values were estimated
from the video).
Decoupling the video from the problem statements is pos-
sible in almost all cases for these homework-style problems.
The videos were, however, a necessary component in the
engineering estimate-style problems published earlier.1tn
The necessity of watching the videos to either complete the
problem or to improve conceptual learning was not explored
in the current pilots. Future pilots may explore these additional
interesting research questions.
Finally, a peer-evaluation component, submitted anony-
mously and separately from the project, quantifies each mem-
ber's contribution to the final product. The caveat of the peer

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

evaluations is if the average score on peer evaluation is less
than 70 out of 100 for any student, the student will receive
no credit for the assignment. To date, if a student participated
in the project in any way, a failing peer evaluation has not
occurred. The project is turned in as a single hard copy as
well as an electronic version (usually .doc or .pdf file) that
is e-mailed to the instructor. In previous pilots, the students
have been given between two and eight weeks to complete
the project. In general, three to four weeks to complete the
project allows students sufficient time to complete the project
in addition to their normal course and life commitments.
With a basic project format in place, students from several
different courses have created or solved student-written prob-
lems based on YouTube videos (Table 1). First, a material and
energy balances class (sophomore-level) during the Spring
2011 and 2012 semesters created and adopted the new prob-
lems. Also, a group of seniors taking a required transport phe-
nomena course created fluids, heat, and separations problems
that were integrated into the junior-level prerequisite courses.
Specifically, textbook homework was replaced by YouTube
problems in heat transfer and the students' achievement on
exams was compared.

The material and energy balances course at the Colorado
School of Mines is the first chemical engineering course in
the curriculum. The course format was three 50-minutes class
meetings per week at 8 a.m. in a single large classroom with
an enrollment of more than 150 students during both recent
pilots (Table 1). While the class follows the content of the
textbook by Felder and Rousseau,t201 minimal lecturing and
textbook homework is used. Online homework is one of the
alternative teaching strategies, as discussed in a previous
publicationst11 The active-learning environment, involving
peer-to-peer learning and other strategies, easily allows for
the integration of YouTube videos and related classwork.
The YouTube project was assigned in two different ways. In
2011, three-person groups were given the project early in the

semester (week 3). A schedule was posted with various due
dates (starting two weeks later) for 5 groups per week. That
week's projects were submitted electronically on Wednesday
and the instructor (Liberatore) adapted one of the problems for
class each Friday. In 2012, all of the projects were due near
the end of the semester (week 13 of a 16-week semester) to
ensure students had exposure to a greater amount of course
material before composing their own problems. Based on
reading and grading the problems, the quality of the problems
completed near the end of the semester was better on aver-
age (i.e., more complete and rigorous), which is most likely
due to the experience solving more homework, quiz, and
exam problems for the course. Very simple problems, e.g.,
only needing Raoult's law, were absent when the project was
completed near the end of the semester. YouTube problems
from 2011 (and some from 2010) were used during class time
aligned with the appropriate course concepts throughout the
semester (not just on Fridays). The specific types of course
concepts are summarized in Table 1.

A transport phenomena course is taught as a required Fall
semester senior-level offering. In our curriculum, each stu-
dent completes fluid mechanics in fall of the junior year and
heat transfer and separations/mass transfer courses during
the junior year's spring semester. The course format is three
50-minute class meetings per week. Two sections included
60 and 41 students during the Fall 2011 semester. The class
is divided into three units, beginning with heat transfer, then
mass transfer, and finally fluid mechanics. In addition to
weekly homework and three non- cumulative exams at the end
of each unit, three projects were assigned. A wet laboratory
experiment studied mass transfer in a wetted wall column and
two computer projects completed the requirements for the
course. The first computer project was the YouTube project
and the second project involved solving a membrane reactor
in POLYMATH. The YouTube project was given to serve as
a refresher and to remind students of the concepts learned in
their prerequisite transport courses.

Chemical Engineering Education

Outline of the three recent pilots of YouTube Fridays
Pilot (n=number of enrolled Semester Concepts required for problems based on a video due date
students) dedate_____________ date
SMaterial and Energy Balances 21 A. Multiple units or B. Chemical reaction or C. Mul- Throughout
6 (n=159) Spring 2011 tiple phases (students' choice of A, B, or C) semester
A. Multiple unit and multiple phase without reac-
Material and Energy Balances tion or B. Multi unit reacting system with recycle Near end of
7 (n=153) Spring 2012 and preferably purge or C. Single or multiple unit semester
systems with vapor-liquid equilibrium, dew or bubble
point, or humidity (randomly assigned by instructor)
Transport Phenomena (n=101) Fall2011 A. Fluids or B. Heat or C. Separations/Mass Transfer Near beginning
(randomly assigned by instructor) of semester
Note: Pilots 1 to 5 were detailed in earlier publications.

The YouTube project followed the framework discussed e
lier. Many of the students in the transport phenomena court
had experience with YouTube Fridays and the ideas behii
them from previous courses. The goal of the YouTube projt
was to create new, interesting, and high-quality problems i
use in the junior-level courses. The student-written problem
were assigned and assessed in one section of a heat transit
course during Spring 2012.

The heat transfer course occurs during the spring semesi
of the junior year. This course also meets for three 50-mini
classes per week. The course covers the fundamentals
conduction, convection, and radiation; in addition, a me
surable fraction of the semester covers correlations and he
exchangers, following a common heat transfer textboc
21] Two sections of the course were taught
with 70 students in the YouTube homework Video title: I
section and 59 students in the control sec- Video link: t
tion with homework coming directly out of Problem Stat
the textbook. Additional details on the heat (60 Points)
transfer course are included in the Evaluation As stated in
and Assessment section below. s at n
on a much sn
Within this st
PROBLEMS Liberatorium
During the three recent pilots, over 125 new 110 CI8H360
homework problems were written by groups
of students. A sampling of the problems Dr. Liberator
is provided to exhibit the creativity, corn- acid is 72%..
pleteness, rigor, and misconceptions of the is completely
problem statements and their solutions. Two of this waste
examples from material and energy balances the separator
and two examples from transport phenomena leaves the set
demonstrate key course concepts and the hen gets fed
quality of representative student problems. (5 poi
Reacting systems with recycle streams are (
: (12 p(
one of the most difficult concepts for students (6 poi
learning material balances for the first time.
The added complexity of identifying systems
and subsystems and not being able to start
solving the problem from the same point
requires additional evaluation of the problem
statement and process flow diagram (PFD) I
before starting to attack the problem. Finding
a video involving a reaction-recycle system
might seem difficult to those of us who are
not digital natives. Our students, however,
have found numerous commercial-like videos
for products (e.g., ethanol or biodiesel) as
well as videos on how to make products like
essential oils at home. The majority of the
reaction-recycle problems are adapted from

ar- videos from the Discovery Channel show "How It's Made."
*se The "How It's Made" videos are usually five minutes or less
nd and step through all of the main process units to produce items
;ct from chocolate to gold to wine.
or One example reaction-recycle problem (Figure 1) translates
ns a "How It's Made" video for crayons into an interesting and
fer appropriately difficult homework problem. The problem state-
ment is slightly longer than the average textbook problem
and includes a balanced chemical reaction, multiple parts/
questions, and a standard, and somewhat generic, PFD. The
ter idealized reaction and separation scheme is common for
ate sophomore-level problems. The students also integrated their
of instructor into the problem to give a fictionalized, personal-
a- ized, and somewhat humorous twist to the problem. While
at the "How It's Made" video is certainly the inspiration for
k. the problem, the video is not explicitly required to solve the

low it's made Crayons


he video a large scale factory can produce 30,000 crayons/hr. This problem focuses
caller scale factory, "Liberatore's Colors." The feed to the reactor is 150 mol/hr.
ream, there is 60 mole percent steric acid (C18H3602), 33.75 mole percent paraffin
,and the balance is Dr. Liberatore's own secret ingredient, the catalyst,
* The reaction proceeds as follows,

2 + 49 C20H52 -4 74 C40H82 + 220 H20

e's sixth or even seventh sense can just tell that the single pass conversion of steric
After the crayons are made, the excess reactants continue to a separator where water
removed from the system with a small amount of Liberatorium. The composition
stream is 99.8 mole percent water, and the balance Liberatorium. The crayons leave
as product. The fresh feed to the system is combined with a recycle stream that
parator and contains the excess steric acid, paraffin wax, and Liberatorium; which
to the reactor. The fresh feed contains steric acid, paraffin wax, and Liberatorium.
nts) Label the PFD with the component molar flow rates of each stream.
points) Find the flow rate of each component in the reactor effluent
points) Find the flow rate of the fresh feed
nts) Find the volumetric flow rate of the Product Stream in SCMM.

Figure 1. Student-written reaction-recycle problem for
material and energy balances course.

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

4 (waste)

b= 21.76 mol/Ihr 4 1(waste)
n01 9.375 mol/hr
n,=25.20 mol/hr
h9= 43.59 ml/hr *

0.72 s hu3s
Use Reactor Atom Balances:
Carbto: 18ri1 + 20N,, = 40,c + 1876s + 20i,p
Hydrogm: 36fis + 52Ap, = 82,Ac + 361As + S2i,,p + 2*w
Oxygen: 2A.s A3. i + 2A.
Using the single p-ss version,
h1s = 0.28 2i

The flow rate of each component in stream 2 can be solved using the mole fractions given in the
problem statement:

it2R = "ZYZR,
where R isa an arbitrary variable showing how this can be done for each component of the stream.

Using the oxygen atom balance and plugging in the defined parameters:

27z1s 2nt3s = 13w

mor molS\ motl / oiSt1
,W0 = 2 50 (0.6 )- 150 0.28 0.6-t-)
I hr \. mol / hr \ mol 1\
fi mot
3w = 129.6 |

Using the carbon and hydrogen balances around the reactor, there are now two equations and twc
inkntowns. We leave it to algebra:

36f2s + 522,p = 82ti3c + 3676S3 + 52A3, + 2hsw

36h2s + 52t2, (361i3s + 52fi3p + 2t3w) = 82*3c

18*25 + 202p = 4013c + 181135 + 20t3p

S .- /' f367i3s + 527i2P 36h's 52it3p 2fnw ..
18s25 + 2051zp (40 (3 -- + 24 A --) + 18nMs = 2013p

Using defined parameters from the problem, the final two component low rates of the reactor
affluentt can be solved:

^= 21.76'-

43L = izY2L
mol / tool L\
3L = 150- l (o0.0625--o)
hr mol

Before moving forward, examine the waste stream to find out how much Liberatorium left with
he water. All the water leaves in this stream, so 4w = h3w or 129.6 --. The following balance
will solve this for the lost Liberatorium:

--~ 4W~ 4
W W = = 4L
7b4L = 0.26j-'r

For everything but Liberatorinum, the composition stays the same from the effluent stream to the
recycle stream. Thanks to the previous step, the loss in Liberatoriam can be accounted for, and
by a balance around the separator the following equation can be obtained:

?is = (73L-- tL) + h3P, + ti35
A,6 = 56.07 -

uins, the fresh stream can be solved:

hi = A2z -74

The total flow rate of the reactor effluent can be expressed as:

?is = flsC

AS = 43.59

To solve the volumetric flow rate in SCMM:
too / L /hr -1 3 ["""
Vf3 = 43.59 -m-t 22.4 1) m ) (W 0--"Too, 0yi16n

Figure 2. Student-written reaction-recycle solution for material and energy balances course.

problem (a potential concern that will be discussed later).
The multiple-part problem with points assigned for each
part mimics the exam and quiz questions used in the course.
The students' words best summarize the numerous course
concepts needed to solve the problem. The project summary
stated: "This project focuses on the reacting system portion
of the course. Within this reacting system are concepts fo-
cusing on balances around mixing points, balancing around


a reactor, understanding single-pass conversions, and how to
relate component compositions to flow rates. To summarize
the thought process that students go through, first using the
initial basis and molar compositions, the feed stream to the
reactor can be analyzed. Then the single pass will allow an
oxygen balance to be performed around the reactor, leading
to the composition of the effluent from the reactor. Then
after extracting the entire water component with the separa-

Chemical Engineering Education

S=21.76 mol/hr
2 = 9.115 mol/h,
nl,= 2520 mol/hr

n = 93.93 mol/hr n, = 50.625 mol/hr
,p = 28.87 -i/h, n, 9.375 mol/hr
h,, 2600 1mol/hr = 90.03 oVhr
nft= 64.A0 mol/hr


tor, stream 6 is fully understood, and then
Video title: Ck
a final balance around the mixing point Video link: htti
solves for the composition of stream 1."
The solution includes step-by-step analy- Problem Stater
ses of each part of the problem (Figure 2). Consider a press
220C and 5 atm.
The PFD given in the problem statement the dryer. It is n
was labeled with the information in the prob- dryer in two stre
lem statement and other calculated numbers. ceramic product
balance water) i!
The primary balances are shown in detail as
well as extra equations such as single-pass a. Draw an
conversion. While applying atom balances b. Calculate
c. Calculate
to solve the problem is a robust and valid Calculate
method, the problem could also be solved e. Calculat(
using a stoichiometric table and extent of
reaction. The universal applicability of atom Figur
balances is a point of emphasis throughout
the semester so it was not surprising to
the instructor that the students solved the Video Title: Sker
problem using this approach. Each flow Video Link: http:
rate (answer) in the solution is boxed and ritual-of-firewalk
contains three or four significant figures. Problem Stateme
The final part of the problem involves
finding the volumetric flow rate of the prod- Dr. Liberatore de
uct stream in standard units. The students' flames, he wanted
feet. The temper,
calculation of the flow rate is correct if the 37c.
product was in the gas phase. The students,
however, applied the concept of Standard a) Find the rate
thickness of 1
Temperature Pressure (STP) conversion to
a solid product (crayons). Overall, the mak- b) Now Dr. Libe
ing of crayons is a very nice example of a hot coals. Walkin
water to the botto
homework problem written by students that across the dew co
covers many course concepts. The instruc-
tor needs to grade and vet the problems to Helpful Informati
refine issues including the STP conversion
misconception in this example, kwater = 0.607 "
Another important and sometimes dif- w
ficult topic in a material and energy bal- kskn = 0.37 m"
ances course is vapor-liquid equilibrium. Area of foot = 12
The example of a spray dryer provides a
very simple video that the students adapted g = 9.8 m/s
into a sufficiently difficult problem (Figure hfg,36oc = 720 k
3). The topic/concepts covered in the spray
dryer problem are numerous and include -=3.1O1E-5 kg/
Raoult's Law, calculating vapor pressures p = 0.5664 kg/m3
from the Antoine equation (or table lookup),
component mole balances, overall mole bal-
ances, and relative humidity. The problem
statement contains multipart questions to guide the students
solution to the problem. One way to improve the problem state
ment would be to have it more clearly state that the water in th
exiting ceramic and air stream was in equilibrium (not the stream
as a whole). Overall, empowering the students to formulate an4
solve concept-rich material balance problems is a central them
of this work and well represented by the spray dryer example.
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

osed Loop Spray Dryer Chamber Powder

urized dryer used to dry a ceramic powder for later uses. The dryer operates at
A solvated ceramic that is 45 mole percent water and the balance ceramic enters
nixed with dry air to produce a dry ceramic product. The ceramic and air exit the
ams that are considered to be in equilibrium with each other. If 100 mol of dried
(ceramic product is considered dry with a 98 mole percent ceramic and the
s to be produced:

d label the process flow diagram for this process. Number each stream.
Sthe flow (mol) of all species entering the system.
Sthe flow (mol) of all species exiting the system.
Sthe mole fractions of vapor and air in the exiting air stream.
Sthe relative humidity (%) of the exiting air stream.

S3. Student-written vapor-liquid equilibrium problem for
material and energy balances course.

optical Inquirer: The Ritual of Firewalking


cided his dream was to become a professional firewalker. Before taking to the
d to know the amount of heat that would be transferred from the coals to his
sture of the coals was recorded at 649C, while the temperature of his feet was

of heat transferred from the coals [W] to Dr. Liberatore's foot for a skin
1.5 mm.

ratore decides to add an insulating water layer to help protect his feet from the
g over the dew on the grass before reaching the bed of coals added 1 nmm of
m of his foot. Find the resulting rate of heat transferred to his foot after walking
vered grass [W].

Figure 4. Student-written heat transfer problem.

Instead of the YouTube project serving as an end-of-the-
semester project demonstrating learning of the current course
e materials, transport phenomena problems were created at the
s beginning of the term as a refresher for the students. Two
i examples demonstrate the utility of the YouTube project to
e verify understanding of prerequisite courses and subsequently
infuse new problems into earlier courses in the curriculum.

Figure 5. Student-written separations concept T

Heat transfer piques the students' interest as much as
thermodynamics within the confines of the YouTube project.
While thermodynamics students love to find videos about
blowing things up and calculating energy balances, heat
transfer brings about images of fire. One video has a young
man showing how to properly use a flamethrower and cook-
ing a pig. Writing a pig-cooking heat transfer problem is very
similar to problems found in heat transfer textbooks. Another
problem, composed by the students, involved firewalking and
a video that was not posted on YouTube. The video comes
from the "How Stuff Works" website and attempts to con-
cisely and simply explain scientific concepts (e.g., thermal
conductivity in this case). The video address the common
misconceptions related to temperature vs. heat, which were
discussed recently.122231 The course objective to solve a steady
state conduction problem while applying a composite media

Video title: How Crude Oil Cracking Works
Video link: ms35JKE&feature-=results main&plavnext=-l&list=P

Problem Statement:

V1, y IReflux Drum
Reflux Distillate
L,XD D, XD(Overhead)


VBYB Boilup

T __ Bottoms

The above figure is a representation of the distillation column seen in the youtube video.

Question: If there were a leak in the reflux line to the distillation column what would happen to:

a) The enriching operating line on the McCabe Thiele Diagram that represents this column?
b) The distillate composition (xD)?
c) The distillation column temperature?

Solving distillation column problems using a McCabe
Thiele diagram is a common way to determine many features
of the proposed separation unit (Figure 6). Finding the feed
location and number of stages in the column are necessary
design parameters. In this case, removing the traditional
numerical calculations forces the students to "troubleshoot"
a problem with the column. The students' solution to the
problem uses a somewhat generic-looking diagram showing
the vapor fraction (y) as a function of the liquid fraction (x).
The original operating lines and stepped-off stages provide
the base case and a clear shift in the enriching operating line
occurs as a result of the leak. The students' solution briefly and
clearly addresses the concepts of solving and understanding
the operation of a distillation column.
Overall, the four examples detailed here provide a sampling
of the quality and diversity of problems written by students

Chemical Engineering Education

was appropriately addressed by the
firewalking problem.
The firewalking problem again
places the professor as the central
figure of the problem (Figure 4, p.
127).A number of properties need-
ed to solve the problem are given
in the problem statement, which
is common for quiz and exam
problems in a heat transfer course.
The two-part problem covers a
relatively easy one-dimensional
conduction problem in the first
part and builds upon the concept
in the second part. The addition of
resistances in series and applying
a correlation to find the convective
heat transfer coefficient dramati-
cally changes the calculated heat
transfer. A third part of the prob-
lem could, for example, be added
to have the students compare the
insulating water layer to wearing
a glove and holding a snow ball.
The final example addresses
distillation and includes only
concept questions. To paraphrase
the students' project summary, the
objective of the problem was to
apply the McCabe Thiele method
and account for non-ideal behavior.
Addressing a perturbation in the
system, such as the leaky reflux
line in this case, challenges the
students to sketch a general solu-
tion and visualize the influence of
this perturbation (Figure 5).

and inspired by videos. The
examples are not necessarily
the projects earning the highest
grades or from the "A" students
(some even earned unsatisfac-
tory grades for the semester).
Overall, the style and content
of the problems are comparable
to a textbook, however the
question of the efficacy of the
problems remains.

With an undergraduate pro-
gram enrolling over 500 stu-
dents, almost all of the junior-
and senior-level courses are
taught in two or more sections.
Two sections of a junior-level
heat transfer course provided
the opportunity to test the
efficacy and rigor of the stu-
dent-written problems. The
experiment focused on a single
chapter of material related to
transient heat transfer with pri-
mary topics including lumped
and transient problems. Both
sections of the course assigned
weekly homework, usually
taken out of the textbook.1211
Normally, the problems are as-
signed, collected in class, and
graded by an undergraduate
grader (as homework has been
done for decades in most engi-
neering classes). While differ-
ent instructors taught the sec-
tions, a set of common exam
problems with an agreed-upon
rubric allowed a comparison
between the sections.
The control section of the
course involved 59 students

a) The enriching operating line would move further away from the 45 line since the column
is now less ideal.

McCabe-Thiele Method











0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

The light blue line represents the original enriching operating line, and the thick red line
represents the new enriching operating line. The enriching operating line moves away
from the 45 line because there is now less reflux to the distillation column.

b) The distillate composition (xD) would become less pure in the desired component due to
the fact that the distillation column is now less efficient. This can be seen in the McCabe
Thiele diagram shown in part a), because as the enriching operating line moves out away
from the 45 line the only way to keep the same composition ofxD is to increase the
number of trays in the column. If the number of trays in the column is a constant, the
result is a decrease in the distillate composition.

c) The temperature of the column would increase because there is now less cool liquid
entering the top of the column.

Figure 6. Student-written solution to a separations concept problem.

who completed their "normal" textbook homework for the
transient section of the course (5 problems). The YouTube
section of the course completed a transient homework as-
signment that included 5 questions written by students in
the senior-level transport course the previous semester. The
solution manual for the widely used heat transfer textbook
can be acquired by the students via the Internet while the
YouTube problems had never been assigned and the only
people with solutions were the professors and the anonymous

Average exam scores for control and transient
problems in a heat transfer course
Section # of Resistances Transient
students (control) system
YouTube 70 969 9214
Textbook 59 977 7917

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013


student authors of the prob-
lems. The problem statements
are included as an Appendix to
this article. While the experi-
ment included just one week
of unique YouTube homework
problems, the exam results
demonstrate several interest-
ing results.
First, the control question
covered parallel and series re-
sistances, as covered in the first
month of the course. The two
sections earned nearly the same
average (Table 2, p. 129). The p
value for the averages demon-
strates no statistical difference
between the two sections. The
second exam question taken
by the two sections of junior
undergraduates covered the
topic of transient heat transfer.
The section using the YouTube
homework problems earned a
higher exam score on average
than the students' completing -
textbook homework ques-
tions. While the result for this
one question is a statistically
significant higher score, a
much larger study needs to
be performed. Therefore, the
hypothesis that the student-
written YouTube problems are
at least as rigorous and effec-
tive at helping students learn
than problems from a standard
textbook seems reasonable.
Students were aware that
a third instructor was writ-
ing several exam problems
to study the effectiveness of
YouTube problems; however,
they did not know on exam
day which of the problems
were written by the other
instructor. Both sections took
the control question on the re-
sistances as part of their final
exam. The YouTube section
took the transient problem on their
section took the transient problem
Based on this small sampling, stu4


80 -

60 -



02012, n=122
M2011, n=133
r3 2010, n=53
U 2009, n=45

I have a better understanding of the field of I think it is valuable to use class time each week to
chemical engineering (e.g., jobs) from watch YouTube and solve class related problems
participating in YouTube Fridays

Figure 7. Survey responses to two questions over four years in a material and energy
balances course.




9 20

I think YouTube problems I think YouTube Fridays YouTube Videos teach me I think homework-like
that included estimating helped me learn the more about chemical problems (with defined
quantities from the videos material in ChEN 201 this engineering than websites numbers) based on the
helped me learn the semester about chemical videos helped me learn
material in ChEN 201 this engineering the material in ChEN 201
semester this semester


Figure 8. Survey responses to two questions over four years in material and energy
balances course (ChEN 201).

udterm while the control spired by YouTube videos are as rigorous in helping students
s part of the final exam. learn as textbook questions. Additional testing is warranted
mt-written problems in- in future years to determine the robustness of this finding.

Chemical Engineering Education

Surveys were given to the students in the Material and En-
ergy Balances for pilots 6 and 7. Many results of the surveys
corroborate early survey findings110'111 and will not be repeated
here. In general, the survey questions center on the students'
feelings toward YouTube exercises and their perception of
the teaching effectiveness. The first two questions measured
the students' interest in chemical engineering as a profession
from watching the videos. The responses for the most recent
pilots corroborate early findings.M0-"M Approximately 80% of
the student respondents over the last four years earned a bet-
ter understanding of their desired profession, i.e., chemical
engineering, by watching videos (Figure 7). At least 75% in all
years also believed the amount of time spent watching videos
and their related exercises was a valuable way to use class time.
It should be noted that another four questions gauged the
unique YouTube pedagogy with three traditional methods,
namely lecture, presentation slides, and individual or group
work.101 No significant trends in the responses to these four
questions were observed.
Four questions ask about specifically relating YouTube
problems with perceived learning. For the Spring 2012
semester (Figure 8), the majority of the students (55% to
62%) felt they learned how to complete engineering estimate
problems,1111 the course material (overall), and more about
chemical engineering when compared to reading websites.
The well-defined homework-style problems based on videos
received overwhelming approval with 88% of the students
selecting agree/strongly agree for the statement.

A new learner-centered pedagogy creates homework-style
problems inspired by YouTube videos. The project has been
successful at the beginning of the semester as a prerequisite
check, throughout the semester, and near the end of the term
to demonstrate learning the current course topics. New prob-
lems were implemented in class and as part of homework
assignments without significant changes. Examples from a
material and energy balances course as well as a transport
phenomena course demonstrated the breath of topic, rigor,
and type of problem that can be addressed (concepts or cal-
culations). Student achievement on exam problems in a heat
transfer course compared one section completing textbook
homework problems to students completing student-written
YouTube homework problems. Students using the YouTube
problems scored higher on a single exam question related to
the material. In addition, surveys showed that 88% of the stu-
dents feel they learn effectively from student-written YouTube
problems. In the future, a more comprehensive study using
the YouTube problems over a more significant fraction of the
semester, including exam and quiz YouTube problems, would
verify the robustness of this novel pedagogy. Also, integration

of the problems into an online homework framework would
truly create a 21st century pedagogy.

The authors thank Theresa Nottoli for data entry from the
paper surveys. Partial support from the National Science
Foundation through CBET-0968042, DMR-0820518, and
DBI-0852868 is acknowledged.

1. Komives, C., M. Prince, E. Fernandez, and R. Balcarcel, "Integration
of Biological Applications into the Core Undergraduate Curriculum:
A Practical Strategy," Chem. Eng. Ed., 45, 39 (2011)
2. Falconer, L., G.D. Nicodemus, J. deGrazia, and J.W. Medlin, "Chemical
Engineering Screencasts," Chem. Eng. Ed., 46,58 (2012)
3. Walton, S.P., D. Briedis, S.D. Lindeman,A.P. Malefyt, and J. Sticklen,
"Text Messaging As a Tool for Engaging ChE Students," Chem. Eng.
Ed., 46, 80 (2012)
4. Heys, JJ., "Group projects in chemical engineering using a wikld,"
Chem. Eng. Ed., 42, 91
5. Hadley, K.R., and K.A. Debelak, "Wiki technology as a design tool
for a capstone design course," Chem. Eng. Ed., 43,194 (2009)
6. Zax, D., "Learning in 140-character bites-Twitter can improve teacher-
student communication, in and out of class," Prism 2009
7. Bruning, R.H., G.J. Schraw, and R.R. Ronning, Cognitive Psychology
and Instruction, Merrill, Upper Saddle River, N.J. (1999)
8. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded
Edition, 2nd ed.; National Academies Press (2000)
9. Prince, M., "Does active learning work? A review of the research," J.
Eng. Ed., 93,223-231 (2004)
10. Liberatore, M.W., "YouTube Fridays: Engaging the Net Generation in
5 Minutes a Week," Chem. Eng. Ed., 44,215-221 (2010)
11. Liberatore, M.,C.R. Vestal,A.M.Herring, "YouTube Fridays: Student
led development of engineering estimate problems," Advances in Eng.
Ed.,3,1-16 (2012)
12. Doyle, T., and T. Zakrajsek, Learner-Centered Teaching: Putting the
Research on Learning into Practice; Stylus Publishing (2011)
13. Medina, J., Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at
Work, Home, and School (2008)
14. Liberatore, M.W., "Improved Student Achievement Using Personalized
Online Homework for a Course in Material and Energy Balances,"
Chem. Eng. Ed., 45,184-190 (2011)
15. Faraji, S., "The Enhancement of Students' Learning in Both Lower
Division and Upper Division Classes by a Quiz-Based Approach,"
Chem. Eng. Ed., 46,213-216 (2012)
16. Felder, R.M., "On Creating Creative Engineers," J. Eng. Ed., 74,
222-227 (1987)
17. Felder, R.M., "The Generic Quiz: A Device to Stimulate Creativity
and Higher-Level Thinking Skills," Chem. Eng. Ed., 19,176 (1985)
18. Wankat, P.C., and F.S. Oreovicz, Teaching Engineering,Knovel (1993)
19. Liberatore Laboratory (accessed Aug. 7,
20. Felder, R.M., and R.W. Rousseau, Elementary Principles of Chemical
Processes; 3rd ed. Wiley, 2005.
21. Cengel, Y., and A. Ghajar, Heat and Mass Transfer: Fundamentals and
Applications, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill (2010)
22. Miller, R.L., R.A. Streveler, D. Yang, and A.I. Santiago Roman,
"Identifying and Repairing Student Misconceptions in Thermal and
Transport Science: Concept Inventories and .. ." Chem. Eng. Ed.,
23. Vigeant, M., M. Prince, and K. Nottis, "Development of Concept
Questions and Inquiry-Based Activities in Thermodynamics and Heat
Transfer: An Example for Equilibrium vs. Steady-State," Chem. Eng.
Ed., 45,211-218(2011)

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

A. Student-written transient heat transfer problems based
on YouTube Videos
Transient Heat Conduction YouTube homework.
Question 1. Flamethrower Massacre com/watch?v=D9DkciMTsLI&ob=av3e>
A whole roasting pig initially at 20 *C is cooked with a
flamethrower at 1100 *C. The pig can be treated as a homo-
geneous pork sphere. The mass of the pig is 90 kg and the
heat transfer coefficient at the surface is 12,000 W/m2-K.
Pork Properties: p = 1030 kg/m3 k = 0.456 W/m-K Cp =
3.49 kJ/kg.Kg a = 0.13-106 m2/s
(a) Calculate the time (hours) it takes for the center of the
pig to reach 65 *C.
(b) Calculate the surface temperature (*C) of the pig at the
time condition of(a). (answer: 1100 *C)
(c) Explain conceptually why the man can take a bite out of
the pig after only 30 seconds of cooking.
Question 2. "UNBELIEVABLE technique to keep CPU
coololj}" hlQ>
A box with dimensions 0.25 m X 025 m X 0.25 m contains a
processor of dimensions 0.08 m X 0.08 m X 0.08 m with the
rest of the box filled with mineral oil at 30 *C. The proces-
sor is initially at a temperature of 80 'C. Find the time (s)
required for the oil to cool the processor to a temperature
of 40 *C. The heat transfer coefficient between the oil and
the processor is 200 W/m2K. The processor has a thermal
conductivity of 148 W/m K, a density of 2330 kg/m3, and a
specific heat capacity of 712 J1 kg K. Assume the processor
only contacts the oil from five sides and the system can be
modeled as a lumped system. (Answer: 210 s)
Question 3. "How to Microwave Food!!" com/watch?v=1l UByayf7v8g>
Part a.) Assuming the microwave in the video is 1100 W, at

what rate is energy transferred to a cheese stick (in Watts)?
(Average microwave efficiency is 64%).
Part b.) After microwaving for 30 seconds, the temperature of
the cheese stick is 71 C. This is just a little too hot for your
taste so you decide to let it sit at room temperature (25 C) to
allow it to cool to a more edible temperature of 63 C. How
many seconds until you can eat your cheese stick? (Answer:
Assume the following properties: k = 0380 W/m-K; C =
2150 Jlkg-K; p = 1099 kg/m3; h = 15 W/m2-K
Question 4. "How It's Made -Bacon">
As seen in the video, a large slab of bacon with an approxi-
mated thickness of 25cm is heated in an oven at 120 C for
5 hours. The question is to determine the surface tempera-
ture (C) of the bacon to find out if it is the same tempera-
ture as the oven interior after half an hour. Assume the
initial temperature of the meat is 25 *C. (Answer: 104 *C)
Given properties of the oven and bacon (meat properties):
h=60 W/m2-K; p =0.4 W/m-K; p =1050 kg/m3; C =3184
J/kg-K; Thickness 2L =2.5cm
Questions. "Heating Up the Copper Pipe">
A 1.1 m long section of copper pipe with an outer diameter
of 0.02 m and an inner diameter of 0.019 m is heated using
a blowtorch. The initial heat transfer through the pipe is
equal to 7.96 W. The heat transfer coefficient for ambient
air is given to be 15 W/m2K. The heat transfer for the air in
the middle of the pipe is given to be 0.02 WIm2K. The ambi-
ent air temperature is 25 *C.
(a) Calculate the initial temperature (C) of the copper pipe
using the resistance approach. (Answer: 700 C)
(b) Using the temperature found in part (a), how long (in sec-
onds) will it take for the length of pipe to cool to 30 C?
Values of k, p, and C are: k= 401 W/m-K; p =8933 kg/m3;
Cp=385 J/kg-K.

Chemical Engineering Education

14 laboratoryy




Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA 71272

n our unit operations laboratory courses at Louisiana Tech
University, students are required to write two reports for
each experiment performed: a pre-lab report due prior
to performing the experiment and a final report due after
performing the experiment. Since the pre-lab report includes
sections dealing with safety, background information, and
experimental procedure, it is important that students are
exposed to the equipment beforehand. As instructor of these
courses, my previous approach to providing this exposure was
to personally give each lab group a walk-through on their next
experiment after they finished the current week's experiment.
In these walk-throughs, I would point out the various valves/
switches/gauges/etc, needed to manipulate and monitor the
process variables.

There are several disadvantages associated with having an
instructor give each student team a personal walk-through
on their next experiment each week. The first is that it takes
up valuable class time. Previously, students would have to
stay in class after completing their experiment for that week
in order to receive a walk-through on their next experiment.
This was particularly inefficient when two or more student
teams finished their experiments around the same time, be-
cause it meant that at least one team would just be waiting
around for the instructor to finish giving a tutorial to another
group of students before he could provide such a tutorial for
Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

them. Secondly, this delivery approach requires the instruc-
tor to give a tutorial on every experiment each week, which
becomes rather tiresome and repetitive. Additionally, the
personal walk-through necessitated that students quickly jot
down notes or try to remember key points as the instructor
went over their next experiment with them. An obstacle to
student retention of the experimental demonstration is the fact
that these students will have often already been in the lab for
up to three hours performing an experiment before receiving
the tutorial, often leaving them fatigued, uninterested, and/
or unmotivated while listening. Given studies regarding the
limited attention span of students ,[l'] this seems to be a highly
suboptimal learning environment. This is made worse by the
noises and other distractions caused by experiments still tak-
ing place around them.

Copyright ChE Division ofASEE 2013

Bradley A. Cicciarelli is a lecturer in the chemi-
cal engineering and mechanical engineering
departments at Louisiana Tech University.
He received his B.S. from the University of
Florida and Ph.D. from M. I. T, both in chemical
engineering. In addition to the unit operations
laboratory courses, he teaches the material and
energy balances course and a variety of cours-
es in the thermal science and transport areas.

A few summers ago I videotaped these experimental
demonstrations and now I post these videos online (which
is easily done through course managements systems like
Blackboard or Moodle, or through YouTube or other video-
sharing mechanisms) for students to view outside of class,
prior to performing their next experiment. The goals of the
pre-recorded tutorials are threefold: to introduce equipment
and explain the objectives of each experiment, to demonstrate
any special techniques that are used in performing the experi-
ment, and to indicate the location of various valves, switches,
meters, and other instrumentation used in the experiment. This
is illustrated in Figure 1, which shows screenshots captured
from videos used in our laboratory courses.
The idea of shifting some (or all) classroom instruction
to screencasts15'61 and other Web-based videos7-111 is gaining
popularity in engineering lecture courses (as in the "flipped" or
"inverted" classroom modelt12"151), and this seems like a logical
extension of that idea to laboratory courses. The videos are
intended to supplement, but not replace, written instructions
and guidelines for each experiment. Having additional audio
and visual instruction for these experiments should benefit
students of different learning styles as they prepare for their
upcoming experiment,16-'181 as well as provide clarification
regarding the placement of process lines and instrumenta-
tion in the experimental apparatus. The videos need not

have high-end production quality in order to achieve their
basic goals,E5' but an instructor could certainly add captions,
labels, and subtitles to the videos to provide further clarity.
The price of video-recording devices has decreased enough
over the years that even high-definition camcorders are no
longer cost-prohibitive.

There are several benefits to the use of pre-recorded video
demonstrations, especially when compared to the previous
approach of personal tutorials:
Benefits for Students
Less time sent in class Students can now leave class
when finished with their assigned experiment for that
Students can watch videos in an "on-demand" setting -
Students can pause, rewind, re-watch, etc., the videos
as needed while watching them at their convenience.
This can be particularly helpfuld while they prepare their
pre-lab reports.
Benefits for Instructors
Less time spent in class The instructor can leave after
the last experiment is finished, rather than waiting to
give another tutorial.
Less repetition for instructor The instructor now only

Chemical Engineering Education

Figure 1. Screen-captured images from the video tutorials illustrating (a) introduction and explanation of the
experiment, (b) demonstration of experimental techniques, and (c) the location of valves and control knobs used
in the experiment.

needs to give the tutorial for each experiment once
while being filmed, and the resulting video can be used
for as long as the experiment is used in the class.
*More consistency in information given to each lab
group As a result of giving so many personal tutorials,
I would occasionally forget to tell a group something
that I told another. With the videos, every team has
access to the same information, and the videos can be
edited to ensure that they are comprehensive.
Useful training tool for new lab instructors or lab
assistants As a library of these videos is built and
established, the transition involved in replacing or
adding lab instructors is eased. With the institutional
knowledge of the laboratory equipment and experiments
documented in the videos, a new instructor can quickly
bring him- or herself up to speed with the lab course
and continue to use these videos to familiarize the stu-
dents with the experiments. Similarly, the videos can be
used to train graduate students who will be serving as
lab assistants.

At the end of the first course that used the pre-recorded
demonstrations, in an anonymous survey about the course stu-
dents were asked the following question: "Question 12, Essay.
This was the first quarter that the experimental demonstration/
walkthroughs were delivered via pre-recorded videos. What
did you think of this approach? Was it helpful? Do you prefer it
to the previous method (in-person verbal demonstration given
to the group before they left from the previous week's lab)?
Are there ways it could be improved?" These students had all
taken previous unit operations laboratory courses that used
personal walk-throughs to introduce upcoming experiments.
The feedback regarding the videos was overwhelmingly posi-
tive. Some of the responses are given here:
"I really loved the videos being available instead of an
in-class walk-through, mainly because I could re-watch
them while writing the lab reports."
"The videos were very helpful in the sense that one
could pause and rewind at any time to review the dem-
onstration procedure."
"I do think the videos are effective in getting the infor-
mation out to the class. The ability to watch them more
than once is a big plus."
"I thought the videos were very effective. It allowed us
to watch the video over and over again to familiarize
ourselves with the process as much as possible."
"1 thought the videos were extremely informative and
helped me get a better understanding of the experimen-
tal procedure."
Of the 17 students surveyed, none stated a preference for
the previous method of providing tutorials. Unfortunately,
there was no quantification involved in this topic of the sur-

Students can watch the videos

in an 'on-demand' setting,

pausing and rewinding the videos

as needed while watching them

at their convenience.

vey, nor were any objective, quantifiable tests administered
to students in the course before and after the introduction
of the video demonstrations. My own experience with the
students suggests that changing the delivery method of the
experimental tutorials from personal to video has improved
their preparation (or at the very least hasn't worsened it), but
this is purely subjective and anecdotal. While having objec-
tive data to support these observations is certainly desirable, I
have found using the videos helpful enough that I am resistant
to the idea of going back to the previous method of giving
personal tutorials for the sake of administering such tests and
collecting these data.
Making pre-recorded video demonstrations of laboratory
experiments available to students before they perform the
experiments can make time spent in laboratory courses more
efficient for both the students and the instructor. Given all
the benefits cited above, I have found the videos to be well
worth the relatively small time investment needed to film
and edit them.

Kevin Peters was extremely helpful in filming and editing
the videos used in our courses. Louis Reis also helped film
several of the videos. This work was previously presented
in a poster session at the 2012 ASEE Chemical Engineering
Faculty Summer School.1191

1. Hartley, J., and I.K. Davies, "Note-Taking: A Critical Review," Pro-
grammed Learning and Educational Technology, 15,207-224 (1978)
2. Stuart, J., and R. Rutherford, "Medical Student Concentration During
Lectures," The Lancet, 2(8088), 514 (1978)
3. Bonwell, C.C., and J.A. Eison, "Active Learning: Creating Excite-
ment in the Classroom," ASHE- ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1,
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and Service, Allyn and Bacon: Boston, MA (2002)
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Screencasts in ChE Courses," Chem. Eng. Ed., 43(4), 286 (2009)
6. Falconer, J.L., GD. Nicodemus,J. DeGrazia, and J.W. Medlin,"Chemi-
cal Engineering Screencasts," Chem. Eng. Ed., 46(1), 58 (2012)

Vol. 47, No. 2, Spring 2013

7. Toto, J., and K. Booth, "Effects and Implications of Mini-Lectures
on Learning in First-Semester General Chemistry," Chem. Educ. Res.
Pract., 9,259-266 (2008)
8. Liberatore, M.W., "YouTube Fridays: Engaging the Net Generation in
5 Minutes a Week," Chem. Eng. Ed., 44(3), 215 (2010)
9. Liberatore, M.W., C.R. Vestal, and A.M. Herring, "YouTube Fridays:
Student-Led Development of Engineering Estimate Problems," Ad-
vances in Engineering Education, 3(1), (2012)
10. Foertsch, J., G. Moses, J. Strikwerda, and M. Litzgow, "Reversing the
Lecture/Homework Paradigm Using eTeach Web-based Streaming
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J.Econ.Educ.,31(l) 11 (2000)
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Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment," J. Econ.
Educ., 31(1) 30 (2000)
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Retrieved Aug. 3,2012, from
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Chemical Engineering Education

Author Guidelines for the



The laboratory experience in chemical engineering education has long been an integral part
of our curricula. CEE encourages the submission of manuscripts describing innovations in the
laboratory ranging from large-scale unit operations experiments to demonstrations appropriate
for the classroom. The following guidelines are offered to assist authors in the preparation of
manuscripts that are informative to our readership. These are only suggestions, based on the
comments of previous reviewers; authors should use their own judgment in presenting their
experiences. A set of general guidelines and advice to the author can be found at our Web site:

Manuscripts should describe the results of original and laboratory-tested ideas.
The ideas should be broadly applicable and described in sufficient detail to
allow and motivate others to adapt the ideas to their own curricula. It is noted
that the readership of CEE is largely faculty and instructors. Manuscripts must
contain an abstract and often include an Introduction, Laboratory Description,
Data Analysis, Summary of Experiences, Conclusions, and References.
An Introduction should establish the context of the laboratory experi-
ence (e.g., relation to curriculum, review of literature), state the learning
objectives, and describe the rationale and approach.
The Laboratory Description section should describe the experiment in
sufficient detail to allow the reader to judge the scope of effort required
to implement a similar experiment on his or her campus. Schematic dia-
grams or photos, cost information, and references to previous publica-
tions and Web sites, etc., are usually of benefit. Issues related to safety
should be addressed as well as any special operating procedures.
If appropriate, a Data Analysis section should be included that concisely
describes the method of data analysis. Recognizing that the audience
is primarily faculty, the description of the underlying theory should be
referenced or brief. The purpose of this section is to communicate to the
reader specific student-learning opportunities (e.g., treatment of reac-
tion-rate data in a temperature range that includes two mechanisms).
The purpose of the Summary of Experiences section is to convey the
results of laboratory or classroom testing. The section can enumerate,
for example, best practices, pitfalls, student survey results, or anecdotal
A concise statement of the Conclusions (as opposed to a summary) of
your experiences should be the last section of the paper prior to listing

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