(462a) Student Driven Design Problems | AIChE

(462a) Student Driven Design Problems


Wenzel, J. - Presenter, Kettering University
For design courses it may sometimes be difficult to author challenging and interesting problems for the students that cover all the needed concepts for these culminating experiences. While there are a wealth of AIChE competition problems available, often solutions to these problems are discoverable, or may not fit with contemporary issues. What has been evaluated at Kettering University is a student-driven process in devising the context of a design problem. This process starts with students reviewing current events and safety topics, Grand Challenges, global issues, and items of interest. Each student is provided a few minutes to give a presentation on their idea for a design project and these are down-selected to handful of promising problems. Next student teams are formed to further evaluate the promising problems and determine the depth of the problem. The teams then present their findings in twenty minute presentation. Following this the professor will ultimately select a topic from which a culminating design problem may be synthesized. The end result is the class is not only invested in the process of determining the theme and some of the parameters of the design problem, but ultimately preparing a solution to a problem of they are motivated to solve. Problem encompass not only lifelong learning exercises, but study into process safety. Examples of design problems include synthesis of return rocket fuel for use on Mars, production of transportation ethanol, production of ethanol for consumption using renewable energy and capture of carbon dioxide, and desalination of seawater for drinking water using renewable energy for the city of Irvine, California. Examples of the problem generation process and design problems will be presented.