Student Design Competition | AIChE

Student Design Competition

Each year, chemical engineers from a designated company devise and judge a student contest problem that typifies a real, working, chemical engineering design situation. Past problems can be found below.

To learn more about each competition, click on the links below.

Winning solutions from past problems are available for Professors upon request. Please note we do not send the solutions out to students, since many professors will use these problems in their classes. To request a solution, please email

Student Design Competition - Team

Student Design Competition - Individual

Competition Year Problem Description
2021 Modular Distributed Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Synthesis
2020 Toppings Refinery Retrofit
2019 Modular Distributed Ammonia Synthesis
2018 Production and Cost Analysis of Dimethyl Ether for Transportation
2017 Manufacturing Facility for Nylon 6 6
2016 Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries: Commercial Manufacturing Facility
2015 Alternate Technology for Sour Water Stripping
2014 Manufacturing the Next Generation of Vaccines: Non Egg based Platform for Influenza Vaccine
2013 Comparison of Bio-mass to Bio-oils Reactor Systems: Direct Conversion vs. Companion Coal Gasification
2012 Production Of Non-Alcoholic Beer Using A Reverse Osmosis Membrane Process
2011 Gas to Liquids (GTL)
2010 Manufacturing Facility for a Biopharmaceutical Monoclonal Antibody
2009 ABE Fermentation
2008 Coal to Methanol
2007 Separation Technology Evaluation for Economic Recovery of Pyridine
2006 Crystallization of Uranyl Nitrate from Dissolved Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF)
2005 Extraction of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere
2004 Disposal of Cavern Stored Ethylchloroacetate by Reaction with Caustic NaOH
2003 Recycling Nitric Acid from a Radioactive Liquid Waste Stream
2002 Reactor Design for Polyether Synthesis
2001 Economic Recovery of Edible Protein from Cheese Whey by Ultrafiltration
2000 Process Synthesis and Design of the Power Generation System for Automobiles: A Fuel Cell Approach
1999 Dicyclopentadiene Recovery from By-Product of Naphtha Steam-Cracking
1998 Solvent Recycle from a Siloxane Process
1997 Benzene Alkylation Fractionation Process Unit Revamp
1996 Production of Non-Alcoholic Beer for Gulf Brewing Company
1995 Production of Methanol by a New Process Utilizing Methyl Formate as an Intermediate
1994 Proposal for a Waste Water Treatment Plant for a Nitration Process
1993 Integrated Coal Gasification Combined Cycle Power Generation Plant Design
1992 Alternative Fermentation Process for Ethanol Production
1991 Revamp Refinery NGL Processing Unit
1990 Recovery of Germanium from Optical Fiber Manufacturing Effluents
1989 Methanol and MTBE Symthesis Form Vacuum Distillation Residue
1988 Preliminary Design of an Edible Soy Protein Facility
1987 Gas Processing Plant for Ethanol Recovery
1986 Production of Crude Acrylic Acid from Propylene
1985 Styrene From Toluene and Methanol
1983 A Wood Pulp Mill Production Rate Increase Problem
1982 Methanation Unit Design
1981 Dicyanobutene Reactor System
1980 Alkylation Unit Heat-Pump Fractionator
1979 Geothermal Secondary-Fluid Power Cycle Optimization
1978 Refining Isopropanol with Dehydration Agents other than Benzene
1977 Alkylation Plant Evaluation
1973 1973 Problem
1972 1972 Problem
1971 1971 Problem
1970 1970 Problem
1969 1969 Problem
1968 1968 Problem
1967 Explore the Effect of Benzenetoluene Price Spread Profitability
1966 1966 Problem
1964 Meeting Marketing Demands - Chrloromethanes Plant
1961 The Design of a Hydrogen Recovery Plant
1960 Production of Ethyl Chrloride
1959 Optimization Calculations for an Ethylene Purification Unit
1958 1958 Problem
1956 1956 Problem
1955 Solvent Recovery Process Evaluation
1954 1954 Problem
1953 1953 Problem
1952 1952 Problem
1951 1951 Problem
1950 Propane Extraction Plant for Decolorization of Tallow
1949 Design of a Recovery System to Decrease the Loss of Chlorine Encountered in the Production of Chloral
1948 Dehydration of Isopropanol in Idle Isomerization Unit
1947 Cost of Recovering Hydrogen
1943 1943 Problem
1942 1942 Problem
1941 1941 Problem
1940 Estimated Costs of Doubling The Production of the Acetic Acid Concentrating Department
1939 Utilization of Disused Steel Heat Exchangers
1938 Process Design for the Commercial Production of Diphenyl From Benzene
1937 Estimation of Steam and Power Plant Costs
1936 1936 Problem
1935 1935 Problem
1934 The Proposed Installation of Filter Presses
1933 1933 Problem
1932 Heat Exchangers for Crude Fractioning Unit