(166h) An Integrated Curricula Approach to a Great Capstone Lab Experience and Its Potential Implementation In South America

Tijaro, R., Universidad Arturo Prat
Oyanader, M., Tenneessee Tech University
Biernacki, J., Tennessee Technological University

Traditional Unit Operation Labs (UOL) consist of a series of well define experiments that are run every semester with very little modification. As a matter of fact, a steady operation of the many units (Absorption Column, CSRT, Heat Exchanger, etc…) is very much preferred so the students have the chance to validate performance of unit the set up. In addition, a traditional UOL course usually have 3 to 4 credits hours, whereas in a Lecture-Lab integrated curricula the number of credit drops significantly to 1 to 2 credit hours. In this case, making a UOL core course an actual learning tool can be an opportunity for creativity and enhancement. In this paper, it is described how Chemical Engineering core courses converge into one single project with an open-ended problem. Particular attention is given to the strategic planning of the course, logistic associated, ABET requirement and external assessments. Other aspects are also includes as for example the details of the expected deliverables of the course, final presentations, and statistical analysis performed on the data collected. After five years of implementation at Tennessee TECH University, the pros and cons of the approach are evaluated for testing in a different environmental setting as it may be the North to the South American culture. The author’s particular intentions are to document potential barriers as well as opportunities in a more global engineering education. The base case for the analysis is the new UOL concept as of a progressive program.