(581b) Process Simulation As a Means to An End, Not Just "At the End"

Rockstraw, D. A. - Presenter, New Mexico State University

Chemical process simulation is a common tool of the commercial sector for performing rigorous design and analysis calculations.  Use of modern simulation software can be adapted to all levels in the college curriculum, thereby permitting students sufficient time to develop a deep understanding of the details of its use, including such advanced features as pseudocomponent definitions; accessing variables; integration of user-defined modules; process dynamics and control; and economic evaluation & optimization.  Numerous resources are now freely available that permit faculty to learn the features of the software that align with the content of the courses they teach, including textbooks that directly integrate the use of simulation software, and extensive, easy-to-follow teaching resources published by the software companies.  The adaptability of the software combined with the availability of these learning resources dictate that process simulation no longer be taught as a single final-semester lab employing a cookbook-style approach, rather process simulation should now be taught in parallel with the fundamentals content of the chemical engineering curriculum.  Details of an example integrated curriculum will be discussed, and an assessment of the impact on student chemical process design projects will be presented.