(566g) Web-Based Simulation Games for the Integration of Engineering and Business Best Practices

Authors: 
Calfa, B. A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Banholzer, W. F., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Web-Based
Simulation Games for the Integration of Engineering and Business Best Practices

Bruno A. Calfa[1]
and William F. Banholzer1

Universities
do an outstanding job providing a technical education. From undergraduates to
postdocs, students learn science and engineering fundamentals, how to read the
literature, analyze data, and test hypothesis. However, we believe there is a
serious need to improve training on industrial/business fundamentals.
Therefore, there is a pressing need to introduce business fundamentals into the
engineering curriculum. Producing students who have a stronger appreciation of
industrial realities and technical evaluation skills will provide a more
competent workforce, as well as more knowledgeable government employees.

Case
studies and business simulations are proven teaching tools (Sin and Center (2002),
Bequette et al. (1998), Seay and Eden (2008), Corsi et al. (2006)). They immerse students in realistic
actual or hypothetical situations developing their problem-solving skills. In
addition, cases and simulations are a natural way of using and applying
open-ended and practical problems, team projects, and written reports and oral
presentations.

In
this talk, we introduce a new web-based tool, Chemical Business Simulator (http://uwchembussim.che.wisc.edu/)
that consists of a framework for business simulation games. The games enhance
the chemical engineering curriculum by requiring application of both
engineering and finance principles to define successful commercial chemical
processes. The framework is extendable, i.e., additional cases can be developed
and integrated without completely redesigning the website. We will briefly
discuss currently implemented cases and share some feedback from students.

References

A. Sin and A. M. Center. Gas Station
Pricing Game: A Lesson in Engineering Economics and Business Strategies.
Chemical Engineering Education., 36(4):278-280, 2002.

B. W. Bequette,
K. D. Schott, V. Prasad, V. Natarajan, and R. R. Rao. Case Study Projects in an
Undergraduate Process Control Course. Chemical Engineering Education.,
32(3):214-219, 1998.

J. R. Seay and M. R. Eden. Incorporating
Risk Assessment and Inherently Safer Design Practices into Chemical Engineering
Education. Chemical Engineering Education., 42 (3):141-146, 2008.

T. M. Corsi, S. Boyson, A. Verbraeck, S.-P. van Houten, C. Han, and J. R. Macdonald. The Real-Time Global
Supply Chain Game: New Educational Tool for Developing Supply Chain Management
Professionals. Transportation Journal., 45(3):61-73, 2006.




[1]
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. University of
Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, WI 53706. USA.