(396d) The “Cilindro Rotador” As a Pedagogical Tool for Complex Engineering Systems

Authors: 
Allred, A. N., Tennessee Technological University
Sanders, J. R., Tennessee Technological University
Arce, P. E., Tennessee Technological University
The engineering description of multiphase systems (such as organs within the human body or packed-bed reactors in the petrochemical industry) represents a challenging pedagogical task for the instructor and a steep learning curve for the students. Both students and instructors face a multitude of domains with different scales and with interconnecting interfaces that need an intimate understanding before physical concepts can be put into mathematical models. Such systems usually involve various transport processes with either homogeneous or heterogeneous reactions; they reflect different types of geometries that anchor irregular pore shapes, and they are comprised of different types of materials with various properties In reaching a successful description, students must bring together “disconnected” concepts from a variety of courses in a coherent manner; they need to assess the assumptions in each phase that match the relevant scale and, therefore, connect them with microscopic or macroscopic models. Their skill set should allow them to identify suitable boundary conditions that capture the interfacial physics. In all, the analysis is a daunting learning task for the students. Within the framework of the Renaissance Foundry Model, this study is exploring the use of well-characterized physical or laboratory devices as pedagogical tools to help the students acquire the skill set to describe complex systems. In particular, we will present elements and pedagogical functions of the “Cilindro Rotador” to integrate concepts learned in different courses, train the students in the art of simplifying assumptions, identifying suitable scales, and assessing proper conditions for the interfacial boundaries.
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