(414b) A Short Course Introducing Students to Computational Thermodynamics | AIChE

(414b) A Short Course Introducing Students to Computational Thermodynamics


Inguva, P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Haslam, A. J., Imperial College London
Yew, P., Unaffiliated
Thermodynamics stands as one of the fundamental pillars of a chemical engineer's educational background. Despite its theoretical underpinnings, computational elements have become increasingly important for contemporary engineering applications. Regrettably, most traditional undergraduate thermodynamics courses provide little exposure to practical computational applications, leaving students ill-equipped to engage with the complex thermodynamic models used in industry. However, the rise of open-source codes has created a unique opportunity for students to bridge this gap. To address this need, we have developed a comprehensive short course that leverages these tools to enhance students' computational thermodynamics knowledge base. The course is structured into three distinct parts. The initial segment provides a robust foundation in both numerical methods and fundamental thermodynamics principles, ensuring that all participants possess a shared knowledge base. The second part introduces a range of thermodynamic models, including activity coefficient models, cubic equations of state, and SAFT equations, and provides practical examples of their implementation. In the final segment, students are tasked with implementing their computational thermodynamics methods, covering pressure solvers, flash problems, and chemical stability analysis. In a pilot study involving both undergraduate and graduate students, we found that participants found the course engaging and highly relevant to their chemical engineering education. All course materials are openly available on GitHub, with future expansions planned to provide even more extensive resources. By providing students with a strong foundation in practical computational thermodynamics, we hope to empower them to engage with the ever-growing complexity of modern industrial applications.