The RAPID Institute is focused on addressing barriers to MCPI deployment and enabling the development of breakthrough technologies to boost energy productivity and energy efficiency through manufacturing processes in industries such as oil and gas, pulp and paper, and chemical manufacturing. RAPID will leverage approaches to MCPI - such as combining multiple process steps including mixing, reaction, and separation into more complex and intensified processes - with the goal of improving productivity and efficiency, cutting operating costs and reducing waste.
Achieving this goal will require more than the development of new MCPI technologies - it will require a cultural change in how industrial processes are designed and implemented and for process intensification to become part of the engineer’s standard toolset when designing processes. Also crucial is an understanding of when modular, de-centralized processes are most appropriate for reduction of risks and sustainable processes.
Key to achieving this cultural change is a workforce trained in PI & MCPI technologies, which aligns with RAPID’s mission to:
Establish a technical education and workforce development program that will leverage existing resources to train and educate the workforce, who can then research, develop, design and operate processes that incorporate new process intensification technologies and modular process designs widely within U.S. industry."
Gap Identified: Lack of Training Resources and Awareness
One of the first activities taken on by RAPID was a detailed technology roadmapping activity. Over 100 subject matter experts from industry, academia and government were brought together to define the key gaps that stand in the way of broader deployment of MCPI technologies. During this roadmapping process, a lack of training resources and awareness of PI and MCPI solutions was specifically identified as an institute-wide gap. Education and training needs were ascertained for groups ranging from practicing engineers to students to management, and formed the structure of the EWD Roadmap.
This gap in education and training materials/opportunities is well-aligned with RAPID’s mandate to develop tools to advance education and workforce development (EWD) associated with PI and MCPI. In particular, RAPID’s two EWD-related institute targets are:
- Train at least fifty education/training professionals per year in modular chemical process intensification technologies for clean energy including energy management practices, by year 3.
- Train at least 500 students per year in modular chemical process intensification technologies and solutions, including energy management practices by year 3.
Education & Workforce Development (EWD) Roadmap Overview
Building on the institute-wide gap identified in the technology roadmapping process, RAPID’s Education & Workforce Development (EWD) Committee convened to develop a roadmap specifically focused on EWD efforts needed to fill this gap. The roadmap is outlined by six target audiences where there is both a gap in PI & MCPI educational content and a need for such content, in order to meet the emerging industrial requirements of new PI & MCPI opportunities and a workforce trained to execute these.
Click image to see a larger version.