Senior Design Projects
During the final year of studies, Chemical Engineering students complete a real-world engineering project. The project is part of the Chemical Engineering Plant Design course that teaches students the skills needed to successfully complete process design projects of realistic industrial complexity. Students work on the design projects in small teams
The technical and problem-solving abilities developed by the students relate to the chemical engineering aspects of the process design cycle to enable the synthesis and design of processes typically encountered in the chemical and related industries. The focus is on:
Knowledge of the plant design process from conceptual design through to detailed design.
- Process Synthesis using design heuristic and systematic techniques to develop and evolve process designs.
- The conceptual design and specification of process equipment with a focus on fluid flow, heat and mass transfer.
- The evaluation of safety and environmental issues related to a design.
- The expert use of design computational tools in the form of process simulators and their use in assessing and optimizing process design scenarios.
In parallel to the development of their technical abilities, the students develop professional skills to facilitate successful participation in process design activities. This includes effective written and oral communications through structured team meetings, process design reports, and presentations, and the skills necessary to effectively perform in process design teams. These include project planning and management, time keeping and professional conduct, awareness of roles, expertise and strengths of team members, compliance with management decisions and acquisition of relevant information from literature sources and outside experts.
The Senior Design Projects constitute a full process design effort starting from a business-oriented problem statement to arrive at an efficient base case process design that is later optimized in detail. The teams select suitable technologies for the process, create and discriminate between possible design alternatives, develop process flow and control diagrams, perform preliminary safety and environmental analyses, and perform a full cost analysis, and assemble a full report of the results.
The teams assign specific roles and responsibilities to team members according to areas of specialization and project needs. Leadership and autonomy are emphasized as teams are encouraged to overcome minor challenges by their own means while they are challenged to discern the appropriate time to seek outside assistance.
The Senior Design Projects are presented to an industrial evaluation board for independent assessment by professional design engineers.