The main objective of this project is to enhance the undergraduate engineering curriculum by i) the development of an integrated undergraduate chemical engineering design project with a strong linkage between the individual courses, and ii) the integration of AspenPlus simulation software throughout the chemical engineering curriculum --- from freshman through senior level courses. The early introduction of a complete and integrated design project will expose freshman to the "big picture", aiding in their comprehension of the nature of chemical engineering while helping them to understand why the underlying foundation courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics are important. Freshman begin the project with simple topics. As the students progress through the curriculum they continue to work on appropriate aspects of the design, continually building on the concepts taught in previous courses. Augmenting the four year undergraduate design project is the parallel introduction of the AspenPlus process simulator. With the early use of this powerful design tool, students will gain increased knowledge and expertise so that by their senior year they will be able to design and optimize complex capstone design projects. Students will use AspenPlus to enhance their integrated design efforts, as well as reinforce learning and understanding of their engineering course material. A complementary objective of this project is the encouragement and enhancement of the engineering career expectations of pre-college, freshman, and disadvantaged groups of people. These efforts are designed to extend and enhance our previous successful outreach experiences. Our focus is on enhanced learning experiences for freshman first. This is coupled with outreach to surrounding secondary schools and tribal colleges, with the goal of increasing the awareness and participation of students, especially Native Americans and women, in engineering and science programs. The successful implementation and completion of this project will be shared nationwide with other engineering and science universities, through journal articles and an active World Wide Web site.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Ibrahim Halil Nisanci
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South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Rapid City
United States
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