Hands-On Learning: An Experiential Approach to Train Chemical Engineering Students

  • Satyen Gautam National University of Singapore
  • Karthiga Nagarajan National University of Singapore
  • Kai Chee Loh National University of Singapore
  • Kang Zhou National University of Singapore
  • Lanry Lin Y. Yung National University of Singapore
  • Yen Wah Tong National University of Singapore
  • Zhi Li National University of Singapore

Abstract

The paper explores the effectiveness of hands-on learning (HOL) as a student-centered model to train first year chemical engineering undergraduates. The pedagogical design of the course uses laboratory sessions, lectures, reflection sessions, projects, and assessments to achieve the course learning outcomes. The adopted assessment methodology (100% continuous assessment with no end-of-semester examination) aims at evaluating the quality of learning and mastery of higher order skills by students. The student feedback has been encouraging with many students finding the HOL methodology useful in offering meaningful opportunities to gain knowledge and acquire a breadth of higher-order skills.

 

Author Biographies

Satyen Gautam, National University of Singapore

Satyen Gautam is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS). He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from NUS in 2011. He teaches courses in kinetics, process design, biotechnology, and food technology and is enthusiastic about the use of technology in teaching and learning and promoting student engagement in learning.

Karthiga Nagarajan, National University of Singapore

Karthiga Nagarajan is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NUS. She obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from NUS in 2012. She teaches courses on fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and reaction engineering and is keen on designing classroom activities to actively engage students. 

 

Kai Chee Loh, National University of Singapore

Kai Chee Loh is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical andBiomolecular Engineering, NUS. He obtained his BEng and MEng in Chemical Engineering from NUS before going to MIT for his MS in Chemical Engineering Practice and PhD in Biochemical Engineering. In addition to his research interests in biological waste water treatment processes, he is passionate about teaching, particularly new techniques in pedagogy, including flipped-classroom and technology-enhanced methodologies.

Kang Zhou, National University of Singapore

Kang Zhou is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NUS. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Tianjin University in 2007 and his PhD degree from Singapore-MIT Alliance in 2012. He subsequently did his postdoctoral research work at MIT and then joined NUS as an Assistant Professor in 2015. His current research focuses on engineering microbial metabolism to convert cheap, renewable substrates into more valuable products. He teaches numerical methods at the undergraduate level and bioinformatics and applied molecular biology at the graduate level.

Lanry Lin Y. Yung, National University of Singapore

Lanry Lin Y. Yung is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NUS.  He obtained his Bachelor's degree from University of Minnesota and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.  His research focuses on  nanobiotechnology, biomolecular manipulation and biosensing, and device design.

Yen Wah Tong, National University of Singapore

Yen Wah Tong is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NUS. He joined the Department in 2001 after graduating from University of Toronto with a PhD in Chemical Engineering. His expertise is in biomaterials for tissue engineering and in bioenergy from food wastes and biomass wastes. His recent work in food waste management using distributed anaerobic digesters has been successfully commercialized. He has also done work in protein and virus capture using molecular imprinting on polymeric nanoparticles for prevention of viral infections and for biomolecule production.

Zhi Li, National University of Singapore

Zhi Li is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NUS. He obtained his PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from Vienna University, Austria, and his current research focuses on biocatalysis for green and sustainable chemical synthesis. He teaches courses on enzyme technology, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals, synthetic biology, and chemical engineering principles.

Published
2020-03-30
Section
Manuscripts