An Internet-Based Distributed Laboratory for Interactive Chemical Engineering Education


  • Jing Guo Washington University
  • David J. Kettler Washington University
  • Muthanna Al-Dahhan Washington University


A common undergraduate chemical engineering experiment has been modified for on-line operation over the Internet. By adopting rapidly changing Internet and object component technologies, we developed a novel approach combining the Internet and regular laboratory equipment. The client–server applications use a Visual Basic and Labtech programming environment, which includes remote access of control and data acquisition. The details of the architecture design are reported to provide enhanced understanding of the technical issues involved and the solutions chosen.

Author Biographies

Jing Guo, Washington University

Jing Guo received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1997 and his M.S. degree in 2000, both from Beijing University of Chemical Technology. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2005, where he worked on the experimentation of catalysis in multiphase reactors, including trickle bed reactor and packed bubble column. He also developed a modeling program to simulate the multiphase reactions for applications ranging from bench-scale to commercial-scale.

David J. Kettler, Washington University

David J. Kettler was awarded double bachelor degrees in biomedical and chemical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001. During his study, he was also responsible for developing the Process Control Laboratory's homepage and the Simulink Virtual Laboratory as an interactive series of workshops.

Muthanna Al-Dahhan, Washington University

Muthanna H. AI-Dahhan is an associate professor of chemical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and associate director of the Chemical Reaction Engineering Laboratory. He received his B.S. degree in 1979 from the University of Baghdad in Iraq, M.S. degree in 1988 from Oregon State University, and Ph.D. degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1993. His research interests are in the fields of chemical reaction engineering related to multiphase reactor systems, mass transfer, and process engineering. He is author of more than 80 papers in the field of chemical engineering.