A Realistic Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis Project


  • Kenneth R. Muske Villanova University
  • John A. Myers Villanova University


A realistic applied chemical engineering experimental design and statistical analysis project is documented in this article. This project has been implemented as part of the professional development and applied statistics courses at Villanova University over the past five years. The novel aspects of this project are that the students are given a budget with which to perform their experimental study and the experimental results are made available to the students one day after an experiment is requested. Although a process simulation is generating the experimental results, the intent is to mimic a realistic experimental study where the results are not available immediately and there is an economic limit imposed on the amount of information that can be obtained. This approach requires the students to efficiently plan and adjust their experimental study over the course of the project.

Author Biographies

Kenneth R. Muske, Villanova University

Kenneth Muske is the Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Moritz Sr. Chair of Systems Engineering and professor of chemical engineering at Villanova University, where he has taught since 1997. He received his B.S. and M.S. from Northwestern (1977) and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas (1990), all in chemical engineering. Prior to teaching at Villanova, he was a technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory and worked as a process control consultant for Setpoint, Inc. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of process modeling, control, and optimization.

John A. Myers, Villanova University

John Myers is an emeritus professor of chemical engineering at Villanova University, where he had taught from 1963 until his retirement in 1999. He received his B.S. (1958), M.S. (1960), and Ph.D. (1964) in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas. His teaching interests are in the areas of process design, transport operations, and statistics. His research interests are in the area of process design and operations. He also served as a consultant to local industries. He currently spends much of his time traveling.