Can We Teach Our Students to Be Innovative?


  • Stuart W. Churchill University of Pennsylvania


Progress in the practice of chemical engineering, as well as in all related fields, appears to occur more rapidly and more profoundly by virtue of discovery and innovation (and thereby in discrete steps) than by systematic incremental improvements. If the students in chemical engineering are going to advance the practice of our profession and not just be participants, they must become discoverers and innovators. Genius is not required—only the proper environment and mindset. Techniques that are effective in establishing such an environment and mindset for both graduate and undergraduate students are described.

Author Biography

Stuart W. Churchill, University of Pennsylvania

Stuart W. Church ii is the Carl VS. Patterson Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania,
where he has been since 1967. His BSE degrees (in Chemical Engineering and Math), MSE, and PhD were all obtained at the University of Michigan, where he also taught from 1950-1967. Since his formal retirement in 1990, he has continued to teach and to carry out research on turbulent flow and heat transfer and combustion.