Teaching Process Design to Chemical Engineering Undergraduates at the Technion – an Evolution
The capstone design sequence provides chemical engineering students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in process engineering, acquired during their entire degree, and is the ultimate “reality check” in outcome verification. This paper describes the current status of the design sequence followed by chemical engineering students at the Technion. The sequence has evolved over time, with the changes made resulting from perceived needs and opportunities, and all have been made with the objective to provide the most added value to our students. Invariably, these curriculum changes have been introduced hand-in-hand with changes in teaching pedagogy, which were incorporated to increase the degree to which students actively participate in their own learning process, culminating in the introduction of flipping in the complete sequence. Classroom experience with the flipped-class approach indicates that overall, students came to class and to the tutorials far better prepared than with the lecture-based approach. Furthermore, the performance of the students in final exams has been significantly improved since classroom activity has been transformed to active learning.