Using A Virtual-Reality Activity to Enrich Nanoscale Concepts in Chemical Engineering



Chemical engineers must learn to connect concepts across vastly different scales, spanning from molecular structures to industrial processes. Here, we explore the use of a virtual-reality simulation with a companion video of an experiment to help undergraduate students connect nanoscale fundamentals to macroscale engineering observations.

Author Biographies

Michael P. Howard, Auburn University

Michael P. Howard is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. His research uses computer simulations and statistical mechanics to understand and design soft materials — including nanoparticles, polymers, and composites — with a focus on nonequilibrium problems where thermodynamic and transport effects compete to determine a material’s structure and properties

Symone L.M. Alexander, Auburn University

Symone L.M. Alexander is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Howard University and her PhD in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. She uses her expertise in transport phenomena and mechanics of materials to provide new fundamental understanding of biological materials and living systems. Her research group focuses on using nature as inspiration to design stimuli-responsive materials with applications in toxin remediation, host–microbiome interactions, and soft robotics.





Summer School Special Section