Factfile8 - Title

Just in time

Chemical Engineering Seniors
Chemical Engineering Seniors using the Armfield gas diffusion equipment.

In recent years, the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University has made significant changes to the freshman and sophomore engineering curriculum. Among the changes is the integration of laboratory demonstrations and exercises into the classroom for a 'just-in-time' reinforcement of principles being taught. The portability and ease of use of recent equipment acquisition significantly strengthens the integrated approach to engineering instruction.

The chemical engineering program at Louisiana Tech University recently added to its undergraduate laboratory equipment with the acquisition of a variety of Armfield experiments.
Through funding provided by the university and grants from external agencies, students in chemical engineering and employees at a local chemical manufacturer will have new opportunities to integrate classroom studies with practical training on process equipment.

One student's first impression was "Wow! You can see what's going on inside the equipment!" Indeed, the highly visual nature of the Armfield units coupled with the capability of rapid and reproducible data acquisition make the concepts and principles of chemical processing equipment come alive for students. The planned co-ordination of bench-scale studies with our older pilot-scale equipment builds an avenue of expanded understanding for students in all the undergraduate laboratories.

"The capability of visualizing engineering concepts at work in process equipment are invaluable both to prospective engineers and to industrial employees engaged in day-to-day operations," says Bill Elmore, Program Chair of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana Tech and Program Director of the industrial Department of Labor training program.

The response among trainees at the local industrial plant has also been very positive. Sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Labor, the intent of the training is to provide non-engineering personnel a glimpse of underlying principles and concepts of process technology.

"The blend of textbook instruction, computer-based training and 'hands-on' experience with equipment is proving to be a winning combination for everyone involved," says Dr. Elmore.

Trainees at local plant
Trainees at local industrial plant working with centrifugal compressor unit.

Series/Parallel pumps demonstration unit
Series/Parallel pumps demonstration unit.

Chemical Reactors training equipment
Industrial trainees operating Chemical Reactors training equipment.

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