Engineering Seniors using the Armfield gas diffusion equipment.
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
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
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.