Undergraduate Courses

CHE 1011. INTRODUCTION TO CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

  • Cat. I. This course provides an introduction to the broad and vital discipline of chemical engineering including conventional and developing chemical technologies. An introduction is provided to the first principles of chemical engineering, as well as environmental, health, safety and ethical issues in chemical engineering practice. An overview is provided of the chemical engineering profession, career choices, the course of study, and a survey of the chemical industry, e.g., polymer, pharmaceutical, food processing, microelectronic, electrochemical, biotechnology, process control, energy, and petroleum refining. Course activities include guest speakers and plant trips. Recommended for first-year students with a basic knowledge of chemistry.

CHE 2011. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING FUNDAMENTALS

  • Cat. I This first course in chemical engineering is designed to give students the ability to use techniques and solve problems of interest to chemical engineers. Students will learn fundamental material by completing analysis, design, and/or laboratory projects. Topics covered include: material balances and stoichiometry, pressure, volume, and temperature behavior of pure fluids, 1st law of thermodynamics, vapor-liquid equilibria with ideal thermodynamics, and staged separation processes. Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus. Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for both CHE 2011 and CM 2001.

CHE 2012. ELEMENTARY CHEMICAL PROCESSES

  • Cat. I This course aims to build a strong foundation in analysis of chemical processes via a project-based approach. Topics covered include analysis and design of stagewise separation processes such as distillation, 1st and 2nd law (of thermodynamics) analysis of power and refrigeration cycles, and application of material and energy balances in industrial chemical processes, including those with recycle and non-ideal systems. Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus and some familiarity with the topics listed in CHE 2011. Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for both CHE 2012 and ES 3000.

CHE 2013. APPLIED CHEMICAL ENGINEERING THERMODYNAMICS

  • Cat. I This course uses a project-based approach to build confidence and competence in the use of chemical engineering thermodynamics for the analysis and design of chemical processes. Topics covered include extractive separation systems, solution thermodynamics and nonreacting multicomponent mixtures, phase equilibria and property changes on mixing. Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus and some familiarity with the topics listed in CHE 2011 and CHE 2012. Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for both CHE 2013 and CM 2102.

CHE 2014. ADVANCED CHEMICAL PROCESSES

  • Cat. I This course builds on prior work in material and energy balances, chemical engineering thermodynamics, and stagewise separation processes to facilitate student mastery and design of more complex processes. Topics covered include chemical reaction equilibria, material and energy balances for non-steady state systems, combined material and energy balances, humidification, and batch distillation. Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus and some familiarity with the topics listed in CHE 2011, CHE 2012, and CHE 2013. Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for both CHE 2014 and CM 2002.

CHE 3201. KINETICS AND REACTOR DESIGN

  • Cat. I Techniques for experimentally determining rate laws for simple and complex chemical reactions, the mechanisms and theories of chemical reactions, the function of catalysts, and the design of isothermal, adiabatic, batch and flow reactors. The course is intended to provide chemists and chemical engineers with the conceptual base needed to study reactions and perform in the design and analysis of reactors. Recommended background: differential equations, thermodynamics and some organic chemistry.

CHE 3301. INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING

  • Cat. II This course is an introduction to the chemical engineering principles involved in modern applications of biological engineering. Topics may include: an introduction to biology, biochemistry, physiology, and genomics; biological process engineering including fermentation, mammalian cell culture, biocatalysis, and downstream bioseparations; drug discovery, development, and delivery; environmental biotechnology; and chemical engineering aspects of biomedical devices. Recommended background: material and energy balances, thermodynamics, organic chemistry, and differential equations. This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.

CHE 3501. APPLIED MATHEMATICS IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

  • Cat. I The consolidation of the methods of mathematics into a form that can be used for setting up and solving chemical engineering problems. Mathematical formulation of problems corresponding to specific physical situations such as momentum, energy and mass transfer, and chemical reactions. Analytical and numerical techniques for handling the resulting ordinary and partial differential equations and finite difference equations. Recommended background: ordinary differential equations, partial derivatives and vectors, momentum heat and mass transfer.

CHE 3702. ENERGY CHALLENGES IN THE 21st CENTURY

  • Cat. II The goal of this course is to prepare students for future work in energy-related fields by providing an overview of the challenges related to energy production. Students will study several major energy systems. The details of such energy systems will be examined using engineering principles, particularly focusing on relevant chemical processes. For example, the details and processes of a typical power plant or a refinery will be examined. Students will also become familiar with environmental and economic issues related to energy production. Topics to be covered may include: fossil fuels, the hydrogen economy, biofuels, nuclear energy, fuel cells, batteries, and the electricity grid. Recommended background: knowledge of chemistry (CH 1010, 1020, 1030), differential and integral calculus, and chemical processes (CHE 2011). Students may not receive credit for both CHE 3702 and CHE 320X.

CHE 372X. BIOENERGY

  • The primary goal of this course is to provide students the necessary understanding and tools to evaluate biochemical and thermochemical biofuel production technologies. The secondary goals include developing understanding of 1) fuel properties, 2) biomass resources, 3) basic enzyme kinetics, 4) biochemical reactor design, 5) the corn ethanol process, 6) challenges to cellulosic ethanol, 7) biomass gasification reactions and thermochemistry, 8) gasification reactor design, and 9) techno economic concepts of biofuel processes. Recommended background: Knowledge of chemistry (CH 1010, 1020, and 1030 or equivalent), differential and integral calculus and differential equations (MA 1021-1024 and 2051 or equivalent), and chemical processing (CHE 2011 or equivalent).

CHE 4063. TRANSPORT & TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Cat. II In this course, students will learn to make quantitative relationships between human activities and the effects on water, soil, and air in the environment. Students will learn the scientific and engineering principles that are needed to understand how contaminants enter and move in the environment, how compounds react in the environment, how to predict their concentrations in the environment, and how to develop solutions to environmental problems. Topics to be covered may include water quality engineering (including microbial interactions), air quality engineering, and hazardous waste management. Recommended Background: familiarity with transport phenomena, such as in ES 3004 (Fluid Mechanics) and ES 3002 (Mass Transfer), and familiarity with reaction kinetics and reactor design, such as through CHE 3201 (Kinetics and Reactor Design). Background such as CE 3059 (Environmental Engineering), CE 3060 (Water Treatment), or CE 3061 (Wastewater Treatment) is suggested. This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

CHE 4401. UNIT OPERATIONS OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING I

  • Cat. I Laboratory-application of fundamental theories to practical chemical engineering operations. Emphasis is on building the student’s understanding and ability to approach the problems of design and operations of large scale chemical processing equipment. The course is a combination of lectures and laboratory projects in the area of unit operations. Laboratory projects include experiments in fluid-flow phenomena through various media such as: friction in conduits, filtration, pressure drop in packed towers, fluidization of solids, and spray drying. Students are expected to carry out the planning and execution of experimental work as well as the analysis and reporting of experimental results in both written and oral format. Recommended background: knowledge of chemistry, mathematics and engineering principles.

CHE 4402. UNIT OPERATIONS OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING II

  • Cat. I Overall format and procedure are essentially the same as in Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering I. Laboratory projects include experiments in heat and mass transfer such as: heat transfer in two heaters and a cooler, climbing film evaporation, multiple effect evaporation, absorption, extraction, distillation and rotary drying of solids. Recommended backgound: familiarity with techniques and procedures emphasized in CHE 4401.

CHE 4403. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN

  • Cat. I Design of equipment, systems and plants; discussion of factors important in chemical plant design such as: economics, cost estimation, profitability, process selection, materials of construction, process control, plant location and safety. Introduction to optimization and computer-aided design. Principles are illustrated with short industrial-type problems. Recommended background: thermodynamics; heat, mass and momentum transfer; inorganic and organic chemistry; chemical kinetics and reactor design.

CHE 4404. CHEMICAL PLANT DESIGN PROJECT

  • Cat. I Application of Chemical Engineering design principles to the design of a major chemical plant. Students work in groups to produce a preliminary practical process flowsheet, equipment and plant design, and economic analysis. Recommended background: familiarity with techniques and procedures emphasized in CHE 4403.

CHE 4405. CHEMICAL PROCESS DYNAMICS AND CONTROL LABORATORY

  • Cat. I This course is intended to provide laboratory application of fundamental principles of chemical process dynamics and feedback control. This includes open-loop dynamics of typical chemical engineering processes such as distillation, fluid flow, chemical reactors and heated stirred tanks. Closed-loop experiments will involve control loop design, controller tuning, multivariable, and computer control. Students will be required to design and execute their own experiments based on supplied objectives. Analysis and presentation of the results will be done through oral and written reports. Recommended background: knowledge of fluid flow and heat transfer, mathematics and chemical engineering principles.

CHE 4410. CHEMICAL PROCESS SAFETY DESIGN

  • Application of chemical engineering design principles to the design of the process safety and environmental controls of a major chemical plant. Students work in groups to produce a preliminary practical flowsheet, equipment design and controls, and economic analysis, all associated with chemical process safety components within a plant. The course will also include an introduction to modeling of off-site impacts. Recommended background: familiarity with techniques and procedures of chemical engineering design (CHE 4403), working knowledge of thermodynamics, heat, mass and momentum transfer, inorganic and organic chemistry, chemical kinetics and reactor design. This course meets the requirements for a core course and a Capstone Design course in chemical engineering. Students may not receive core credit for both CHE 4404 and CHE 4410.

Graduate Courses

CHE 501. SEMINAR

  • Reports on current advances in the various branches of chemical engineering or on graduate research in progress. Must be taken during every semester in residence.

CHE 502. SEMINAR

  • Reports on current advances in the various branches of chemical engineering or on graduate research in progress. Must be taken during every semester in residence.

CHE 503. COLLOQUIUM

  • Presentations on scientific advances by recognized experts in various fields of chemical engineering and related disciplines. The course will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

CHE 504. MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING*

  • An essential skill of an engineer is to provide analytical and numerical solutions to relevant problems. This course will provide students with a solid mathematical background required to solve chemical engineering problems in fields such as fluid mechanics, reactor design, thermodynamics, and process design. Methods of mathematical analysis relevant to engineering will be selected from such topics as vector analysis, matrices, eigenvalue problems, Fourier analysis, Fourier transforms, Laplace transformation, solution of ordinary and partial differential equations, integral equations, calculus of variation, optimization methods, and numerical methods. Students should have a background in undergraduate calculus and differential equations.

CHE 506. KINETICS AND CATALYSIS*

  • Theories of reaction kinetics and heterogeneous catalysis are developed for both simple and complex reactions. The kinetics and mechanisms of both catalyzed and uncatalyzed reactions are explored, as well as the effects of bulk and pore diffusion. Techniques for experimentation, reaction data treatment, and catalyst preparation and characterization are related to developing a sound approach to studying a chemical reaction.

CHE 507. CHEMICAL REACTOR DESIGN*

  • A review of the design of ideal reactors. Main topics include: deviations from ideal reactor behavior; transport effects in reacting systems; steady state multiplicity and stability analysis; optimization of reactors; analysis of heterogeneous rectors.

CHE 509. REACTOR DESIGN AND KINETICS

  • This course includes a review of prototypical chemical reactors, including design of batch, stirred tank, and tubular reactors. Theories of reaction kinetics and catalysis for simple and complex reactions are addressed. Reactor design is discussed within the context of complex transport phenomena and reaction kinetics, including effects of bulk and pore diffusion and multiphase reactions/reactors. Techniques for experimentation, reaction data treatment, catalyst preparation and characterization, and computational tools are also included. Students cannot receive credit for this course and CHE 506 or CHE 507, which this class replaces.

CHE 521. BIOCHEMICAL ENGINEERING

  • The course emphasizes the basic concepts of biological systems which are relevant to study by chemical engineers. Topics covered include ligand binding and membrane transport processes; growth kinetics of micro-organisms; kinetics of interacting multiple populations; biological reactor design and analysis; soluble immobilized enzyme kinetics; optimization and control of fermentation; and biological product recovery and separation.

CHE 531. FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY

  • The course provides an overview of the various types of fuel cells followed by a detailed discussion of the proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell fundamentals: thermodynamics relations including cell equilibrium, standard potentials, and Nernst equation; transport and adsorption in proton-exchange membranes and supported liquid electrolytes; transport in gas-diffusion electrodes; kinetics and catalysis of electrocatalytic reactions including kinetics of elementary reactions, the Butler-Volmer equation, reaction routes and mechanisms; kinetics of overall anode and cathode reactions for hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells; and overall design and performance characteristics of PEM fuel cells.

CHE 554. MOLECULAR MODELING

  • This course trains students in the area of molecular modeling using a variety of quantum mechanical and force field methods. The approach will be toward practical applications, for researchers who want to answer specific questions about molecular geometry, transition states, reaction paths and photoexcited states. No experience in programming is necessary; however, a backround at the introductory level in quantum mechanics is highly desirable. Methods to be explored include density functional theory, ab initio methods, semiempirical molecular orbital theory, and visualization software for the graphical display of molecules.

CHE 561. THERMODYNAMICS

  • Thermodynamics is at the heart of many systems of interest to chemical engineers, from the efficiency of simple mechanical processes to the equilibria of complex reactions. This course is a rigorous treatment of classical thermodynamics, with reference to the field of statistical thermodynamics. Key modules include First and Second Law analysis; behavior and interrelationships of thermodynamic properties; and fluid phase and chemical equilibria. Example topics may include analysis of open and dynamic systems; fundamental relationships; Legendre transforms and generalized potentials; Maxwell relationships; stability theory; thermodynamics of mixtures; fugacity, activity, and chemical potential; phase equilibria of systems containing two or more components; and generalized treatment of chemical equilibria.

CHE 565. ADVANCED PROCESS ENGINEERING

  • Advanced topics in process synthesis, optimization and process control are examined. Optimization topics include objective functions, multivariable optimization, constrained optimization, mixed integer linear programming and applications of optimization to process industries. Control topics include model predictive control, adaptive control, batch process control, and plant-wide control. Recommended background: Undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering.

CHE 571. TRANSPORT PHENOMENA

  • Transport rates of mass, energy, and momentum are key to the design of many chemical technologies. This class adopts a unified approach to transport phenomena, providing the fundamental background required for analysis of complex problems. Students will use mathematical techniques for analytic and approximate solutions such as: separation of variables, similarity solutions, perturbation theory, and Laplace and Fourier transform methods. Methods involving non-dimensionalization and scaling will be emphasized. Special problems to be covered may include the lubrication approximation, creeping flow, and potential and laminar boundary-layer flows, as well as heat and mass transport in multi-component systems. Students are expected to have taken previous courses on transport processes and have mathematical background that includes solution of differential equations.

CHE 574. FLUID MECHANICS

  • Advanced treatment of fluid kinematics and dynamics. Stress and strain rate analysis using vectors and tensors as tools. Incompressible and compressible one-dimensional flows in channels, ducts and nozzles. Nonviscous and viscous flow fields. Boundary layers and turbulence. Flow through porous media such as fixed and fluidized beds. Two-phase flows with drops, bubbles and/or boiling. Introduction to non-Newtonian flows.

CHE 580. SPECIAL TOPICS

  • This course will focus on various topics of current interest related to faculty research experience. See the SUPPLEMENT section of the on-line catalog at www.wpi.edu/+gradcat for descriptions of courses to be offered in this academic year.