Chemical Engineering Laboratory Enhancement
This activity will enhance the quality of laboratory education and the quantity of experiments available in the chemical engineering laboratory. In recent years, the chemical engineering department has experienced a growth in the number of students within the major. Student enrollment has increased from 161 to 309 from Fall 2009 to Fall 2014. The growth has led to larger class sizes and the need for multiple sections of the same course. The biggest concern from the influx of students has been the impact seen in the laboratory courses. The latest modifications to the chemical engineering laboratory occurred in 2009. Two courses are directly affected by equipment acquisition: CHEG 4011: Chemical Engineering Laboratory II and CHEG 4031: Chemical Engineering Laboratory III. During the 2009 – 2010 academic year, 20 students were enrolled in CHEG 4011 and 12 in CHEG 4031; however, during the 2014 – 2015 year, enrollment was 71 and 72 students respectively. As advised by the accreditation unit (ABET) of the department, equipment for current experiments will be replicated as doing so will decrease laboratory group sizes per experiment. It was also observed that current computer units in the laboratory were old needed replacing. The computer units control the operation of the experiments and are a necessity. Based on increased student enrollment and an assessment of the chemical engineering laboratory, the chemical engineering department is proposing a series of enhancements that will benefit student learning, faculty instruction, and departmental accreditation.