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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( July 22, 1998)
BRANDON STUDENT WORKING ON NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION PROJECT AT SDSM& T THIS SUMMER
Melissa Gage of Brandon is working this summer on a National Science Foundation project at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology ( SDSM& T). Melissa is a senior chemical engineering major at SDSM& T.
The National Science Foundation recently awarded a $ 150,000 educational grant to Drs. Larry Bauer, David Dixon and Jan Puszynski, SDSM& T Professors of Chemical Engineering. The four- year project focuses on integrating chemical process design, state- of- the- art computer simulation, and optimization in chemical engineering courses from the freshman through senior years. Providing outreach to regional high school students and underrepresented groups, particularly Native American students, is an integral part of the project.
Vertical integration is a novel way to structure engineering curriculum. The project is expected to enhance the students’ understanding of course material by providing the “ big picture” early in their college education by demonstrating the integrated nature of the topics. When fully implemented, the integrated curriculum will serve as a model for chemical engineering departments in other universities across the U. S.
Students will also benefit from the introduction of the AspenPlus commercial process simulation software early in the curriculum, which will greatly enhance their understanding of science and engineering topics. Students will be able to use this powerful software tool to model process equipment from single pumps to complex installations, such as the complete ethanol production facility in Aberdeen. Through the early integration of AspenPlus, chemical engineering students at SDSM& T will gain an expertise with the current design tool used by many major industrial firms, such as Dow Chemical Company and Cargill.
Accomplishments from this NSF- sponsored project will be shared with other engineering departments in the U. S. and other countries around the world through publications, national presentations, and an active World Wide Web site. During the first stage of the project being conducted this summer, Melissa Gage is working with the professors and three other SDSM& T chemical engineering students to develop design projects and instructional examples.
( f:\ programs\ dept\ univrel\ pressrele\ 0798\ NSF Grant ChemE Brandon fax/ SF, Brandon)
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