The concepts of engineering design optimization, and economics were introduced and integrated into the junior Chemical Engineering Fluid Flow course by assigning a computer project to the students. The course is a structured three credit hour course which meets twice per week for eighty minute periods. Students are given the computer problem and asked to analyze and optimize the design of the piping system in approximately the fourth week (eighth period) of the fourteen week semester well before they have all of the theoretical background to solve the problem. All the basic principles to solve the problem are covered by the tenth week of the semester. The problem solution is submitted to the instructor in report form and is due the last period of the semester. The assignment is worth ten percent of the final grade. Students are enthusiastic about the assignment, the application of their theoretical knowledge to a practical problem, and see it as an introduction to `real life' engineering.
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