Recently undergraduate process control education has come under close scrutiny. Many leading chemical engineers have criticized that the subject has become irrelevant to chemical engineers. Too many students leave the class with the impression that the process control class is all about mathematical transforms and block diagram manipulations, and has little to do with the reality of plant operation. Most agree that undergraduate process control education can be enhanced significantly by providing more hands-on experiences to the students. In the current situation, however, it is very difficult to provide the students with meaningful lab experiences given the limited resource and time. Instructive and interactive computer programs can be viable alternatives. There are several computer programs for process control education, but most of them require certain packages and are not simple to use. The situation motivated us to develop a set of educational modules written in Java applets. In this paper, these applets, available for testing in our web sites, are explained in detail. We have been using these applets in our undergraduate classes with extremely positive feedback from the students. There is evidence that the educational aids contributed significantly to the students' ability to connect the theories to the reality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering