Process Systems
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Chemical Engineering Studies in the USA
Process Systems Engineering Courses
Key components of Control
Present and Future challenges in PSE education

Chemical Engineering Studies in the USA

Length study undergraduate and graduate level
B. S. - 4 years
M. S. - 18-24 months
PhD - 4 - 6 years

Approximate number of students starting and graduating each year (1997 estimate)
B. S. - 9161
M. S. - 1231
Ph. D - 719

Major areas of employment for chemical engineers
Chemicals and Fuels 36.9 33.9 34.9
Electronics 11.4 12.8 14
Food/Consumer 14.6 8.9 9.9
Design and Construction 7.2 13.3 3.0
Materials 6.0 13.3 10.9
Biotechnology 4.6 7.8 12.4
Environmental 2.6 3.3 1.5
Pulp and Paper 2.9 2.2 0

Major areas of emphasis in curriculum
Very broad emphases in undergraduate curriculum

159 Chemical Engineering Programs and 119 PhD Granting Institutions
(These lists are in .pdf format - to read them you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader)


Process Systems Engineering Courses

Typical PSE Undergraduate Courses
One semester of Process Control
One-two semesters of Process Design

e.g., at Carnegie Mellon
Process synthesis and preliminary design (1 semester)
Design project (1/2 semester)
Process optimization (1/2 semester)

Established Textbooks for Design
Baasel, "Preliminary chemical engineering plant design"
Douglas, " Conceptual Design of Chemical Processes"
Peters and Timmerhaus, "Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers"
Ulbrich, "A Guide to Chemical Engineering Process Design and Economics"
Transition away from Plant and Equipment Design and Economics to Process Synthesis (and even Product Design)
Emphasis on Computer Tools - Modeling, Simulation and Optimization
Still has Capstone Design Project

Three recent textbooks

Biegler, Grossmann and Westerberg, "Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design"

1. Decomposition and shortcut calculations to identify process trends
2. Physical insights related to process synthesis
3. Development of optimization strategies for synthesis

Seider, Seader and Lewin, "Process Design Principles: Synthesis, Analysis and Evaluation"

1. Emphasis in process simulation and detailed equipment design
2. Heat recovery and separation synthesis for practical viewpoint
3. Synthesis of control structures and practical emphasis for dynamic simulation

Turton, Bailie, Whiting and Shaewitz, "Analysis, Synthesis and Design of Chemical Processes"

1. Project oriented textbook, very broad coverage of project execution
2. Extension coverage of nontechnical areas including communications, ethics, health and safety

Textbooks for Process Control
Coughanowr, "Process Systems Analysis and Control"
Luyben,, "Process Modeling, Simulation and Control for Chemical Enigneers"
Seborg, Edgar and Mellichamp, Process Dynamics and Control"
Smith and Corripio, "Principles and Practice of Automatic Process Control"
Stephanopoulos, "Chemical Process Control - An Introduction to Theory and Practice"

Two Recent Textbooks

Marlin, "Process Control"
Emphasis on advanced and model predictive control (MPC)
Emphasis on control synthesis

Ogunnaike and Ray, "Process Dynamics Modeling and Control"
Emphasis on advanced and model predictive control
Emphasis on digital control and discrete systems


Key components of Control

Dynamic modeling - from linear SISO models to state space nonlinear dynamic models

Analysis - evolution from Laplace transforms and frequency domain to time domain and state space models.

Controller Design - evolution to MIMO controllers and MPC,

More emphasis on digital systems and synthesis of control structures

Less emphasis on modeling and on Laplace transforms and linear systems


Present and Future challenges in PSE education

What are in your view the biggest challenges in promoting and improving the education of PSE?

  • Paradigm shifts in industry
  • Rapidly changing commodities market with significant outsourcing of PSE in operating companies
  • Consolidation of vendors; little comparative advantage
  • Evolution from process design to product design
  • Disparate Background of PSE in academia

How motivated are students in your country to study PSE courses?

  • Process Insights - mostly for process synthesis and control synthesis
  • Computer Science - programming, system development
  • Applied Mathematics and Operations Research - sophisticated theory to solve practical problems

How is PSE regarded by other academics in Chemical Engineering?

  • Core discipline? control vs. design
  • Industrial Impact
  • Funding sources - industry vs. government
  • Culture of PSE



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