"Innovation and Management for Sustainable Development"
Plenary Lecture (RENOIR ROOM) David G. WOOD - A Global View of Chemical Engineering Education. Will we heed the message from Glasgow?
Date: Domingo, 18:30 - 19:30, Renoir Room (Ground Floor - San Miguel Palace)
Prof. David G. WOOD
Emeritus Professor & Professorial Fellow
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Melbourne.
Ambassador for Club Melbourne
At the Glasgow 7th World Chemical Engineering Congress, as quoted in the September TCE , Ed Cussler posed some difficult questions for chemical engineering teachers and industry. He asked “is today’s syllabus still appropriate for the marketplace, and is teaching in the profession at the crossroads?” For those who know Ed his address at the Congress was given in his typical colourful style and yet one must wonder if his message is getting through to Chemical Engineering academics. Ed was making similar remarks at the 6th World Congress in San Diego in 1996, almost 10 years ago.
The paper summarises comments similar to those made by Cussler over recent years. It takes a look at university chemical engineering programs in a wide range of countries throughout the World noting that the author has visited very many departments over the past 10 years and has been given an excellent opportunity to consider programs against a number of criteria.
Chemical Engineering Education commenced a little over 100 years ago in Boston and in Glasgow and both the British and American education systems have had a significant influence over programs and curricula throughout the past 100 years. But what of the future? If Cussler is correct and the syllabus of chemical engineering programs has barely changed since 1975 do we have a future in the new “bio”/”nano” age?
The “Frontiers in Chemical Engineering Education” project in the USA which is being driven by Bob Armstrong from MIT may provide us with the last opportunity to make the changes that are essential for the future. Or is our future one of following the European Bologna Declaration which may make change less painful but could lead to us missing an opportunity for more radical syllabus change?
The paper examines chemical engineering education in a number of countries & regions around the World. It provides commentary on the above assertions with respect to these countries. Whilst the author has no direct experience in the countries that constitute the Interamerican Confederation of Chemical Engineering it appears that the above comments are applicable to the programs offered in these countries.
China is having a major impact on the World’s economy and yet many chemical engineering academics in other countries are totally ignorant about the educational developments that have occurred in China with respect to research and teaching in Chinese Chemical engineering departments. There is a widely held view that the best Chinese students undertake their undergraduate education in the USA or Europe. Is this true? The paper will present a view of Chinese chemical engineering undergraduate education and make comparisons with that offered in many other countries.
The aim of the paper is to challenge chemical engineering academics to think about what they are doing with their contribution to the education of chemical engineering students for the 21st Century and how this aligns with what is happening in other countries.