A project-based approach to teaching membrane technology

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This paper describes a NSF-funded Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) project on membrane process experiments funded through DUE-9850535. We have addressed teaching students about the emerging field of membrane processes through team projects. The development plan involves the innovative use of membrane technology, integrating it both vertically and horizontally throughout the engineering curriculum and exposing students to it through the use of team-oriented experimental projects in multidisciplinary engineering clinics. We have initially introduced membrane separation principles in various courses through lectures and small-scale mini-labs and demos. This lays the foundation for more comprehensive study in the engineering clinics. The integration of membrane process experiments for multidisciplinary team projects occurs in the Junior and Senior level Engineering Clinic courses. Some of the realistic and challenging experimental projects started so far include: reverse osmosis system design and function in water purification, gas permeation processes, membrane bioreactors and hollow fiber membrane gas transfer for environmental control, ceramic membrane reactors used in petrochemical processing, and electrodialysis and ultrafiltration processes for separation in the specialty chemicals industry. In these process research and development projects students, learn how to function in a team to solve complex problems, interpret and analyze data, utilize modern technologies, and understand environmental issues. Some projects have included industrial mentors. To broaden the impact of the project, the Rowan team has also used membrane technology to help attract high school students to engineering through the development of innovative demonstration modules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-913
Number of pages11
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2001
Event2001 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2001Jun 27 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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