Dr. Harb has been actively involved in engineering education
for many years. During that time he has co-authored a monograph on the use of learning style theory in engineering education. He has also
written a textbook for a new introductory course
in chemical engineering designed for first-year students (co-authored with
A. Solen). As a college-level administrator, he is working to help prepare all students in the Fulton College in the areas of leadership, global competence and ethics, as a critical complement to their excellent technical preparation.
This text is designed for first-year students interested
in chemical engineering. The goal of the book is to provide a brief
overview of the chemical engineering discipline at a level appropriate
for beginning students. The book leads the students from start to
finish through a design problem of a simple chemical process. In
the first chapter, the student is asked to adopt the role of a chemical
engineering on the job, and the design problem is introduced in the form
of a memo from the student's supervisor. The next chapter provides
brief descriptions of the chemical engineering discipline, chemical processes,
and process flow diagrams. Throughout the remainder of the book,
students are led step-by-step through the design problem from initial problem
definition to economic evaluation. At each step along the way, the
concepts, principles, and equations necessary to accomplish the task at
hand are introduced, an additional feature of the design is completed,
and the process flow diagram is expanded to include that new feature.
Thus, the student can see how the various aspects of chemical engineering
integrate together to comprise an entire chemical process.
This text is not intended as a survey course.
Rather, first-year students are taught to solve quantitative problems,
although at a low level of complexity and within a scope that is narrow
and well-defined. These quantitative topics include material balances
(reacting and non-reacting systems), fluid flow (including the sizing of
pumps), mass transfer (diffusion and convection), chemical reactor design,
heat transfer (including the design of heat exchangers), and engineering
economics. A qualitative treatment of several additional topics such
as problem solving strategies, engineering teamwork, and process control
are also included. The only background expected of students is an
introduction to chemistry (e.g. a high school chemistry course). The newest edition (in preparation) will include global competence and the relevance of chemical engineering to the solution of today's most pressing problems.
The purpose of this monograph entitled "Teaching Through the
Cycle" is to provide a resource for the enhancement of engineering education
based on learning style theory. An understanding of learning styles helps
an instructor to understand and meet the needs of the different types of learners
present in our engineering classes. The instructor can also improve the
learning of all students by helping them to use styles other than their preferred
learning style. The methodology described in the monograph represents
an alternative to the traditional (and widely practiced) form of engineering
education. The monograph includes a discussion of the learning
theory (based on the Kolb model) that serves as the foundation of the rest of the material. A resource of learning activities for use by engineering educators is provided next. This is followed by several examples of lesson plans that faculty members have used to apply the
Kolb learning theory to their classes. Finally, the last section documents
the application of learning theory in a teacher development program at Brigham
Young University. The monograph can be downloaded from the link below.
Please contact Dr. John Harb email@example.com or Dr. Ronald Terry firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. Professors Harb and Terry are also available
to conduct workshops on a variety of topics related to engineering education.
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