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Chemical engineering education at UNB.

Established in 1959, the Department of chemical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick is relatively young particularily when you consider that engineering education in Canada began in 1854, right here at UNB. With 125 students in the undergraduate programme, 30 in the graduate programmes (both MScs and Phds) and 12 faculty, the department is a small enough community for everyone to know everyone.

Industry/University Cooperation

The success of undergraduate teaching in chemical engineering is directly related to the high level of involvement of faculty members with industry in Canada and internationally. This close contact has brought about the creation of two academic chairs in the department. The Chair in Nuclear and Power Plant Engineering, funded in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and NB Power was created in 1984 to address the needs of this major industrial sector in the Canadian and local economies. With the creation of this chair, undergraduate students may now be able to select courses providing intensive instruction in nuclear-fusion power-systems development, power-plant engineering, nuclear fission and non-power applications of nuclear technology.

More recently, the collaboration of the chemical engineering and science departments with NSERC and Repap Enterprises has established the Chair in Pulp and Paper Technology as part of a new Pulp and Paper Research Centre at UNB. Working with industry in the Atlantic region, the strategic research areas of alcohol pulping, mechanical pulping and environmental impact will be addressed. Both undergraduate and graduate teaching in this area will be enhanced by the creation of the centre.

Industrial Practice programmes

The department considers practical training an important aspect of the engineering curriculum. In addition to the laboratory sessions associated with the academic term, there are two industrial training options in which students may participate. These are the two-week practice school and the eight-month work term.

Practice School

This is a two-week engineering project carried out by a group of students, with faculty supervisors, in selected industrial process plants. Projects are scheduled in early May following the examination period, or late August preceding the fall term. At the end of practice school, students submit a report and make an oral presentation to the industrial partners and faculty members.

Work Term

This is an eight-month employment in industry during the months of JanuaryAugust or May-December. Students, in their penultimate year, are involved in a number of engineering projects with industrial and faculty supervisors. A final report and oral presentation are required to obtain academic credit towards their degree programme.

Undergraduate Laboratory

The microcomputer is an extremely effective tool for enhancing the efficiency in the undergraduate laboratory. Several of our experiments, demonstrating typical unit operations found in the chemical industry, have been interfaced with data collection and process-control systems. This initiative began in the late 1970s, and has been an ongoing process to stay current with the existing state of this technology. All the systems in our unit operations laboratory have been developed by undergraduate students, either as a final year project or during the summer months when employed by the department.

Summary

Chemical engineering at UNB is committed to maintaining the success of its undergraduate and graduate programmes. Bridging our efforts with those of industry and government agencies assures the quality of our teaching and research.

Marcus Goddard, MCIC Fredericton
COPYRIGHT 1991 Chemical Institute of Canada
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:University of New Brunswick
Author:Goddard, Marcus
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Words:549
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