Leading undergraduates along structured paths to the building of good process models

Alan S. Foss, George Stephanopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Students are led to crafting a process model before writing any equations. This is accomplished by leading them through a structured modeling methodology with which the physics and phenomena of the process are identified and engineering science concepts placed into a model structure simply by declaration. Such declarations are made through use of our new software that assembles the phenomena declared, builds the equations, and solves the equations numerically. The software is novel and unique; ModelLA is its name. With a functioning model, students can examine its characteristics and use such quantitative information to solve the engineering problem posed. Following such an encounter with the cause and effect among variables, students are much better prepared than they were at the outset to write equations for the model. Through Q and A in a workshop session, the instructor leads the students again through the modeling methodology but this time challenging the students to formulate the equations. The opportunity is present at this stage to elaborate on the structure of the equations (e.g. linear or nonlinear algebraic, ODE, PDE) and effective numerical methods for their solution. Through such an organization and software assistance, students are propelled quickly to a solution of the engineering problem, bypassing for the moment what often is viewed as insurmountable hurdles in writing and solving equations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3331-3340
Number of pages10
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
Event1999 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Engineering Education to Serve the World - Cahrlotte, NC, United States
Duration: Jun 20 1999Jun 23 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Leading undergraduates along structured paths to the building of good process models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this