The University Record, September 3, 1996

Armchair engineering

U-M chemical engineering students must solve a processing problem involving this settling tank at Ann Arbor's Waste Water Treatment Plant.


University of Michigan engineering students are touring a wastewater treatment plan, solving a pollution problem inside a Ford assembly plant, and learning how chemical engineers purify monoclonal antibodies---all without setting foot outside the classroom. Using software modules developed in the Department of Chemical Engineering's Multimedia Educational Laboratory, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and her students. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the modules are tested on U-M students and then distributed to engineering schools nationwide by CACHE Corp.

One of the lab's newest modules features an interactive tour of the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Ann Arbor. Using a map to navigate around the plant and color photos of each step in the treatment process, students solve problems related to sewage processing.

Other modules use actual case studies to help bioengineering students learn basic principles of affinity chromatography, receptor/ligand interactions, modules covering material balances in biological systems and oxygen transport in the human body will be available during the 1996-97 academic year.

To learn more about the modules, access the Multimedia Educational Laboratory's web site at http://www.engin.umich.edu/labs/mel/index.html.