CHEM ENG 1007 - Introduction to Process Engineering

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course introduces process engineering and, predominately through example, some of the key basic principles that define the discipline. Three main areas of process engineering are introduced - material & energy balances, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics - in the context of three major areas of the discipline: gas process engineering, bioprocessing, and pharmaceutical processing. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, self-directed learning and small group discovery. Once you have completed the course, you should be aware of the contribution process engineering makes to society and be able to understand and analyse simple processes.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM ENG 1007
    Course Introduction to Process Engineering
    Coordinating Unit School of Chemical Eng and Advanced Materials(Ina)
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge SACE Stage 2 Mathematics, SACE Stage 2 Chemistry
    Assessment Quizzes, practicals, test, assignments, final examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Woei Saw

    Coordinator and Lecturer: Dr Woei Saw
    School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
    Office: A104 (Annex Engineering Building, Level 1)
    Phone:8313 1182
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Recognise and use concepts, conventions and calculations important in process engineering;
    2 Draw and interpret pictures and diagrams depicting processes;
    3 Define and describe important processing engineering unit operations and equipment;
    4 Identify and work with units and dimensions - including units' conversion between SI and the American Enginering units' systems;
    5  Explain and apply the basic principles of materials and energy balances;
    6 State the importance of fluid flow behaviour (such as viscosity, Reynods Number & velocity profile) in process engineering systems and learn application of the mechanical energy balance for pipe design and pump selection;
    7 Use heat transfer equipment for conduction and convection problems using logarithmic mean for radius and temperature driving force;
    8 Solve problems in a systematic and professional manner using conventional notation and terminology, including making assumptions when necessary and the importance of significant figures.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   3.1   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3-4, 6-8
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources

    • K.A. Solen & J.N, Harb, “Introduction to Chemical Engineering: Tools for Today and Tomorrow”, 5th Edition, Wiley (2010).  ISBN: 978-0-470-88572-7
    Reference Books

    • R.M. Felder, R.W Rousseau, & L.G. Bullard, “Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes”, 4th Edition, Wiley (2015).
    • D.M. Himmelblau & J.B. Riggs, “Basic Principles and Calculations in Chemical Engineering, 8th Edition, Pearson (2012).
    • R.M Murphy, “Introduction to Chemical Processes: Principles, Analysis, Synthesis”, McGraw-Hill (2007).
    Online Learning
    A range of online resources will be provided via MyUni.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course uses a number of different learning and teaching approaches including:
    • Lectures.
    • Problem-solving tutorials.
    • Practical demonstrations.
    • Online quizzes.
    • Mid-semester test.
    • Final examination.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Activity Contact hours Workload hours Expected total student workload
    Lectures 30 60 90
    Tutorials/Practicals 10 30 40
    Online quizzes 0 12 12
    In-class test 1 5 6
    Revision 3 0 3
    TOTAL 44 107 151

    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 0: Course Overview (1L)

    Topic 1: Introduction to chemical/process engineering (2L)
    What is chemical or process engineering?  What is a chemical process? System & surroundings; Open and closed, batch and continuous systems; Flow-sheeting: block flow diagrams, process flow diagrams, piping and instrumentation diagrams; Fundamental topics to chemical engineering: fluid mechanics,  heat transfer, mass transfer, reaction engineering, process control, materials and corrosion, and economics. Examples of some important processes, major unit operations, and process engineering equipment.

    Topic 2: Describing Physical Quantities
    Topic 2.1: Dimensions & Units (2L) 
    Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of units; conversion between sets of units (cgs, SI, British, American Engineering) using dimensional equations; use of the gravitational conversion factor; the importance of dimensional consistency in engineering equations; the importance of dimensionless numbers in chemical engineering; accuracy and the importance of understanding and correctly using significant figures.

    Topic 2.2: Process Variables (3L)
    Flowrate, density, specific volume, specific gravity, and volume fraction; Pressure, absolute pressure, gauge pressure, and vacuum pressure; Temperature; Atomic mass, molecular mass, average molar mass, mole; Concentration, mass fraction, mole fraction,  ppm; equations of state, Ideal Gas law.

    Topic 3: Steady-State Material balances
    Topic 3.1: Material balances without chemical reaction (3L)
    Principle of conservation of mass; mass balances and why they are important; mechanics of doing a material balance; examples of solving material balance of single units without reaction; examples of solving material balance of multiple units without reaction.

    Topic 3.2: Material balances with chemical reaction (5L)
    Writing and balancing reaction equations; calculating stoichiometric quantitiesof reactants and products given chemical equations; excess reactant, limiting reactant, conversion, degree of completion and yield in a reaction; identify the limiting and excess reactants and calculating thepercent excess reactant(s), the percent conversion, the percent completion and yield for a chemical reaction; calculating the amount of products for incomplete reactions; examples of solving material balance of single units with reaction.

    Topic 4:  Fluid Flow (5L)
    Overview of fluid mechanics, including physical properties of fluids, viscosity and its importance in determining power requirements, Newtonian and  non-Newtonian fluids, laminar and turbulent flow; continuity equation; Bernoulli’s equation; Reynolds number; the relationship between Reynolds number and turbulence; application of the mechanical energy balance for pipe design.
    Topic 5:  Energy Balances (9L)
    Principleof conservation of energy; common characteristic energy forms; transfer of energy as heat and work; mechanics of an energy balance; examples of energy balances without reaction. Overview of heat transfer including  various modes of heat transfer; heat conduction; thermal conductivity of single and composite bodies; convection; heat transfer coefficients;  combined conduction and convection; heat exchangers, co-current and counter-current flow, LMTD, design of a concentric tube heat exchanger.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Assignments (9 x 2% = 18%) 20 Group Formative Weeks 3-13 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8.
    Practical Reports (2 x 5% = 10%) 10 Group Formative Weeks 2-12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Quizzes (7 x 1.5% = 10.5%) 10 Individual Formative Weeks 2-12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Mid-Semester Test (1 x 10% = 10%) 10 Individual Formative Week 8 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
    Final Exam (1 x 50% = 50%) 50 Individual Summative 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown is registered as an exemption to the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy. The exemption is related to the Procedures clause(s): 1. c.

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.

    The modified online assessment arrangements are:
    1. Quizzes (7) - 10%
    2. Assignments (9)- 20%
    3. Mid-semester test (1) - 10%
    4. Design project (1) - 10%
    5. Final exam - 50%
    Assessment Detail

    Details of individual assessment tasks will be provided during the semester.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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