Chemical Engineering: Unit Operations Lab


So UO Lab is basically we’re given different experiments that they’re kind of small scale of what you might see in industry. It’s definitely grueling. Biggest challenge is definitely time. They try to start you out easy, then they kind of smack you right in the middle give you quite a challenge as far as time constraints are concerned. It was a lot of work first off. Lots of long nights writing twenty-six page papers. eight experiments five weeks you’ve got a quick turnaround in every experiment you either have a written report or an oral report of some kind. So you’re working on three things at once and you’re only given about three days of lab time for just one experiment, of eight experiments over six weeks so it’s a very big time crunch. It really teaches you how to apply what you’ve learned in all your ChE courses into something really applicable. I think the group experience was incredibly important because learning how to communicate and collaborate and understand that each team member is going to have their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s amazing to see your output’s so much better than if it was just yourself. I’ve learned everything from how different groups have different ways of communicating how important it is to go and ask if you have questions. Having Dr. Durrill there for us throughout this whole time like, sometimes his lab just feels like turmoil, so having him there has been like the light throughout the entire summer semester I guess. He was there to kind of mitigate disaster for a lot of our experiments and he was just kind of like a father figure for everybody making sure no really chaos broke out. I honestly couldn’t imagine a better lab instructor than what he did for us. I plan on going to grad school. So I feel like this sort of method where, you’re not given a lab manual, you’re not given like, step 1 step 2 step 3, it’s quite enlightening in that sort of sense. We had to analyze a lot of data and that’s a lot of what myself and other chemical engineers will be doing when they get into industry. It’s a lot of figuring out what data specifically means and it’ll help in that regards to have the experience with it, and to have worked with it before So after graduating I plan on working in the field probably process engineering and so this was incredibly important to be able to problem solve. I think it’s most important class I’ve taken as a chemical engineer at Virginia Tech because you know we learn about all these things we learn about the assumptions that we need to make and things like that, but then actually applying the assumptions and seeing how close they are to reality was I think very important for my understanding of things and also just seeing the processes instead of writing on paper. I think that was very important

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