Category Archives: Courses

How do I plan out my Chemical Engineering Degree at Michigan Tech?

The CM degree at Michigan Tech requires 131 credits plus 3 credits of co-curricular classes (physical education).  What classes are required for you depends on when you started at Michigan Tech, known as your catalog year.  The requirements are all posted on our advising webpages, and we made a video walking you through the process for planning out your degree.

Here’s the basic process.

  1. Go to our advising webpage and select Undergraduate — Advising — Plan Your Schedule
  2. Print out the course requirements (4 year plan or 5 year plan), the General Education Requirements, the co-curricular requirements, and the Technical Elective requirements that go with your catalog year.
  3. On your 4 (0r 5) year plan, cross off any courses for which you already have credit.
  4. Print out a blank Academic Plan worksheet.
  5. Fill in the Academic Plan worksheet with all the remaining courses.

There is a great deal that goes into that step “5” up there, and we’ve made some videos to help you find your way through the process.  Once you have a good rough plan, you may wish to make an appointment with a CM advisor to make sure that you’ve got all the details right.

That’s it!  Welcome to Michigan Tech Chemical Engineering–We’re glad you’re here.


What computer programs are used in the ChemE program at Michigan Tech?

We use a variety of computer programs in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech.  Microsoft Word is widely used for report preparation.  Dr. Morrison has a YouTube video showing some short-cuts for writing equations with Microsoft Word.  In the junior laboratory, CM3215 Fundamentals of ChemE Lab, we use Microsoft Excel extensively and we also use Visio for creating Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID).

Microsoft Excel is introduced in the first-year engineering classes (ENG 1101 and and ENG 1102), and so it is assumed that Chemical Engineering juniors have some familiarity with Excel.  In CM3215 there are several exercises meant to gauge and build Excel proficiency.  We also ask students to learn how to use Excel’s LINEST program for determining least squares fits as well as uncertainty parameters related to least squares fits.  Error analysis is a big part of CM 3215, and in that and subsequent classes we add error bars to graphs (using Excel) to show uncertainty.  Excel also has a function called Solver that we use in several classes (CM 3215, CM 3450, CM4655 for example) to perform nonlinear curve fitting and optimization.

Here is a list of some of the software programs used in CM courses

  • CM2110 Fundamentals of Chem E 1: Polymath, Excel, Visio
  • CM2120 Fundamentals of Chem E 2: Excel, Word, and UniSim
  • CM3215 Fundamentals of ChemE Lab:  Excel, Word, Visio
  • CM3110 Transport 1:  Excel, Comsol, Word
  • CM3120 Transport 2: Excel, Word
  • CM3230 Thermodynamics:  Excel, Word, Mathcad
  • CM3310 Process Control: LabVIEW
  • CM3410 Tech Communication for Che:  Excel, Word, PowerPoint
  • CM3510: Chemical Reaction Engineering: Polymath, Word, UniSim
  • CM3450: Computer-Aided Problem Solving:  UniSim, MatLab, MathCAD, Excel w/ VBA, and Minitab
  • CM4110 Unit Operations Lab: Excel, Word, Visio, PowerPoint
  • CM4120 Plant Operations Lab:  Excel, Word, Visio, PowerPoint, PI DataLink, PI ProcessBook
  • CM4310 Process Safety/Environment:  Excel, Word, EPI Suite, SimaPro
  • CM4855 Plant Design 1:  Excel, Word, Visio, UniSim, SuperTarget
  • CM4860 Plant Design 2:  Excel, Word, Visio, UniSim, SuperTarget
  • CM4861 Plant Design Lab 2: Excel, Word, Visio, UniSim, SuperTarget

 

 


What is the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)?

One of the frustrating things about registering is the uncertainty:  what classed do I need?  Does this class I’m looking at count as tech elective?  as gen ed?

One resource you have to sorting this out (besides seeing Katie) is the DARS tool in Banweb (Degree Audit Reporting System).  This tool checks your records (according to Michigan Tech) against the requirements for your degree.  If you’ve met the requirements, it goes GREEN.  If the requirements are not met, it stays RED.  See our advising video on this subject.

I would like to suggest that everyone try it out.

To get to DARS you log onto your Banweb account and under Student in the middle column look for “Degree Audit”.  Click there and run the current year audit.  Sometimes you have to wait – look for the circle above to see if it’s thinking.  It always has to generate the report to get the most current version.

When the DARS opens, you will see some graphics and a long column of red or green “buckets” of courses or requirements.  They are:

1.  Two buckets that check your GPA for both the department and for overall.  Both must be over 2.0 for you to graduate.
2.  Major requirements:  This is all your core math, physics, chemistry, and chem eng courses.
3.  Chemistry option:  here whether you take Organic 1 or Hydro Pyro you chose a different audit path.  In this section you will see the technical electives and the various categories of the electives.  Take a close look to see what classes you may choose from in each category.
4.  Six gen ed buckets that check if you meet all the gen ed requirements.  It checks if you have the freshmen courses, the sophomore courses, the HASS, etc.  It checks that at least 6 credits of HASS are at the 3000 level.
5.  Co curricular bucket – your phys ed courses.

The DARS system is what actually checks you out for graduation.  If it says you graduate, you do.  We have worked long and hard with the programmers in the Admin Building to get this system to accurately check you out for graduation – please use the DARS tool to guide you as you plan for registration.

There are some things that the DARS system will not do right until Katie “touches” your audit and makes an adjustment.  If something you chose or transfered puts you into this situation, you do need to come see Katie.  She’ll be happy to look at DARS adjustments after registration is over.

Hope this eases your registration experience!



How do I register for classes?

The Engineering Fundamentals folks have  put together some concise slides about registration that you may find helpful.  They are available at this link:  www.chem.mtu.edu/~fmorriso/advising/RegistrationInfoEngAdvisor2014.pdf.  The instructions refer to the Registrar’s page, which is a great resource for up-to-date information on registering with the BanWeb system.

If you continue to have problems, please visit the Student Service Center at the Administration building, and they will take care of you.


I’ve been enrolled in “EH 3000 Master Student Athlete.” What’s that?

The EH 3000 course is a course related to your status as a varsity athlete.  This course does not count towards co-curricular requirements, but it can count as a free elective (1 credit).  The semester you are competing in your sport, you will be enrolled (by the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department) into the appropriate varsity sport class.  The varsity sports classes count as 1 credit of co-curricular  towards your degree.  If you have more questions, contact the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department.


Should I take CM2110 if I’m a first-year student?

Students who have advanced placement in math and chemistry may consider taking the first two chemical engineering courses, CM2110 Fundamentals of ChE I and CM2120 Fundamentals of ChE II, during their first year at Michigan Tech.  The advantage of taking CM2110 and CM2120 early is that you then may have an easier time fitting a co-op, research, advanced topics, or junior chemical-engineering classes into your second year.  Also, by completing CM2110/CM2120, you get an early experience with chemical-engineering topics and can better decide if this major is for you.  A disadvantage, however, is that you will be taking these courses based on your high school preparation, which may or may not be sufficient to succeed in CM2110.  In addition, taking CM2110/CM2120 in your first year may leave a time gap between when you take these courses and when you take the junior classes, which build on this material.  The junior chemical engineering sequence is challenging; you must have all your math, physics, and most of your chemistry courses completed before you begin the chemical engineering junior course sequence.

The prerequisites for CM2110 are CH1150 University Chemistry I and CH1151 University Chemistry I Laboratory; at a minimum you must have credit for these courses to take CM2110, which is offered in the fall and in the summer.  In addition, the expectation for CM2110 is that you will have problem-solving skills.  In the standard course sequence in our department, students develop problem-solving skills in the first physics class, PH2100 University Physics I, which covers elementary mechanics (force equals mass times displacement).  If you are considering taking CM2110 but you have not yet completed PH2100, you may find that the problem solving tasks in CM2110 are challenging, especially later in the course.  If you had a strong physics program in high school, however, you are likely ready for the problem-solving in CM2110.

If you have credit for the following and received an A or a B in these classes, you are a candidate for taking CM2110 during your first year (* indicates that I  recommend you to complete this course before taking CM2110, but the course is not a prerequisite):

  • MA1160 Calculus with Technology I*
  • MA2160 Calculus with Technology II*
  • CH1150 University Chemistry I (prerequisite)
  • PH2100 University Physics I*

You do not need an advisor’s or instructor’s permission to enroll in CM2110; if you have the prereqs, you may sign up during orientation.  The course is offered with an online section to allow students who have a time conflict to watch videos in lieu of attending the on-campus lectures.

If you have questions about your particular case and whether you should take CM2110, please talk to an advisor during orientation or contact the CM2110 instructor, Dr. King (jaking@mtu.edu).  Dr. King is a strong advocate of advanced students taking CM2110 in the first year.

 



Are any of the chemical engineering classes offered online?

Yes!  During Summer 2015 both CM 2110 Fundamentals of ChE I and CM 2120 Fundamentals of ChE II will be offered online.  Be sure to enroll in the online sections (1OL, time TBA).  CM2110 is a mass and energy balance course, and usually uses the text by Felder and Rousseau.  CM2120 is a first course in separations, and uses Wankat.  These courses must be completed before you can take the fall semester junior chemical engineering classes.

On occasion other CM classes are offered online.  Please check the Registrar’s website for an up-to-date listing.


Minor in Data Acquisition and Industrial Control

For students who are interested in focusing on process control and other issues related to data acquisition within chemical engineering, it would be valuable to minor in Data Acquisition and Industrial Control.  The Michigan Tech Minor in Data Acquisition and Industrial Control is offered by the School of Technology and in 2014-15 has the following requirements (16 credits total):

Minor in Data Acquisition and Industrial Control

Required courses (6 cr)

  • EET 3131 Instrumentation (3) (spring class) OR
  • EET 4253 LabVIEW Programming for Data Acquisition (3)
  • EET 3373 Introduction to Programmable Controllers (3) (fall class)

Choose one course from this list (3-4 cr):

  • EE 2112 Electric Circuits II (4)
  • EE 3010 Circuits and Instrumentation (3) (recommended for CM majors)
  • EET 1411 Basic Electronics (4)

Choose 6-7 credits from this list:

  • CM 3310 Process Control (3)
  • EET 4141 Microcomputer Interfacing (4)
  • EET 4144 Real-Time Robotics Systems (4)
  • EET 4147 Industrial Robotic Vision Systems (4)
  • EET 4311 Advanced Circuits & Controls (4)
  • EET 4373 Advanced Programmable Controllers (4)
  • ENVE 3502 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement Analysis (3)
  • GE 4250 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing (3)
  • MEEM 3000 Mechanical Engg Lab (2)
  • MEEM 4701 Analytical & Experimental Modal Analysis (4)
  • SU 4003 GIS Technology Fundamentals (1)
  • SU 4010 Geospatial Concepts, Technologies and Data (3)
  • UN 4000 Remote Sensing Seminar (1-2)

You must see an advisor in the School of Technology to add this minor.  For more on minors that may be beneficial in the educational path of a chemical engineer, please see a departmental advisor.