20h Th, 270h Proj., 1d FW
Number of credits
|Master of Science (MSc) in Chemical and Materials Engineering||10 crédits|
Language(s) of instruction
Organisation and examination
All year long, with partial in January
Units courses prerequisite and corequisite
Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
Learning unit contents
Students will study an industrial process centered on the manufacture of a chemical as an illustration of integrated project. Students will work in groups of about 7-10 students on topics selected by the teaching team. This project will be sub-divided into 5 main parts:
Part 1 : Mass balances, short literature review, consolidation of results in groups and project planning
First, students will individually study mass balances of the process, based on literature assumptions provided by the teachers. They will use spreadsheet (Excel) to build stream tables for the studied chemical process. They will also perform an individual literature review in order to get a good overview of their process. The results of the mass balance and literature review will be presented in group, along with the project planing. In total, this part should last 1 month.
Part 2: detailed models for thermodynamics; kinetics & reactors; separation units
Students will work in sub-groups on specific chemical engineering tasks, e.g. reaction engineering and kinetics, separation and unit operations engineering (incl. columns and heat exchanger design), thermodynamic modeling, energy balances and preliminary techno-economical assessment... In this part, students will study with more details the critical physical unit operations that assemble to give the manufacturing processes. Based on justified assumptions, they will build robust simulation models that they need to validate. This part will require interaction between the sub-groups as the expected models are interdependent. This part will last about 2 months (Mid October to Mid December).
Part 3: Sensitivity studies on models and exchange of topics between groups
In the third part lasting about one month in February, students will switch sub-groups and will use the simulation models built in the second part in order to perform sensitivity studies to assess key process parameters and evaluate their impact on the unit operation results. They will use this opportunity to refine their Part 2 results and to discuss about model validation.
Part 4: Process integration into one model and extended literature review
During this fourth part, running for about two months from March to end of April, students will build a global flowsheet of the process and optimize its topology. They will apply heat integration techniques and work towards optimization of the process operating conditions. They will initiate first steps towards life cycle thinking. They will also perform a preliminary profitability assessment of the process. Finally, students will also initiate a literature review that will challenge the process assumptions made in the first semester (process flowsheet, operating conditions...) as well as the results obtained in the project. They will study the literature to validate these assumptions and possibly identify alternative manufacturing pathways as well as product replacement solutions. This literature study will consider the process in a broader society overview, including the assessment of the product environmental footprint, raw materials use, market conditions, recyclability, toxicity, cost...
Part 5: Extended literature review and report for general audience
Finally, in the last part (about two weeks beginning of May), the students will complete the literature review initiated in Part 4. They will also gather the project results into a 15-page article to be published on the Chemical Engineering Department's website (www.chemeng.uliege.be/cms/c_4912130/en/integrated-project-m1). They will also present their results in a way that can be understood by people who did not follow them all year long. This presentation will be done in front of the members of the Chemical Engineering Department in the presence of industrial experts.
In addition to the technical skills, students will receive support and coaching from the ULiège's Soft Skills team in order to improve their soft skills such as team work, project management and positioning within the team structure...
Collaboration with the industry will be favored as much as possible, so to increase the relevance of the integrated project's case study. For 2023-2024, the project will focus on the synthesis of styrene monomer.
Learning outcomes of the learning unit
The goal of the integrated project is to consolidate technical knowledge and to promote the acquisition of soft skills by integrating and linking chemical engineering disciplines usually taught separately.
- Consolidate technical knowledge by integrating and linking the different disciplines of chemical engineering and integrate these disciplines within one unique project.
- Acquire critical thinking and ability to challenge and validate assumptions made. This includes the acquisition of a gut feeling for orders of magnitude typical of engineers.
- Address complex and multi-disciplinary topics centered on chemical industry.
- Develop knowledge about current hot topics in chemical engineering and increase the awareness about the role of science & technology in society.
- Use powers of judgment as engineers in order to work with complex and possibly incomplete information, to recognise discrepancies and to deal with them
- Recognise the need for information, find and provide information
- Ability to work in large groups (between 7-12 students, random selection of members).
- Management of project and deadlines.
- Writing of technical reports in English, with written feed-back from teachers after each report.
- Communication to scientific and non-scientific audience: technical presentations to teachers, and final presentation to a larger audience with general engineering background.
- Communication in English, written and oral (all group members must talk).
Prerequisite knowledge and skills
Basics of chemical engineering (transport phenomena, chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics...) are required. All these skills can be acquired at the University of Liège:
- either within the Bachelor in Engineering, Chemical Engineering option
- or within the bloc 0 of the Chemical Engineering master programme.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
The project will be initiated during two kick-off meetings at the start of the semester.
After that, from Part 2, office hours with teaching assistant (M. Philippart de Foy) and/or coordinating professor (G.Léonard) will be organized. Meetings between students and professors responsible for the different sub-tasks are also encouraged all year-long, based on appointments initiated by students in sub-groups.
About once a month, plenary sessions will be organized for students to present the progress of their group work (one presentation per large group) to all professors. Oral feed-back will be given by professors.
At the end of each part, an oral presentation and/or an intermediary report (format described in the assignments) will be delivered by students. At the end of each semester, it is required that all students have orally participated to at least one presentation.
Technical and soft skills feedbacks will be provided all year long by teachers and ULiège's Soft Skills Team. In addition, throughout the year, expert presentations will be organized to support the project.
Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)
Presentations by academic and industrial experts, workshop and group work, written and oral feedback on deliverables, face-to-face meetings with professors, plenary sessions, office hours.
Recommended or required readings
Kick-off presentations and presentations by experts uploaded on e-campus and/or on the project's shared drive. Other literature :
- M. Douglas : Conceptual Design of Chemical Processes, New York: McGraw-Hill (1988).
- R. Turton et al, Analysis, Synthesis and Design of Chemical Processes, Prentice Hall 2013, ISBN 0-13-570565-7
Exam(s) in session
written exam AND oral exam
Exam(s) in session
Written work / report
The grade will include evaluation of technical and soft skills. Each student will receive a individual grade based on a group grade and an individual grade.
Technical assessment at group level:
Regarding the technical assessment, the written reports delivered at the end of each project part are evaluated and the achieved grade is common to the group. The different tasks are also specifically evaluated by the professors coordinating these tasks. The final oral presentation (in May) is also assessed with a common group grade. Feedback will be provided to all reports and presentations.
Technical assessment at individual level:
Students will also be individually evaluated based on their Part 1's reports (mass balance and literature review), as well as based on written assessments that will take place before each Part's final presentation. These 1-hour evaluations will include about 6 questions, and their goal is to assess the understanding of the whole project by each student, even for sub-topics they did not work on.
Soft skills assessment at individual level:
Each student's involvement in the project will be evaluated, focussing on the student's efforts to improve his/her competences related to the good working of the group towards the achievement of group's objectives. The grade will be based on peer-evaluation by group members at the end of each project part. The peer-assessment forms may also be used in sessions with the Soft Skills's team to debrief the group's organization.
Soft skills assessment at group level:
Presentation skills (final presentation) will get a group grade. Project management will be assessed at group level based on the realisation and follow-up of a Gantt diagram.
Feedback on the written English language may be offered by ISLV.
Organisational remarks and main changes to the course
Course delivered in English. Calendar of the year will be presented at the first kick-off that takes place during the first week of the academic year. Kick-off date for 2023-2024 (face-to-face meeting): Friday September 15, 13.30 AM (check Celcat for the room). Latest timetable and room updates will be in the calendar document on the shared drive communicated to all students at the kick-off and/or on Ecampus.
Attendance to all technical as well as soft skills events is mandatory.
Grégoire Léonard. firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie-Noëlle Dumont. email@example.com
Nathalie Job, Nathalie.Job@uliege.be
Angélique Léonard, A.Leonard@uliege.be
Andreas Pfennig, Andreas.Pfennig@uliege.be
Dominique Toye, Dominique.Toye@uliege.be
Samuel Gendebien, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc Philippart de Foy, email@example.com