Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Chemical Engineering

Degree Program

Chemical Engineering, MS

Committee Chair

Jaeger, Vance

Committee Member

Willing, Gerald

Committee Member

Ralston, Patricia

Author's Keywords

Process Control; Education, Chemical Engineering, Lab


Process control is an essential aspect of manufacturing, contributing to improved process safety, efficiency, product consistency, and energy optimization. Chemical engineers are often responsible for ensuring the safe, efficient, and cost-effective operation of industrial processes, and process control plays a pivotal role in accomplishing this.

Chemical engineering students at the University of Louisville complete the course, Elements of Process Control, during the second semester of their fourth year. This lecture-based course offers limited hands-on, practical experience. To supplement the lack of hands-on experience in the classroom, a new process control experiment was designed and implemented into the Unit Operations II Laboratory curriculum as described in this report.

The purpose of this project was to increase fourth-year chemical engineering students’ understanding of process control, as well as their ability to apply process control concepts to real systems. The success of the project was assessed through the students’ accomplishment of five Learning Objectives pertaining to experimental design, proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller tuning, and other key process control concepts.

The accomplishment of the Learning Objectives was evaluated via the students’ experimental results in tandem with pre- and post-assessment scores. The results confirmed that the Learning Objectives were achieved. In a post-lab survey, students indicated that the experiment was beneficial to their learning and supported the claim that the process control experiment is a valuable addition to the Unit Operations II Laboratory.