Chemical Science & Engineering

Chemical Science & Engineering

Module 5: Project Sustainable Industrial Chemistry
In this project course, students are taught about the methods to evaluate the sustainability of processes and are expected to apply assessment tools to evaluate chemical processes on sustainability. To be able to assess processes on sustainability, it is essential to understand the scope of the concept ‘sustainability’, and how to interpret various aspects of sustainability. Sustainability can point to ecologically sustainable production, but also on a social level sustainability is an important factor. While chemistry lecturers focus on chemical aspects, the involved RESTS lecturers (Dr. Andreas Weber and Dr. Laura Franca Garcia) teach students to evaluate social aspects of chemical industrial processes by introducing social-ecological life cycle analysis (SELCA). In preparation for making the SELCA which forms an integral part of the final reports, several lectures are taught. During these lectures, Dr. Franco Garcia and Dr. Weber discuss the social aspects and the environmental impact assessment and guide students toward applying SELCA in a project context. In the context of tutorials, students can discuss with RESTS lecturers their draft SELCA analysis.

RESTS Teachers: Andreas Weber and Laura Franco Garcia (KiTeS)

Module 11: Philosophy of Science / Research
This course enables students to reflect critically and systematically on the character of scientific knowledge and their work as chemical engineers, both from a philosophical and a historical perspective. They learn to translate a (technological) problem into a scientific research question; methodologies in scientific research and to reflect on their own approaches and basic assumptions; different types and roles of scientific explanation; the formation and change of scientific concepts, and scientific modeling; the role of experimentation, instrumentation, and computer simulation in chemical engineering; the character of scientific disciplines and inter- or multi-disciplinary approaches to a problem, and the value (usefulness & relevance in a broader context) and validation of their scientific approaches. Besides this, they learn to address the ethical and societal aspects of their work and the implications and relevance of their research outcomes. This course is intended to provide students with a critical and reflective understanding of some of the key conceptual and methodological aspects of engineering practice in the context of chemical engineering. First, the aspects concerning design methodology will be discussed in relation to the concept of innovation. In this regard, the role of values in chemical engineering design will also be covered. Furthermore, some key aspects concerning scientific modeling and experimentation will be studied together with their associated problems. The last part of the course is devoted to the analysis of papers that are related to students’ bachelor assignments.

RESTS Teacher: Koray Karaca (Section Philosophy)

Module 11: Ethics
The aim of this course is to help students develop knowledge of, and insight into, the ethical implications of chemical engineering in society and the professional responsibility of chemical engineers.  The course covers ethical aspects of professionalism, focusing on the implications for engineers, and develops practical skills for moral reasoning and responsible behaviour. The course will emphasize issues related to professional responsibility, business purpose, codes of conduct, whistleblowing and sustainability. It will emphasize the role of chemical engineers, and their ability to make ethically significant decisions that directly influence society.

RESTS Teacher: Maren Berhrensen (Section Philosophy)