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Chemical Engineering

Ch/ChE 9. Chemical Synthesis and Characterization for Chemical Engineering. 9 units (1-6-2). For course description, see Chemistry. 

ChE 10. Introduction to Chemical Engineering. 1 unit (1-0-0); second term. A series of weekly seminars given by chemical engineering faculty or an outside speaker, on a topic of current research. Topics will be presented at an informal, introductory level. Graded pass/fail.

ChE 15. Introduction to Chemical Engineering Computation. 9 units (0-4-5); first term. Prerequisite: Ma 2 (may be taken concurrently). Introduction to the solution of engineering problems through the use of the computer. Elementary programming in Matlab is taught, and applied to solving chemical engineering problems in data analysis, process simulation, and optimization. No previous knowledge of computer programming is assumed. Instructor: Flagan.

ChE 62. Separation Processes. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. Prerequisites: ChE 15 and Ma 2. Equilibrium staged separations. Membrane separations. Absorption. Distillation. Liquid-liquid extraction. Introduction to mass transfer. Instructor: Seinfeld.

ChE 63 ab. Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics. 9 units (3-0-6); second, third terms. A comprehensive treatment of classical thermodynamics with engineering and chemical applications. First and second laws. Applications to closed and open systems. Equations of state. Thermochemical calculations. Properties of real fluids. Power generation and refrigeration cycles. Multicomponent systems, excess properties, fugacities, activity coefficients, and models of nonideal solutions. Chemical potential. Phase and chemical reaction equilibria. Instructors: Tirrell, Ismagilov.

ChE 80. Undergraduate Research. Units by arrangement. Research in chemical engineering offered as an elective in any term other than in the senior year. Graded pass/fail. 

ChE 90 ab. Senior Thesis. 9 units (0-4-5); first, second, third terms. A research project carried out under the direction of a chemical engineering faculty member. The project must contain a significant design component. Students must submit a proposal outlining the proposed project, and clearly identifying its design component to the faculty mentor for the thesis and the chemical engineering option representative, by the beginning of the first term of the thesis for review and approval. A grade will not be assigned prior to completion of the thesis, which normally takes two terms. A P grade will be given for the first term and then changed to the appropriate letter grade at the end of the course.

Ch/ChE 91. Scientific Writing. 3 units (2-0-1). For course description, see Chemistry. 

ChE 101. Chemical Reaction Engineering. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. Prerequisites: ChE 62 and ChE 63 ab, or instructor’s permission. Elements of chemical kinetics and chemically reacting systems. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Chemical reactor analysis. Instructor: Arnold. 

ChE 103 abc. Transport Phenomena. 9 units (3-0-6); first, second, third terms. Prerequisite: ACM 95/100 ab or concurrent registration, or instructor’s permission. A rigorous development of the basic differential equations of conservation of momentum, energy, and mass in fluid systems. Solution of problems involving fluid flow, heat transfer, and mass transfer. Instructors: Kornfield, Shapiro, Flagan. 

ChE 105. Dynamics and Control of Chemical Systems. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. Prerequisites: ACM 95 ab or concurrent registration, or instructor’s permission. Analysis of linear dynamic systems. Feedback control. Stability of closed-loop control systems. Root locus, Frequency response, and Nyquist analysis. Feedforward, cascade, and multivariable control systems. Instructor: Seinfeld. 

ChE/BE/MedE 112. Design, Invention, and Fundamentals of Microfluidic Systems. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. This course combines three parts. First, it will cover fundamental aspects of kinetics, mass-transport, and fluid physics that are relevant to microfluidic systems. Second, it will provide an understanding of how new technologies are invented and reduced to practice. Finally, students in the course will work together to design microfluidic systems that address challenges in Global Health, with an emphasis on students’ inventive contributions and creativity. Students will be encouraged and helped, but not required, to develop their inventions further by working with OTT and entrepreneurial resources on campus. Participants in this course benefit from enrollment of students with diverse backgrounds and interests. For chemical engineers, suggested but not required courses are ChE 101 (Chemical Reaction Engineering) and ChE 103abc (Transport Phenomena). Students are encouraged to contact the instructor to discuss enrollment. Instructor: Ismagilov.

ChE 114. Solid State NMR Spectroscopy For Materials Chemistry. 9 units (3-3-3); second term. Prerequisites: Ch 21abc or instructor’s permission. Principles and applications of solid state NMR spectroscopy will be addressed with focus on structure and dynamics characterization of organic and inorganic solids. NMR applications in the areas of heterogeneous catalysts, batteries, energy storage materials, etc. will be reviewed. More specific topics include NMR methods in solid state such as magic angle spinning (MAS), cross-polarization (CP), NMR of quadrupole nuclei, multiple pulse and multi-dimensional solid state NMR experiments, dynamics NMR. Hands-on experience will be provided via separate laboratory sessions using solid NMR spectrometers at Caltech Solid State NMR facility. Instructor: Hwang.

ChE 115. Electronic Materials Processing. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. Prerequisites: ChE 63 ab, ChE 103 abc, ChE 101, or instructor’s permission. Introduction into the gas-phase processing techniques used in the fabrication of electronic materials and devices. Kinetic theory of gases. Surface chemistry and gas-surface interaction dynamics. Film deposition techniques: physical and chemical vapor deposition, atomic layer epitaxy, liquid-phase epitaxy, molecular beam epitaxy. Introduction into plasmas and their role in patterned etching and layer deposition. Charging damage during plasma processing. Determination of key parameters that control the ion energy and flux to the wafer surface. Instructor: Giapis. Not offered 2017–18.

ChE 118. Introduction to the Design of Chemical Systems. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. Prerequisites: ChE 63 ab, ChE 101, ChE 103 abc, ChE 126, or instructor’s permission. Short-term, open-ended projects that require students to design a chemical process or product. Each team generates and filters ideas, identifies use cases and objectives, evaluates and selects a design strategy, develops a project budget, schedules milestones and tasks, and writes a proposal with supporting documentation. Each project must meet specified requirements for societal impact, budget, duration, person hours, environmental impact, safety, and ethics. Instructor: Vicic. 

ChE 120. Optimal Design of Chemical Systems. 9 units (1-6-2); third term. Prerequisites: ChE 63 ab, ChE 101, ChE 103 abc, ChE 126, or instructor’s permission. Short-term, open-ended projects that require students to design and build a chemical process or manufacture a chemical product. Each team selects a project after reviewing a collection of proposals. Students use chemical engineering principles to design, build, test, and optimize a system, component, or product that fulfills specified performance requirements, subject to constraints imposed by budget, schedule, logistics, environmental impact, safety, and ethics. Instructor: Vicic. 

ChE 126. Chemical Engineering Laboratory. 9 units (1-6-2); first term. Prerequisites: ChE 63 ab, ChE 101, ChE 103 abc, ChE 105, or instructor’s permission. Short-term projects that require students to work in teams to design systems or system components. Projects typically include unit operations and instruments for chemical detection. Each team must identify specific project requirements, including performance specifications, costs, and failure modes. Students use chemical engineering principles to design, implement, and optimize a system (or component) that fulfills these requirements, while addressing issues and constraints related to environmental impact, safety, and ethics. Students also learn professional ethics through the analysis of case studies. Instructor: Vicic.

ChE 128. Chemical Engineering Design Laboratory. 9 units (1-6-2); second term. Prerequisites: ChE 63 ab, ChE 101, ChE 103 abc, or instructor’s permission. Short-term, open-ended research projects targeting chemical processes in microreactors. Projects include synthesis of chemical products or nanomaterials, detection and destruction of environmental pollutants, and other gas phase conversions. Each student is required to construct and troubleshoot his/her own microreactor, then experimentally evaluate and optimize independently the research project using chemical engineering principles. Where possible, cost analysis of the optimized process is performed. Instructors: Giapis, Vicic.

ChE 130. Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory. 9 units (1-5-3); third term. Prerequisites: ChE 63 ab, ChE 101 (may be taken concurrently) or instructor’s permission. Design, construction, and characterization of engineered biological systems. Students will propose and execute research projects in biomolecular engineering and synthetic biology. Emphasis will be on projects that apply rational or library-based design strategies to the control of system behavior. Instructors: Tirrell, Vicic.

Ch/ChE 140 ab. Principles and Applications of Semiconductor Photoelectrochemistry. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Chemistry. 

Ch/ChE 147. Polymer Chemistry. 9 units (3-0-6). For course description, see Chemistry. 

ChE/Ch 148. Polymer Physics. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. An introduction to the physics that govern polymer structure and dynamics in liquid and solid states, and to the physical basis of characterization methods used in polymer science. The course emphasizes the scaling aspects of the various physical properties. Topics include conformation of a single polymer chain under different solvent conditions; dilute and semi-dilute solutions; thermodynamics of polymer blends and block copolymers; rubber elasticity; polymer gels; linear viscoelasticity of polymer solutions and melts; glass transition and crystallization. Instructor: Wang. Not offered 2017–18.

ChE 151 ab. Physical and Chemical Rate Processes. 12 units (3-0-9); second, third terms. The foundations of heat, mass, and momentum transfer for single and multiphase fluids will be developed. Governing differential equations; laminar flow of incompressible fluids at low and high Reynolds numbers; forced and free convective heat and mass transfer, diffusion, and dispersion. Emphasis will be placed on physical understanding, scaling, and formulation and solution of boundary-value problems. Applied mathematical techniques will be developed and used throughout the course. Instructor: Brady. 

ChE 152. Heterogeneous Kinetics and Reaction Engineering. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. Prerequisites: ChE 101 or instructor’s permission. Survey of heterogeneous reactions on metal and oxide catalysts. Langmuir-Hinshelwood versus Eley-Rideal reaction mechanisms. Reaction, diffusion, and heat transfer in heterogeneous catalytic systems. Characterization of porous catalysts. Instructor: Giapis.

ChE/Ch 155. Chemistry of Catalysis. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. Discussion of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic reactions, with emphasis on the relationships between the two areas and their role in energy problems. Topics include catalysis by metals, metal oxides, zeolites, and soluble metal complexes; utilization of hydrocarbon resources; and catalytic applications in alternative energy approaches. Not offered 2017–18.

ESE/ChE 158. Aerosol Physics and Chemistry. 9 units (3-0-6); second term; Open to graduate students and seniors with instructor’s permission. For description, see Environmental Science and Engineering.

ChE/BE 163. Introduction to Biomolecular Engineering. 12 units (3-0-9); first term. Prerequisites: Bi/Ch 110 or instructor’s permission and CS 1 or equivalent. The course introduces rational design and evolutionary methods for engineering functional protein and nucleic acid systems. Rational design topics include molecular modeling, positive and negative design paradigms, simulation and optimization of equilibrium and kinetic properties, design of catalysts, sensors, motors, and circuits. Evolutionary design topics include evolutionary mechanisms and tradeoffs, fitness landscapes, directed evolution of proteins, and metabolic pathways. Some assignments require programming (Python is the language of instruction). Instructors: Bois, Pierce.

ChE/Ch 164. Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. Prerequisite: Ch 21 abc or instructor’s permission. An introduction to the fundamentals and simple applications of statistical thermodynamics. Foundation of statistical mechanics; partition functions for various ensembles and their connection to thermodynamics; fluctuations; noninteracting quantum and classical gases; heat capacity of solids; adsorption; phase transitions and order parameters; linear response theory; structure of classical fluids; computer simulation methods. Instructors: Wang, Miller. 

ChE/Ch 165. Chemical Thermodynamics. 9 units (3-0-6); first term. Prerequisite: ChE 63 ab or instructor’s permission. An advanced course emphasizing the conceptual structure of modern thermodynamics and its applications. Review of the laws of thermodynamics; thermodynamic potentials and Legendre transform; equilibrium and stability conditions; metastability and phase separation kinetics; thermodynamics of single-component fluid and binary mixtures; models for solutions; phase and chemical equilibria; surface and interface thermodynamics; electrolytes and polymeric liquids. Instructor: Wang. 

ChE 174. Special Topics in Transport Phenomena. 9 units (3-0-6); third term. Prerequisites: ACM 95/100 and ChE 151 ab or instructor’s permission. May be repeated for credit. Advanced problems in heat, mass, and momentum transfer. Introduction to mechanics of complex fluids; physicochemical hydrodynamics; microstructured fluids; colloidal dispersions; microfluidics; selected topics in hydrodynamic stability theory; transport phenomena in materials processing. Other topics may be discussed depending on class needs and interests. Not offered 2017–18.

ChE/BE/MedE 188. Molecular Imaging. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. Prerequisites: Bi/Ch 110, ChE 101 and ACM 95 or equivalent. This course will cover the basic principles of biological and medical imaging technologies including magnetic resonance, ultrasound, nuclear imaging, fluorescence, bioluminescence and photoacoustics, and the design of chemical and biological probes to obtain molecular information about living systems using these modalities. Topics will include nuclear spin behavior, sound wave propagation, radioactive decay, photon absorption and scattering, spatial encoding, image reconstruction, statistical analysis, and molecular contrast mechanisms. The design of molecular imaging agents for biomarker detection, cell tracking, and dynamic imaging of cellular signals will be analyzed in terms of detection limits, kinetics, and biological effects. Participants in the course will develop proposals for new molecular imaging agents for applications such as functional brain imaging, cancer diagnosis, and cell therapy. Instructor: Shapiro. Not offered 2017–18. 

ChE 190. Special Problems in Chemical Engineering. Up to 9 units by arrangement; any term. Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission and adviser’s approval must be obtained before registering. Special courses of readings or laboratory instruction. The student should consult a member of the faculty and prepare a definite program of reading, computation, theory and/or experiment. The student must submit a summary of progress at midterm and, at the end of the quarter, a final assignment designed in consultation with the instructor. This course may be credited only once. Grading: either grades or pass/fail, as arranged with the instructor. Instructors: Staff. 

ChE 280. Chemical Engineering Research. Offered to Ph.D. candidates in chemical engineering. Main lines of research now in progress are covered in detail in section two.