Automated Information Retrieval for Efficient and Consistent Grading of Flowsheets Developed in Aspen® Plus Process Simulator


  • Scott Jackson Department of Chemical Engineering, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova PA 19085
  • Dorothy Skaf Villanova University.


EXCEL spreadsheet algorithms were developed at Villanova University to efficiently and consistently retrieve information from ASPEN® flowsheets and used for grading work in senior design. The challenge is to take a large volume of data that is in the stream and unit operations reports and quickly and consistently calculate a list of key grading parameters to judge the quality of submitted flowsheet assignments. Application of this EXCEL algorithm makes it possible to grade work from an entire class in a few hours.

Author Biographies

Scott Jackson, Department of Chemical Engineering, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova PA 19085


 Scott Jackson is a Visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering at Villanova University. Prior to joining Villanova, he worked for the DuPont Company as a Senior Research Fellow in diverse roles in a number of businesses. Area of expertise include separations and reaction kinetics for nylon intermediates, for fluorocarbons / fluoropolymers, new technologies for enhanced oil recovery, and electronic material processing. Scott has taught or co-taught courses in Senior Design, Engineering Economics, Unit Operations lab, Heat Transfer and Petroleum Engineering. 

He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, and his MS and PhD from the University of Delaware.

Dorothy Skaf, Villanova University.


 Dorothy Skaf is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and past department chair at Villanova University. She joined the Villanova faculty in 1988 where she has taught continuously with the exception of a one-year Fulbright appointment at Qatar University. Dorothy has published in the areas of material treatments for improved hardness and electrical conductivity, graphite fiber production and nanofiber applications in catalysis and waste treatment, and value recovery from biodiesel processing wastes. She has several publications related to heterogeneous photocatalysis for waste treatment and/or value recovery and is currently working on a project for treatment of food processing waste. She has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses. Her main teaching assignments include undergraduate courses on separations and process design and graduate courses on separations and process safety. 

Dorothy earned her B.S in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and her MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a licensed PE in Pennsylvania.