A Respiration Experiment to Introduce ChE Principles


  • Stephanie Farrell Rowan University
  • Robert P. Hesketh Rowan University
  • Mariano J. Savelski Rowan University


We have developed a hands-on experiment to introduce freshman engineering principles through exploration of the breathing process. In the laboratory, students are introduced to measurements of gas concentration and flow rate. Through the analysis of their data, students are introduced to unit operations, mass balance concepts, and phychrometric charts. In addition, students use a process simulator to prepare a flow diagram and to simulate the breathing process under different environmental conditions. The experiment and module are appropriate for a freshman engineering course or a sophomore material balances course.

Author Biographies

Stephanie Farrell, Rowan University

Stephanie Farrell is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. She received her BS in 1986 from the University of Pennsylvania, her MS in 1992 from Stevens Institute of Technology, and her PhD in 1996 from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Her teaching and research interests are in controlled drug delivery and biomedical engineering.

Robert P. Hesketh, Rowan University

Robert Hesketh is Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his BS in 1982 from the University of Illinois and his PhD from the University of Delaware in 1987. His research is in the areas of reaction engineering, novel separations, and green engineering.

Mariano J. Savelski, Rowan University

Mariano Savelski is Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his BS in 1991 from the University of Buenos Aires, his ME in 1994 from the University of Tulsa, and his PhD in 1999 from the University of Oklahoma. His technical research is in the area of process design and optimization.