Graduate Bridging and Continuing Education Using the Internet


  • Carl T. Lira Michigan State University
  • R. Mark Worden Michigan State University
  • Daina Briedis Michigan State University


The application of chemical engineering principles has proven valuable in a wide range of nontraditional, science-based industries, including biotechnology and semiconductors.  Companies in these industries increasingly need employees with knowledge of both the science underpinning their businesses and chemical engineering concepts.  To address this need, Michigan State University has developed two Internet-based courses that provide a summary of chemical engineering fundamentals for scientists and engineers from related disciplines.  These courses are intended primarily for two audiences: 1) students with bachelors' degrees in technical disciplines other than chemical engineering who wish to bridge into a graduate chemical engineering program, and 2) professionals seeking continuing-education training in chemical engineering.  This paper discusses the strategies used to select course content and the delivery techniques used in these courses and gives perspectives and recommendations on using the Internet for effective instruction of students.

Author Biographies

Carl T. Lira, Michigan State University

Carl T. Lira is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University. He earned a PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1986. His scholarly work is in the area of phase and adsorption equilibria, and supercritical fluid processing. He is coauthor of the new textbook, Introductory Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics.

R. Mark Worden, Michigan State University

Mark Worden is Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University. He bridged to chemical engineering after earning a bachelor's degree with a double major in chemistry and cell biology. His research is in the area of biochemical engineering, and he has been active in development of multidisciplinary training programs involving bioprocessing.

Daina Briedis, Michigan State University

Daina Briedis is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University. She has conducted research in bioadhesion and is currently studying development of effective learning tools for the multidisciplinary classroom. She is active nationally and internationally in engineering accreditation.