An Analysis of Enrollment Cycling in Chemical Engineering


  • R. Russell Rhineheart Oklahoma State University


In contrast to the intuitively accepted view, data indicate that enrollment swings in chemical engineering do not correlate with fluctuations in the economy.  An alternate mechanism to explain the enrollment swings is hypothesized and modeled.  The simulation mimics the behavior of national data and data from thirty individual schools and provides circumstantial support for the mechanism.  The mechanism suggests that chemical engineering enrollment cycling is due to students' reaction to enrollment cycling and that there are cures.

Author Biography

R. Russell Rhineheart, Oklahoma State University

R. Russell Rhinehart is Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University, with former experience in both industry (13 years) and academe (15 years). His primary research interests are in the practical application of advanced technology for automated process management (control, optimization, monitoring), He received his BS (1968) and his MS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland, and his PhD (1985) in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University.