Information Technology and ChE Education: Evolution or Revolution?


  • Thomas F. Edgar University of Texas


The societal transformation from the Industrial Age to the Information Age is having a profound impact on both industry and academia.  Universities have moved to networked environments that permit faculty, staff, and students to have access to the World Wide Web any time and anywhere.  In the future, faculty will use information technology to enhance the quality of education, with an increased focus on the learning process.  They will share courses over the Internet, write electronic books, and perhaps even form a virtual ChE department using courses from multiple departments.  Seers predict that information technology will have a global impact comparable to that on the printing press in the 15th century.  Whether or not this change will be evolutionary or revolutionary may become moot, since it will affect all institutions, not just higher education.

Author Biography

Thomas F. Edgar, University of Texas

Thomas F. Edgar is Associate Vice Presi­dent of Academic Computing and Instruc­tional Technology Services at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas and his PhD from Princeton Univer­sity. For the past 29 years he has concen­trated his academic work in process model­ing, control, and optimization. He has coau­thored two textbooks and over 200 articles and book chapters.