Introducing Students to Basic ChE Concepts: Four Simple Experiments


  • Duncan M. Fraser University of Cape Town


This paper describes four simple experiments that are used in a new course to introduce first-year students at the University of Cape Town to chemical engineering, including the fundamental phenomena of heat transfer, mass transfer, momentum transfer, and reaction kinetics.  The paper describes the context of the course, the objectives of the experiments, the details of how they were developed and run, and how they met the objectives.  It then presents the modeling of two of the experiments, together with a comparison of the model predictions with experimental data.  It concludes with an evaluation of both the experiments in the context of the course.

Author Biography

Duncan M. Fraser, University of Cape Town

Duncan Fraser has been lecturing at UCT since 1979. He holds the degrees of BSc and PhD, both from UCT. He has taught a wide range of courses from first year to fourth year, including mass and energy balances, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, solid-fluid operations, optimization, process control, and design. His primary research interests are in engineering education and process synthesis.