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Chemical Engineering (ChE) Graduate Courses (2019-20)

ChE 101. Chemical Reaction Engineering. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Elements of chemical kinetics and chemically reacting systems. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Chemical reactor analysis. Instructor: Davis.
ChE 103 abc. Transport Phenomena. 9 units (3-0-6): first, second, third terms. A rigorous development of the basic differential equations of conservation of momentum, energy, and mass in fluid systems. Solution of problems involving fluid flow, heat transfer, and mass transfer. Instructors: Kornfield, Shapiro, Flagan.
ChE 105. Dynamics and Control of Chemical Systems. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Analysis of linear dynamic systems. Feedback control. Stability of closed-loop control systems. Root locus, Frequency response, and Nyquist analysis. Feedforward, cascade, and multivariable control systems. Instructor: Seinfeld.
ChE/BE/MedE 112. Design, Invention, and Fundamentals of Microfluidic Systems. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course combines three parts. First, it will cover fundamental aspects of kinetics, mass-transport, and fluid physics that are relevant to microfluidic systems. Second, it will provide an understanding of how new technologies are invented and reduced to practice. Finally, students in the course will work together to design microfluidic systems that address challenges in Global Health, with an emphasis on students' inventive contributions and creativity. Students will be encouraged and helped, but not required, to develop their inventions further by working with OTT and entrepreneurial resources on campus. Participants in this course benefit from enrollment of students with diverse backgrounds and interests. For chemical engineers, suggested but not required courses are ChE 101 (Chemical Reaction Engineering) and ChE 103 abc (Transport Phenomena). Students are encouraged to contact the instructor to discuss enrollment. Instructor: Ismagilov.
ChE 114. Solid State NMR Spectroscopy For Materials Chemistry. 9 units (3-3-3): second term. Principles and applications of solid state NMR spectroscopy will be addressed with focus on structure and dynamics characterization of organic and inorganic solids. NMR characterization methods in the areas of heterogeneous catalysts, batteries, energy storage materials, etc. will be reviewed. More specific topics include NMR methods in solid state such as magic angle spinning (MAS), cross-polarization (CP), NMR of quadrupole nuclei, multiple pulse and multi-dimensional solid state NMR experiments, dynamics NMR. Hands-on experience will be provided via separate laboratory sessions using solid NMR spectrometers at Caltech Solid State NMR facility. Instructor: Hwang.
ChE 115. Electronic Materials Processing. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Introduction into the gas-phase processing techniques used in the fabrication of electronic materials and devices. Kinetic theory of gases. Surface chemistry and gas-surface interaction dynamics. Film deposition techniques: physical and chemical vapor deposition, atomic layer epitaxy, liquid-phase epitaxy, molecular beam epitaxy. Introduction into plasmas and their role in patterned etching and layer deposition. Charging damage during plasma processing. Determination of key parameters that control the ion energy and flux to the wafer surface. Not offered 2019–20.
ChE 118. Introduction to the Design of Chemical Systems. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Short-term, open-ended projects that require students to design a chemical process or product. Each team generates and filters ideas, identifies use cases and objectives, evaluates and selects a design strategy, develops a project budget, schedules milestones and tasks, and writes a proposal with supporting documentation. Each project must meet specified requirements for societal impact, budget, duration, person hours, environmental impact, safety, and ethics. Instructor: Vicic.
ChE 120. Optimal Design of Chemical Systems. 9 units (1-6-2): third term. Short-term, open-ended projects that require students to design and build a chemical process or manufacture a chemical product. Each team selects a project after reviewing a collection of proposals. Students use chemical engineering principles to design, build, test, and optimize a system, component, or product that fulfills specified performance requirements, subject to constraints imposed by budget, schedule, logistics, environmental impact, safety, and ethics. Instructor: Vicic.
ChE 126. Chemical Engineering Laboratory. 9 units (1-6-2): first term. Short-term projects that require students to work in teams to design systems or system components. Projects typically include unit operations and instruments for chemical detection. Each team must identify specific project requirements, including performance specifications, costs, and failure modes. Students use chemical engineering principles to design, implement, and optimize a system (or component) that fulfills these requirements, while addressing issues and constraints related to environmental impact, safety, and ethics. Students also learn professional ethics through the analysis of case studies. Instructor: Vicic.
ChE 128. Chemical Engineering Design Laboratory. 9 units (1-6-2): second term. Short-term, open-ended research projects targeting chemical processes in microreactors. Projects include synthesis of chemical products or nanomaterials, detection and destruction of environmental pollutants, and other gas phase conversions. Each student is required to construct and troubleshoot his/her own microreactor, then experimentally evaluate and optimize independently the research project using chemical engineering principles. Where possible, cost analysis of the optimized process is performed. Instructors: Giapis, Vicic.
ChE 130. Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory. 9 units (1-5-3): third term. Design, construction, and characterization of engineered biological systems. Students will propose and execute research projects in biomolecular engineering and synthetic biology. Emphasis will be on projects that apply rational or library-based design strategies to the control of system behavior. Instructors: Davis, Vicic.
Ch/ChE 140 ab. Principles and Applications of Semiconductor Photoelectrochemistry. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The properties and photoelectrochemistry of semiconductors and semiconductor/liquid junction solar cells will be discussed. Topics include optical and electronic properties of semiconductors; electronic properties of semiconductor junctions with metals, liquids, and other semiconductors, in the dark and under illumination, with emphasis on semiconductor/liquid junctions in aqueous and nonaqueous media. Problems currently facing semiconductor/liquid junctions and practical applications of these systems will be highlighted. Part a Not offered 2019-20 Instructor: Lewis (b).
ChE 141. Data Science for Chemical Systems. 9 units (1-2-6): second term. Through short lectures, in-class activities, and problem sets, students learn and use methods in data science to complete projects focused on (i) descriptive and predictive analyses of chemical processes and (ii) Quantitative Structure Property Relationships (QSPR). Topics covered may include six sigma; SPC & SQC; time-series analysis; data preprocessing; dimensionality reduction; supervised, reinforcement, and unsupervised learning; decision tree & clustering methods; univariate and multivariate regression; and visualization. Python is the programming language of instruction. Instructor: Vicic.
ChE 142. Challenges in Data Science for Chemical Systems. 9 units (1-0-8): third term. Student groups complete a one-term, data-science project that addresses an instructor-approved chemical engineering challenge. The project may be an original research idea; related to work by a research group at the Institute; an entry in a relevant national/regional contest; a response to an industry relationship; or other meaningful opportunity. There is no lecture, but students participate in weekly progress updates. A student may not select a project too similar to research completed to fulfill requirements for ChE 80 or ChE 90abc. Instructor: Vicic.
Ch/ChE 147. Polymer Chemistry. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. An introduction to the chemistry of polymers, including synthetic methods, mechanisms and kinetics of macromolecule formation, and characterization techniques. Instructor: Robb.
ChE/Ch 148. Polymer Physics. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. An introduction to the physics that govern the structure and dynamics of polymeric liquids, and to the physical basis of characterization methods used in polymer science. The course emphasizes the scaling aspects of the various physical properties. Topics include conformation of a single polymer, a chain under different solvent conditions; dilute and semi-dilute solutions; thermodynamics of polymer blends and block copolymers; polyelectrolytes; rubber elasticity; polymer gels; linear viscoelasticity of polymer solutions and melts. Not offered 2019-20. Instructor: Wang.
ChE 151 ab. Physical and Chemical Rate Processes. 12 units (3-0-9): second, third terms. The foundations of heat, mass, and momentum transfer for single and multiphase fluids will be developed. Governing differential equations; laminar flow of incompressible fluids at low and high Reynolds numbers; forced and free convective heat and mass transfer, diffusion, and dispersion. Emphasis will be placed on physical understanding, scaling, and formulation and solution of boundary-value problems. Applied mathematical techniques will be developed and used throughout the course. Instructor: Brady.
ChE 152. Heterogeneous Kinetics and Reaction Engineering. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Survey of heterogeneous reactions on metal and oxide catalysts. Langmuir-Hinshelwood versus Eley-Rideal reaction mechanisms. Reaction, diffusion, and heat transfer in heterogeneous catalytic systems. Characterization of porous catalysts. Instructor: Giapis.
ChE/Ch 155. Chemistry of Catalysis. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Discussion of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic reactions, with emphasis on the relationships between the two areas and their role in energy problems. Topics include catalysis by metals, metal oxides, zeolites, and soluble metal complexes; utilization of hydrocarbon resources; and catalytic applications in alternative energy approaches. Not offered 2019-20.
ESE/ChE 158. Aerosol Physics and Chemistry. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Fundamentals of aerosol physics and chemistry; aerodynamics and diffusion of aerosol particles; condensation and evaporation; thermodynamics of particulate systems; nucleation; coagulation; particle size distributions; optics of small particles. Not offered 2019-20. Instructors: Seinfeld, Flagan.
ChE/BE 163. Introduction to Biomolecular Engineering. 12 units (3-0-9): first term. The course introduces rational design and evolutionary methods for engineering functional protein and nucleic acid systems. Rational design topics include molecular modeling, positive and negative design paradigms, simulation and optimization of equilibrium and kinetic properties, design of catalysts, sensors, motors, and circuits. Evolutionary design topics include evolutionary mechanisms and tradeoffs, fitness landscapes, directed evolution of proteins, and metabolic pathways. Some assignments require programming (Python is the language of instruction). Instructors: Arnold, Pierce.
ChE/Ch 164. Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. An introduction to the fundamentals and simple applications of statistical thermodynamics. Foundation of statistical mechanics; partition functions for various ensembles and their connection to thermodynamics; fluctuations; noninteracting quantum and classical gases; heat capacity of solids; adsorption; phase transitions and order parameters; linear response theory; structure of classical fluids; computer simulation methods. Instructor: Wang.
ChE/Ch 165. Chemical Thermodynamics. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. An advanced course emphasizing the conceptual structure of modern thermodynamics and its applications. Review of the laws of thermodynamics; thermodynamic potentials and Legendre transform; equilibrium and stability conditions; metastability and phase separation kinetics; thermodynamics of single-component fluid and binary mixtures; models for solutions; phase and chemical equilibria; surface and interface thermodynamics; electrolytes and polymeric liquids. Instructor: Wang.
ChE 174. Special Topics in Transport Phenomena. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. May be repeated for credit. Advanced problems in heat, mass, and momentum transfer. Introduction to mechanics of complex fluids; physicochemical hydrodynamics; microstructured fluids; colloidal dispersions and active matter. Other topics may be discussed depending on class needs and interests. Instructor: Brady.
ChE/BE/MedE 188. Molecular Imaging. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course will cover the basic principles of biological and medical imaging technologies including magnetic resonance, ultrasound, nuclear imaging, fluorescence, bioluminescence and photoacoustics, and the design of chemical and biological probes to obtain molecular information about living systems using these modalities. Topics will include nuclear spin behavior, sound wave propagation, radioactive decay, photon absorption and scattering, spatial encoding, image reconstruction, statistical analysis, and molecular contrast mechanisms. The design of molecular imaging agents for biomarker detection, cell tracking, and dynamic imaging of cellular signals will be analyzed in terms of detection limits, kinetics, and biological effects. Participants in the course will develop proposals for new molecular imaging agents for applications such as functional brain imaging, cancer diagnosis, and cell therapy. Not offered 2019-20. Instructor: Shapiro.
ChE 190. Special Problems in Chemical Engineering. Up to 9 units by arrangement: any term. Special courses of readings or laboratory instruction. The student should consult a member of the faculty and prepare a definite program of reading, computation, theory and/or experiment. The student must submit a summary of progress at midterm and, at the end of the quarter, a final assignment designed in consultation with the instructor. This course may be credited only once. Grading: either grades or pass/fail, as arranged with the instructor. Instructor: Staff.
Bi/BE/Ch/ChE/Ge 269. Integrative Projects in Microbial Science and Engineering. 6 units (3-0-3): second term. A project-based course designed to train students to integrate biological, chemical, physical and engineering tools into innovative microbiology research. Students and faculty will brainstorm to identify several "grand challenges" in microbiology. Small teams, comprised of students from different graduate programs and disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. a chemical engineer, a computer scientist and a biologist) and a faculty member, will work to compose a project proposal addressing one of the grand challenges, integrating tools and concepts from across disciplines. Student groups will present draft proposals and receive questions and critiques from other members of the class at check-in points during the academic term. While there will not be an experimental laboratory component, project teams may tour facilities or take field trips to help define the aims and approaches of their projects. At the end of the course, teams will deliver written proposals and presentations that will be critiqued by students and faculty. Instructor: CEMI Faculty.
ChE 280. Chemical Engineering Research. : . Offered to Ph.D candidates in chemical engineering. Main lines of research now in progress are covered in detail in section two.