This 4-credit junior level undergraduate core ChE class aims to lay the foundation for students to:
- Solve problems involving mass transfer due to diffusion, chemical reaction, and convection
- Solve problems involving steady and unsteady state heat conduction, convection, and radiation
- Size some basic heat and mass transfer equipment
- Apply engineering judgment including an appreciation of cost and safety
- Solve mass transfer problems involving biological and environmental systems
This 3-credit undergraduate/graduate elective course covers topics related to biotechnologies including modern molecular and cellular engineering techniques. The first half of the course focuses on the fundamental biological principles, and the second half focuses on their application in various sectors, such as industrial, therapeutic, diagnostic, agricultural, environmental, etc. Assessment of students’ conceptual and quantitative understanding of the topics discussed in class comes in the forms of in-class discussions, homework, presentations, and/or a written proposal. Prof. Fei Wen developed this course aiming to not only explore basic and applied principles of molecular and cellular biology relevant to engineers, but also introduce career opportunities in biotechnology for engineers, and more importantly, discover that being a biomolecular engineer is cool.
In Fall 2016, Prof. Wen also incorporated a pilot lab component to the class to provide practical experience for the theoretical concepts of genetic cloning covered in class, including gene annotation, plasmid shuttle design, polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis and restriction digestion.
Prof. Fei Wen is passionate to further students’ interests in research and help them to solidify their visions of future career paths. Therefore, in addition to teaching in a traditional classroom, Prof. Wen encourages and provides opportunities for undergraduate students at all levels to participate in research activities in her laboratory.
Prof. Fei Wen firmly believes in the beneficial long-term impacts of early educational intervention on adulthood achievement, especially for individuals with limited socioeconomical resources. Being a chemical engineer working in a highly interdisciplinary field, Prof. Wen is particularly interested in instilling the values of engineering education in young minds. Driven by her believes, Prof. Wen is developing outreach activities with the aims to foster engagement of K-12 students with UM undergraduate and graduate students, show them the possibility and excitement of a college life, present them diverse career paths for an engineer, and ultimately raise their interest in Science and Engineering. In winter 2013, Prof. Wen brought 39 high school students (9th and 10th grade) from Ypsilanti New Tech, Ypsilanti Community High School, and Douglass Academy in Detroit into the ChE 342 classroom to participate as “judges” of the undergraduate students’ projects, which are live demonstrations designed based a mass or heat transfer concept. The goal is to help the 9/10th graders see the relationship of what they are learning in science and math classes to real-world engineering applications and expose them to various fields of engineering and career opportunities. In addition, they interacted with undergraduate and graduate student panels, as wells as UM ChE professors to explore potential common interests in engineering. Check out this event in the UM College of Engineering news here and here!
As part of the GEAR UP STEM Scholars Weekend organized by the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach, Prof. Fei Wen and her graduate students created an engaging and challenging chemical engineering activity in the Protein Engineering-Assembly Lab. The activity, aimed at underrepresented local high school students visiting the university, provided an educational experience designed to boost pre-college interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers.