CHE 442 Reactors: The Crux of CHE

Hannah Hannah, Viterbi Class Leave a Comment

Midday on Tuesdays and Thursdays you’ll find me both confused and satisfied at the same time.  It sounds contradicting, but that’s when you’ll find me in CHE 442: Chemical Reaction Engineering. One of the most challenging but rewarding classes for me since my first year as a chemical engineer has been Reactors.  The class focuses on problems involving the design and operation of chemical reactors given a certain set of conditions.  These problems work on developing critical and creative thinking skills.  Most importantly, practice is especially needed for the problems require making accurate realistic assumptions.  In fact, what’s really interesting about the material is that there are several ways to approach the same problem and arrive at the same solution.

Indeed, one of the most helpful pieces of advice I was given for this class was working with a study group on homework sets.  It’s cool to see how we all approach the same set of questions differently and then occasionally combine our ideas to come up with an even better strategy to solve the problem.  Often, you’ll find our group at popular studying places like RTH cafe (where coffee is just a step away) or at one of the many outdoor sitting areas (taking advantage of LA weather).

When we really get stuck, you’ll see we make the most use of discussion and office hours.  Our professor, Dr. Tsotsis, and TA are always willing to answer any of our clarification questions.  Like many other professors, he also provides insight into the industry and how the material applies to the real world–which simultaneously provides motivation for us to be patient when we get stuck on a problem. Speaking of which, there’s a problem I’ll be getting back to now so I can finish my next homework set!




Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology), Class of 2016, Learn more on her profile here!

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