Chemical Engineering Grads Among the Best in National Design Competition

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Dan Crowl
Dan Crowl

Two May 2009 Michigan Tech chemical engineering graduates were among the best in the US this year in AIChE’s National Student Design Competition in the individual category.

Terry Mazure and John Krystof placed second and third, respectively, for their solutions to a large-scale chemical engineering design problem.

Every year, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers challenges students to tackle a problem that typifies a real, working, chemical engineering design situation.

Chemical engineering faculty members Dan Crowl and Tony Rogers incorporate the problem in the senior design lab course, CM4861. “It’s very open ended, and it takes about a hundred hours to complete,” said Crowl. “This year, they were supposed to design a chemical process to produce 500 million gallons of butanol a year by fermentation, size all the equipment, cost all the equipment, and do a complete cash flow analysis to determine if it would be commercially viable. Then they had to write and submit a report, which typically runs 50 or more pages.”

All students in the class must do the work individually, without assistance from anyone. “We’re limited to submitting two reports,” Crowl said. “Otherwise, we’d send more; we have some pretty good students.”

“It’s very competitive,” he added. “This is a high honor for our design program.”

Mazure is now a design engineer for Dow Corning, in Midland, and Krystof works with Hemlock Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Dow Corning. Both will be honored at the AIChE Fall National Meeting in Nashville.

Note: The thumbnail photo originally posted on the Michigan Tech News site is of John Krystof.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.