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CME3032 : Process Design & Economics

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Mr John Dalton
  • Lecturer: Dr Richard Law
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
ECTS Credits: 8.0


To understand the need for thorough planning and work monitoring when executing complex tasks, and to have students actively plan and monitor their own design projects.
To understand methods of plant costing and process economics and use the techniques for equipment and process selection.
To understand design as a process.
To understand the need for data protection and IP strategy in an industrial context
To further develop skills in computer aided process design.
To develop an understanding of the principles of standard optimisation techniques. To understand where the techniques can be beneficially applied within the context of process design and operation.

The module covers aspects of process design methodology including design processes and decision support. Design optimisation lectures are supported by a practical exercise utilising a process flow sheet simulator. Tools for economic evaluation of projects are introduced, together with the elements of project management. Lectures by visiting industrialist will cover methods for data management and protection in industry.

Outline Of Syllabus

Revision session on the use of HYSYS process flow sheet software. Development of process flow diagrams, selection of process steps. Computer aided optimisation of process flow sheets.

Introduction to a range of basic decision making methods from a theoretical as well as practical point of view. Use of software tools to enable practice and exploration of the methods.

Methods for assessing the economics of proposed designs, involving cost and time estimation, leading to financial appraisal.

Introduction to project planning and project management.

Introduction to business intelligence, data protection, IP strategy of a business

Unconstrained multivariable optimisation (gradient based techniques, gradient free), Constrained optimisation (Lagrange multipliers, penalty functions etc.), Linear Programming, Application areas (e.g. Optimisation of Reactors, Distillation trains, Predictive Control). Basic scheduling methods.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion17:007:00Revision for class test
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation of reports
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00class tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture281:0028:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical11:001:00group learning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical93:0027:00Optimisation software practice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:00Review taught material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students are introduced to techniques for planning, managing and estimating the cost of complex projects. Design as a process is also discussed and the acquired knowledge is then applied in an assessed assignment. Knowledge and skills are also transferred as a practical set of tools for undertaking the major Stage 3 Plant Design project (CME3039).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M50Optimisation assignment (1000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The class test assesses knowledge acquired and also problem solving in a timed environment.
The Project Management Plan, Flowsheeting Case Study and Optimisation Assignment provide an opportunity to put acquired knowledge into practice.

Reading Lists