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CME3032 : Process Design & Economics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sharon Velasquez Orta
  • Lecturer: Dr Mark Willis, Dr Richard Law
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 8
Semester 2 Credit Value: 7
ECTS Credits: 8.0
European Credit Transfer System


To discuss and understand the role of quality management systems that embed decision-making and process economics methods. Their application for continuous improvement in the context of equipment and process selection. (M14)

To apply knowledge of engineering management policies, understand and identify the need for thorough planning and work monitoring when executing complex tasks. Students actively plan and monitor their own design projects through looking at the commercial context, project and change management, and relevant legal matters including intellectual property rights. (M15)

To understand how to design a chemical or separation process using modelling software and apply learned skills in computer aided process design building-up an awareness of new software developments for solving chemical engineering flowsheets. (M1)

To apply an integrated or systems approach in the solution of complex problems by understanding the principles of standard and optimisation techniques. This include identification of mathematical methods that can be beneficially applied within the context of process design and operation. (M6)
The module covers aspects of process design methodology including management processes and decision making. Design optimisation lectures are supported by a practical exercise utilizing a process flow sheet simulator. Tools for economic evaluation of projects and to solve flow sheeting problems are introduced and interlinked to the design projects that students have been assigned in CME3039.

Outline Of Syllabus

Application of management techniques and relevant legal matters that are needed for in the effective delivery of an engineering design project.

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. To understand methods of plant costing and process economics and use techniques for equipment and process selection.

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

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 completion20:301:00Formative online test, parts 1 and 2.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation of assignment in semester 2
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Revision for online tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Flowsheeting, Optimisation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture52:0010:00Introduction to module, Decision making, Process Economics
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials21:002:00Lecture materials for Project Management
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities33:009:00Computing help sessions for students to support the flow sheeting and modelling
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical31:003:00Computing Cluster
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Tutorial session
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00Review taught material, including going through worked examples and practice using design software.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study63:0018:00Optimisation software practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students are introduced to techniques for planning 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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M50Flow sheeting and Optimisation assignment (1000 words)
Computer assessment1M501hr online class test
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MFormative online test (Pass/Fail)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative online test assesses knowledge acquired and problem solving in a timed environment. The assignment and class test provide an opportunity to put acquired knowledge into practice.

Reading Lists