Teaching Process Optimization Online: Lessons from the Pandemic
Aviso, Kathleen B.
Tapia, John Frederick D.
Tan, Raymond R.

How to Cite

Aviso K.B., Tapia J.F.D., Tan R.R., 2022, Teaching Process Optimization Online: Lessons from the Pandemic, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 94, 1117-1122.


The lockdowns implemented in most countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to the need for improvisation in the delivery of higher education. These measures involved the widespread use of remote learning platforms coupled with reconfiguring content and pedagogy to suit an electronic environment. While many of these emergency innovations may be abandoned once the pandemic ends, some lessons can be drawn from the experience and adapted for use in the post-COVID-19 world. This work describes the delivery of the module entitled “Optimization in Chemical Engineering” to postgraduate (masters and doctorate) students at De La Salle University in the first half of 2021. We emphasized model building skills through a series of structured exercises using case studies from literature. Mathematical foundations and software proficiency were initially taught separately in a parallel track. The final term project and oral exam were designed to combine the skills learned and to further emphasize the role of practical engineering interpretation of model outputs. In addition, students were required to work in pairs to address both mental health and invigilation issues. We also discuss the prospects for the use of this approach in face-to-face and hybrid delivery for both postgraduate curriculum and continuing education for professional engineers.