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Unformatted text preview: 1 Introduction Economics is ever present in our lives because we earn money from our jobs and we spend money allocated by our personal budgets for housing, clothing, transportation, entertainment, etc. We spend money for these items based upon the perceived economic utility. Further, economics is the engine that drives industry. Chemical engineering students in their formal education devote most of their efforts to the study of science and technology, including courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics, thermodynamics, kinetics, transport theory, unit operations, and design. The student learns how to utilize various physical phenomena in the design and operation of chemical plants. To function in industry today, the chemical engineer must understand and be able to apply more than just science and technology. Unlike many of the subjects studied in the chemical engineering curriculum, economics is not a science. In fact, it is more art than science but there are certain definitions, techniques, and principles that must be understood to use economics in a correct manner. The engineer must apply this entire body of knowledge to accomplish something of benefit to society. Chemical engineering students in accredited programs take courses such as those shown in Figure 1.1, beginning in the lower right-hand corner of the triangular diagram with the technical/scientific courses . As the student progresses in the program, basic chemical engineering courses cited in the previous paragraph are studied, culminating in the capstone process design course. Engineering students take at least one engineering economics course besides the classical economics course in business schools. Students may wish to take other business courses such as accounting and finance to increase their knowledge of business. Of particular importance today are the humanities courses with special emphasis on the sociopolitical issues that form a basis for understanding political, environmental, health, and safety issues. These courses are important and give insights to chemical engineering students, helping them to appreciate the economic constraints affecting the application of technology that management encounters in making decisions about future projects....
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- Spring '08
- Chemical Engineering, Marcel Dekker, Chemical Engineering Students