Chemical Processing Essentials for the Non-Chemical Engineer

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Course Overview

Gain a practical understanding of the chemical engineering discipline and how it translates into chemical processes and processing equipment. You will leave this course knowing how to apply chemical engineering knowledge to your processes and operations for improvement and efficiency, how to examine mass and energy balances for operational accuracy, and how to analyze process design and operations with respect to safe operation. You will examine the fundamentals of chemical processing through specific discussion of chemical process equipment, typical of most chemical facilities. You will discuss the operational impacts of process safety, the consequences and inherent risk.

Who Should Attend?

Plant, process, maintenance, safety and design engineers, scientists, and professionals who are not chemical engineers by academic background, but are involved in the design, operation, selection, or specification of chemical processing equipment or process operations in chemical, petrochemical, biochemical, specialty chemical, food, pharmaceutical, and agricultural applications.

Additional Information

Special note:
Please bring a calculator for the problem-solving sessions.

Course Outline

"The Chemical Process"

Material and Energy Balances

Stoichiometry and Chemical Thermodynamics

Fluid Dynamics

  • Pumps and process piping
  • Fluid properties
  • Safety issues
  • Compressors, blowers, fans, valves

The Gas Law, Equations of State, and Thermodynamics

  • Equilibrium
  • Gas Laws
  • Enthalpy, entropy

Heat Transfer and Heat Exchangers

Reactor Design

  • Kinetics
  • Mass and heat transfer
  • Temperature effects
  • Catalysis
  • Run-away reactions

Mass Transfer and Separations

Tanks and Pressure Vessels

  • Consequences of failure
  • Code requirements
  • Relief devices

Solids Separation and Handling

  • Safe handling of dusts

Process Control

  • Control valves, controllers, and control systems

Process Safety

  • Fire, detonations, and explosions
  • Maintenance
  • Uncontrolled reactions


"I gained a lot of knowledge and now have a better understanding of how things work."

 "The presentation was excellent!"

"As a result of this course, I have a better understanding of the processes, the unit operations, and process safety."

"Becoming more familiar with the concepts and understanding the complexity of the processing environment has helped a great deal and will change the way I approach my job."

"What a great reference notebook!"


Charles Lipp

Charles Lipp, a chemical engineer, is the principal at Lake Innovation LLC, which he formed in 2008. His areas of practice include complex fluid mechanics, spray technology, process mixing, innovation development, and technical engineering training. 

His work during his 35 year career at The Dow Chemical Company resulted in a wide breadth and depth of project experience. He led production plant scale experiments to optimize performance, and specialized equipment development in US and Europe. He was a key member of the team that developed and commercialized coal gasification reactor technology, now known as E-Gas™ (CB & I). The eight year project concluded with the commissioning and start-up of the first commercial plant. He was involved with distillation, absorption, and liquid-liquid extraction process development on other pilot plant scale projects.  His innovative work included being a long term contributor in the Engineering Sciences Department at Dow.

He is the inventor or co-inventor of over 20 US and foreign patents. Charles authored and published the book Practical Spray Technology: fundamentals and practice in 2012, wrote the “Sprays” article for the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology fifth edition, and authored or co-authored several presentations for AIChE and ILASS meetings. Charles holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University.


Elaine Andrysick

Elaine M. Andrysick, joined Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a continuing engineering education specialist in 1988.  She is responsible for the development and delivery of high-value continuing engineering education short courses for practicing professionals in the areas of chemical and process engineering and laser material processing.  Also, she manages the University’s Laser Welding Certificate program.

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Program Director

Elaine Andrysick

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