Process and Chemical Engineering - Conference Items

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    Embedding sustainability to produce an award winning chemical engineering programme: some challenges and learnings
    (2018-06) Byrne, Edmond P.; Fitzpatrick, John J.
    Since writing about the ‘the need to embed sustainability’ into chemical engineering programmes in a 2009 paper (Byrne & Fitzpatrick, 2009), the authors have endeavoured to walk the walk by helping embed sustainability into the Process & Chemical Engineering undergraduate degree programme at University College Cork. This has been achieved both through the development of ‘primary’ bespoke modules with explicit sustainability related foci, as well as through the development of a coherent sustainability related context right throughout the programme, and across modules more generally. Nearly a decade on, this approach yielded international recognition, with a successful submission by the authors on behalf of their programme, which resulted in the award of the 2016 Teaching Sustainability Award by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), an award given with the purpose of ‘encouraging the development of better approaches to integrating sustainability principles and values into undergraduate teaching’ among IChemE accredited programmes globally. This paper provides a reflective account of the evolution (in thinking and practice) made to the Process & Chemical Engineering degree at University College Cork over the past number of years on its sustainability journey, from the perspective of the authors who have championed this journey, and demonstrates how a confluences of various environmental factors, operating at various levels, can help facilitate iterative change and development.
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    Studies of adsorbents and pressure/vacuum swing adsorption for co2 capture
    (Clean Air Society of Australia & New Zealand (CASANZ), 2015-09-20) Tsalaporta, Eleni; Liu, C.; Tonetti, K.; Lawler, S.; MacElroy, J. M. Don; Higher Education Authority; European Regional Development Fund
    The capture of carbon dioxide via Pressure/Vacuum Swing Adsorption (PSA/VPSA) has been examined experimentally and mathematically. The adopted method was a two bed/four step process, known as the Skarstrom Cycle. Pelletised and calcined SBA-15 powder has been modified with a monoamine, a diamine and a triamine and has been tested in a PSA configuration. The performance of the monoamine modified SBA-15 was more than doubled with the presence of immobilised polyamine groups (diamine/triamine modified SBA-15) extending the adsorption capacity of the material (chemisorption), but still not comparable to the performance of zeolite 13X (physisorption) in terms of performance, stability and reproducibility. These results will be compared to the performance of four Metal Organic Frameworks, ZIF-8, ZIF-67, UiO-66 and CuBTC which are innovative and promising materials with several applications. Experimentally, the performance of zeolites and amine modified mesoporous silicas has been investigated for different experimental conditions (cycle time, pressure ratio, feed/purge ratio). This work is further supported by theoretical studies of PSA which employs a mathematical model based on linear coupled macropore and micropore diffusion and, where appropriate, reaction. These simulations are performed using gProms.
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    Experimental and modelling studies of CO2 capture via Pressure Swing adsorption for zeolites and amine modified mesoporous silicas
    (AIChE, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2014-11-17) Tsalaporta, Eleni; MacElroy, J. M. Don
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    Sustainability, pandemia and women in academia: breaking the “good girl” culture to enhance sustainability in engineering education
    (University College Cork, 2021-06-14) Tsalaporta, Eleni; Kyte, Elizabeth; Sousa-Gallagher, Maria J.
    We would all agree that the role of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising quality of life for future generations. We would agree that sustainable development relies on ending discrimination towards women and providing equal opportunities for education and employment. Gender equality has been conclusively shown to stimulate economic growth, which is crucial for low-income countries. We would also agree that there has been a lot of research in relation to sustainable development in engineering education, indicating that the subject of sustainability may help increase participation of women in engineering. But in reality, how can we teach our students sustainable development and promote the role of females in engineering, when the engineering education is so unsustainable for female academics? Academic women have long made the compromises in terms of the double burden of domestic and paid work, as well as to their personal life choices and well-being, yet academia and higher education institutions have simply not made the working environment a more just and sustainable space for women. During the pandemic, these inequities were exacerbated by the loss of educational provision, now delivered online and facilitated by, in the majority of cases, mothers. The precarity of childcare, now makes the question of the unsustainability of female academic’s lives unavoidable. Women have been literally and figuratively left holding the baby during this crisis. We are at a critical juncture where we have the opportunity as academics, to reimagine the post-pandemic community, and create a more socially just and sustainable balance in our lives. This issue exceeds academia; it is actually the culture that dictates women to be “good girls”; to comply with the patriarchal system. While there is nothing wrong about being a good person, the “good girl” label has a completely different meaning and impact on the life and career of women. “Good girl” is the one who cares about the others, seeks their approval, has no needs or ambitions, is quiet, kind, willing to please everyone, to get everything right the first time, is not allowed to make mistakes, has to sacrifice herself, and to be perfect and above all else, not to challenge the system or to call out all the specifically gendered ways in which the impact of the system marginalises and hurts women. The “good girl” culture has been a big burden for women in academia in general, having a detrimental impact to the career development of female academics in particular in the male dominated sector of engineering education. During the pandemic, it has been taken for granted that women would deliver on all fronts. It is well document that women’s work is often invisible, both in the domestic and public spheres [1]. Although common to all disciplines, the impacts of bias and stereotypes are particularly pronounced in engineering [2]. Female academics please their students, line managers, colleagues and family, leaving behind themselves, their research and other necessary elements for their progression. They are never considered equally good, impactful, and successful, as their male colleagues. As a matter of fact, women in engineering education experience more grade appeals and receive lower course evaluations than their white male counterparts [3], being discriminated by students, administrators and academics, while their efforts and ideas are being constantly discounted. There is nothing sustainable about this. This paper proposes effective actions to tackle the “good girl” expectations for female academics, enhancing sustainability, implementing a fit-for-purpose change of the culture system across school, with targeted and consistent actions, actively promoting the needs of female academics.