plant design winners spring 2012

Three groups of students from Texas A&M University's Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering have been recognized by the Fluor Corp. for their designs of a gas processing plant.

Ryan Mathews, Cristina Muko, Randy Nelson, Stephen Reddin and Amber Trull are members of the team awarded first place by Fluor for its original design of a gas processing plant that operates per Fluor's specifications and which was undertaken as part of an intense senior-level capstone chemical engineering course taught by John Baldwin, senior lecturer in the department.

The team of Mahmoud Allaham, Sam Congiundi, Austin Lane, Pradeep Sedhain and Shangbin Sun was awarded second place, and the team composed of James Deck, James Foster, Travis Gaston, Anthony Kisucky and Robert Rogers received third-place honors.

The plant design competition, said Baldwin, requires students to conceptualize the comprehensive organization of a process plant. It's a task, he said, that his soon-to-be graduates are almost certain to encounter in some form as they enter their professional careers.

This semester, students were tasked with developing a central processing platform for an offshore facility. The project, Baldwin said, required students to determine the equipment needed to gather the liquids and gases from the producing wells in the vicinity, separate the liquids and gases, and dehydrate the gas streams. In order to support the platform, students had to estimate and specify a gas turbine for the production of electrical power for the platform and specify an emergency flare system, he said.

Each of the winning teams received a monetary prize from Fluor, this semester's sponsor of the plant design competition, and the first-place team was recognized with a plaque commemorating its achievement.

As part of the recognition ceremonies, Professor Mark Holtzapple was honored with the Fluor Distinguished Teaching Award. Holtzapple joined Texas A&M in 1986. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he conducts research, primarily on alternative energy, that has resulted in more than 80 U.S. and foreign patents.

Employing a global workforce of more than 46,000 people, Fluor is one of the world's largest, publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services companies. Fluor maintains a network of offices in more than 25 countries across six continents.

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