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Course content

Process systems engineering deals with the design, operation, optimisation and control of all kinds of chemical, physical, and biological processes through the use of systematic computer-aided approaches. Its major challenges are the development of concepts, methodologies and models for the prediction of performance and for decision-making for an engineered system.

Who is it for?

Suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as process systems engineering professionals. 

The course equips graduates and practising engineers with an in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of process systems and an excellent competency in the use of state-of-the-art approaches to deal with the major operational and design issues of the modern process industry. The course provides up-to-date technical knowledge and skills required for achieving the best management, design, control and operation of efficient process systems. 

Why this course?

Process systems engineering constitutes an interdisciplinary research area within the chemical engineering discipline. It focuses on the use of experimental techniques and systematic computer-aided methodologies for the design, operation, optimisation and control of chemical, physical, and biological processes, e.g. from chemical and petrochemical processes to pharmaceutical and food processes. 

A distinguished feature of this course is that it is not directed exclusively at chemical engineering graduates. Throughout the years, the course has evolved from discussions with industrial advisory panels, employers, sponsors and previous students. The content of the study programme is updated regularly to reflect changes arising from technical advances, economic factors and changes in legislation, regulations and standards.

By completing this course, a diligent student will be able to: 

  • Evaluate the technical, environmental and economic issues involved in the design and operation of process plants and the current practice in process industries.
  • Apply effectively the knowledge gained to the design, operation, optimisation and control of process systems via proper methodologies and relevant software.
  • Apply independent learning, especially via the effective use of information retrieval systems and a competent and professional approach to solving problems of industrial process systems.
  • Apply and critically evaluate key technical management principles, including project management, people management, technology marketing, product development and finance.
  • Apply advanced approaches and use effectively related tools in more specialised subjects related to process industries (for example risk management, biofuels or CFD tools).
  • Integrate knowledge, understanding and skills from the taught modules in a real-life situation to address problems faced by industrial clients; creating new problem diagnoses, designs, or system insights; and communicating findings in a professional manner in written, oral and visual forms.
  • Define a research question, develop aim(s) and objectives, select and execute a methodology, analyse data, evaluate findings critically and draw justifiable conclusions, demonstrating self-direction and originality of thought.
  • To communicate his/her individual research via a thesis and in an oral presentation in a style suitable for academic and professional

Accreditation

This MSc degree is accredited by Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

Course details

The taught programme for the MSc in Process Systems Engineering is delivered from October to February and is comprised of six compulsory taught modules. There are four optional modules to select the remaining two modules from.

Group project

The Group Project, which runs between February and April, enables you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research. The group project is usually sponsored by industrial partners who provide particular problems linked to their plant operations. Projects generally require the group to provide a solution to the operational problem. Potential future employers value this experience. This group project is shared across the MSc in Process Systems Engineering and other courses, giving the added benefit of gaining new insights, ways of thinking, experience and skills from students with other backgrounds

During the project you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a presentation to the industrial partner. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop interpersonal and presentation skills within a professional environment.

It is clear that the modern engineer cannot be divorced from the commercial world. In order to provide practice in this matter, a poster presentation will be required from all students. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Individual project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. As our academic research is so closely related to industry, it is very common for our industrial partners to put forward real-world problems or areas of development as potential research topics.

The individual research project component takes place between April/May and August for full-time students. For part-time students, it is common that their research projects are undertaken in collaboration with their place of work under academic supervision; given the approval of the Course Director.

Individual research projects undertaken may involve designs, computer simulations, feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations and experimental investigations.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual Research Project 40%

Funding

To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.


Visit the Process Systems Engineering (MSc) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

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