Industry hosts project-based learning

Posted: May 10, 2019

Hands-on learning is arguably the best way for a student to incorporate new knowledge, and Ohio State offers students multiple opportunities in this regard.

Some students choose to pursue research opportunities with faculty, and all students take at least two hands-on courses: the Unit Operations Laboratory, which trains students in the use of industry-scale equipment and procedures, and the Capstone Design course.

Capstone Design, otherwise known as Process Design and Development-CBE 4764, is the last required course in the chemical engineering undergraduate curriculum. The Capstone experience is taught primarily through project-based learning and strives to give students an opportunity to grapple with open-ended problems in which they don’t have enough information and often don’t even start with a well-defined question.

While many projects are provided by the faculty, CBE also works to develop a network of partners outside of the department who provide project ideas and host groups of students.

In 2018-19 across both autumn and spring semester, the Capstone course involved a total of 61 projects, with each project involving four-five students.

Eleven different faculty hosted a total of 33 projects and 12 different outside partners hosted a total of 28 projects.

Many of these partners are alumni and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who hosted projects this past year.

Partnering with us in 2018-19 were:

Adsorption Research Inc. - Kent Knaebel, who taught in the Ohio State Chemical Engineering Department for 12 years 

Barry-Wehmiller Design Group - Jacob Simko (BS ’17) 

CDM Smith - ​Ed Heyob (BS ’99)  

Entrotech - Andy Strange (BS MSE '95) and Marissa McHugh (BS '16)

Honda North America - Shubho Bhattacharya, Chris Cornelius, Chris Hall, and Sally Yi (BS '18) 

Capital Resin Corporation - Ed Toplikar

LyondellBasell Industries - Vince D’Ippolito, Nani Deole

Middle West Spirits - Corey Hickman (BS ’17) 

SmartColumbus - Norman “Bud” Broughton 

Waste2Worth - Jill Boughton (BS ’88) 

Watershed Distillery - Greg Lehman, Max Lachowyn

Wexner Medical Center - Aparna Dial 

Faculty involved in the Capstone course this year included Jeffrey Chalmers, Ilham El-Monier, W.S. Winston Ho, Andrew Maxson, Andre Palmer, Eduardo Reátegui, David Tomasko, Andrew Tong, Jessica Winter, S.T. Yang, and post-doctoral fellow and instructional aide Mandar Kathe.

Get Involved

If you would like to engage with our students by hosting a capstone project please contact Dr. Tomasko (, Dr. Tong (, or Dr. Chalmers (

Category: Faculty