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Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:32

Course Overview

A general engineering course that provides an insight into the two main conservation principles, mass and energy. Processes are usually described through block diagrams. This language, common to many disciplines in engineering, helps the engineering to look at their processes with an analytical view. Degree of freedom analysis is addressed, emphasising its importance to solve a set of linear equations that model fundamental balances of mass. Practical examples of Energy balances are displayed, bringing Thermodynamics to a practical level. Process control is also introduced, explaining basic control techniques and concepts, i.e sensors, feedback, control loops and PID controllers.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr David Vega-Maza

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The technical content of the course is delivered in 7 sections.  An introduction to process engineering is given in the wider context such that students might understand the types of roles and responsibilities of practicing process engineers.  Dimensions and systems of units are given specific focus such is their importance in all engineering disciplines.  Process communication is covered in a module which deals with block diagrams, process flow diagrams, piping and instrumentation diagrams and stream lists.  Two of the most critical foundations upon which a degree in engineering is based are material balancing and energy balancing; Energy balances are covered in detail on system with and without mass transfer to the environment (open and closed systems).  The fundamentals of transfer processes are then introduced with specific focus being given to heat transfer.  The course ends with an introduction to automatic control of systems & processes.  A laboratory exercise forms the basis of the continuous assessment for the course in which students will develop skills in undertaking experimental research and communication via technical writing.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 3hr written examination (80%); continuous assessment (20%).

Resit: 3hr written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment

A laboratory session, followed by a formal technical report.


Students receive written feedback on their coursework. We also provide whole-class feedback via MyAberdeen. Active participation is sought through a discussion board in MyAberdeen


Course Learning Outcomes


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