Over the last six years, Koch-Glitsch has become more than just a global leader in mass transfer – the company has been a leader in the classroom, too. Since 2010, Koch-Glitsch has opened the doors for its Mass Transfer School to chemical engineering professionals around the world. And twice a year, this class has consistently filled up to capacity.
Students come from all over the world – countries like Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Poland, Saudi Arabia and South Korea – to convene at the Koch-Glitsch global headquarters in Wichita, Kansas (USA) for five days of intensive instruction with Dr. Izak Nieuwoudt, research and development director at Koch-Glitsch, and his colleagues.
Participants study topics like distillation fundamentals, equipment calculations and the applicability of different mass transfer devices in a small classroom setting that offers a personal level of attention from instructors as well as opportunities for hands-on training. Additionally, attendees who complete the course earn 3.5 continuing education credits.
Over the span of five days, students are bussed, lodged, fed, taught and even entertained. It’s a full-service experience, because attendees are tasked with absorbing a full course-load of information in a short amount of time. This includes covering complex subject matter like thermodynamics and phase equilibrium calculations, or the fundamentals of gamma and neutron back scatter scanning.
Because some subject matter is better experienced rather than discussed, each Mass Transfer School session is divided into 50 percent classroom instruction, 35 percent hands-on learning and 15 percent design exercises. This gives all attendees a good understanding of real-world application. Attendees are also tested at the start of the session and at the end to gauge how much they’ve learned throughout the week.
While the class is tailored to engineers in refining, petrochemical, chemical and EPC industries, it’s also beneficial to individuals working with mass transfer equipment. That includes project managers like two-time attendee Doug Ratzlaff with ONEOK. Now in more of a supervisory role, he re-enrolled to brush up on his mass transfer knowledge and learn new ways to help his company.
“As we get more into operations support, we’ll use more of this,” says Doug. “So we’re trying to help the company develop some of that baseline knowledge. And it’s an excellent course – it’s like going back to college, but you get a little more application out of it.”
Mike Engle, a software developer with Koch-Glitsch in Wichita, found himself in a similar situation. As a software developer, he creates the programs that keep things in smooth operation at the facility level. So he elected to enroll in the class to get a better understanding of what features his people need most.
“Part of my new role is to learn more of their end of it, not just write the code … to understand the processes behind it,” he says. “It just made sense to send me.”
“I don’t have a chemical engineering background, so some of this is over my head. But Izak and all the product managers do a fantastic job teaching, and it has helped me better understand what the software does and how they use it by leaps and bounds.”
To learn more about the Mass Transfer School, please visit www.kochind.com/chemtech/ and click on the “Sharing the Secrets” video.
To enroll for the next Mass Transfer School session, please visit www.johnzink.com/classes/mass-transfer/.