In simple English, a process heater heats up fluids. Imagine the Bunsen burners that you used in high school science class on steroids.
The problem that this engineering group tackled is that the industrial machine is too big to be used in a classroom setting.
The senior mechanical engineer trio took Applied Thermodynamics the fall of their junior year under the teaching of Dr. Chuck Baukal, director of the John Zink Institute.
An internship position opened up at John Zink Hamworthy Combustion, and Dr. Baukal offered the spot to Andrew Walter.
The internship was the launching pad for the group’s senior project.
Dr. Baukal served as their senior project advisor throughout the 11 month period.
“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with Dr. Baukal and John Zink,” Dickie said. “We could not have asked for a better senior project advisor and corporate sponsor.”
After many hours of work and thousands of dollars spent, the team saw their hard work pay off by anticipating the process heater simulator’s classroom action.
“It is exciting to know that our process heater will be used in a meaningful way by them,” Dickie said.
The down-sized process heater will be used beginning May 6 in the Process Burner Fundamentals course at John Zink Institute. It will show students how to safely use and understand the large industrial process heaters when they start their careers.
“We feel very accomplished,” Walter said. “It is the best senior project of all of the projects completed this year.”
After graduation in May, Luke Chinworth plans on working at McElroy Manufacturing as a design engineer. Bethany Dickie plans on pursuing a MBA from the University of Tulsa Collins College Of Business, as a graduate assistant. Andrew Walter plans on pursuing a J.D. from George Washington University School of Law in Washington, D.C.