2018 Senior Plant Design Competition Winners Announced


The top presenting teams have been announced for the Senior Plant Design Competition in partnership with INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA (INEOS). As part of the Process Design and Operations course, known as “plant design,” 19 teams representing 74 students presented design solutions to tackle a real-world engineering challenge put forward by INEOS representatives.

This semester’s competition challenged student teams to determine the production cost of dimethyl ether (DME), a transportation fuel that has been called a path towards near zero particulate emission diesel cars and vehicles. The teams were asked to develop strategies and incentives to motivate transportation users to switch from low sulfur diesel to DME and develop recommendations which included a risk analysis of technical, business and safety aspects of the project.

Teams gave 45-minute presentations and were evaluated by INEOS representatives Mike Hazel (Plant Manager, Chocolate Bayou Facility), Gerri Hazel (Six Sigma Master Black Belt Manager) and Ben Brower (Polypropylene Operations Manager), as well as course instructor Prof. Michael Poehl.

The 2018 top teams are:



First place team in the 2018 Plant Design Competition.
Left to Right (L-R): Rohan Small, Benjamin Siegert, Andrew Heilman, Andrew Dzurko



Second place team in the 2018 Plant Design Competition.
L-R: Eric Ander, Marissa Land, Kendall Meyertons, Mark Li



Third place team in the 2018 Plant Design Competition.
L-R: Mark Jensen, Erica Mason, Christopher Hardy; Not Pictured: Jeremy Dorsey


The first place team was selected for their excellent summaries of each stage of the project with appropriate conclusions and recommendations based on the answers and results they received. In addition, since the project was not exclusively technical, the winning team scored extra points by recognizing the high financial risks and appropriately concluding that the plant should not be built at this time. The judges felt that the team members all contributed equally and could answer questions well.

All teams were assessed on teamwork, technical merit and innovation, health, safety and environmental controls, financial evaluation and risk analysis. The judges looked for a good understanding of the tools students were given and an ability to explain their results in the correct context.

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