Unit Operations Laboratory

The Unit Operations Laboratory The Unit Operations Laboratory The Unit Operations Laboratory

The Unit Operations Laboratory provides chemical engineering students the opportunity to observe, analyze and apply their engineering knowledge and training to the operation of equipment and processes commonly found in many chemical industries.  In 1922, Arthur D. Little, former President of both the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the American Chemical Society (ACS) stated:

“Chemical engineering… as distinguished from the aggregate number of subjects comprised in courses of that name, is not a composite of chemistry and mechanical and civil engineering, but a science of itself, the basis of which is those unit operations which in their proper sequence and coordination constitute a chemical process as conducted on the industrial scale.”

Throughout their undergraduate education at The Cooper Union, students are exposed to various unit operations in their coursework.  During their senior year, students take a two-semester laboratory sequence in which they are given hands-on exposure to ten different unit operations.   This complements their training as chemical engineers and provides intensive experiences in rigorous experimental approaches, analysis and safe operating procedures. Currently, the following unit operations are being studied:

Fall Semester

  • Filtration
  • Flooding Point of a Packed Column
  • Fluid Flow
  • Heat Exchanger
  • Reactors

Spring Semester

  • Distillation
  • Drying
  • Liquid-Liquid Extraction
  • Membrane Air Separation
  • Reverse Osmosis

In addition to performing experiments that illustrate the above unit operations, the students receive extensive training in technical and communication skills.  Students are required write laboratory reports on a scholarly level, prepare and present posters, write executive memorandums and funding proposals, and give technical oral presentations.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.