Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering Annual Report 2008-2009

Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering
Annual Report
Assessment of the Educational Programs
At the undergraduate level, we offer three programs: Paper Engineering, Bioprocess
Engineering, and Paper Science. The Paper Engineering program is accredited by ABET and the
Bioprocess Engineering program will be submitted for accreditation on the next cycle in 2012.
For assessment of these programs, we use the ABET model for all three programs collectively.
Data Collected
Data for our assessment of the educational programs is collected primarily through the use of
Faculty Course Assessment Reports (FCARs) that are prepared by the instructor of each course
at the end of the semester. The FCARs contain summary data about the course, assessment data
with respect to accreditation, and proposed changes and improvements in the course for its next
offering. The FCARs from the current academic year are provided in Appendix G.
Results and Conclusions
The results from the FCARs show that students are, for the most part, performing as desired with
respect to the program outcomes for the undergraduate programs.
Actions taken in response to assessment results
No actions were taken at this time with respect to the results of the assessment. However, we are
in the process of reviewing the curriculum for the Paper Science and Paper Engineering
programs. This has been discussed under Teaching and curriculum changes.
Modification of assessment plans
The assessment plan seems to be working well for the department in terms of the undergraduate
programs. In our last ABET review, no concerns were cited with the assessment plan. Over the
course of the next year, we will be codifying the assessment plan more clearly in terms of an
“Assessment Manual.”
Progress on Objectives for 2008-2009
This section reiterates the objectives from the previous annual report and the relationship of these
objectives to the strategic plan, discusses the achievement of these objectives over the past year,
and discusses the major accomplishments of the department over the past year. .
The major operational objectives for the PBE department for the previous academic year were as
1. Revision of the Graduate program to better reflect the breadth of the programs. This revision
should include the establishment of MPS programs as retraining opportunities,
the establishment of “PSM” program, and the revision of MS and PhD to reflect the
broader program.
2. Upgrade of Walters Hall facilities. This work will include the development of a capital
improvement plan by the end of the summer and coordination of funding the
improvements with the College, SPPF, and the ESF Foundation.
3. Improvement of undergraduate programs. Over the next 2 to 3 years, the Paper
Engineering and Paper Science programs will be reviewed and revised. This review is
intended to be a comprehensive review with the possibilities of newly designed programs.
The SPPF curriculum committee will be involved in this effort.
4. Increased visibility of research and educational programs. Improvements in the visibility
of the educational and research programs will include improvements in the website
content, improvements to the building information, and new recruiting materials
including the possibility of recruiting videos.
5. Develop more robust research funding. The department needs to be more aggressive in
obtaining external research funding.
6. Organization of 2nd Forest Biorefinery Conference in October.
Accomplishment of the Objectives
1. The work on the revision of the graduate program continues. It has been proposed and
approved by COI that the graduate program should change to “Engineering and Applied
Science” so as to better reflect the broad nature of the engineering disciplines
encompassed by the three engineering departments. Further changes in the MS and PhD
programs are pending final approval and implementation of this change.
The PSM program has been delayed by a delay in funding from Sloan Foundation to
support the implementation of the program at SUNY-ESF. It is expected to proceed
quickly from this point.
2. The Walters Hall facilities plan was produced and presented to the College, SPPF, and
the ESF Foundation. Implementation of the various projects in the plan are pending
3. The comprehensive review of the undergraduate programs are ongoing with the
development of a survey of our constituents being the first step. This survey will be
administered in the fall semester and the results will guide the development of the revised
4. Two videos have been produced (“Papermaking at ESF” and “PBE FAQ” which are
available on our website and other outlets. In addition, SUNY-ESF has joined with
TAPPI and the other pulp and paper schools to develop recruiting videos more generally
for the industry. Several ESF students were interviewed by TAPPI for this project and
the videos and supporting recruiting materials will be available to us for use in recruiting.
5. The two new faculty members have been aggressive in seeking research funding through
the writing of several proposals. In addition, several other faculty members have written
a significant number of proposals.
6. The 2nd Biorefinery Conference was a success and the International Biorefinery
Conference in Syracuse is in the advanced planning stages.