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 The Seeds Don Woods Planted in Michigan Grew a Book and a Course
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The Seeds Don Woods Planted in Michigan Grew a Book and a Course

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Hamilton Hall 109

The 2017 Don Wood Lecture will be given by Scott Fogler, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Vennema Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Among many other things, Scott is the author of a seminal textbook on Chemical Reaction Engineering


This seminar will discuss a number of topics that grew out of conversations with Don Woods, by Scott Fogler. Don was a mentor of mine, beginning in the late 1970s when he invited me for a week's stay in Hamilton to learn about his problem methods and materials. That week inspired and initiated my interest in problem solving that later resulted in a textbook and a course taught at the University of Michigan entitled Problem Solving, Troubleshooting, Entrepreneurship and Making the Transition to the Workplace. This lecture will start with the discussion of Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) and how Wolfram has brought about a mini-paradigm shift in implementing IBL. This topic will be followed by a discussion of the problem solving course and how the students interact with a local industry to apply the techniques discussed in the course. Here, each group of 3-4 students are assigned a client such as Panera, Espresso Royale. Qdoba and then try to identify problems at their client's business, generate multiple solutions for each problem, choose the best solution and then implement it. Approximately 50% of the student’s grade is assigned by the manager of the client's business.