Research-based approach to undergraduate chemical engineering education
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© 2019 IEEE.One of the primary challenges in teaching basic undergraduate engineering courses is to design and implement educational experiences that enable students to understand elemental concepts and apply them in real-world problems. In Mexico, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey campus Estado de Mexico (ITESM-CEM) implemented a research-based learning experience as part of a sophomore year course for students reading for chemical and biotechnology engineering degrees. By engaging undergraduate students in a research project, we have successfully completed the academic objectives of the course, students developed research skills and transformed their attitude and perception towards a traditional course, into a novel and attractive approach by linking fundamental knowledge with state-of-the-art research. The findings of this study will redound to the benefit of universities and institutions teaching all types of engineering degrees by providing researchers and lecturers with some ideas to engage undergrad students in research projects; and to students, to motivate them to explore career options through an early research experience that enables them to make informed decisions about pursuing, or not, a career in research.