MIT Department of Chemical Engineering Centennial Convocation (3/6)
EVANS: Well, it's important every so often to take a good look at the curriculum, see what you're doing, and decide what to do for the future. And the last time the department really did this on a comprehensive basis was in 1970, so we decided that in, 1986 and '87, it was time again to take another look at the curriculum. And if I could have the first slide-- these were the members of the committee who conducted the study-- a committee of about nine faculty members who had the following goals. If I could have the next slide.
The goal of the study which took place over the year 1986, '87, was first to conduct a comprehensive review of our present curriculum and the future needs and then, more important, to lead the faculty in a process of evaluation and change. From the beginning, we thought it was not enough simply to analyze the curriculum and issue a report, but to actually develop an action plan, or an implementation plan, that would then lead us to some of the changes you're going to hear from Professor Sawin and Merrill.
The committee worked all year, and then at the end of the year we had a session, at Endicott House, in which we had the whole faculty present to review the results and mutually agree on the direction to proceed. Could I have the next slide? Well, as Clark mentioned, the process that we established in looking at what we were doing were three-fold. First, to review the results of the numerous studies that were underway then on the future of chemical engineering-- and Professor Wei has given some examples of the Amundson report, which was a very important study.
There were a number of other studies under way at that time. The University of Texas had an important study. We essentially collected all of the articles that talked about the crises, the future opportunities, and assimilated the information. Then the second thing we did was to survey the alumni from the classes of '70, '75, '80, and '85. And I'm sure there are people here in the room who responded to that questionnaire, and finally we then analyzed the curriculum. If I could have the next slide.
Well, The Alumni Survey asked a number of questions, but first we asked them how their careers had progressed since they left MIT. Our goal here, in the marketing context, was to survey the customers of our product and find out how they were using it, and basically we gave the-- the respondents gave what would amount to a resume showing us how they had progressed since they left MIT. We asked them what were their five most significant accomplishments? We asked them what was most valuable about their MIT, and what was most lacking, from their MIT education.
I'll talk first about this question of how their careers progressed. As you can imagine, the data was very diverse, trying to put some order into all the various events that had happened to people. And so the approach that we used, as shown on the next slide, like any chemical engineer, was to construct a flow sheet.
And this is an example of the results of the survey from the class of 1980. It's not totally typical, because 1980 was an unusual year. There are plentiful jobs for chemical engineers. Enrollments were at an all time high, but I'm going to use this as an example to show you some of the differences between the results from the other class.
The first thing we notice-- that is, out of 100% of the bachelor's graduates, in that particular year, an unusually large percent went right to work in industry. The others, a smaller group, went into graduate school at that time, and then medicine and law also picked up a significant portion of the graduates. But then a rather interesting thing happened after these people went into employment.
You'll notice they then pursued their graduate education, so that as of today, or as of 1986, the number who were still working without any further education was only, at that time, 29%. And this is going to continue to change, I predict, as more and more of these continue their education. The differences between the earlier classes of '75 and '70 were that, in those years, the number that went directly to work after graduating was only about 25%, and by the time of the survey, in every case in both of those classes, there were in fact no respondents who had not gotten some graduate degree beyond their MIT education.
So the bottom line is the four-year degree is not the end point for any of our graduates, and even those that go directly to work will generally continue their education at some later point. So we're really preparing students to learn of which time permitted me to share some of the detailed significant accomplishments that the respondents presented. That's really impressive to see the breadth of responsibility and achievements that were made.
We found out that about-- of the class of 1970-- about a 2 to 1 ratio in terms of management versus technical careers at that time. For the others, it was split at about 50-50 at that point. I should say the class of 1985 was to-- their careers had not progressed at all, and so we saw only the initial result. And at that time, by the way, the percentage had returned back to 25%, who went directly to work. OK, if I could skip on to the next slide and then continue on.
We asked them, what were the most valuable aspects of their MIT education-- and to a person. But for all the classes, it was remarkably consistent that we saw these things listed as the most important. First, this ability to learn, to think quickly and logically, that was so overwhelming that it was really, really remarkable. The breadth of courses that they took-- so their breadth of training was extremely important. The fact that they learned discipline, hard work, how to learn-- and then finally the MIT reputation, and contacts, and the people they met when they were here.
There was no difference between the class of '70, the class of '85, this was consistent across the board throughout their career. If we look at the things they found most lacking though, there was a very significant difference between the more recent classes and the earlier ones. If I could see the next slide. The things, from the classes of '80 and '85, that they felt were most missing were practical real-world problems. They mentioned unit operations, they mentioned use of computers, they mentioned career guidance.
These were all things that engineers right out on-- graduates newly on the job would face in terms of their needs. If we looked at the earlier classes though, '70 and '75, on the next slide, they didn't miss any of those earlier things. They didn't miss the unit operations or the computers. What they were missing were communication skills, business training, and liberal arts. Now I don't think our curriculum changed during that time, between '70 and '75 and '80 and '85, to account for this. Instead, what it presents is the evolving careers of the graduates, and the needs they find.
In the later stages of their careers, these are the things that they find most important. When they're just getting started, the things mentioned on the previous slide were the ones that were most important. If I could have a next slide. Well, in addition to doing the alumni survey and surveying the studies underway, we also took a very detailed analysis of our curriculum. We broke all of the subjects, the required subjects in not only chemical engineering, but also chemistry, physics, mathematics, we broke them up into basic elementary modules.
And we constructed a giant map, if you will, of the whole curriculum, showing all the concepts, that were taught in the courses, how they interrelated with each other, and where they led to. And the conclusion of this-- well, there was one thing that was very obvious-- it's not listed on a slide-- was the large number of things that students learned as an undergraduate maybe in physics courses, mathematics courses, that never seem to be used anywhere else. And at first, we thought well, maybe that indicates something is redundant that could be left out.
But as we began to think of it, it's nothing was redundant and left out. That forms the structure, or the skeleton, on which as they later are going to build, and so even though everything is not covered in their education it can very well be used later. But we concluded that the basic curriculum was sound. The fundamentals were there. It needed some minor tuning. It needed a change and a few courses, but basically the concept was fine.
We were very concerned about whether we should have a computer requirement, as we looked though, we found that about 85% of the students elect a computer course anyway. And so instead, what we needed was a computer proficiency requirement that would still give the students a chance to learn computing in whatever way they might choose from the courses at the Institute, and, since a number of required subjects is very limited, it certainly didn't make sense to make a requirement of something that everyone did anyway.
And then finally there was the conclusion that we needed to integrate education in the context of the more diverse real-world problems. One of the obvious results of all these earlier studies was that chemical engineers are moving into a much broader range of applications. We need to find some way to be able to integrate those applications into their education, and there is a big move under foot. Also, I should mention this is Institute wide to improve the educational process by putting more technology in the context of the total problem.
And this then led to the concept of integrated chemical engineering, and I think I should say that this concept actually was first originated by Professor Herb Sawin. And following the publication of this report, Herb has then taken the lead in the implementation plan, and he'll talk about that next. Thank you.
SAWIN: Could I have the first slide, please? What I'm going to be talking about is basically something that I mentioned in a committee meeting to be provocative, and what you're going to see is the results of the committee after that, which is certainly quite different than what was suggested, but I think achieves the goals that we're trying to accomplish. What we're talking about is integrated chemical engineering, and that's a concept that Jim Wei purported. The real goal of who are trying to do is to better teach the fundamentals of chemical engineering, not to radically change the concepts or what needs to be taught, but to do a better job.
The needs we are trying to address is to reduce course-dependent learning-- learning where a student learns the concept of transport in one course, but does not readily carry that over to work in, say, a reactor design course or another course. We saw that there was a course dependency the students did not carry material of which they understood in one course to another course. Also, to give students some experience in working with synthetic problems rather than an analysis, that is dealing with large, complex problems which have ambiguities-- dealing with the entire picture and, from that, having to come up with a solution-- something which is not commonly involved in problems in our normal courses.
Also, we wanted to present our fundamental materials in the context of how they might be used in industry. In addition, we want to develop problem solving skills, particularly the definition of the problem, how you take this large, complex problem, with both its technological and social consequences, and define what really the problem is that you ought to be working on? Also, to identify the background which you need-- the skills which you need to solve such a problem, where you need to hire consultants, or whether you need to learn more material. And the notion of continuing education, that, basically, what we get at MIT is an education, that is not going to stop.
We have to do both self education and additional class work education after the student gets out of MIT. And we want to enhance their professional awareness. That is, let them see some industrial problems. It gives them some experience, some ideas, about new fields and opportunities-- and the social context in which those problems will be cast. Next slide, please.
The concept of the ICE, the Integrated Chemical Engineering, is basically based upon industrial problem solving. The concept is this is the way that chemical engineers in industry would solve a problem. You have a library of books-- the books, which you've learned from, sitting on a shelf. And so we have a library, that the text, or the course, does not follow along a text, but we have a group of texts, which the students have purchased. From that, we're going to use those to solve the set of problems.
We're going to solve a series of cases, which are about one month in duration. So the students will see five or six cases with which they solve. These are posed to the students, at the beginning of each module, as a fairly ill-defined complex problem. The first week or so of class, several weeks of class, is really in identifying a strategy for a solution. What is the problem? What can we do? What are all the different angles about the consequences of the solution?
Based on that, you identify what you want to do. You identify the background information that you must acquire, and that background information, using this library of books, is taught much in the same way that we now teach our courses. We take chapters from those books, acquire the necessary background, the homework and quizzes are given in normal fashion. The problems are largely centered around the solution of this case.
Case topics are picked to emphasize some of the current problems, such as waste treatment, biotechnology, microelectronics, pollution, product development-- things which we have trouble incorporating within our standard texts and the standard examples given within the text. Let me note that this is different than a case study type of approach in that we're not just analyzing somebody else's solution. The class is really going through the solution process themselves, so it's not a case study. It's not a case analysis. It's really doing a project as a class. Next slide, please.
The implementation of the ICE is basically we've developed two senior courses. They replaced the existing chemical design course and subsumed that. We are presently going through a trial class. It was mentioned that Chem E was started with 11 students. Well, we have eight, 100 years later, embarking on this endeavor. Next year, it will be an optional subject offering after we get the bugs out of this year, and in 1990, '91, it's going to be required for the Chem E curriculum. Next slide.
This is a list of the example of the projects that are going to be taught in the preliminary of the test case this year. Production of acetic anhydride from acetone and acetic acid-- this is going to be taught by Professor George Stephanopoulos. It will encompass many of the standard design type concepts, the concept and the practice of design, with an example of the classical chemical process industry. The second is a production of trial size batches of monomer for a market trial of a particular polymeric material. This brings in not only the process design involved in a batch process, but also the engineering economics.
The third is a drug delivery system for brain cancer. This will be taught by Bob Langer, centered around some of his current research, and will teach advanced transport, kinetics, product design concepts. The fourth one, I'll leave that for Ed Merrill to discuss. He's going to be following on and going through what is typically happening in this. This is a product development, where we're developing a product that he calls polybeads for novel separation processes.
The fifth case project is the cleanup of a toxic waste dump. This is going to be taught jointly by John Ehrenfeld and Al Sarofim. It deals with the modeling and the understanding of a waste dump-- how it's similar to that of a pack bed. It brings in the concepts of that. It also deals with how you extract the chemicals from such a waste dump and then process them to take care of the toxic materials and all the societal and political implications involved with this sort of clean-up endeavor. Next slide.
To repeat the fundamentals, that are being taught, are the fundamentals of process design, advanced transport, and reactor design. The synthetic problem solving, that is the dealing with large, complex problems that have boundary conditions associated not only with technological, but with societal implementations. Also, product development-- something that we don't see in most chemical engineering standard curriculums. Engineering economics. Process control. Next slide.
Some of the attributes of this approach are really that we can modify our curriculum by the projects which we choose for these modules. So it allows us for the curriculum to easily evolve as the needs evolve, so that we don't have a stagnant curriculum. There is a potential of writing modular tests. There's a great barrier to writing text materials, because it involves a lot of time. But the concept of writing a smaller text that accounts for one of these case projects is not such an onerous task, and we're hoping that will propagate.
It involves all the faculty, or most of the faculty, talking about their current research. And I think this is one of the things that made chemical engineering very exciting in 1920-- is that people teaching the classes were talking about their research and the evolving concepts, and that's what we hope to inject into these courses. Faculty are much better when they're talking about their research. It requires-- I've got to be careful. I'm the junior person up here, the only non-full professor giving a talk this morning, so I've got to be careful.
It also requires a greater teaching effort. We're talking about two semesters in which we have eight faculty very much involved, so it's a greater teaching effort. And we're trying to have greater contact between the student, and feel that any time when we have good contact between the students and the faculty, very good things happen. Thank you very much. The next talk will be given by Ed Merrill talking about his module to give you an example of what's going to go into these courses.
MERRILL: Before I present the module that Herb Sawin asked me to consider doing in this program, I'd like to make a few comments. First, this is a wild experience for me because it's like the television program, This is Your Life. I have met students from the last 38 years of my service on the MIT faculty, and it's amazing to think how many of them remember me not for what I've taught them, but for the bizarre things like the Alice in Wonderland stories, and so on. I don't know as I taught them anything that was really engineering, but they did remember some jokes.
As far as age is concerned, Herb Sawin points out his youthfulness. And I am reminded of the fact, and by Jimmy Wei of birthdays, that my birthday happens to coincide with the birthday of that great text by Walker, Lewis, and McAdams called Principles of Chemical Engineering. We both came out in the same year. And Furthermore, I'm reminded of the fact that, through Hoyts' and Fritz's-- allocution to you, that I am a curiously a connector in this conference, because in point of fact, like, I am a chemical engineer, and came to serve on the MIT faculty, and be a student at MIT and the graduate school precisely because of William Henry McAdams, who gave a course in chemical engineering in the chemistry department at Harvard, where I was a student.
And it is to Dr. Lewis that I had my first plunge in being a research assistant for a professor, who had very strong ideas as to how the research was going to be carried out, and, boy, did he tell me how to do it. And Merrill, he said, dammit, shut up and let me talk. And so we would have this graceful dialogue and we would finally--
It was with Fritz Meisner that I was first a student in his Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 1040, where I unwittingly served as a foil-- as a kind of a fool's cap.
I would say the stupidest things, and the class would laugh, and Fritz would play along with it. I don't know why I did that. But anyhow, it led us to a very happy relationship, because I then became his teaching assistant in the course, which was called Industrial Chemistry of Colloidal and Amorphous Materials, which was written by Walker, Lewis-- I'm sorry. Lewis, Broughton, and Squires-- Doc Lewis, Broughton, and Squires, Geoff Broughton and Lom Squires. And that was effectively a course partly in colloids, partly in polymers, despite its name. And that led me to carry out my doctoral research under the direction of Fritz Meisner and taught me principles I've never forgotten.
And I also should acknowledge, of course, the tremendous help of Ed Gilliland and Doc Lewis as my mentors when I was first on the faculty in 1950, coming back as a young, timid, terrified, young fellow trying to teach a class and absolutely terrified by the whole thing. And both Gilliland and Lewis gave me tremendous guidance and continue to do throughout our association. Now to get to the purpose of what I'm here to talk to you about, let me have the first slide, please. Integrated chemical engineering.
And the next slide-- or maybe I can do it. The next slide. I run it backwards and say first it should be engineering based on science, using science of course, but fundamentally engineering and not science. Secondly, it should have something to do with chemistry in it. And thirdly, it should be integrated. And it should be integrated not only in respect to the technological parts, but also in the larger context of economics, industry, and societal responsibility.
The slides keep melting this morning. I don't know what that phenomenon is. There's something very interesting going on. You see there's a cloud develops at a certain time. We'd better go on to the next slide before it evaporates. There we are.
I'm going to present an overview of concepts involved in what Herb Sawin suggested I take on, namely, a module that involves process development and product development in combination. And the details of this will be developed, of course, in the interaction with the class of students. It's not set in concrete at this point in time, but as you will see, there are a number of issues that we can take on, and discuss as a class, and work on. And to a significant degree, I've conceived this module as a result, not only of my experience in industry before I came back to MIT, but also industrial associations since that time-- and in particular with my current graduate students who are involved in my laboratory, some of them working on problems very closely related to this.
And I hope that, when they see what I'm about to say, they won't break out in hysterical laughter. Now go on to the next slide. We present the Polybead Corporation to you, and we're the new poly development department there of. And the students in this class have as your initial charge to develop bead-like particles, as yet undefined, which can become suspended in a liquid mixture. Bind, to their surfaces, only a targeted species, but no other species. In other words, they are specific and not general in their capacity to binding-- and finally be removed by a simple and fast separation process. Embodied therein in those three requirements are a whole spectrum of technological issues. Next slide, please.
And as a first scheme, we have to focus in on what really is the purpose of developing these bead-like particles before we can address this second immediate zone, which are the immediate technical issues. And having done that we go out into the broader technical issues and then finally into issues that are supra technical. They go beyond it. They involve it, but they go beyond it. And so to take-- next slide, please-- the issue of mission focus-- the central issue, the key issue to start with, at least in this development. What do we want to do? Next slide, please.
Are the beads to be developed as a diagnostic test? For example, are they to be aimed at detecting human immune virus? Are they supposed to harvest what they are going after? Capture it, but allow it to be recovered subsequently, as, for example, protein A on a surface will harvest monoclonal antibody? And you want the monoclonal antibody back, but you don't want-- for example in target destruction, you don't want the human immune virus back. You want to know that it's there, then you want to kill it. Is it to be used as a form of simple purification of a liquid mixture?
And having addressed the issues of the product objective, what do we want the beads for-- next slide, please-- which I've already given you some indication of this. It indicates that we ought to think about the target of this in terms of its size and its molecular properties. Is it an antibody of molecular weight on the order of 100,000 daltons? Is it a chromium ion? Is it a viral particle that can be seen under microscope or even a scanning electron microscope? Is it a blood platelet which is 1 micron across? The scale of the size of this will certainly make a tremendous difference in what we decide the bead should be to capture this particular target. Next slide, please.
That then brings up the next ring-- the immediate technical issues involved in proceeding with the development of the bead-like product. Next slide, please. First thing, of course, is what are the properties of a liquid environment? Acidic, basic? If the bead, obviously, is something that will dissolve in acid, and the medium was acid, you haven't got any bead to worry about. It's gone. If the solution is very high density, and the bead is a very low density, obviously, it's going to be impossible to keep the bead in the solution. So the very question of suspending beads involves the concept of having something near neutrally buoyant, and therefore some fluid mechanics comes into it, as well as in the question of viscous.
If the fluid is extremely viscous, we'd have to think about how the beads-- what size they should be-- in order to separate them subsequently. And so this will involve a discussion, you see cutting across many physical and chemical parameters, to make the decision as to, subsequently, how they're going to separate. But before we come to that-- next slide, please. Here's where some processing gets in the picture. What should the bead-like particles be formed from?
One of my areas of interest is polymer synthesis, and so it would be natural for me to think about cross linking styrene with divinylbenzene or making nylon by interfacial polymerization. But in consort with my colleagues in ceramics, we might also think about making beads of silica, or alumina, of magnetite, especially if we want the magnetic part of it as a means of separation subsequently. Or we might need the beads composite by having one species, say magnetite, embedded in a polystyrene capsule. And should they be, for example, solid-- completely solid-- or should they be micro porous? And if so, what should that be the pore size?
There's no point in having it micro porous if we're trying to harvest blood platelets, because they're already 1 micron across. What should be the-- what size range do we require? Should they be fixed in size, or do we have a permissible size range of distribution? But clearly, we'll be in trouble if we have a distribution ranging over three orders of magnitude-- say if the beads range from 0.1 micron up to 1,000 microns-- because then separation would be almost impossible.
We address these issues in terms of the way we're going to make them, but let me show you that, as an example of beads-- the next slide, please-- beads made for the purpose of chromatographic separations on a very large scale. They're micro porous. They're made for size exclusion chromatography, and they have a remarkably close distribution of sizes. As you can see from the bar sizing, these beads are approximately 10 to 15 microns in diameter. And this is the kind of bead-like product that we're thinking about. but the question is what is the size, and should it be porous? Next slide, please.
So we then think of how we're going to form the beads and consider chemical roots? For example, pearl polymerization, or should it be emulsion polymerization? Or should it be the nylon rope trick, which is interfacial polarization between two different liquid phases? Or should it be produced from an oscillating jet that produces beads into a stream that convects them away, and then they set up? There, of course, is a set of processing questions that we will address. And then the next slide, please.
How do we-- and we have probably thought about this. This is a poor place for this. We must have thought about this concept much earlier on. How will we get the beads away from the liquid?
Centrifuge them? Well, we can if they have a density difference, but obviously if they're exactly neutrally buoyant that won't work. Should they be micro filtered through a microfiltration screen? By magnetic field? Or can we use an electric field to separate them? And the next slide, please.
Here is another example of chemical processing. How shall we make this active surface on the bead? Shall we activate, for example, polystyrene beads with sulfur trioxide to form the ion exchange beads, styrene sultanate? Shall we use radiation grafting to put on some kind of a monymer on top of the supporting sphere? Shall we covalently bind a ligand, such as protein A, to the bead surface in order to scavenge out monoclonal antibody, leaving every other protein in the soup behind? Next slide, please.
And now we turn to the broader technical issues in the next outer ring. And the next slide, please. What are the hazards in the manufacturing of these beads and in the utilization by the customer? In the manufacturing process, for example with styrene and divinylbenzene, could you have a fire? Could you have an explosion? Are the workers in the plant subjected to fumes that are long-term or short-term toxic? If, for example, vinyl chloride were involved in this manufacturer, or if benzene were, it would be an extremely hazardous thing to do. In utilization by the customer, suppose clinical technicians, using beads that have been intended to harvest human immune virus, are exposed to the beads with the virus on it. There is a tremendous issue of health hazard involved. Next slide, please.
And that of course brings up the same parallel question. Who are going to be the watchdogs on this process of manufacturing? OSHA, Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration? And if so, what do they require us, as manufacturers, to do in making the product? And in conveying the product to the customer, under what conditions can we do that, and with what notices of caution and warranty? Next slide, please.
And then a very interesting issue, it's both a technical issue, and it goes beyond that. In terms of patent protection, should it be sought on the product for the beads themselves, or should it be sought on the product process or on both? Or is this product we're going to make so peculiar that it would be very difficult for anybody else to find out how to make it, and therefore we could practice it secretly? These issues, we will debate in class, because I will be joined in a debate with a patent attorney who is a chemical engineer from Hamilton Smith. And Brooke will join me, and we'll debate, for two sessions, the pros and cons of this.
And he, from his point of view, as a chemical engineer and patent attorney, will debate with me. I'll act as the foil I was for Fritz Meisner, and I put some very stupid questions in. And then he can kind of slap me down. Next slide, please. Chronic failure. What can we, as the manufacturers, do inadvertently to cause the product to fail? For example, let it freeze, overheat it, let it dry out when it should not. And what can the customer inadvertently do to cause the product to fail?
Well, he might, for example, if the beads were to be kept damp, he might let them dry out. If they were to be stored at 4 Celsius, he might let them get up to maybe 40 degrees Celsius one day, and they'd lose their activity. In each case, what damage will result? Well, for example, in a diagnostic test, if the beads are intended to demonstrate disease in a patient carrying a disease by an antibody antigen reaction, and the ligand on the bead has died because of heat exposure, and so the test gives a false negative, the customer is in serious trouble-- and therefore probably the manufacturer is because of the liability running backwards from user to manufacturer. So we have to consider these issues.
And the next slide gives you an example of tired beads, I call them. They got very tired. As you can see, they're not feeling well, and if they were to be deployed in a liquid mixture they'd probably shatter into their component pieces. This happens to be beads, ion exchange beads, that should have been kept damp-- were allowed to dry out, really dry out. And you can see the stresses that produced failures. Well, this is only a mechanical failure. That's not so bad as having the total catastrophic biological medical failure that would be involved in the diagnostic test. Next slide, please.
And then I come to the issues beyond technical-- and for example-- next slide, please-- we have to consider these issues centering around the market who are the customers. What do they say they want, and is this the same thing that you think they really could use? Do they need beads, or should they have something else? We will address those issues-- and the next one. Next slide, please-- as well as that of who are the competitors, and how can we differentiate the product we're making from those products already on the market? And the next slide, please.
And the markets-- specifically, what markets are we tightly targeting, and how do we get the product to them? Distribute them through distributors or market them ourselves? And to address this whole set of issues, we're going to have, as a guest lecturer, a vise president of marketing from industry in an industry like one that would be appropriate to this product to debate these issues with us. Next slide, please.
The question of how do we price the product-- if we are the market leaders, we have some latitude in putting the price about where we want to, but if we have competition obviously that's not possible. And the issues, of course, going back to hazards, what are the hazards to the public or to the user? And what is the liability to us as manufacturers if things go wrong? Can we be wiped out? Next slide, please.
I've given you an example of a technology driven case, but as an opposite example, we will consider briefly, for example, starting with a market need. And we see that there is a certain need in the market to do something, and we select a solution C out of many different solutions, A, B, C, D, and so on. And we look at the immediate technical issues and the possible solutions, and then that conveys us into the broad technical issues beyond that. Next slide, please.
And for example, what as a case? In the manufacturer of beer, one problem is to remove the haze-forming proteins before it's bottled, otherwise the beer will become cloudy. One method of doing this is to use the polymer polyvinylpyrrolidone. We have, if we wanted to do this in beer, sub options of using it as a high molecular weight polymer to be removed by ultrafiltration, or cross-linked as a film, or cross-linked as hydrogel beads, or grafted to polystyrene beads, and so on, and so forth. And we will select four for various reasons that we will discuss. This is a market driven case.
And as the final slide, which is really where we started-- a technology driven one-- and there are two ways of approaching this thing which we and the students will discuss. Either there is a market need which we must address, or there is, in this case, exciting, new technology, which we don't really know a priori what are we going to do with it, but we could do A, B, C, D, and so on. And maybe we're going to select Q as the opportunity and then look at the next outer ring of the market. Who is in the market already? Is there anybody there? Is it crowded? Is there a niche?
Is there any market? Maybe there is no market for it. Can the market be developed beyond this conceptual desire? And so this moves out.
And as I started my comments with my gratitude to the pleasure of having worked with students over the years-- and one of the great privileges of being in MIT professor is the excitement that the students bring to us. They keep us young. I was born in the year of P, C, E, but I still feel young because of the students that I have associated with, and I associate with now. If it weren't for them, I'd feel very old. But beyond the students as my teachers and beyond my professors at MIT-- at McAdams-- Whitman, Gilliland, Lewis.
There are other teachers, I had, who have affected me enormously and especially in the context of what I just presented to you. From my early experience in industry, a number of MIT alumni and course 10 alumni, Bradley Dewey, who if there ever was an equal to Doc Lewis, he must have been it-- two giants roaring at each other formed quite a sight.
Bradley Dewey, president of Dewey & Almy Chemical, and I worked-- although I wasn't supposed to in the flowchart of hierarchy. I was the low man on the totem pole, but I reported directly to Dewey when he wanted to call me into his office-- and for Charles Almy, and for John Lunn, and for Hugh Ferguson, and for Dun Shanklin, who's here today, for whom I worked for many years, first as a employee at Dewey & Almy and then as a consultant of that corporation.
And so I am enormously thankful to the exposure to the world of industry that they gave me and to many others in industry whom I have worked with joy over the years, and I'm absolutely delighted to see all of my former students here and to see you here today. Thanks for coming.