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Nunez Program Renews Ties With Tulane Chemical Engineering Program

A group of chemical engineering students from Tulane University visited Nunez’s Process Technology program on April 25 to tour Nunez’s methanol plant. The visit marks Tulane’s first return to Nunez since the coronavirus pandemic. The two programs partnered to establish the methanol plant at Nunez in 2012. Image courtesy of Nunez Community College.

CHALMETTE — Approximately 15 Chemical Engineering students from Tulane visited Nunez Community College: on April 25 to tour the PTEC facilities, including the functioning methanol plant on the Nunez campus that was constructed in partnership with Tulane in 2012. The visit was Tulane’s first to the Nunez campus in four years, resuming a relationship between the two programs that had been dormant since the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Under the guidance of Nunez’s then-PTEC instructors Raymond Frey and Don Hoffman and Dr. Katie Russell, senior professor of practice in Tulane’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the two programs met annually so students in each program could learn from one another.

“(Tulane students) get all the theory on how chemical processes occur in their classes,” said current Nunez PTEC Program Chair Kyle Steib. “Then they come here to see how those processes play out in a real-world, industrial setting. And our students get to pick their brains about the engineering side.”

Tulane Chemical Engineering student Brenda Ellis said the experience at Nunez “gave physical representations to the diagrams (she) studies for exams.”

“As someone interested in pursuing a career in the cosmetics industry, it was interesting to see how a process engineer would work together with technicians to uphold safety and quality standards, whether it be for methanol or moisturizers,” said Ellis. “My classmates and I were excited to put on hard hats, gloves and safety glasses and finally turn some valves! This gave a clearer picture of what the light at the end of the tunnel looks like.”


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