Sunday, June 1, 2008

Even More Reviews

Brewing technology was OK, but definitely fell short of my expectations. Too much plant equipment material, and not enough theory. Too much overview of processes, and not enough (quality) detail. The manuals provided (pictured) for just this one class are responsible for about half of the total weight that I am shipping home. There is some good info in there for sure (otherwise I wouldn't be shipping it home, right?) but many slides, graphs etc. don't state assumptions or paint the full picture, and there are too many contradictions in the material. I think there is a lot of room for improvement in this class and I know that I am not alone. I recommend eliminating all plant equipment material from these manuals and doing some major editing and proofreading to improve this course.

We had many engineering type of classes, which for the most part are filed under plant equipment. In addition to Roland Pahl's main plant lectures, we had topics on filling and packaging from George Wenk and Roland Foltz, and Christoph Kunzmann headed up topics like corrosion, CIP, cold processing, and energy. I probably missed something. Although this department wins the award for the most rescheduled/changed/missed/confused lectures, it also wins most likely for me to walk away feeling like I got my money's worth.

Dr. Alfons Ahrens parted the waters for us - water and waste water. Although, the lectures were a little dry at times, Ahrens is an expert and a real nice and patient guy. He helped me and at least one other classmate with special cases outside of class. These classes also suffer from some pretty severe manual disorganization (way too many duplicate slides) but overall I learned a lot and found both classes beneficial.

I'm going to miss Fridays in Berlin. Chemical Technical Analyses (CTA) is what Friday at the CBC is all about. Katrin Preisser was our instructor for CTA and we learned a lot and had a lot of fun in her class. Again, practical work is a strength of VLB. In addition to being one of the better instructors, Katrin One-Value-Is-No-Value Preisser wins the best manual award - it came complete with page numbers (accurate and only one set), an index, and lots of pertinent, practical data that I know I will reference in the future.

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