Fall 2018 - Many reviews here from previous years describe this class as not too bad once you mastered the material and that's not wrong. But regardless of those reviews, remember that this class is THE ChemE weeder class and you'll be surprised at how bad of an end grade you can get. Monbouquette has complete control over how he wants to distribute the grades - for our year the percentage of actual A's given was somewhere around 10% of the class which is significantly lower than other years because it was probably judged based on the fact that the final exam was ridiculously hard and had an average of near 50%, which he was probably disappointed by. Beyond that expect a not-so-engaging lecture with endless examples of how to do endless balances in time-consuming problems that take endless time to complete, especially the MATLAB assignment which he gives you despite most ChemE's having zero MATLAB experience - this assignment will take a very long time, and you'll have only a week to do it if it was like our year. TL; DR: Weeder class, not that easy, grading depends on Monbouquette's opinion of class, material isn't terrible but super time consuming.
Spring 2021 - TL;DR: Rapid-pace lectures that cover a truckload of content in a short period of time. Highly stressful and difficult, but what are you going to do about it, huh? This class is mandatory if you're going core chemical engineering. --- Let's talk separations. CH ENGR 103 is all about separations, using many different methods to separate and isolate products. Unfortunately for you, half of those separations are really difficult to model; but hey, that's what this course is about, right? It still doesn't stop me from wanting to separate my head from my body... ahem. Back on track. The lectures for this class cover a lot of material, and Monbouquette isn't exactly the most eloquent or engaging lecturer on campus. You'll find it relatively boring, but the most important parts of each lecture are the theoretical and mathematical portions. The exams and homework primarily deal with mathematical applications of each separation process you learn in lecture, and nothing conceptual is tested; therefore, if you just hyperfocus on anything remotely relating to math in the lectures, you'll be able to do well. The grading scheme of this class is homework (30%), midterms (40%), and final (30%), which I'll go more in depth in the following paragraphs. --- You can expect a homework assignment to be assigned every week, based on the content and separation processes learned in the previous week. Unfortunately for you, the homework assignments consist of three to four problems of either brainless plug and chug calculations or literally impossible problems that cannot be solved with just the knowledge from the lecture material. I highly recommend reading the associated textbook for such problems and going to the TA's office hours; alternatively, if you can talk to an upperclassman for hints, do so. Homework is worth a substantial portion of your grade and is graded on accuracy, so you absolutely do not want to take the Ls on any homework; especially since none of them are dropped. --- Midterms and finals are both two hours and three hours long respectively. The exam problems are relatively reasonable and focus primarily on recent material; however, you can expect a McCabe-Thiele type problem in every exam due to ABET requirements. It's closed notes but you're allowed a cheat sheet. I would recommend copying down the strategy for literally every problem you've ever solved, either on your homework or in discussion, because that will be your lifeline on the exams. The midterms are extremely time-sensitive, and you're going to want to make sure you can complete problems fast and efficiently. The final gives a lot more time, but has relatively more difficult content; you're going to want to focus on knowledge for this one by cramming your cheat sheet. --- In summary, separations is a very difficult class with lots of content to be covered; however, if you focus only on the equations and math portions, you'll be able to manage. I have no words to say other than godspeed, especially if you're taking this class alongside CH ENGR 101C.