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Documenting Process Calculations

William N. Weaver, P.E. and John C. Huang, Ph.D., P.E.

Course Outline

The course covers the concept behind proper documentation along with samples and explanations. The benefits gained from proper documentation of equations, properties and the math used in the calculations is explored. Calculation format is included as well as potential errors in sourcing the physical property data.

References are provided to lead the engineer to a deeper understanding of the documentation process.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

When completed the following learning objectives should have been achieved:

General Course Information

The course contains an introduction to the documentation of equations and physical properties used in engineering calculations. The purpose of this documentation is explained with examples and the proper format for documentation is presented.

Using Internet software and problems related to documentation are also presented. Problems created by using un-validated software are discussed with an example of the problems.

Discussions include use of proper units and abbreviations to avoid errors. A format for calculations is presented

Intended Audience

The course is directed at engineers preparing calculations which will be filed or used for future work.

Benefits to Attendee

The intended audience will receive the following benefits from this course material.

Course Introduction

This course material is designed to refresh the engineer’s understanding of calculation documentation and format. Also covered are the proper use of units, symbols and constants in the calculations. The hazards of interpolation of physical property data and a comparison of several methods of obtaining property data at a specific point are also presented. A brief discussion presents some problems with downloaded software use in calculations.

Course Content

The course content is in the following PDF file:

Documenting Process Calculations

You need to open or download above documents to study this course.

Course Summary

Completion of this material will provide the engineer with sufficient information to understand the documentation process along with physical property data. Pitfalls and problems are presented along with some ideas as to their solution or avoidance. Interpolation of data is discussed in some detail along with other potential errors involved.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.