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CHEN 4520 & 4530 (Belval): Chemical Engineering Design: Find Specifications & Standards

Determining your Specifications

Your design project may require you to produce a clear and objective specification.  For example, if your design problem is asking you to create a safe product, you will need to determine what safe actually means in terms of the kind of product or the problem you are solving.  

This page will help you research regulations, guidelines, and standards from governments, organizations, and professional societies to produce the specifications you need.

What are Standards?

Standards are published documents from professional engineering issuing bodies that establish specifications and procedure designs to ensure the reliability and safety of products, materials, structures and/or services people use on a daily basis.   

Finding Specifications and Standards

The first question to ask when starting your search for a specification or standard is who would regulate or create guidelines for this?  Is it a federal agency, an international organization, or a professional engineering organization?  Once you've thought of possibilities for who might provide the information you need, you can start searching.

The federal government generally freely publishes information on web.  Many non-profit international organizations might freely share information on their websites as well.  

Professional organizations publish and sell their standards.  The CU Boulder Libraries purchase a large number of standards, and you can search our collections via OneSearch or in our Databases.  

Search Government & Organizations

Search selected standards in OneSearch

Search for selected standards, including ISO and ANSI standards, using our catalog. If you aren't finding the standard that you require by searching the standard number, try searching the standard name.

If you don't find what you need, it's not you! Many of our standards aren't listed in OneSearch, so email us at gemmill@colorado.edu and we will do our best to help you!

Standards in Databases

Standards can also be found in the following specific databases. 

Ask A Gemmill Librarian

Benchmark a Product - Market Research

Consumer research is the process of gathering data on a individuals and their relations to a market. This includes information on the current and potential customers, as well as the competitive landscape of the market.

Industry research can help you find profiles, statistics, and other kinds of information about a specific industry.  

Doing consumer and industry research with the help of the guides below may help you identify specifications for your design based on customer expectations, industry standards, and products already on the market.