Chemical engineering has grown out of a combination of chemistry and engineering associated with industrial processes. Today, it possesses a body of knowledge used in the synthesis, design testing, scale-up, operation, control, and optimization of processes that change the physical state or composition of materials. Chemical engineers have played central roles in the industrial development of materials that have had major social influence, such as the production of fuels and lubricants, fertilizer, synthetic fibers, and plastics. They will be centrally involved in reducing the polluting effects of certain byproducts and cleaning up unwanted residues from previous processes.
The first part of the program offers courses on the fundamental principles underlying the conversion of raw materials into a desired product by chemical and physical processes. Development of the concepts of engineering design begins with the application of fundamental principles to solve engineering problems in these courses and culminates in a series of senior-level design courses that require comprehensive integration of technical knowledge as well as consideration of economic, environmental, safety, and societal concerns. This experience is essential in preparing graduates for entry-level positions.
The objective of the program is to prepare graduates for professional practice in industry, government, or post-undergraduate training in chemical engineering, medicine, and other related disciplines.
Chemical engineers are concerned with the chemical processes that turn raw materials into valuable products. They serve industrial and other activities where processes occur in which materials undergo a chemical or physical change. Chemical engineers build a bridge between science and manufacturing, applying the principles of chemistry, biology and engineering to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals. Chemical engineers typically work for manufacturing companies, environmental companies, health care and pharmaceuticals, petroleum industry, biotechnology, or consulting firms.