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Chemical Engineering

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Undergrad Degree: BS

Chemical engineers work with chemical change and chemical processing. They develop ways to produce chemicals, and they design, build, and operate chemical producing plants. They search for new sources of energy, and they work to clean up the environment. Chemical engineers also play an important role in new technologies such as semiconductor processing and biotechnology, and in the development of new materials such as polymers and ceramics. They're involved in producing all kinds of goods, from plastics, textiles, and fertilizers, to processed foods and antibiotics.

Chemical engineers are in demand in a great many industries, including, in particular, the petroleum, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics, and food-processing industries. You'll also find attractive professional opportunities in government agencies, research laboratories, and academic institutions. Many chemical engineers rise to positions of considerable technical and managerial responsibility.

The undergraduate Field Program in Chemical Engineering comprises a coordinated sequence of courses beginning in the sophomore year and extending through the fourth year. Special programs in biochemical engineering and polymeric materials are available. Students who plan to enter the field program should take Chemistry 2090 and Chemistry 2080 during the freshman year.

The fundamental analytic tools of chemical engineering - fluid mechanics, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics - are developed in the sophomore and junior years. In the junior year, these tools are used to analyze the units of chemical processes: chemical reactors, bio-reactors, distillation columns, and heat exchangers. In the senior year, students design chemical processes by integrating process units with regard to economics, safety, and environmental impact.

Special programs in biochemical engineering and polymeric materials are available. Students who plan to enter the field program should take CHEM 207 and 208 during their freshman year.