From the food and drink we consume; toiletries and cosmetics we use; medicines we administer; fuels and energy we rely on; materials for our clothes, cars, batteries and computers — chemical engineering contributes to all aspects of our lives through processes that are designed to be safe, sustainable and cost-effective.
Today, chemical engineers are taking us into the future — making significant contributions in microelectronics, energy conversion and storage, nanomaterials and composites, automation, biotechnology and beyond. There is a wide range of industries that rely on chemical engineers, including pharmaceutical, energy and information technology. These roles will involve developing existing processes and creating new methods for altering materials. They work towards saving the environment by developing alternative technologies to combat acid rain, lead pollution and the greenhouse effect — not all heroes wear capes, some show up in hard hats, goggles, and steel-toe shoes.
In 2019, there were 32,600 chemical engineering jobs in the US, with a median annual pay of US$108,770. Today, the employment of chemical engineers is projected to grow four percent from 2019 to 2029. The bottom line? It’s time to consider a qualification in chemical engineering. Here are four divisions that offer specialised courses in this field:
University of Kansas – Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
The University of Kansas (KU) Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (CP&E) integrates high quality teaching and innovative research to develop the engineering leaders of the future. With expertise in bioengineering, catalysis, sustainability, and petroleum engineering, graduates have the skills to solve the grand challenges facing the world.
Students are taught by renowned faculty members in classrooms designed for engaging educational experiences. The 5-building engineering complex provides access to state-of-the-art facilities and world class research equipment. The department is home to the Centre for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis and the Tertiary Oil Recovery Programme and has a strong history of collaboration with industry and other schools on campus including the business, pharmacy, and medical schools. The dedicated engineering career centre helps ensure graduates get placed at high rates in top tier graduate programs, national laboratories, and major companies around the globe.
The Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and the Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET — a recognised worldwide leader in assuring quality and stimulating innovation in engineering education. Graduate students can earn an MS in Chemical Engineering, MS in Petroleum Engineering or PhD Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.
At this safe, welcoming and multicultural community, students can forge fulfilling careers, bolstered by experience in its internationally-recognised Research Centres, strong collaboration with industry, and personal interaction with expert faculty. To learn more about the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, click here.
Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering
The Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has a track record of producing engineers who can transform society for over 100 years now. According to the US News and World Report’s 2021 Best Engineering Schools, JHU ranked 17th nationally. There are over 650 courses to choose from — with four learning mediums offered here: online, on-campus, hybrid, or virtual live. JHU Engineering for Professionals traits include: convenient, job-ready and flexible.
The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChemBE) offers exceptional preparation for a life in research, academia, business, or industry with emphasis on the basics of engineering science combined with leading edge research. The Chemical and Biomolecular Master’s Programme provides highly-qualified students with the firm theoretical foundation and interdisciplinary skills that are essential for career advancement in the rapidly-changing field of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
At ChemBE, you are part of a team. Students participate in collaborative research programmes with scientists and engineers from across the faculties, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology, the Applied Physics Laboratory and government laboratories.
“I enjoyed the cohort I was a part of, and learned from them alongside the professors. Everyone came from various backgrounds and brought different skills that made discussions very interesting and fun,” said alumnus Alexander King.
California Institute of Technology – Division of Chemistry and Chemical
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) – Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is a place where more than 1,200 graduate students — distributed across 30 options (majors) — call home.
The Undergraduate Programme in Chemical Engineering is for students who aspire to become leaders in engineering, science, academia, business, and public service in a continually changing world. As students progress along semesters, they diversify into one of four chosen tracks: biomolecular, environmental, materials, or process systems. Self-reliance, creativity, professional ethics, and an appreciation of the societal impact of chemical engineering are some teachings of the Graduate Programme in Chemical Engineering. Students can expect to explore modules in Design, Invention, and Fundamentals of Microfluidic Systems; Physical and Chemical Rate Processes; Chemical Thermodynamics and more.
Mark and Trudie Strumwasser, parents of Taylor (class of 2017) and Spencer (class of 2018) had this to say: “The Institute’s code of ethics speaks to the calibre of its students — while also preparing them for the real world. For your finals, you aren’t confined to a room with a proctor making sure you don’t cheat. You have someone handing you a project, telling you when it’s due, and giving you the freedom to shine.”
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a renowned education at one of the top public universities in the US. The university hosts almost 45,000 students on site, maintaining a strong community atmosphere, fostered through the forward-thinking, Living-Learning Communities. The University is a world-class leader in research, teaching, and public engagement, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering offers specialised courses in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry — hallmarks of the Illinois experience. Here, students can expect to work on a pioneering research project, teach chemical engineering concepts, build a car propelled by a chemical reaction, spend a summer interning with a Fortune 500 company, and much more — powered by the Unit Ops Lab, and Design Across the Curriculum programme, delivering hands-on experience for students.
“I had several choices for graduate school. What I liked most about University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was the wide range of topics I was interested in for research, as well as how approachable faculty and grad students were,” says alumnus Chris Torres.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International