Knowledge of the fundamentals of chemical engineering and creativity in their application constitute essential requirements for meeting the unseen challenges of engineering 10, 20, or 30 years ahead. What are the fundamentals? In the early years: chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and English. Later: fluid flow, heat transfer, mass transfer, separations, engineering thermodynamics, materials engineering, chemical reaction engineering, process design and control, and technical communication. In advanced and graduate programs: application areas such as electrochemical engineering, polymers and soft materials, microelectronics processing and MEMS, catalysis, biochemical and biomedical engineering, and many others. The study is rigorous; grasping the fundamentals and mastering their application do not come spontaneously.
The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department is richly endowed with human and material resources to accomplish its educational objectives. Twenty-three full-time faculty members with expertise spanning nearly every major area of the field conduct courses from the sophomore level through the graduate level. All are actively engaged in research. A number of special lecturers add further breadth. Laboratories abound; for undergraduates, laboratory courses are provided in general chemical engineering and process control (required of all students), applied kinetics, polymers, and biochemical engineering. The research laboratories are equipped for biochemical engineering, bioengineering, and biomedical engineering; phase equilibria; quantum and statistical mechanics; electrochemical engineering; catalysis and reaction engineering; rheology; polymer chemistry and physics; surface and colloid science; MEMS; materials chemistry, engineering, and synthesis; and plasma processing.
The mission of the department is to educate men and women for careers of leadership and innovation in engineering and related fields; to expand the base of engineering knowledge through original research, enabling new technologies that serve the needs of society; and to benefit the public through service to industry, government, and the engineering profession. Fulfillment of this mission is achieved in part by the department's ABET accredited undergraduate degree program in chemical engineering.
The chemical engineering undergraduate curriculum comprises both a technical curriculum and breadth requirements. The breadth requirements provide the educational tools for writing clearly and persuasively, for reading critically and evaluating evidence effectively, and for understanding humanity in historical and social contexts. The technical curriculum provides an excellent foundation in scientific and engineering fundamentals.