As populations grow and resources and energy reserves decline, the demand for chemical engineers is increasing. Whether you focus on developing future energy solutions, controlling pollution or protecting our environment, your future as a chemical engineer is bright.
Our changing world needs more chemical engineers!
What is chemical engineering?
Many everyday items we take for granted involve chemical engineering during some stage of their production. Computer chips, mobile phones, petrol, paper, coffee and clean power - just to name a few.
Chemical engineering has its basis in chemistry, physics and mathematics. It is also developed from other branches of engineering, applied sciences, biological sciences and economics.
What do chemical engineers do?
Chemical engineers invent, develop and design processes that convert raw materials into useful products - with minimal environmental impact. A chemical engineer might:
- design or improve industrial processes and equipment for large-scale chemical manufacturing
- develop environmentally clean technologies for manufacturing and power generation
- devise production processes that are safe, efficient, profitable and environmentally sound
- research naturally occurring chemical reactions that can be copied for human benefit
- design, develop and use new materials
- research new processes and products
- develop alternative fuels and energy sources for improved products such as sunscreen.
Chemical engineering streams
At Level 3, you can choose to specialise in one of the following engineering streams.
- Biotechnology: the use of biological processes for commercial and industrial applications.
- Sustainable processing: the application of principles of sustainability and lifecycle assessment for environmental benefit.
- Nanotechnology: is engineering at the molecular level. It lets us fabricate an entire new generation of products that are cleaner, smaller, stronger, lighter and more precise.
Careers in chemical engineering
A degree in chemical engineering leads to a wide range of careers - traditionally in the chemical, manufacturing, petrochemical and mining industries.
But today, the demand for chemical engineers is more extensive, with opportunities in computing, electronics, food, clothing, pharmaceuticals and more.