Studies & Degrees in Chemical Engineering
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Chemical Engineering Study Programs
Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with processing and converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful, economical and valuable forms with the application of physical science and life science and mathematics and economics. This study involves the application of Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Biochemistry among the others, and creates new materials and/or substance which are economically significant. The study of Chemical Engineering includes nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and fuel cells study to be able to understand and invent new materials and techniques that can be valuable to mankind. Moreover, Chemical Engineering includes process design as well as improvement and maintenance of the particular process which involves the chemical and/or biological transformation in manufactures.
Chemical Engineering is a wide area of study and has several branches: Fluid Mechanics, Chemical Plant Design, Process Design, Chemical Thermodynamics, Electrochemistry, Process Control, Reaction Kinetics, Unit Operations, Heat Transfer, Mass Transfer, Materials Science, Process Systems Engineering, Transport Phenomena, Biochemical Engineering, Separation Process, Nanotechnology, and Biochemical Engineering among the many others. Process Design is said to be the apex of chemical engineering as it determines the design of the course development of transforming physical and/or chemical materials. Fluid Mechanics is the study of fluids, which includes liquid, gas, and plasma, and the forces that act on them. Heat Transfer, a discipline of Thermal Engineering, deals with the transfer of thermal energy from one physical system to another while Mass Transfer deals with the net movement of a certain mass from one place to another. Nanotechnology, an area of Chemical Engineering that is really essential in chemical engineering applications, deals with controlling and manipulating matter on an atomic or molecular scale – it deals with structures which are sized from 1 to 100 nanometers. Unit operations, when it comes to Chemical Engineering, are made up of 5 classes: Fluid flow process which includes filtrations; Heat Transfer process which includes evaporation; Mass Transfer process which includes extraction; Thermodynamic process which includes gas liquefaction; and Mechanical process which includes solids transportation. Moreover, unit operations in terms of Chemical Engineering can be classified into (1) Combination (mixing), (2) Separation (distillation), and (3) Reaction (chemical reaction).
Putting the study of Chemical Engineering into action, chemical engineers are most likely involved in manufacturing – chemicals (organic and inorganic industrial chemicals), ceramics, detergents and detergent products, fuels and petroleum chemicals (petrochemicals), agrochemicals, plastics, explosives, oleochemicals, fragrances, flavourings, additives, and pharmaceuticals. Also, Chemical Engineering is applied in food processing, environmental technology, and the production of inks, sealants, glass, adhesives and paints.
Most graduate students who finished a degree in Chemical Engineering, upon passing the board examinations, are employed as Chemical Engineers in different organizations which are need of these professionals. Aside from working as Chemical Engineers, graduates of Chemical Engineering follow the academic path and choose to be professors/lecturers in colleges and universities who offer Chemical Engineering courses and/or basic Physical and Life Sciences courses. They can also be teachers in basic education levels for subjects like General Science, Chemistry, and Physics.