Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the application of physical science (e.g. chemistry and physics), and life sciences (e.g. biology, microbiology and biochemistry) with mathematics. In short, chemical engineering basically is applied chemistry. It is the branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction, and operation of machines and plants that perform chemical reactions to solve practical problems or make useful products.
Chemical engineers devise ways to make products from raw materials and ways to convert one material into another useful form. In addition to producing useful materials, modern chemical engineering is also concerned with pioneering valuable new materials and techniques – such as nanotechnology, fuel cells and biomedical engineering.
Chemical engineers enjoy careers in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and energy to biotechnology, product design, and pharmaceuticals. They are largely involves the design, improvement and maintenance of processes involving chemical or biological transformations for large-scale manufacture. A chemical engineer often works in a very specialized field. Some examples of specialized fields include developing fertilizer, developing pesticides, developing cleaners, and making plastics.
Some chemical engineers make designs and invent new processes. Some construct instruments and facilities. Some plan and operate facilities. Chemical engineers can make processes more cost effective or more environmentally friendly or more efficient.
Chemical engineers do make a decent income. Probably the best place for a chemical engineering career right now is in the pharmaceutical industry. Drug companies are doing very well and working very hard to produce new drugs. Chemical engineers are needed to research, test, and formulate these drugs.
What you study in a Chemical Engineering Course?
A chemical engineer actually has to have knowledge that spans across many subjects. Hence a student in chemical engineering course needs to learn a wide range of scientific and engineering subjects such as physics, math, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.
In fact, a prerequisite for a course in chemical engineering is a solid result for mathematics and science subjects such as chemistry, mathematics and physics. Typical areas of study include:
Conservation of mass and energy
Equations of heat and mass transfer, on both microscopic and macroscopic scales
Basic structural mechanics
Process dynamics and control
Process safety and risk assessment