Chemical Engineering integrates chemistry and physics with biology, biochemistry, and microbiology. Mathematics and Economics are also occasionally applied along with the above subjects to develop, create, operate, and handle the process of transforming raw materials into products. Chemical engineers are involved in the production of various household products: detergent, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, hand sanitisers, and many more.
This field can be divided into two subgroups: Manufacturing and operating large-scale chemical plants, and developing new chemical materials for products. Despite the division, a chemical engineer is still required to move fluently between both subgroups to finalise a product. Besides focusing on the developing and manufacturing areas, engineers in this field must also manage resources, ensure the operations abide by the health and safety regulations, as well as prioritising environmental impact.
Chemical engineering involves many layers of processes. Depending on your role, you can either work in the laboratory, processing plant, or office, or even all three of them interchangeably! Some general duties in chemical engineering include research and development, tests, product improvement, and modification of processing plants.
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There are six fields of Chemical Engineering that you can choose from as your major. You can pick from these specializations:
Chemical Reaction Engineering
Also known as reactor engineering, this field focuses on managing the conditions of industrial chemical reactors to secure optimal operations. Chemical reactors act as containers to hold chemical reactions. Chemical engineers must be thorough at data analysis, reactor model construction, performance prediction, and other specific skills.
Engineers in this area must gain a strong understanding of how industrial plants work to design plans and specifications. This field also involves heat exchangers, phase separators, and pumps. Industrial plants can be dangerous if poorly designed, which means engineers must also be familiar with the safety regulations in order to make responsible decisions regarding the materials, equipment, and processes.
Energy Process Engineering
Energy conservation is on the rise to reduce environmental impact. Energy process engineers’ duties include coming up with cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways to manufacture and operate energy infrastructure. You will learn a lot about renewable and alternative energy sources.
You can contribute your chemical engineering expertise to the pharmaceutical industry. The field needs more engineers in producing pharmaceuticals, validating product facilities, and ensuring that the products abide by health and safety regulations.
Process Engineering is one of the most important and challenging fields in chemical engineering. In this field, you are required to be an all-rounded engineer with a broad knowledge of design, operation, consumption pattern, extraction, and even safety regulations, among many others. You also learn about designing, operating, managing, and improving process equipment that aid in chemical or physical transformations of materials.
Chemical engineers in the Food Processing sector are involved in creating, processing, preserving, packaging, distributing, and improving food products. It may seem complicated, but you will enjoy working in this field if you are also interested in food safety and nutrition, researching chemicals in food, and also agriculture.
Maths and Chemistry Whiz – Calculations and chemical equations are your second language. While your peers have trouble with Maths and Chemistry, you enjoy learning these subjects thoroughly.
Detail-oriented – Chemical Engineering needs engineers to be accurate and precise. One minor mistake could even lead to life-threatening issues. If you have an eye for detail in your assignments, you fit right into the industry!
Adaptable – The industry can be unpredictable at times with technology constantly evolving. As a chemical engineer, you should be open-minded and prepared for any challenges thrown at you.
The study duration could vary from one institute to another. However, as a general estimate, we have compiled a general estimate of the duration according to the study levels and qualifications.
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Tech companies must prioritize diversity, equality, and inclusion to fully realize the industry’s potential. Systemic biases have led to historic exclusion of underrepresented groups, creating a vicious cycle of limited opportunities. Actionable strategies are needed to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion beyond hiring, such as creating equitable opportunities for all. These measures don’t just benefit individual employees but the business as a whole.