What is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical engineering is an applied engineering science to develop and manufacture chemicals for a vast variety of purposes. Chemical engineers work in many industries, for example food, paints, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, paper, oil and gas. Without chemical engineers, the goods we take for granted all around us would not exist.

Most chemical engineers have a university education in Chemical Engineering. In this, they learn the basics of the subject which teach them subjects such as fluid flow, heat transfer, mass transfer, and chemical reaction engineering. They also learn essential underpinning science such as chemistry, maths, corrosion engineering, fuel science, thermodynamics, and other subjects. They also learn the basics of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering, as most chemical engineering projects will need engineers in those disciplines as well. Furthermore, engineers learn about management a business studies.

After their degree, chemical engineers might continue to a higher degree (Masters or PhD) depending on their interest areas. Throughout their career they will undertake Continuous Professional Development to keep their skills honed in the area in which they work.

Some chemical engineers leave the profession, such as into management, business areas, other engineering areas, and so on. They might be entrepreneurs who start their own businesses. They might become technical specialists who become technical consultants, either in a large operating company, in a small consultancy company, or as an independent consultant.

Keeping a chemical production plant safe and operating at peak efficiency maximises business profitability and sustainability. Safety starts with safe design and then continues with safe operation. Chemical engineering is a complex science that requires much theoretical and practical skill and experience to do effectively. CEDCS worked in many sectors of the chemical industry to design safe plants and then to operate them as safely as possible.