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Undergraduate Program
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How did Chemical Engineering
come about?

The discipline of chemical engineering developed over the last century to meet the needs to analyze and design processes for the large-scale chemical and biochemical manufacturing. Chemical engineering is a distinct discipline that involves the integration of physical and chemical phenomena. Examples of attributes associated with chemical engineers are:

  • the ability to understand and describe molecular transformations;
  • the ability to understand and describe integrated phenomena that span a wide range of length scales from molecular to macroscopic;
  • the ability to quantitatively describe and predict complex phenomena

Where is Chemical Engineering going?

Chemical engineering is now utilized in a wide variety of industries that extend well beyond its beginnings in the large-scale chemical processing industries. These areas include: environmental engineering, biotechnology & bioengineering, pharmaceutical and food industries, electronic materials, and even consulting, government and financial sectors.

Breakdown of Industrial Employment of PhDs
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Chemical Engineering – the option
at Caltech:

ChemE Infographics
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The chemical engineering option is designed to educate students who will attain professional practice in chemical engineering, or in related engineering or science fields, or attend graduate or professional school, and, ultimately, become leaders in engineering, science, academia, industry and public service.

What can chemical engineers do?

  • Petrochemical Engineering
  • Electronic Materials Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Research & Development
  • Consulting
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Government

More on the ChE Option at Caltech...

ChE undergrad curriculum change form



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