What is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical engineering occupies a unique position at the interface between molecular sciences and engineering. Intimately linked with the fundamental subjects of chemistry, biology, mathematics, and physics — and in close collaboration with fellow engineering disciplines like materials science, computer science, and mechanical, electrical, and civil and environmental engineering — chemical engineering offers unparalleled opportunities to do great things.

Today’s chemical engineers are spearheading new developments in sustainability, energy, medicine, biotechnology, microelectronics, advanced materials, consumer products, and manufacturing. A new generation of chemical engineering-trained entrepreneurs are forming innovative new businesses, focused on addressing today’s global issues, from carbon capture, to sustainable alternatives to petroleum products, to reversing hearing loss.

People with undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering degrees go on to work in industry, academia, consulting, law, medicine, finance, and other fields. For more information, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) offers an online database that lists the companies that are the most prolific hirers of its members. The Chemical Engineers in Action site shows the variety of things that chemical engineers can do.