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Contact

    • School of Engineering

      • Kirkbride Hall
      • tel: 610-499-4037
      • fax: 610-499-4059
    • Dr. C. Michael Kelly

    • Kim Robinson

Curriculum, Chemical Engineering

Requirements

The chemical engineering program begins with a strong grounding in mathematics, chemistry and physics, including general chemistry and general physics, organic and physical chemistry, calculus and differential equations, totaling more than 40 credit-hours of lecture courses, all of which are supported by lab experience. This is followed by 25 credit-hours of fundamental required chemical engineering courses underlying all of chemical engineering. Students must elect three upper-level technical electives appropriate to their chosen career path.

The program also includes more than 20 hours of required courses in other engineering disciplines (or common to all disciplines) to ensure that the student has a broad exposure to the entire engineering profession that extends beyond the common focal areas of chemical engineering. Finally, to ensure that the chemical engineering graduate is also well-rounded and well-educated, the student is required to select several humanities and social science courses in areas of interest. The program culminates in a year-long senior project, in which a team of students investigates a topic of interest and presents it in a professional symposium setting.

Here is a selection of courses students typically take as a chemical engineering major 

Courses

CHE 222 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES

Stoichiometry of industrial-scale chemical and biochemical processes. Process variables and their measurement. Correlation of physical and thermophysical properties, including introduction to vapor liquid equilibria. Material and energy balances on nonreacting and reacting systems. Ethics, safety, and loss prevention. 

CHE 327 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY I

Principles of material and energy balances, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and multi-stage mass transfer applied to small-scale equipment for chemical and biochemical processes. The evaluation of experimental observations and report writing are emphasized. This is a writing-enriched course. 

CHE 329  TRANSPORT PHENOMENA

The transport of momentum, heat, and mass. Emphasis is placed on the discussion of engineering problems and the mathematical description of underlying principles. Topics include motion of viscous and inviscid fluids, including boundary-layer theory and turbulent momentum transfer; stream functions and velocity profiles; fluid rheology; conductive, convective, and radiative heat transfer; molecular diffusion and convective mass transfer; application of fundamental principles to analysis of fluids-handling equipment; application of fundamental principles to analysis of heat transfer operations. 

CHE 330  CHEMICAL ENGINEERING THERMODYNAMICS

Review of first and second laws; heat effects; PVT and secondary thermodynamic relationships for real fluids; properties of mixtures, fugacity, activity; phase equilibria; chemical equilibria. 

CHE 332  MASS-TRANSFER OPERATIONS

Underlying principles of mass transfer operations, including both staged and continuous contacting, molecular diffusion and convective mass transfer. Application of principles to the design and operation of binary and multicomponent distillation, gas adsorption, and liquid extraction processes. Introduction to adsorption and membrane permeation operations. 

CHE 425 PROCESS DESIGN I

Development of process design methods for continuous processing, with emphasis on an integrated industrial system including chemical, reactors; design basis; choice of unit operations; choice of process operating conditions; estimation of capital and operating costs, their effect on profitability; rules of thumb for equipment design choices; relationship between design choices and costs; process optimization; computer simulation techniques for equipment; and process design and flow sheeting. 

CHE 427 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY II

Continuation of CHE 327 to include operations such as adsorption, distillation, drying, extraction, bioseparations, and bioreactions, as well as control of processes. This is a writing-enriched course. 

CHE 428 PROCESS DESIGN II

Continuation of CHE 425, with emphasis on essential issues affecting the design of an integrated continuous chemical process. Operating procedures, including startup, shut down, turn down, control; redundancy and secondary equipment to ensure operability; identification of potential process safety hazards; selection of mitigation techniques; identification and mitigation of potential environmental effects; and details of mathematical techniques for optimization of individual equipment. Professional ethics and ethical codes are discussed. This is a writing-enriched course.

CHE 429 CHEMICAL REACTION ENGINEERING

Kinetics of homogeneous reactions; differential and integral analysis of kinetic data; design of ideal reactors for simple and complex reactions; analysis of non-isothermal reactors; reaction stability and reactor hazards; introduction to hazard-mitigation techniques; introduction to fluid-fluid and catalyzed gas-solid reactors. 

CHE 430 INTRODUCTION TO BIOTECHNOLOGY

Survey of the application of engineering principles to biotechnology. Introduction to fundamental biological principles affecting the growth of cells and their synthesis of useful biochemicals; factors affecting cell growth; growth kinetics and growth curves; sterilization and sterile processing; batch and continuous culture; bioreactors; introduction to post-fermentation processing.  

CHE 460 REGULATORY AND MANUFACTURING PRACTICES

Understanding the regulatory structure and regulations governing the manufacture of health care and pharmaceutical products. Regulatory requirements for the design, construction, and operations of manufacturing facilities. Quality control and quality management systems used in the pharmaceutical and health care industries. 

CHE 488 SPECIAL TOPICS IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

Senior elective offering special topics according to student and faculty interest.

For complete information about courses and requirements for chemical engineering, see the course catalog.