In 1924 the Institution of Chemical Engineers adopted the following definition ‘A chemical engineer is a professional man experienced in the design, construction and operation of plant and works in which matter undergoes a change of state and composition.’ (The first female member joined in 1942.) As can be seen from the later definition, the occupation is not limited to the chemical industry, but more generally the process industries, or other situations in which complex physical and/or chemical processes are to be managed.
Chemical engineers work out the best way to produce, extract, mix, separate and manipulate and that is why they can be found in such a diverse selection of industries. They design the best way or ‘process’ by which a raw material is transformed into a product, whether that product is cheese, the fuel in a car engine or paracetamol. But the skills involved don’t limit the chemical engineer to manufacturing. Chemical engineers are involved in the current development of nanotechnology, alternatives to fossil fuels and refrigerants that don’t damage the ozone layer.
You may not, however, want to stray far from the chemical engineering career path as these professionals are amongst the highest paid in the engineering field! In the most recent IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers) salary survey the average UK graduate wage was £24,988, rising to £31,564 between the ages of 25 and 29, with some engineers earning up to £136,000 later on!
The substantial starting salary can be partially attributed to the significant amount of responsibility given to newly employed graduates. Fresh graduates often move swiftly up the corporate ladder reaching positions of senior management while still comparatively young.
The focus of chemical engineering degree programs is to apply all aspects of chemical manufacturing to the environment and safety of workers and consumers. After completing a chemical engineering degree program, a chemical engineer can work in multiple industries for planning, development, and production. The healthcare, biotechnology, and services fields also require extensive training, and many offer internships and work study programs for those enrolled in their last year of a chemical engineering degree program. Learning how to create and develop processes is the critical to long-term success in the field of chemical engineering, and the most common areas of study include:
· Electronic processing
· Semi-conductor processing
· Plastics and high performance materials
· Biochemical and biomedical processes
· Electrochemical processing
A chemical engineer is usually involved with a variety of processes such as:
· Chemical synthesis
· Chemical separation
· Chemical reaction
· Heat transfer operations
· Energy balances
Students interested in pursuing chemical engineering careers need to have strong analytical and mathematical skills, and have a solid background in mathematics, physics, biology, and even general engineering. They will need to develop strong technical writing and reporting skills, and develop sustainable systems using a variety of modules and formulas.
To PETRONAS Scholarship Applicants, please be aware that:
1. EduCamp will be on 11-20/4 for 5 batches at UTP.
2. Intake on May 2009 not July anymore.
3. Beware on the latest Consequence Management (CM)!!
*** Those pictures are taken from my own camera. They are the real experience of mine as chemical engineering students. Hope it helps to give you better picture on what chemical engineering is all about. TQ