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New Brunswick/Piscataway Undergraduate Catalog 2005-2007 School of Engineering Descriptions of Fields of Study Chemical and Biochemical Engineering  

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Chemical engineering deals with the chemical and physical processes for converting raw materials to valuable products. Students apply principles of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and health and safety sciences to the analysis, design, and automatic control of these processes. The biochemical engineering option focuses on biochemical and biological processes that require the integration of biochemistry and microbiology with the core chemical engineering curriculum and other basic sciences. Special programs are available for those who wish to pursue careers as chemical engineers in medicine or biomedical engineering, polymer process engineering and science, environmental engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, and food engineering.

The achievements of chemical and biochemical engineering constantly touch our daily lives. Past and current breakthroughs include large-scale production of antibiotics; plastics, synthetic rubber, and polymeric fabrics; gasoline and aviation fuel; hydrocarbon-based chemicals from oil, coal, and renewable resources; water and air purification systems; management of hazardous wastes; fertilizers, nutritional synthetic foods, and dietary supplements; dyes, paints, and solvents; kidney dialysis machines and artificial skin; biological production of alcohol or methane gas from controlled microbial digestion of natural and industrial waste materials; and development of bioreactors using enzymes and cells to enhance production of foods and specialty chemicals.

The broad education provided by these options and special programs allows students to choose from a wide variety of careers. Many graduates work in large corporations as well as smaller companies as practicing chemical or biochemical engineers. The degree program also prepares qualified students for graduate study leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree in chemical and other engineering disciplines, including specialties in biomedical, environmental, polymer, food, and pharmaceutical engineering. In addition, students are prepared to meet the graduate entrance requirements for medical and law schools, business administration, and other professional disciplines.

The curriculum is designed to prepare and train students for entry into the profession equipped with the fundamental knowledge in core sciences required for problem solving and critical thinking. Graduates will have the tools needed to design and analyze complex chemical engineering systems. Training in ethical, health and safety, and societal concerns as they relate to the chemical engineering profession is also provided. Graduates further learn effective communication skills and gain valuable experience working in a team environment.

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