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What is Chemical Engineering and Who Are Chemical Engineers?

Chemical engineers are NOT chemists, they are "process and systems engineers" also involved with chemistry -- to a degree. It takes a chemical engineer to produce by the ton what perhaps a chemist developed in a test tube: plastics, chemicals, rubber, gasoline, pharmaceuticals, paper, fertilizers, etc. Nowadays it is not just chemistry, it is also:

  • biochemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biosystems;
  • food, milk, beverage processing;
  • environment, detoxification, clean process development, environmental systems;
  • new product/process development;
  • management of production, manufacturing and corporations;
  • new materials development, introduction and manufacturing;
  • computers, electronic systems, and systems in general!

Chemical engineering skills uniquely prepare and qualify the chemical engineer to deal with the design, running, modeling and optimization of all kinds of "systems" - these could be production or manufacturing systems, corporate systems, financial systems, economic systems, even weather, population or global systems! We need to produce new things bigger, faster and cleaner to sustain our growing population and increasing demand on the world's natural resources.

Are chemical engineers jacks of all trades? Indeed, very flexible, contemporary, well-trained and unique "jacks"! Imagine: desirable, employable, well-paid engineers who enjoy themselves working and contributing to make our lives more pleasant, smoother, and longer.