If you want to explore the world around you and make a difference for the better, consider becoming a chemical engineer. Chemical engineers take chemistry out of the laboratory and into the real world by applying scientific knowledge, technical expertise, and creativity to make useful materials; without chemical engineering, things like fertilizer and antibiotics wouldn't exist. With their skills and abilities, chemical engineers can be involved in research, development (taking a process from bench scale to full scale), design and evaluation (deciding how a process should work), plant design (deciding how a chemical plant should be built), plant operation, sales, management, and academics. The University of Utah’s Department of Chemical Engineering is nationally recognized for its research programs, and it was recently ranked 5th in the country in federal research and development funding. In this prestigious program, you will complete courses in math, physics, chemistry, and engineering, with your studies culminating in the required fundamentals of engineering exam (FE exam). You can also complete an optional emphasis in Energy Engineering.
The Student Experience
In addition to your academic pursuits, be sure to get involved in the many organizations and extracurricular activities offered by the Department of Chemical Engineering. The Women in ChemE Peer Mentors program provides mentoring and support to undergraduate woman chemical engineering majors, while the ChemE Car Team challenges students to build a working compact car that runs only on chemical reactions. You can also join the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) to network and find jobs in the industry of chemical engineering.
A chemical engineer may find work in a number of different fields, such as environmental protection, pollution prevention, biotechnology, electronics, chemistry, petroleum, medicine, and law. Some graduates are consultants, computer system designers, lawyers focusing on patent or environmental law, or brewers of specialty beers. If you decide to further your education, you will be prepared to enter graduate study in medicine, law, business administration, or chemical engineering.