What is Chemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering transforms raw materials into useful, innovative products for public and commercial consumption. The chemistry background of this discipline allows Engineers to get the most out of raw elements (metals, gases etc) by creating fuels, drugs and construction materials. The Engineering component is concerned with the methods that enable the products to be created from these natural resources. It can be said then that Chemical Engineering allows the practical application of chemistry to occur. Chemical Engineers often collaborate with chemists as their skills tend to complement one another. Chemical Engineers are trained in economics, business practice, environmental factors and ethics as well as chemistry.
Chemists are trained solely in the theoretical understanding of chemistry. Engineers ensure that chemical theory is implemented in everyday life to solve problems. They allow the advancements in chemistry to exist outside of the labs they are generated in. Engineering graduates of this discipline possess advanced computing skills and utilize simulation software if they are involved in plant design. Data analysis is another common function of Chemical Engineering. Jobs and career positions are often associated with large companies, as they need the skill of engineers to make their products accessible and useful. Opportunities exist for graduates and professionals to start their own business by offering design services or consulting.
Students who excel at chemistry are fantastic candidates for a Chemical Engineering course. The course structure is heavily focused on theory (chemistry) compared with the other major disciplines. However, be aware that Chemical Engineers are not chemistry experts. Their purpose is to apply chemistry to practical problems. If you are the type of student that wants to only focus on chemistry, you may be more suited to a career as a chemist. For those of you with the knack for fixing things and using your hands, we suggest Electrical or Mechanical Engineering as more suitable alternatives.
Chemical Engineers most commonly work within the industries of:
- Mineral Extraction and Processing
- Food Production