Chemical Engineering is a broad field encompassing everything from design to large scale manufacturing of a wide variety of products through chemical and biochemical processes. These products include pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, fine chemicals, specialty chemicals, microelectronic devices, polymers, and products used in food processing and in biotechnology. Our alumni are employed in diverse fields including traditional and alternative/renewable energy, manufacturing, health care, biotechnology and business services.
Our chemical engineering curriculum builds upon the fundamentals of biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. In this, undergraduate students complete a program of study that includes rigorous instruction in fluid mechanics, heat and mass transport, thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and chemical process dynamics and control. Effective Fall 2017 we updated our ABET accredited degree in Chemical Engineering. This revision modernizes our curriculum, offers increased flexibility in elective options, and provides optional specialty tracks in Process Engineering and Biological Engineering for those who want to focus their degree. In addition, our curriculum also includes elements that clearly set us apart from other programs; for example and taught in a new and unique student-centered environment, Studio Biology introduces active learning to instruction of biology at the freshman level. This unique course minimizes lecture and maximizes student involvement in the learning process with the design and performance of experiments exploring biological systems. Our emphasis on active learning is also demonstrated within the unit operations laboratory sequence taken in the summer as a six-week intensive “field session”. Here, the fundamentals of heat, mass, and momentum transport and applied thermodynamics are reviewed in a practical, applications-oriented, hands-on setting. Field session greatly hones students’ teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and oral and written technical communications skills.
This curriculum is delivered within facilities that are among the best in the nation. Our modern in-house computer network supports over 70 workstations with specialized software for modeling chemical engineering systems. Our honors undergraduate research program provides our undergraduates with the opportunity to work together with graduate students, postdocs, and/or faculty on cutting edge chemical and/or biochemical engineering research. Undergraduate chemical engineering students in this program at CSM have presented at national conferences and have won national competitions and awards based on research conducted while pursuing their baccalaureate degree. CSM also has a very active American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) student chapter. The student leadership organize “Lunch and Learn” events with industry leaders, host social events throughout the year, organize a rotational dinner for members and recruiters before our Fall Career Fair, and participate in the ChemE car competition at the National AIChE meeting.
With placement outcomes within 3 months of graduation exceeding 80% for the last 5 years and average starting salaries over $69,000, our graduates continue to be in high demand for industry, government, military and graduate school positions across the country.
Baccalaureate/Masters Degree Program
The Chemical and Biological Engineering Department offers the opportunity to begin work on a Master of Science (with thesis) while completing the requirements of the Bachelor’s degree. These combined BS/MS degrees are designed to allow undergraduates engaged in research to apply their experience to an advanced degree. An advantage of the combined BS/MS program is that students may apply 2 classes (6 credit hours) to both their BS and MS degrees. These two classes must be chemical engineering elective courses at the 400-level or higher. The remaining MS curriculum consists of the four core graduate courses (ChEN507, ChEN509, ChEN516, and ChEN518) and 18 thesis credits. It is expected that a student would be able to complete both degrees in 5–51/2 years. To take advantage of the combined, program students should be engaged in research and taking graduate coursework during their senior year. For that reason students are expected to apply to the program by the end of their junior year. Students must have a GPA greater than 3.0 to be considered for the program. Interested students are encouraged to get more information from their advisor and/or the current faculty member in charge of Graduate Affairs.