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Chemical engineering is the primary engineering discipline based on the fundamental sciences of chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and mathematics, in which processes are conceived, designed, and operated to affect compositional changes in materials of all kinds.

In addition to the basic sciences, chemical engineers use a well-defined body of knowledge in the application of the conservation laws, which determine mass flow and energy relations; of thermodynamics and kinetics, which determine what reactions are feasible and the rate at which they occur; and of the chemical engineering rate laws, which determine limits to the transfer of heat, mass, and momentum. The skills of the chemical engineer are necessary to the development of advanced materials, such as high-strength and reinforced plastics, biomaterials, and semiconductors.

Careers in Chemical Engineering

A strong background in applied chemistry furnishes the chemical engineer with the knowledge to participate in the broadest range of engineering activities, and indeed to pursue other professional careers in management, medicine, law, teaching, and government. These applications of modern technology to the solution of problems in the evolution of high technology complement the more traditional role of the chemical engineer in the use and conservation of natural resources, energy conversion, and environmental control.

Chemical engineers also play an important role in the development of a healthier environment and safer industrial workplaces, and are responsible for improvements in the technology of evaluating and controlling hazards.

 

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