Free Online Lectures and Courses for Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering combines the experimental and life sciences to create products and develop processes that can make life easier. These engineers work in laboratory settings, developing processes to turn chemicals and materials into useful forms. These professionals also develop processes and materials for other scientific disciplines and career fields to make products for consumers.

There are multiple subgroups in chemical engineering: chemical process engineering and chemical product engineering. In chemical process engineering, the engineer works to design processes that companies use to create products or to simplify tasks. In chemical product engineering the engineer works with raw materials, monitors chemical manufacturing processes, and works with other engineers to develop products for public or industrial use.

Degree Programs

A Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering takes four years to complete and is the minimum education requirement to work as a chemical engineer. This degree includes study of general education courses, as well as courses that focus on chemical engineering.

Master’s level programs include the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSCE) or the Master of Chemical Engineering (MCE). These programs require 2 to 3 years study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Some schools require that students in master’s programs work as teaching assistants in their discipline. Students may be asked to complete a thesis or complete further course work in lieu of the thesis.

The terminal degree program in chemical engineering is the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D). This program is often helpful in research careers or university-level teaching. Students on this path may enter the degree program with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or may obtain a master’s degree before moving into the doctoral program. Doctoral programs require that students pass qualifying examinations to advance to candidacy after completing basic coursework. Students must also write and defend a dissertation.

Sample Courses

Degree programs in chemical engineering require that students spend a lot of time studying mathematics and sciences in addition to chemistry. There are chemical engineering degree programs at several levels: bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

As an undergraduate student in chemical engineering, the courses you’ll take depend on the emphasis you choose. Some schools offer several paths towards a chemical engineering degree, such as an emphasis in biochemical engineering, environmental chemical engineering, materials science and a general emphasis in chemical engineering. No matter the focus, you can expect to take courses in organic chemistry, general chemistry, calculus, chemical process analysis and system dynamics.

A biochemical engineering degree plan often includes courses like biochemical engineering, biochemistry and even microbiology. Some schools require courses in cell biology, thermodynamics and microbial biotechnology.

In an environmental chemical engineering program, there is the potential to take courses like principles of environmental engineering and biochemical engineering, environmental policy, environmental and natural resource law, and corporate environmental management.

A materials science emphasis will require completion of courses in analytical geometry and calculus, physics and elementary strength of materials.

At the master’s level, you can pursue a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSCE) or a Master of Chemical Engineering (MCE). These programs focus on mastery of specific subjects, like process design, heat transfer, thermodynamics, separation processes and chemical engineering reactors. Typically, students with a bachelor’s degree in an engineering program have an easier time in a master’s level chemical engineering program.

Students interested in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) are typically preparing for careers in research-based fields. Common subject-area study requirements include reaction kinetic, transport phenomena, thermodynamics and digital computation for chemical engineers. You’ll have to complete several hours in research and at least one seminar course.

Possible Specializations

Colleges offer a variety of specializations within chemical engineering degree programs. Undergraduate specializations can include biochemical engineering, environmental chemical engineering, materials science, petroleum engineering, or even a general emphasis in chemical engineering.

In a master’s-level or doctoral degree program, you may be able to choose from specializations like polymers, energy economics and engineering or soft materials.

Career Pathways

Chemical engineers work in a variety of fields in the public, private and governmental sectors. Many are involved in the chemical process industries, as well as research laboratories.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2012 17% of chemical engineers worked in the architectural or engineering fields, while 13% were employed in basic chemical manufacturing and 10% were employed in scientific research and development. Another 6% worked in manufacturing of resin, synthetic rubber and artificial synthetic fibers. Yet another 6% worked in manufacturing of petroleum and coal products. It is not uncommon for individuals with a chemical engineering background to go into business or pursue a career in environmental law.

Professionals with a chemical engineering background often consult on environmental and industrial issues or pursue advanced degrees and move into research and university-level teaching. Chemical engineers can be heavily involved in ensuring that policymakers understand the effects of chemicals.

Individuals who pursue a career in chemical engineering don’t always need to be licensed, but the BLS notes that passing the Professional Engineer licensure examination can help to advance one’s career.

Ideal Candidates for Chemical Engineering Careers

Chemical engineers do a lot of their work in laboratory settings or in front of computers. If you enjoy analyzing data and have strong skills in chemistry, mathematics and problem-solving, you might enjoy a career in chemical engineering. People with a strong ability to understand and explain complex topics easily, who can work well with groups or who are comfortable working individually could be well-suited for a career in chemical engineering. If you have a strong analytical mind and can easily adapt when challenges arise, you may find chemical engineering suits you.

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Chemical Engineering Journals & Trade Magazines

  • Journals

    • Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science

      Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science is an online, free access, international journal promoting research and reviews.

    • Chemical and Engineering News

      This publication of the American Chemical Society includes features on news and in the chemical and engineering world, as well as information pertinent to members of the ACS.

    • Chemical Engineering Journal

      This international journal focuses on chemical reaction engineering, environmental chemical engineering and synthesis and processing of materials.

    • International Journal of Chemical Engineering

      International Journal of Chemical Engineering is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of chemical engineering.

    • International Journal of Chemical Engineering

      This journal publishes peer-reviewed studies in chemical engineering, original research and review articles.

    • ISRN Chemical Engineering

      A peer-reviewed, open access journal that accepts and distributes original research and review articles in chemical engineering.

    • Journal of Chemical Engineering and Process Technology

      This scholarly open access journal incorporates a wide range of fields, including information on medical science and research in the fields of chemical engineering and process technology.

    • Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering

      This journal is dedicated to advancing chemical engineering concepts around the world, covering various topics of interest in the field.

    • The Open Chemical Engineering Journal

      Bentham Open publishes this open access journal featuring research articles, reviews, letters and guest edited single topic issues in all areas of chemical engineering.

  • Trade Magazines

    • CEP Magazine

      A publication of the AIChE, the content in CEP Magazine is designed to inspire practicing chemical engineers about their own projects and to provide guidance ...

    • Chemical Engineering Magazine

      Chemical Engineering Magazine features articles on processing and handling, software, automation and control, environmental health and safety in chemical ...

    • Chemical Engineering Research and Design

      The official journal of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering is published by the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

    • Education for Chemical Engineers

      This is an online journal that publishes education research papers, reviews, teaching and learning notes.

Chemical Engineering Grants & Scholarships

  • Grants

    • ACS Fellows Program

      Deadline: April 1st

      Award Amount: Varies

      There are several nomination types for this fellowship program; the national committees, technical divisions, local sections and individuals may all submit nominations.

    • Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship

      Deadline: Fall 2014

      Award Amount: Varies

      The Hertz Foundation offers a fellowship that lasts several years. It is renewable for five years, with the Hertz fellowship period in the first two years; three additional years of funding are ...

    • Marathon Engineering Diversity Graduate Fellowship

      Deadline: Varies

      Award Amount: $35,000

      This fellowship is open to doctoral candidates in chemical engineering programs.Two are available.

    • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

      Deadline: December 20th

      Award Amount: $30,500

      The national Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship is available to U.S. residents in chemical engineering degree programs.

  • Scholarships

    • ACS Scholars Program

      Deadline: March 1st

      Award Amount: Up to $5,000

      Minority students are eligible for this American Chemical Society scholarship if they are entering a chemistry-related field.

    • Baria Memorial Scholarship

      Deadline: April 1st

      Award Amount: $1,000 to $1,500

      The Baria Memorial Scholarship honors Professor Dorab Baria, the founding Department Head of Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Students must ...

    • Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer National Scholarship Awards

      Deadline: March 1st

      Award Amount: $1,000

      This scholarship award is given based on academic achievement; nominations are given by AIChE student chapters.

    • John J. McKetta Undergraduate Scholarship

      Deadline: June 15th

      Award Amount: Up to $5,000

      This award is for juniors or seniors in a chemical engineering program who look to enter the chemical processing industry. Like many other fin aid awards in ...

    • Maureen L. and Howard N. Blitman Memorial Scholarship

      Deadline: March 1st

      Award Amount: $5,000

      This scholarship is awarded to underrepresented students who have been accepted to an ABET-accredited program. The disbursements are awarded to recipients ...

    • Sam and Ardis Beard Scholarship

      Deadline: April 1st

      Award Amount: Varies

      The UMD chemical engineering faculty chooses the recipients of this scholarship. The hope of the founding couple was that recipients would go on to pursue ...

    • Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

      Deadline: Varies (March 1-May 15)

      Award Amount: Varies

      This program is available to women in ABET-accredited engineering programs. Applicants are eligible for certain scholarships based on how they have identified ...

Chemical Engineering Internships

  • 2014 Janssen R&D Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing Sciences

    Deadline: March 6th

    Interns will learn about biopharmaceutical manufacturing and product formulation. They will help create manufacturing cells and conduct other processes.

  • 2014 Janssen Supply Chain (NJ/PA) Co-op/Internship Job

    Deadline: March 8th

    In the supply chain internship, students will work in strategic capacity management, global reliability, global planning or procurement.

  • Air Products SCI Industrial Internship

    Deadline: December 14th

    Air Products and Chemicals is a well-respected engineering org with projects in healthcare, transportation, and energy. Interns work with engineers in manufacturing or operations.

  • Carlisle Construction Materials Chemical Engineering Internship

    Deadline: Varies

    An intern in the Carlisle Construction adhesive plant will work to standardize procedure and implement changes to the company's batch mixing machines. The internship is based in Pennsylvania.

  • Chemical Process Engineer Internship

    Deadline: Varies

    Interns work with a supervising chemical engineer on specific projects, participate in safety and environmental programs and present to management. Chemical Process is based in Lake Charles ...

  • Chemtura Corporation

    Deadline: December 14th

    Interns in this program will evaluate raw materials and process development specific to synthetic lubricant base stocks. Chemtura, and this internship, are based out of New Jersey.

  • Downstream and Chemicals Engineering Internship

    Deadline: Varies

    Chevron's downstream and chemicals interns will "develop project management, leadership and technical skills in the downstream environment."

  • Judd Wire Summer Intern- Chemical Engineering

    Deadline: Varies

    Students in their sophomore, junior or senior years can apply for this full-time summer internship. Judd Wire is an engineering consultant company based in Massachusetts.

  • Summer Chemical Engineering Internship

    Deadline: March 8th

    Undergraduate chemical engineering students can gain experience in quality manufacturing test engineering or product development. Duties vary based on the specific area.

Chemical Engineering Student & Professional Organizations

  • Student Organizations

  • Professional Organizations

    • American Chemical Society

      The ACS is a membership organization that publishes journals, provides networking opportunities and other forms of support for chemical engineers.

    • American Institute of Chemical Engineers

      With members worldwide, the AIChE provides its members with a forum in which to access and discuss "promising chemical engineering processes and methods."

    • Institution for Chemical Engineers

      A global professional organization for chemical engineers, based in the United Kingdom, this organization offers the Chartered Chemical Engineer license.