Why Study Chemical Engineering?
There is almost universal unanimity that the most pressing problems facing society in the coming decades will include (i)
water and (iii)
environment. If you study chemical engineering you will be trained to address all three of these societal problems. Chemical Engineers as an example are currently working on:
Developing alternate energy sources from agricultural waste (preferable in general to converting food materials such as corn or soy beans,) or non-food crops such as algae, switch grass, etc, which can be grown in areas not suitable for traditional agriculture.
New technologies to produce drinking water from brackish (sea) water using a range of technologies such as desalination, electro-deionization, solar desalination, etc.
Developing methods to remediate the environment by making processes environmentally benign, as well as treating already contaminated water reservoirs, and contaminated land (e.g. from older abandoned factories and railway yards etc.).
In addition to the satisfaction of working on such challenging problems, you will be in a profession that has amongst the highest starting salaries, job security and consistent demand for graduating students. Chemical engineers work in traditional chemical engineering fields (chemical and oil companies), but have diversified training to work in many other fields such as food processing, semi-conductor manufacture, pharmaceutical and drug development, mining, materials, etc. Chemical Engineers are well trained to even work in non-traditional areas such as Wall Street. Many equations that Chemical Engineers learn are widely using in forecasting future trends in stock prices and other commodities (oil, grains, orange juice, etc).
Why Study Chemical Engineering at UIC?
At UIC Chemical Engineering you will be taught by some of the most respected faculty in the entire university. Most department faculty have won University, College and external teaching awards. In addition faculty are involved in working on cutting edge research projects, which gives them a unique perspective that they bring to the classroom. The class sizes in Chemical Engineering is comparable to those in small private colleges (usually 35-40 in required classes, and even smaller in elective classes). All classes (including laboratories) are taught by faculty. Faculty are easily accessible to all students, and maintain regular office hours. All students are advised by faculty formally once during the semester to discuss their progress and plan for their future classes and professional activates. These advising session also provide student guidance on applying to Graduate School, preparing for job interviews and the job application process in general. We also invite industrial speakers to give lectures in our regular classes to provide student a more practical perspective of how the course material will be used in their professional careers. Our surveys have shown a very high level of student satisfaction with the education experience at UIC Chemical Engineering.