A Glimpse of Chemical Engineering

Hannah Chemical, Hannah, Viterbi Class Leave a Comment

With such a diverse range of engineering majors to choose from, I’m going to give a quick run through of Chemical Engineering (CHE)!

So far I’ve found that with ChemE problem solving and analytical thinking are important skills to develop.  A lot of the questions in CHE classes involve thinking outside the box and taking into account background information that may not always be given.  Often, my classmates and I have to look at a system and not only determine it’s properties but also how to manipulate them to improve results.  I’ve definitely found it interesting to see the different thought processes that my friends and I have had to reach the same solution.

These strategies and ways of thinking apply outside of school too!  I’ve often referred to my notes at the internships I’ve had.  In fact, like Makana mentioned in her post, one of the most unique aspects of ChemE is the number of diverging roads students take after graduation.  Chemical engineers can find employment at a variety of different industries from pharmaceutical companies  to the motor industry to consulting at the big four accounting firms.

For the past two summers, I’ve been working in the powder metallurgy industry studying the physical and chemical properties of metal powders such as iron and titanium.  A lot of new technologies are being looked into, like metal injection molding, to improve the process of producing these powders more efficiently and with greater precision to fit the criteria of new applications.

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While I’ve learned a lot about the manufacturing and research and development side of powder metals, I’m going to take a different turn this summer towards the petroleum field in which I’ll be interning at Chevron–in other words, I can’t wait to see another side of Chemical Engineering!

ChevronTexaco_low (640x480)

Chevron

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