What is Chemical Engineering?

Lyssa Aruda-2015 Chemical, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Blogged while procrastinating doing my mass transfer homework.

Hello everyone! Happy Sunday! This week I wanted to take the chance to explain a little bit about what Chemical Engineering means to me, and how my view of chemical engineering has changed over the past four years.

When I first started I thought chemical engineers make chemicals.  What chemical engineers actually do is control processes that involve chemical reactions.  They get a product from raw materials to final good when it involves changing the materials from one to another.  This involves reactors, distillation columns, heat exchangers, and more!

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While process design is the general idea of what chemical engineers do, I’ve found it’s a much more diverse field than that covers many areas.  With biochemical engineering you might be looking at how to solve cancer.  In the field of nanotechnology there are many possibilities (I’ve worked with quantum dots for solar energy), and materials science is also an option.

If I’ve learned anything about chemical engineering, it’s how to solve problems.  The problems you solve are so complex and there are often multiple ways to solve them, so the critical thinking is unparalleled.  I have also learned how to write well, work on teams, and manage my time effectively.

Personally, my plan is to go into the realm of technology consulting. Last summer I interned at Accenture and absolutely loved the fast paced and challenging world of tech.  Although this is not directly related to chemical engineering, I have found many ways to apply the skills I’ve learned.  Besides what I mentioned above, my favorite area was the high level design of the program, which involved tracking the flow of information through the program.  This reminded me of process flow diagrams, and I found a way to connect some of the concepts I learned in ChemE to other fields.

I’ve had a ton of great experiences because of chemE, and also made some of my best friends because of it. We really have become a family over the past four years, and although at times it was incredibly challenging, I wouldn’t change a thing!

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