Be the Modern Alchemist with Chemical Engineering!
Chemical engineering – “You can do it! I believe in all of you!” These are the words that echo across the graduation stage. The world is filled with possibilities, but also rules that must be followed. If one wants to achieve self-satisfaction, then one must work hard for it. This rings true for engineering students who have just graduated from college.
While the engineering field is filled with opportunities for students, it is also a highly competitive environment. Many students dream of working at big corporations like Boeing and Microsoft, but there are many different paths to take when entering the world of engineers.
One such path would be chemical engineering (CHE). Chemical Engineering deals with making products out of chemicals. For example, shampoo is made out of multiple chemicals, so a chemical engineer would be tasked with figuring out how to efficiently make shampoo.
Chemical engineers are always looking for challenges that are not available anywhere else in the world. They must think outside the box and find new ways to solve problems most people have never even thought about. They are always coming up with new ideas of how to improve products. Because of this, chemical engineers have a very well-rounded skill set that allows them to work in almost any environment.
What do you study in Chemical Engineering?
Chemical engineering is a branch under the broader field of industrial engineering but also holds its ground as an independent field. It includes making products ranging from food to medicine to consumer goods.
However, there are some core concepts that engineers must learn before they can call themselves chemical engineers. One of the first things you will study is unit conversions. This is because chemicals are measured in units other than standard length, weight, and time which are used for most engineering problems.
Once the unit conversions are understood, you will learn how chemical reactions work. Chemical engineers must understand that chemical reactions can be reversed and it is possible to make a product from nothing. They must also know how much energy is needed for a certain reaction to take place, whether it be physical or chemical, as well as what conditions would stop a reaction from happening.
The last major concept that a chemical engineer learns is equilibrium. Equilibrium is the point where a product will not change over time and allows engineers to figure out how much of a product they can extract from a solution or mixture.
Other aspects of chemical engineering tasks include designing new products, making existing ones more efficient or sustainable, and testing products for quality.
Some courses you study in Chemical Engineering include:
- Introduction to Chemistry for Engineers
- Principles of Chemical Engineering Laboratory
- Chemicals, Technology, and Society
- Chemical Process Principles
- Process Dynamics and Controls
- Chemical Engineering Design
- Materials in Chemical Engineering
- Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, and more.
You can see that there is a large range of topics studied in chemical engineering. The most important thing you need to do is focus on the concepts instead of the specific details. Most classes will teach you the concepts through examples so everyone has to learn the same thing but may use different example problems to show how it works.
Am I fit to be a Chemical Engineer?
Chemical engineers are made, not born. While some people may naturally be great at problem solving or math, it is something that everyone can learn how to do.
The main thing you need to become a chemical engineer is an excellent work ethic. It takes time and effort to work on problems to get good at them. If you keep getting stumped by difficult problems, take a step back and think about how you would approach them in the real world. You might find yourself synthesizing what you’ve learned about in class with your own ideas to solve this problem.
It is also important that you are comfortable working on your own without too much supervision. A chemical engineer must always be thinking of ways to improve existing products and make new ones. This naturally leads them to work on their idea before approaching managers or supervisors with it, which is sometimes frowned upon in the corporate world.
Other things you need for chemical engineering are good math skills and an open mind. Every single person who works as a chemical engineer has a different background. Many have a chemistry or biology degree, but some people started in other engineering fields and decided to specialize in chemical engineering.
The best way to see if you might be a good fit for chemical engineering is by challenging yourself! Try the problem sets from your textbook to see if you can answer them. If you need help, ask for help. Chances are there is someone else in your class who can help or find the answer online.
What kinds of jobs do chemical engineers have?
This list is by no means comprehensive! There are many things that chemical engineers can do including:
- Research and Development (R&D),
- Quality Assurance (QA),
- Product Development,
- Project Management,
- Engineering Sales and more!
Industries where Chemical Engineers are always in demand include:
- Biotechnology, and more.
Chemical Engineers can be found working at big corporations like Dow Chemical or ExxonMobil as well as small startups. The main thing that ties chemical engineers together is their problem-solving skills and ability to figure out how processes work. It is a job where you see your work come to life but also one that requires a large amount of creativity.
What is the job outlook for Chemical Engineers?
For many people, it is difficult to be able to visualize what chemical engineers do each day and the impact they have. This makes it hard for them to understand why someone would want this as their profession. It’s a good thing that people don’t have to justify their jobs as being important!
Every day, chemical engineers are solving problems for people from all walks of life. Their work has been making our lives easier and more comfortable since the industrial revolution, and it will continue to be useful as we approach a more sustainable future.
The salary for a fresher holding a BE/B. Tech degree in Chemical Engineering is INR 3,25,000-Rs 5,50,000. However, there can be a chance that the annual package may go up to INR 7 lakhs- INR 10 lakhs depending upon the company and the profile.
For Post Graduates in Chemistry with specialization in Polymer Science and Engineering, the starting salary can be INR 6,00,000-Rs 8,50,000 per annum.
Their work is important for everyone’s daily life which is why there are plenty of jobs in chemical engineering to go around!
The most common way to get into this career is through a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry.
How to become a Chemical Engineer in India?
To become a chemical engineer, you’ll need to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry. This is the most common way to learn about this career and start one.
Popular colleges in India known for their Chemical Engineering degree programs are:
- Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
- Delhi Technological University (DTU), Delhi
- Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh
- Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
- Birla Institute of Technology And Science-Pilani
- Patna University, Patna
- Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Burla
- SRM Institute Of Science And Technology, Kattankulathur
- Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab
Other universities with Chemical Engineering degree programs include:
- National Institute Of Technology-Trichy, Tiruchirappalli
- Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore
- University Of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
- Jadavpur University, Kolkata (Calcutta)
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- Anna University Chennai-India
Any Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry will be accepted by companies and universities for a career in Chemical Engineering.
A Master’s degree in Chemistry or Polymer Science and Engineering can be beneficial when applying to jobs.
Aspiring chemical engineers should also try and get an internship in their field of interest during college if possible to see what kinds of challenges they might face working as a professional.
Certifications such as the American Institute of Chemists (AIC) Certified Chemist (CChem) credential can also help you stand out from other candidates and show your commitment to continued learning!
What qualifications do you need to have to take admission in the undergraduate Chemical Engineering program in India?
To be eligible to take admission in an undergraduate program in Chemical Engineering, you must have successfully completed 10+2 after studying Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.
You must clear the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted by CBSE or qualify IIT-JEE for getting into reputed colleges of India.
Best Countries to Study Chemical Engineering
If you want to study abroad, you can opt for a Master in Chemical Engineering in Germany. The country has a lot of good chemical engineering schools and offers several options to students.
The cheapest country to study Chemical Engineering course is Costa Rica. The average tuition fee of the top Chemical Engineering schools in Costa Rica is $1,300 per year.
Chemical Engineering is not an uncertain profession like many others, as the demand for engineers is on the rise due to several factors such as rapid growth in population and increasing demand for various products and services; especially from developing countries like India!
The future of chemical engineering looks excellent, and this is one profession where you can find jobs everywhere in the world with ease.