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Department of Chemical Engineering

Lorenz Biegler, Head
Office: Doherty Hall 1107

Chemical engineering is a broad discipline based on chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology that applies the principles of engineering science and process systems engineering to the development and commercialization of new products and processes. Engineering science provides experimental and theoretical models for predicting the behavior of fluid flow and heat and mass transfer in materials and biological systems, as well as chemical reactions that take place in multi-component mixtures. Process systems engineering provides methodologies for the systematic design and analysis of processes, including their control, safety, and environmental impact. The department emphasizes the basic principles of engineering science and process systems engineering through problem solving, and it strives to broaden the experience of students by offering a significant number of electives, undergraduate research projects, an integrated masters degree, industrial internships and study abroad programs, all of which benefit from our strong industrial ties.

A career in chemical engineering offers challenging and well-compensated positions in a wide variety of growth industries. Graduates may supervise the operation of chemical plants, redesign chemical processes for pollution prevention, or be involved in the research and development of new products or processes in high technology areas. These activities require knowledge of chemical reactions and catalysis, separation technologies and energy recovery systems, all of which are thoroughly presented in our curriculum. For example, well-trained chemical engineers are in great demand in the chemical manufacturing and energy sectors.  A significant number of chemical engineers are also hired by industries associated with colloids (fine particles), polymers (plastics and resins), and coatings (e.g., paint, integrated circuits). Opportunities exist in biotechnology, the computer industry, environmental firms, and consulting companies. Other examples include the processing of advanced polymeric systems, thin films for the semiconductor and data storage industry, and chip fabrication. A growing number of consulting companies hire chemical engineers to develop computer software for the simulation and real-time optimization of chemical processes, for predicting how toxic chemicals are dispersed and degraded in soils and in the atmosphere, and for evaluating the economic feasibility of industrial projects. The diversity of career opportunities arises from the depth and breadth of the curriculum. For instance, the pharmaceutical industry recruits chemical engineers who possess a combined expertise in process engineering and biochemistry/molecular biology.

The curriculum emphasizes the fundamentals of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena, mathematical modeling, exposure to biotechnology and problem solving techniques. These provide rigorous preparation for immediate employment after graduation, or a strong basis for graduate school. The depth and breadth of coursework makes chemical engineering an excellent major for students interested in either medical or business schools. Computing is integrated throughout the curriculum, and extensive use is made of mathematical modeling and simulation software in the department's Gary J. Powers Educational Computer Lab. The Robert Rothfus Laboratory and Lubrizol Analytical Laboratory feature state-of-the-art experiments that illustrate applications in safety, environmental, product development, and computerized data acquisition and control.
 

Educational Objectives and Outcomes

The objectives for the program are that graduates of the department will obtain employment or attend graduate school, and will advance in their chosen careers as productive and fulfilled professionals. The curriculum and programs are developed to prepare students to attain these educational objectives.

Students majoring in chemical engineering learn the science and engineering that govern chemical processing systems. Fundamental principles, problem solving, systems analysis and design, development of self-confidence, and communication skills are emphasized. Students are made aware of modern tools, industrial needs and societal issues. This combination of fundamental knowledge and skills provides a firm foundation for future learning and career growth. The goal of the department is to produce students who will become leaders in their careers. Students who complete the curriculum will have attained the following educational outcomes:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

The department offers a number of special programs for students majoring in Chemical Engineering. In addition to the double majors offered by the College of Engineering such as Biomedical Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy, students may choose from a variety of minors in technical areas offered by the College of Engineering.  Undergraduate research projects are also available in the areas of bioengineering, complex fluids engineering, environmental engineering, process systems engineering, and catalysis & surface science. The department has recently established the Chemical Engineering Summer Scholars (ChESS) program to support undergraduate research within the department. Students may participate in study abroad programs during their Junior year. In addition to the University program with EPFL in Switzerland and ITESM Monterey in Mexico, the department provides its own exchange programs with Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, RWTH Aachen in Germany, Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Argentina, and Imperial College in London, Great Britain. Students may also participate in Practical Internships for Senior Chemical Engineering Students, a one-year industrial internship program offered between the Junior and Senior years. Finally, qualified students may enroll in our Master of Chemical Engineering program. This degree is typically completed in the fifth year. However, depending on the number of advanced placement courses and course load at Carnegie Mellon, this degree could be awarded during the B.S. graduation, or after one additional semester.

Curriculum

The program in chemical engineering within the Department of Chemical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

First Year
Fall Units
21-120Differential and Integral Calculus10
76-xxxDesignated Writing/Expression Course9
99-101Computing @ Carnegie Mellon3
06-100Introduction to Chemical Engineering12
09-105Introduction to Modern Chemistry I10
 44
Spring Units
21-122Integration and Approximation10
xx-xxxIntroductory Engineering Elective (other than ChE)12
33-141Physics I for Engineering Students12
xx-xxxGeneral Education Course9
 43
Second Year
Fall Units
21-259Calculus in Three Dimensions9
06-221Thermodynamics9
06-222Sophomore Chemical Engineering Seminar1
09-106Modern Chemistry II10
xx-xxxComputer Sci./Physics II * 10-12
xx-xxxGeneral Education Course9
39-210Experiential Learning I0
 48-50
Spring Units
06-261Fluid Mechanics9
06-262Mathematical Methods of Chemical Engineering12
09-221Laboratory I: Introduction to Chemical Analysis12
xx-xxxPhysics II/Computer Sci. *12-10
xx-xxxGeneral Education Course9
39-220Experiential Learning II0
 54-52

* Computer Science/Physics II: Students should complete 15-110 Principles of Computing or 15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science as well as 33-142 Physics II for Engineering and Physics Students by the end of the Sophomore year. The recommended sequence is 33-141 /33-142 for engineering students, however, 33-151/ 33-152 will also meet the CIT Physics requirement.

For those students who have not taken 06-100 as one of the two Introductory Engineering Electives, 06-100 should be taken in the Fall Semester of the Sophomore year. The General Education Course normally taken during that semester may be postponed until the Junior year. These students should consult with their faculty advisors as soon as possible.

At the end of the Sophomore year, a student should have completed the following required basic science and computer science courses:

09-105Introduction to Modern Chemistry I10
09-106Modern Chemistry II10
09-221Laboratory I: Introduction to Chemical Analysis12
15-110Principles of Computing10
or 15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science
33-141Physics I for Engineering Students12
33-142Physics II for Engineering and Physics Students12
99-10xComputing @ Carnegie Mellon3
Third Year
Fall Units
06-321Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics9
06-322Junior Chemical Engineering Seminar2
06-323Heat and Mass Transfer9
09-217Organic Chemistry I9
or 09-219 Modern Organic Chemistry
09-347Advanced Physical Chemistry12
xx-xxxGeneral Education Course9
39-310Experiential Learning III0
 50
Spring Units
06-361Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering9
06-363Transport Process Laboratory9
06-364Chemical Reaction Engineering9
03-232Biochemistry I **9
xx-xxxUnrestricted Elective9
xx-xxxGeneral Education Course9
 54
Fourth Year
Fall Units
06-421Chemical Process Systems Design12
06-423Unit Operations Laboratory9
xx-xxxUnrestricted Elective9
xx-xxxUnrestricted Elective9
xx-xxxGeneral Education Course9
 48
Spring Units
06-462Optimization Modeling and Algorithms6
06-463Chemical Product Design6
06-464Chemical Engineering Process Control9
xx-xxxUnrestricted Elective9
xx-xxxUnrestricted Elective9
xx-xxxGeneral Education Course9
 48

**Students pursuing a Chemical Engineering/Engineering and Public Policy double major are waived from taking the Biochemistry Elective. They will take 36-220.

Notes:

  1. In addition to the graduation requirement of an overall QPA of 2.0 (not counting the First Year), the Department of Chemical Engineering requires a cumulative QPA of 2.0 in all chemical engineering courses (all those numbered 06-xxx).

  2. Minimum number of units required for graduation:  389.

  3. All mathematics (21-xxx) courses required for the engineering degree taken at Carnegie Mellon must have a minimum grade of C in order to be counted toward the graduation requirement for the BS engineering degree.

  4. A minimum grade of C must be achieved in any required matehematics (21-xxx) course that is a pre-requisite for the next higher level required mathematics (21-xxx) course.

  5. Overloads are permitted only for students maintaining a QPA of 3.0 or better during the preceding semester.

  6. Electives: To obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, students must complete 06-100 and one other Introductory Engineering Elective.  There are also five Unrestricted Electives.  At most, 9 units of ROTC or Physical Education can be counted toward these electives.  Students must discuss choice of electives with their faculty advisors. 

  7. Undergraduate Research: Independent research projects are available by arrangement with a faculty advisor.  Many students conduct these research projects for elective credit by enrolling in 06-200, 06-300, or 06-400 (Sophomore, Junior, or Senior Research Projects) or 39-500 Honors Research Project for eligible Seniors.

  8. Advanced undergraduates may also take Chemical Engineering graduate courses (600+ level).

Double Major in Engineering and Public Policy (EPP)

Students may pursue a double major in Chemical Engineering and EPP.  This double major is built around electives in Social Analysis, Probability and Statistics courses, and projects.  Specific course choices should be discussed with a faculty advisor and an EPP advisor.

Double Major in Biomedical Engineering (BME)

Students may pursue a double major in Chemical Engineering and BME. Specific course choices should be discussed with a faculty advisor and a BME advisor.

Minors with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering students are eligible for any CIT Designated Minor.  Those minors that are especially well suited to Chemical Engineers include Audio Engineering, Automation and Controls, Biomedical Engineering, Colloids, Polymers & Surfaces, Electronic Materials, Environmental Engineering, Global Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, and Robotics.  The minor requirements may be fulfilled with electives.  Other minors, such as the Supply Chain Management minor in association with the Tepper School of Business, are also available outside of CIT.  These should be discussed with a faculty advisor.

Minor in Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces (CPS)

Historically, the CPS coursework sequence has had a long-standing popularity among chemical engineering students.  A detailed description of the minor can be found in the CIT Minors section of this catalog, or ask your Chemical Engineering faculty advisor, or the Director of CPS.  Chemical Engineering students may use four of their electives to obtain the CPS minor.  This is a sequence of closely related courses that explore the science and engineering of polymeric materials, particulates, micro-structured fluids, and interfacially engineered materials.  Completion of the following five courses constitutes the CPS minor:

06-221Thermodynamics9
06-426Experimental Colloid Surface Science9
06-466Experimental Polymer Science9
06-607Physical Chemistry of Colloids and Surfaces9
06-609/09-509Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules9

Typically, 06-607 is taken in the spring of the Junior year, while 06-609 also known as 09-50906-426 and 06-466 are taken during the Senior year.

Practical Internships for Senior Chemical Engineering Students (PISCES)

Chemical Engineering students may apply in the fall of their Junior year for a salaried, one-year PISCES internship with a partner company. Admitted students begin their internships after completion of the Junior year. Following the internship, students return to complete their Senior year. There are several advantages of a one full-year internship, including the opportunity to gain a breadth of professional experience that is not generally possible in a shorter program, more opportunity to make important contributions to the partner company, and the opportunity to complete Senior year courses in their normal sequence with no need for curriculum rearrangements. Interested students should consult with their faculty advisors.

International Chemical Engineering Exchange Programs

Chemical Engineering students may apply during their Sophomore year to spend their Junior year at RWTH Aachen in Germany, Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Argentina, or at Imperial College in London, Great Britain.  A summer exchange program in Dortmund, Germany is also available. These exchange programs provide a great opportunity for students to obtain international experience while taking courses very similar to those offered at Carnegie Mellon. Students considering any of these programs should consult with their faculty advisors, and students considering the Aachen program in particular are advised to take at least one introductory German course before or during their Sophomore year.

Fifth Year Master of Chemical Engineering (MChE)

The CIT Integrated Masters/Bachelors (IMB) Degree program provides the opportunity for qualified undergraduate students to obtain a master's degree in Chemical Engineering with one or two extra semesters of study. The goal is to deepen our graduates' understanding of the fundamentals of chemical engineering, and to provide them with a broader set of professional skills or to expose them to other technical disciplines.

The MChE program is aimed at undergraduate students from Carnegie Mellon and candidates from other universities.  Unfortunately, no financial support is available.  For Carnegie Mellon students, the degree typically would be completed in their fifth year.  Depending on advanced placement and semester overloads, however, CMU students can complete the degree at the time of the B.S. graduation or with one additional semester.  All students must have graduate status once they have completed their B.S. degree; beyond eight semesters, degree program students must have full-time graduate student status in at least one (e.g., their final) semester whether or not they have already completed their BS degree.  Upon graduating from this program, students seek industrial positions or placement in graduate programs at other universities.  Students in the MChE program may apply for the PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University via the normal application process.  Their applications are considered alongside all the other applications received that year.  If accepted into the PhD program, they enter it after completing the MChE degree.

A minimum of five completed semesters in residence as an undergraduate student and an overall QPA of 3.0 is required for eligibility.  Taking the GRE and recommendation letters are not required.  The application fee is waived for currently-enrolled undergraduate Chemical Engineering students.

The MChE program differs from the MS program because the MChE program does not require a project report or thesis.

Research and Teaching Faculty

SHELLEY ANNA, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Harvard University; Carnegie Mellon, 2003–.
LORENZ T. BIEGLER, University Professor and Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering. Head of Department – Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Carnegie Mellon, 1981–.
KRIS N. DAHL, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
MICHAEL M. DOMACH, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Cornell University; Carnegie Mellon, 1983–.
NEIL M. DONAHUE, Lord Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 2000–.
ANDREW J. GELLMAN, Lord Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Carnegie Mellon, 1992–.
CHRYSANTHOS GOUNARIS, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Princeton University; Carnegie Mellon, 2013–.
IGNACIO E. GROSSMANN, University Dean Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Imperial College, University of London; Carnegie Mellon, 1979–.
ANNETTE M. JACOBSON, Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces Program – Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon; Carnegie Mellon, 1988–.
MYUNG S. JHON, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Chicago; Carnegie Mellon, 1980–.
ADITYA KHAIR, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering – PhD, California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 2010–.
JOHN KITCHIN, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Delaware; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
SPYROS N. PANDIS, Research Professor of Chemical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy – Ph.D., California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 1993–.
DENNIS C. PRIEVE, Gulf Professor Of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Delaware; Carnegie Mellon, 1974–.
TODD M. PRZYBYCIEN, Professor Of Chemical Engineering And Biomedical Engineering – Ph.D., California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 1998–.
NIKOLAOS V. SAHINIDIS, John E. Swearingen Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Mellon, 2007–.
JAMES W. SCHNEIDER, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Carnegie Mellon, 1999–.
PAUL J. SIDES, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Carnegie Mellon, 1981–.
JEFFREY J. SIIROLA, Distinguished Service Professor – PhD, University of Wisconsin; Carnegie Mellon, 2011–.
SUSANA C. STEPPAN, Assistant Teaching Professor – PhD, University of Massachusetts; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
ROBERT D. TILTON, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Stanford University; Carnegie Mellon, 1992–.
LYNN M. WALKER, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Delaware; Carnegie Mellon, 1997–.
ARTHUR W. WESTERBERG, Emeritus, University Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., DIC, Imperial College, University of London; Carnegie Mellon, 1976–.
KATHRYN WHITEHEAD, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of California; Carnegie Mellon, 2012–.
B. ERIK YDSTIE, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Imperial College, University of London; Carnegie Mellon, 1992–.

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Research and Teaching Faculty

SHELLEY ANNA, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Harvard University; Carnegie Mellon, 2003–.
LORENZ T. BIEGLER, University Professor and Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering. Head of Department – Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Carnegie Mellon, 1981–.
KRIS N. DAHL, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
MICHAEL M. DOMACH, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Cornell University; Carnegie Mellon, 1983–.
NEIL M. DONAHUE, Lord Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 2000–.
ANDREW J. GELLMAN, Lord Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Carnegie Mellon, 1992–.
CHRYSANTHOS GOUNARIS, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Princeton University; Carnegie Mellon, 2013–.
IGNACIO E. GROSSMANN, University Dean Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Imperial College, University of London; Carnegie Mellon, 1979–.
ANNETTE M. JACOBSON, Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces Program – Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon; Carnegie Mellon, 1988–.
MYUNG S. JHON, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Chicago; Carnegie Mellon, 1980–.
ADITYA KHAIR, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering – PhD, California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 2010–.
JOHN KITCHIN, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Delaware; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
SPYROS N. PANDIS, Research Professor of Chemical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy – Ph.D., California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 1993–.
DENNIS C. PRIEVE, Gulf Professor Of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Delaware; Carnegie Mellon, 1974–.
TODD M. PRZYBYCIEN, Professor Of Chemical Engineering And Biomedical Engineering – Ph.D., California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 1998–.
NIKOLAOS V. SAHINIDIS, John E. Swearingen Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Mellon, 2007–.
JAMES W. SCHNEIDER, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Carnegie Mellon, 1999–.
PAUL J. SIDES, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Carnegie Mellon, 1981–.
JEFFREY J. SIIROLA, Distinguished Service Professor – PhD, University of Wisconsin; Carnegie Mellon, 2011–.
SUSANA C. STEPPAN, Assistant Teaching Professor – PhD, University of Massachusetts; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
ROBERT D. TILTON, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Stanford University; Carnegie Mellon, 1992–.
LYNN M. WALKER, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of Delaware; Carnegie Mellon, 1997–.
ARTHUR W. WESTERBERG, Emeritus, University Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., DIC, Imperial College, University of London; Carnegie Mellon, 1976–.
KATHRYN WHITEHEAD, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., University of California; Carnegie Mellon, 2012–.
B. ERIK YDSTIE, Professor of Chemical Engineering – Ph.D., Imperial College, University of London; Carnegie Mellon, 1992–.