What is Chemical Engineering?
If one wants to define what chemical engineering is about, the phrase “transformations of matter” sums it up. Chemical engineers seek to convert compounds of lesser utility or value to others more useful or more valuable. Many compounds, such as hydrocarbons, can, in the process of being transformed, release considerable amounts of energy. So, chemical engineers are concerned with the production of energy as well as the manufacture of useful chemical products.
Many of these products are well known to all of us, for instance:
Others are intermediates and solvents that are used in the manufacture of end-use products. Ethylene, chlorobenzene and chlorine are typical intermediates (although the use of the latter is being phased out wherever possible). Water is the most widely used solvent but when it cannot do the job, organics such as acetone and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) are used instead.
Not all chemical transformations produce products of value. Many produce intermediate compounds or byproducts that are hazardous or otherwise environmentally undesirable. So, chemical engineers also have to be involved in pollution control and environmental remediation.
The key to most of what has been described above is the choice of the appropriate chemical reactions. But many useful transformations can be achieved simply by separation of the desired components in a mixture from whatever else is present in it. Separation of potable water from seawater is one such example.
Program Educational Objectives
Consistent with the mission of CCNY and The Grove School of Engineering, the following Program Educational Objectives are established to provide a quality education in chemical engineering, balancing practice and theory. City College Chemical Engineering graduates will:
1. Successfully perform in the chemical engineering profession as design, process and product development engineers.
2. Have the knowledge and motivation to pursue post-baccalaureate degrees in engineering and related fields.
3. Have the ability to apply critical thinking to real-world problems.
4. Demonstrate creativity and innovation in chemical engineering practice to enhance their advancement in their chosen field.
The program must demonstrate that graduates have: thorough grounding in the basic sciences including chemistry, physics, and biology appropriate to the objectives of the program; and sufficient knowledge in the application of these basic sciences to enable graduates to design, analyze, and control physical, chemical, and biological processes, consistent with the program educational objectives.
We expect that our students at the undergraduate level will have:
a. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering;
b. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
c. an ability to design a system, component, or a process to meet desired needs within the realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability;
d. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;
e. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve chemical engineering problems;
f. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
g. an ability to communicate effectively;
h. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context;
i. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning;
j. a knowledge of contemporary issues;
k. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
The B.E. (Ch.E.) program is accredited by:
The Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
111 Market Place, Suite 1050
Baltimore, MD 21202-4012
Telephone: (410) 347-7700.