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What is Chemical Engineering?

What is Chemical and Biochemical Engineering?

Engineering, in general, is the interface between fundamental science (molecular sciences such as chemistry, materials, and biology as well as math and physics) and real-world applications of useful processes and products by designing and producing useful products and processes. At the heart of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering is the concept of a process: by understanding fundamental principles and transforming raw materials and energy into products that are useful to society, at an industrial level. Chemical and Biochemical Engineering offers unparalleled opportunities to do great things in medicine, biotechnology, microelectronics, advanced materials, as well as energy systems, consumables, production, and environmental solutions. A new generation of Chemical and Biochemical Engineers and entrepreneurs are forming innovative new ideas and businesses.

Chemical and Biochemical Engineers change raw materials into economically viable products. By solving technological problems, Chemical and Biochemical Engineers have been improving our lives for over than 100 years. From development of tiny and fast computer chips to innovations in recycling, disease treatment, water desalination, and clean energy production – the processes and products that Chemical and Biochemical Engineers have helped form touch upon every aspect of our lives. The big achievements of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering are innovative and bold with applications to diverse fields such as energy, environment, bio-medicine, micro-electronics, food and material production.

The work of a Chemical and Biochemical Engineer is not the same as the work of a chemist (which is not an engineer). A chemist is responsible for creating the chemical reactions needed for a product. Chemical and Biochemical Engineers are responsible for making the process happen in a way that is cost-effective, safe, economic, and environmentally friendly. Chemical and Biochemical Engineers act as the bridge between the lab and the consumer, and between science and manufacturing. They develop everything from fibers used for clothing to artificial organs for human transplant.

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Touches Everything

It is hard (impossible?) to attain a comprehensive list all the products that are impacted by Chemical and Biochemical Engineers, hence we’ll only attempt to give a representative list of the industries that employ them, which may help comprehending the scope of their work. Chemical and Biochemical Engineers work in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, design and construction, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, food processing, specialty chemicals, microelectronics, electronic and advanced materials, polymers, business services, biotechnology, and environmental health and safety industries, among others. In all of these industries, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering graduates rely on their knowledge of mathematics and science – particularly chemistry and physics – to overcome technical problems safely and economically. And, of course, they draw upon and apply their engineering knowledge to solve any technical challenges they encounter. Intimately connected to the foundational fields of chemistry, biology, medicine, math, and physics – and in close cooperation with other engineering fields such as material, computers, mechanical, and aeronautical – Chemical and Biochemical Engineering offers diverse and unique opportunities.

And more specifically?

  • Specifically, Chemical and Biochemical Engineers improve food processing techniques, and methods of producing fertilizers, to increase the quantity and quality of available food.
  • They also construct the microelectronic silicon chips at clean fabrication units on which modern technology relies.
  • Moreover, Chemical and Biochemical Engineers produce drugs and make drug production processes more efficient.
  • They also design novel targeted drug delivery methods when the drugs are released within the human body.
  • They design more efficient processes for energy generation from available and renewable resources.
  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineers develop solutions to environmental problems, such as pollution control and remediation.
  • And, yes, Chemical and Biochemical Engineers design, control, and supervise chemical and biochemical processes which are used to make or improve just about everything you see around you.

Where can I learn more?

Candidates interested in undergraduate studies (BSc) are welcome to read about our diverse programs, prizes, research opportunities, the excellence program, selected courses, and answers to frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact us and find out details regarding the registration process.

Candidates interested in graduate degrees (MSc, ME, PhD) are welcome to read more about our programs, scholarships and dorms, and answers to frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact us and find out details regarding the registration process.

All are welcome to glance at the research topics studied at the Technion Chemical Engineering Department that reflect groundbreaking and innovative fields in science and engineering. Feel free to take a 360o tour of our facilities and research laboratories and to read about the activities of the faculty researchers and research groups.