Chemical Engineering

Undergraduate Studies

Welcome Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry students!

Chemical Engineering Orientation Night
Engineering Chemistry Orientation Night

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dupuis Auditorium


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Chernoff Auditorium


Check out the links on the left to learn about pre-registration, to get answers to frequently asked questions, find course descriptions and much more!

Want more information on how to become a Queen's Chemical Engineering student?

Visit: http://www.queensu.ca/apply

If you have questions, please contact our Undergraduate Program Assistant:
Liann Joanette, Dupuis Hall, Room 201
613-533-6000 x74829
Email: liann.joanette@queensu.ca

About Our Undergraduate Programs

Chemical Engineering

The Chemical Engineering program provides students with a versatile engineering experience based on fundamental chemical and biochemical engineering concepts while strengthening knowledge in chemistry and mathematics. Students may elect to pursue the Chemical Process Engineering Option (CHE1) or the Bioengineering - Biochemical, Biomedical, Bioenvironmental Option (CHE2).

Students will study advanced chemistry, physics, mathematics, thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, kinetics, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, process control and general engineering principals. In addition to the technical content of the program, students are introduced to business skills, engineering economics, communications, humanities and social sciences and will explore current issues such as the impact of technology on society. In fourth year students will work in groups on client-based industrial consulting projects or research projects supervised by academic staff or professional engineers.

What does a Chemical Engineer do?

Chemical engineering is a lot more then chemistry. Chemical engineers occupy the area between laboratory Chemistry and Mechanical or Process Engineering. Chemical Engineers are distinguished from physical scientists such as chemists by their training in the "engineering method": the use of heuristics to cause the best change in a poorly understood situation within the available resources.

Chemical Engineers apply scientific and engineering principles to improve existing processes or methods or to implement new ones for the economic production and distribution of useful and value-added materials through the physical, chemical or biochemical transformation of matter. Chemical Engineers design, analyze, optimize and control processing operations or guide others who perform these functions in industry, government, universities or private practice. Current and future activity areas include:

  • Energy: conservation, renewable and non-renewable resources, fuel cells, hydrogen economy
  • Materials: petrochemicals, biochemicals and foods, nanomaterials, consumer goods, pulp and paper, polymers, pharmaceuticals
  • Environment: pollution prevention, pollution control, climate change mitigation, recycling, environmental safety and regulations

Chemical Engineers can tackle most any chemical problem including waste minimization, environmental remediation, clean-up of stack gases or purification of drinking water. Chemical Engineers;

  • developed low cost processes for producing ammonia which makes it possible for both poor nations and the United States to manufacture important fertilizers;
  • are instrumental in the production of pharmaceuticals and life-saving devices such as the artificial kidney and angioplasty catheters;
  • are working on ways to recycle plastics, reduce pollution and develop new sources of environmentally clean energy;
  • provide know-how for chemical processing of computer chips and integrated circuits in the electronics industry;
  • developed processes and chemicals to make food products such as orange juice, chocolate, corn sweeteners or citric acid, cheaper, safer and with increased yields.

In addition, you may be surprised to learn that most materials encountered in daily life have been impacted by Chemical Engineering at some stage. Personal care products, plastic sandwich bags, the soles of your sports shoes, car panels, and vehicle tires are just a few of the consumer products a chemical engineer has worked to develop.

What can I do with a degree in Chemical Engineering?

A degree in Chemical Engineering opens many doors for a diverse, challenging and rewarding career that can lead to positions in business, government or academia. The possibilities are practically endless.

Semiconductor production, microchips, metals, mineral processing, paper products, petroleum and petrochemicals, plastics, forest products, pharmaceuticals and foods are just some of the sectors in which chemical engineers work.

In today's world of growing shortages of non-renewable resources and a finite amount of renewable resources, chemical engineers are also in demand to fill positions focused on optimizing the recovery or utilization of matter and energy.

Most major chemical companies hire chemical engineers to fill their technical positions in environmental engineering. As a Chemical Engineer you might work on improving a wood pulping machine in the pulp and paper industry, planning a new line in a food processing plant or monitoring and optimizing fractional distillation in the petroleum industry. In addition to technical positions, chemical engineers often move into managerial functions within their companies.

Chemical engineers are responsible for designing the industrial facilities that provide materials, petroleum products and plastics that make our lives easier and more productive.

Biochemical engineering is an expanding field where chemical engineers link chemical process knowledge to biotechnology areas. As a Biochemical Engineer you might develop an economical process to commercialize a newly developed pharmaceutical product by a genetically engineered microorganism, you may manage or design a wastewater treatment facility to meet environmental norms or you may remediate an already polluted area.

You can also use your Chemical Engineering degree as a jumping off point to further education. Some chemical engineering graduates go on to medical, law, business or graduate school and use their chemical engineering degree to specialize. For instance, a Chemical Engineering graduate may go to law school and utilize their undergraduate degree to focus on patent or environmental law.

Engineering Chemistry

Engineering Chemistry is unique in Canada. More than a century old, it offers a strong base in chemistry in combination with chemical, biochemical, environmental and/or materials engineering. Focus is on increased chemical knowledge compared with the Chemical Engineering degree. Students will be trained as both scientists and engineers.

This program is offered by the Department of Chemical Engineering with the close cooperation of the Department of Chemistry. It is accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board as an engineering discipline and the Canadian Society for Chemistry as a chemistry program. The curriculum integrates a core of chemistry with a body of engineering in a manner that allows chemical knowledge to be put into practice.

Beginning with a concentration on basic engineering principles, science, and mathematics, students will study organic and inorganic chemistry, thermodynamics, chemical process and systems, principles of chemical reactivity, fluid mechanics, quantum mechanics and molecular simulation. In addition to the technical content of the program, students complete courses in Complementary Studies in areas such as engineering economics, communications and humanities and social sciences. Design exercises are integrated into all years to develop problem-solving skills and deepen the students' understanding of the material.

In the latter years of the Engineering Chemistry curriculum students can choose elective courses and research thesis project depending on their interest.

A Biochemistry/Engineering Chemistry dual degree program is offered to students seeking further specialization in the Biosciences.

What does an Engineering Chemist do?

Engineering Chemists utilize their knowledge of chemistry to develop solutions to engineering problems. They apply new chemical knowledge to the creation of new technology. This expertise is most often applied in environmental improvement, in the design of processes and in the development of electronic and structural materials, but there is almost no area of engineering in which engineering chemistry has not been applied.

What can I do with a degree in Engineering Chemistry?

A degree in Engineering Chemistry opens many doors to opportunities that both chemistry and engineering graduates have access to. Recent graduates of Engineering Chemistry have found diverse careers which allow them to use their training towards:

  • fiber optics development
  • containment of mining wastes so as to prevent pollution of rivers
  • optimization of petroleum reservoir engineering
  • corrosion prevention in fabricated steel
  • modifying process and reactor design so as to produce polymers of novel properties
  • design and production of biologically important agents for application in medicine, agriculture, and other areas

Biotechnology is an expanding field where engineering chemistry graduates can link their science-based knowledge to practical problems. Engineering Chemists are responsible for designing the industrial processes that provide materials, petroleum products and plastics that make our lives easier and more productive. As an Engineering Chemist you might develop an economical process to commercialize a newly developed pharmaceutical product by a genetically engineered microorganism, you may manage or design a wastewater treatment facility to meet environmental norms or you may remediate an already polluted area.

You can also use your Engineering Chemistry degree as the foundation to pursue graduate studies in fields such as law, medicine and business. Many of our Engineering Chemistry graduates go to prestigious graduate schools such as Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford.