Here are some Core areas in which Chemical Engineering Students can choose to build their expertise.
Materials Processing: It is the study of behavior of various materials and how they can be made more efficient and safe. Materials Processing Engineers come up with new ways of separating and transporting chemicals including hazardous materials,oils or gas. Knowing the functionality of different materials and their behavior under a wide range of conditions is vital to succeed in this domain.
Materials Synthesis: PVC pipes which you see everyday are created by Materials synthesis engineers.this specialisation is very vast, ranging from nanoparticles to biomaterials. Material Synthesis engineers have to come up with new ways to optimise existing processes to reduce costs.
Environmental Engineering: It involves using chemicals and their components to improve or sustain the natural environment. Environmental engineers come up with new ways to reduce pollution by reusing the same chemicals that may otherwise cause pollution. “Sustainability” is the name of the game.
Alternative Energy: Sustainability and Alternative Energy go hand in hand.This domain looks at biofuels,batteries and Solar and Wind energy. Those who specialise in this field will always try and look for replacing an existing Energy generation source(mostly environmentally harmful ones) with sources that are relatively more Environment friendly.
Biomedical Chemical Engineering: There is a considerable overlap between Biomedical Science and Chemical Engineering fields. The study of how a biological organism responds to a stimulus by a chemical is a part of this domain. Synthesising artificial tissues is also something they do.
Food Engineering: Improving food preservation and making it more healthier using chemicals is the main focus of Food Engineers. By estimates, the entire human population will reach eight Billions. Now imagine how important it is to increase yield.
Engineering Design: Every lab uses simulations before going for a hardware setup or before conducting any experiment. Now, computers do not understand the subtleties involved in simulations of different domains. The parameters that a Chemical Engineer optimises for, will obviously be different from the parameters an Electronics engineer optimises. This is why a domain expert collaborates with software engineers to create tools. From creating tools such as CAD to designing test processes and decreasing complexity of work, their scope is wide.
Oil and Gas: From digging for oil using manual labor to detecting oil using seismographs, we have come a long way. Now, tech giants are using AI to detect oil spills.Algorithms don’t work by themselves. It takes subject matter experts to tweak the algorithm according to a scenario.
NanoTechnology and Nuclear Engineering are also parts of Chemical Engineering.
It’s common to see a lot of Master’s in Chemical Engineering students pursue PhD, in order to gain advanced experience in lab-work and knowledge in Research. This makes them much more prepared for “scientist roles” in Industries, Government, or Academia. Students who are solely interested in working in industries can apply to Professional Master’s Programs in Chemical Engineering, which prepares students for the job market. The PMP program is offered by a limited set of universities.