Chemical engineers apply scientific principles to the solution of problems involving chemical and physical change. They design, install, and operate complete processes for the efficient production of materials and tailor the properties of materials for specific applications. Chemical engineers today play a direct professional role in such diverse areas as chemical processing; petroleum refining; pollution control and abatement; materials processing; biochemical engineering; instrumentation; computer automation, control, and modeling; biomedical engineering; oceanography; energy; food processing; systems engineering; and manufacturing.
Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region lead the nation in growth of the chemical, petroleum, and materials industries. In these industries, about 40 percent of the professional staffs are chemical engineers. Besides providing technical leadership for these industries, chemical engineers are a major source of management personnel. Chemical engineering also offers many opportunities for independent enterprise.
Chemical engineers must combine many different abilities in their work. These include an aptitude for chemistry, computer science, physics, mathematics, and economics; the capability of presenting decisions to management in a lucid and concise manner; and the ability to bring scientifically oriented talents to bear on practical problems.
The undergraduate curriculum is concerned primarily with fundamentals, and basic courses in mathematics, chemistry, and chemical engineering are required. Through a series of elective courses, students may select a formal concentration in one of three areas: biomolecular, environmental, or materials studies. Alternatively, students can use these electives to plan a program that emphasizes a subfield of their choice. The curriculum requires liberal amounts of arts, humanities, and social sciences electives to satisfy the university’s general education and external accreditation requirements. These serve to prepare students for the responsibilities of citizenship, aside from a technical career. The undergraduate curriculum is oriented toward the use of computers, which have become an integral part of the engineering profession.
Chemical engineers are among the highest-salaried graduates in engineering across the nation. In the foreseeable future, it is predicted that the supply of chemical engineers available to industry will not match the demand; consequently, the salary and job opportunities should continue to be favorable.
The chemical engineering curriculum has been continuously accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
Following graduation our graduates are expected to:
- attain careers as engineering professionals in chemical, energy production, engineering design, biochemical or related industries;
- succeed in graduate programs in chemical and biomolecular engineering, medicine, business, law or other scientific/engineering disciplines;
- solve industrially relevant, open-ended engineering problems using appropriate tools and critical thinking capabilities; and
- succeed in leadership, management, and research roles in industry, academia, or government.
- 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;
- experience classroom and workplace interactions with local industry; and
- recognize and evaluate environmental, health, and safety issues.
Residence Requirement • Students must complete at least 18 residence hours of required chemical engineering courses, including CHE 4172 , and exclusive of approved chemical engineering electives.
Prerequisite Requirement • Chemical Engineering majors must earn a grade of “C” or better in each of the basic sciences preparatory courses - BIOL 1201 , CHEM 1201 , CHEM 1202 , MATH 1550 , MATH 1552 , MATH 2090 , PHYS 2110 , and PHYS 2113 - before registering for any chemical engineering course other than CHE 1100 and CHE 2171 .
In addition, students must earn a “C” or better in CHE 2162 , CHE 2171 ,CHE 2176 , CHE 3101 , CHE 3102 , CHE 3104 , CHE 3171 , CHE 3172 and CHE 3173 before registering for any subsequent course that requires one or more of these as a prerequisite.
3/2 Program in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
The Department of Chemistry at Southern University and the Gordon A. and Mary Cain Department of Chemical Engineering at LSU offer a dual degree in chemistry and chemical engineering. The student, after successful completion of the required courses in both curricula, will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Southern University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree from LSU. The first three years of coursework are taken principally at Southern University and the last two years principally at LSU.