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.
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.
Academic Warning • Any chemical engineering student whose cumulative grade point average on all chemical engineering courses is less than a 2.00 shall be placed on academic warning status. Such students will receive a letter from the department chair informing them of their GPA, and reminding them that a 2.00 or better GPA in all chemical engineering courses is required for the BSChE degree.
Academic Probation • Any chemical engineering student whose cumulative GPA on all chemical engineering courses attempted is seven or more quality points below a 2.00 shall be placed on departmental scholastic probation. Students will remain on departmental scholastic probation until they have achieved a GPA of 2.00 or better on all chemical engineering courses attempted. Such students will receive a letter from the department chair informing them of their probationary status, reminding them that a 2.00 GPA in all chemical engineering courses is required for the BSChE degree, and cautioning them that a further loss of quality points may result in their being dropped from the department.
Academic Drop • Any chemical engi-neering student whose cumulative GPA on all chemical engineering courses attempted is 10 or more quality points below a 2.00 shall be dropped from the department. Students dropped for the first time shall be ineligible to enroll in chemical engineering courses for one full semester (fall or spring) following their drop. Students dropped for a second time shall be ineligible to enroll in chemical engineering courses for one calendar year. In either instance, readmission to the department may be delayed or denied at the discretion of the department chair.
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.