Chemical Engineering, B.S.

Chemical Engineering, B.S.

What is a chemical engineering degree?

Chemical Engineering BSChemical engineering is the study and application of chemical principles to industrial processes. Chemical engineering students build a strong foundation in mathematics, chemistry and the fundamentals of engineering. When you choose Florida Tech for a chemical engineering degree, you're choosing a university that is listed among the Fiske Guide's "Engineering/Top Technical Institutes" and Parade Magazine's College A-List in Engineering.

Whether you want to discover alternative sources of energy, develop new methods of food production, or engineer the next medical breakthrough, a chemical engineering degree from Florida Tech develops a strong background in modern chemical dynamics.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

New technical electives allow you to specialize in unique career-track subfields such as biochemical engineering, systems engineering, nuclear technology and energy engineering, making you a hot prospect in the eyes of future employers.

Gain Professional Experience

Our chemical engineering degree program is dynamic and focused. Classes are small, allowing students an opportunity to work on research projects with faculty in the areas of chemical engineering, chemistry and biological sciences. The program's reputation and proximity to a variety of high-tech companies means you can also expect to find a great internship and build valuable on-the-job experience.

Seniors also complete a design project in collaboration with a team of their peers to design, develop, prototype and present a complex chemical plant.

These learning opportunities provide practical experience, an expanded professional network and perhaps even a pre-graduation job offer.

Build Professional Relationships

Beyond the classroom, chemical engineering majors build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates, student government and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers that seek out graduates with a chemical engineering degree from Florida Tech for internships and careers include GE, Duracell, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Northrop Grumman.

Earn an Advanced Degree

After receiving their chemical engineering degree, many of our students go on to graduate school at Florida Tech or other universities such as Stanford, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech and Yale.

Why pursue a chemical engineering degree at Florida Tech?

What makes the Florida Tech academic environment unique among all other chemical engineering schools is that we put extraordinary emphasis on collaborative learning. From group design projects, faculty-led research opportunities, internships, and group coursework to team building for national competitions and more, our focus on a diversified learning environment has proven successful for graduates to succeed.

A Program Known for Engineering

Unlike other chemical engineering schools you might consider, Florida Tech is listed among the Fiske Guide's "Engineering/Top Technical Institutes" and Parade Magazine's College A-List in Engineering. Chemical engineering students have taken home nearly two-dozen national and regional awards in engineering competitions over the past 10 years.

In chemical engineering exit surveys conducted in the last 10 years, seniors assigned the highest ratings to the "Student-student relations/rapport" category. As acknowledged by the National AIChE Student Chapter Committee, our students stand at the top of the list of most awarded chemical engineering schools in the nation. This milestone is significant when considering that our student body only represents about 0.3% of all U.S. chemical engineering students.

Accreditation

ABETThe undergraduate aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering and software engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Customized Degree Options

The opportunity to specialize in unique and exciting subfields of chemical engineering helps students tailor their education based on their professional aspirations and preferences. Students may choose to specialize in alternative energy engineering, bioengineering, business and environmental engineering, materials science and engineering, nuclear technology, nanotechnology and petroleum engineering.

Dedicated Faculty – Consistent Focus

A big reason why Florida Tech is one of the top 10 chemical engineering schools is because our department faculty has had no turnover for over ten years. This consistency and stability and a small student-to-faculty ratio allows the professors to engage with course material and students over time. Our faculty has earned numerous teaching and service awards from our students.

Other Top Chemical Engineering Schools Can't Compete with Our Facilities

For the past seven years, students in the chemical engineering program have indicated that one of the top three reasons why they chose Florida Tech for their studies over other top chemical engineering schools is the state-of-the-art facilities on campus. Housed in the three F.W. Olin buildings (Engineering, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences), the facilities serve the needs of our curriculum and undergraduate research projects. Chemical engineering and chemistry professors recently developed another state-of-the-art laboratory --the Nanoscience-Nanotechnology Lab. The newly developed nanoscience-nanotechnology minor is already a popular choice among students.

A Great Florida Location

Another reason why students choose Florida Tech is because of our prime location, one that other top chemical engineering schools simply cannot compete with. We're located in the heart of Florida's Space Coast, which puts our 130-acre campus near the nation's fourth largest high-tech workforce and over 5,000 high-tech companies.

Our students also enjoy year-round beautiful weather, and are just minutes away from 72 miles of Atlantic Coast beaches and the Indian River Lagoon. What's more, we are an hour drive away from the NASA Kennedy Space Center and Orlando attractions such as Disney World and Universal Studios. Whether it's to learn, work or play, our students can do it all at one of the top chemical engineering schools.

How will a chemical engineering degree prepare me for the future?

Chemical engineering internships are a valuable part of the learning experience at Florida Tech.

The program's emphasis on group project-oriented learning prepares students for entry into industry, in which chemical engineers typically work as part of interdisciplinary teams. Our students pursue numerous chemical engineering internships at many industrial organizations and research centers, including:

  • Kennedy Space Center

  • Harris

  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

  • Progress Energy

  • Northrop Grumman

  • Florida Solar Energy Center

In addition to these chemical engineering internships, Florida Tech students also intern at various departments across campus, including the Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biology departments. They also complete chemical engineering internships at universities across the world as part of a National Science Foundation internship program.

Participate in Chem-E Car Competition

In addition to chemical engineering internships, many chemical engineering students take part in a unique Chem-E Car competition during their time at Florida Tech. Participants are challenged to design a small car powered by a chemical reaction for the signature National Design Competition for Chemical Engineering Students.

From designing to testing, students work on every stage of building the car for competition. Teams research a variety of chemical reactions with the potential to fuel the car, covering topics including chemistry, kinetics, physics, thermodynamics, and vehicle design. The students eventually complete test runs and calibration experiments to prepare the car for competition.

Florida Tech Students Are Winners

Florida Tech chemical engineering students have taken home nearly two-dozen national and regional awards in engineering competitions over the past 10 years. The chemical engineering program was also the first academic program in the U.S. to have two students selected in the nationwide competition for the prestigious Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program.

Be Part of Breakthrough Research

Research is an essential element of chemical engineering at Florida Tech, on campus and while participating in chemical engineering internships. Our students work alongside faculty and fellow students in laboratories across campus to cover a vast array of research topics, including:

  • Building an "electronic nose" and other sensors for detecting and identifying gases

  • Designing an alternative energy system for a school

  • Fabricating and testing a ceramic material for use in filtration, fuel cells and implants

  • Researching a variety of rocket propellants

These high tech research topics put our students and faculty at the forefront of new research technologies. Many of our undergraduates go on to receive awards for the high quality of their research conducted at Florida Tech.

Join Organizations to Enhance Your Degree

The student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers comprises students who share an interest in chemical engineering and network together for potential research projects, chemical engineering internships and careers. This organization regularly holds guest lectures, plant tours, social events and more.

What can you do with a chemical engineering degree?

Students who graduate with a degree in chemical engineering are likely to find careers focused on the processes that turn raw materials into valuable products. Using the principles of chemistry, biology and physics, careers in chemical engineering typically involve solving problems related to the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. This might also involve the design of processes and equipment for manufacturing, or test methods of manufacturing products.

Careers in chemical engineering are found in a variety of industries from energy, electronics, food and clothing to health care, biotechnology and business services.

Career Outlook

For those interested in pursuing careers in chemical engineering, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides detailed information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.

According to the labor bureau, employment of chemical engineers is projected to have modest growth of six percent through 2020. Demand is tied to the need for specific products and their ability to stay on the forefront of new, emerging technologies.

With employment somewhat tied to the state of overall manufacturing in the United States, careers in chemical engineering fluctuate. Chemical engineering is entering the new fields of nanotechnology, alternative energy and biotechnology which will likely increase demand for engineers in these areas. Check the handbook for complete information on careers in chemical engineering.

Career Options

Careers in chemical engineering include:

  • Chemical Engineer

  • Engineering Manager

  • Research Engineer

  • Biomedical Engineer

  • Chemist

  • Materials Scientist

  • Nuclear Engineer

Potential Employers

Whether straight from undergrad studies or after completion of a graduate degree program, Florida Tech students are prepared to pursue careers in chemical engineering with such diverse employers as:

  • Exxon-Mobil

  • Duracell

  • Florida Solar Energy Center

  • GE

  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

  • Kraft Foods

  • NASA

  • Northrup Grumman

  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Entry-Level Salary Expectations

Entry-level salary expectations for careers in chemical engineering are reported by PayScale.com to be $67,500 with opportunity to grow to $111,000. PayScale.com is an online salary information company that provides accurate real-time information on job market compensation.

Similar careers that you might consider have the following salaries:

  • Materials Science & Engineering: $60,100 - $91,900

  • Biomedical Engineering: $54,900 - $98,200

  • Chemist: $44,700 - $87,500

  • Nuclear Engineer: $66,800 - $107,000

Check PayScale.com for the most recent information on jobs in chemical engineering.

Graduate School

A chemical engineering degree positions students for admission into graduate programs in business, engineering, and management as well as the pharmaceutical and medical disciplines (among others). Our chemistry and engineering graduates have been admitted to such prestigious institutions as:

  • Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Florida
  • Columbia University
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Tech
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