Chemical Engineering, B.S.

Chemical Engineering, B.S.

What is a chemical engineering degree?

Chemical Engineering BS

Chemical 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.

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.

Gain Practical Experience

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.

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

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. These learning opportunities also provide an expanded professional network, and often lead to a pre-graduation job offer.

Why pursue a chemical engineering degree at Florida Tech?

One reason 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.

When you choose Florida Tech for your 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.”

In chemical engineering exit surveys conducted in the last decade, 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 achievement is especially significant when considering that our student body only represents about 0.3% of all US chemical engineering students.

Accreditation

ABETFlorida Tech’s 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 Florida Tech is one of the top ten chemical engineering schools is because our department faculty has had no turnover for over a decade. This consistency and stability, together with 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.

State-of-the-Art 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.

Located in the Heart of Florida's High-tech Corridor

The average chemical engineering school simply cannot beat Florida Tech’s location. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us). The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce provides a variety of internship and employment opportunities.

Located near the beautiful Indian River, with Atlantic Ocean beaches only a short drive away, as well as Central Florida attractions such Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. Florida Tech also has a rich campus life that includes intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations

Beyond the classroom, chemical engineering majors build leadership and professional experience through 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.

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

Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities

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 around the world as part of a National Science Foundation internship program.

Participate in the 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.

Do Cutting-Edge Faculty-Led Research

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

Research is an essential element of chemical engineering at Florida Tech, both 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.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations

The student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers is comprised of 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 the test methods for manufacturing products.

Careers in chemical engineering are found in a variety of industries from energy, electronics, food and clothing to healthcare, 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 6% 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

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

A BS in Chemical Engineering 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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