What is a Chemical Engineer?
Chemical engineers utilize their knowledge of the physical world to manipulate the interactions of individual atoms and molecules.
Their talents are generally employed in the research and development of new materials and are critical to numerous fields including nanotechnology, energy storage, and computing.
Often working alongside other engineers in interdisciplinary teams to solve humanity's greatest problems, chemical engineers are guaranteed to remain key leaders in securing our future prosperity whether on this planet or any other.
What does a Chemical Engineer do?
The job of a chemical engineer centers on the design and implementation of systems and processes that control and direct how an individual atom interacts with another. They apply the discoveries made by chemists to build groundbreaking materials with atomic precision. So precise are they that they have recently developed the capability to construct a nano-scale car the width of a single DNA molecule.
As a chemical engineer, you will likely spend the majority of your time in an office or laboratory designing and refining the mathematical models behind the materials and methods you develop while occasionally spending time on-site overseeing production or solving problems.
How does one become a Chemical Engineer?
The process of earning a degree in chemical engineering and becoming a chemical engineer is fairly intensive relative to other fields. The chemical engineering program at University of California, Berkeley (considered among the top institutions for chemical engineering according to USnews.com) submerges students in mathematics and the physical sciences (physics and chemistry, specifically) during their first two years then educates those students in the application of mathematics and the physical sciences in their final two years.
Many institutions offer cooperative education programs. Similar to an internship, these programs allow students to earn credit toward their degree by working on a project alongside professional engineers employed by the sponsoring company.