Chemical and Process Engineering - what is it?

Highly-developed production industry is the backbone of the world economy and necessity for development of civilization. Working in this industry requires a well-established knowledge of physics, mathematics, biology, and chemistry. The practical application of this knowledge in technical solutions is the focus of the scientific discipline of Chemical and Process Engineering. Specialists in this field can design and properly run processes in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, petrochemical, and cosmetic industries, among others. An education in chemical engineering is necessary to develop technologies to manufacture new market products, safely and efficientlyrun production processes in factories , and upgrade and modernise existing industrial installations. 

Graph presents the disciplines which cooperate with chemical and process engineering. Names of disciplines surround the chemical and process engineering, which is in the center of the graph. Disciplines include: physics, physical chemistry, economy, medicine, biology, chemistry, mathematics.

Modern chemical engineering produces unique materials for the electronics, optical, automotive, aerospace, environmental, and medical industries. Examples of such materials are high-strength fibres, nanomaterials, fuel cells, biocompatible materials, and coatings with unique optical and electrical properties.

Our graduates are chemical engineers and process engineers. The extent of their applied knowledge differs from that of chemistry and chemical technology graduates. The education of chemical engineers and technologists includes a detailed understanding of the molecular interactions of chemical substances, chemical reaction mechanisms and chemical analytical methods. On the other hand, graduates in chemical engineering deal with the practical application of chemical processes in the processing industry, with knowledge of the construction of apparatuses and entire process lines in which these processes are carried out. Additionally, they deal with methods of separation of mixtures of chemical compounds under industrial conditions, as well as industrial automation and optimisation of large-scale processes. Using the methods of mathematical description of physical and chemical processes learnt in their studies, they can perform computer simulations of industrial processes. These are state-of-the-art methods for the design of process industry plants and products.

Photograph presents the industrial chemical plant.

Recent years have seen the rapid development of chemical and process engineering as a science, as as the scope of applicability of its methods is getting wider. Currently, our specialists are involved in nanotechnology, biotechnology, bioprocess engineering, biomedical engineering, environmental protection, and modern technologies for producing drugs and artificial human organs. It is worth noting that Poland is among the world leaders in terms of scientific achievements in the field of chemical engineering, and our graduates are sought after in the global labour market.

Every year, large industrial corporations and small manufacturing companies in Europe and the USA hire chemical engineering professionals in their industrial and research centres. Graduates in this field have become sought-after employees of chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food companies and concerns. They also find employment in academic institutions and research centres, where they carry out scientific work on such topics as methods for producing nanomaterials and implants for medical applications. It is estimated that there will be a shortage of tens of thousands of chemical engineering graduates in Europe in the next two decades.

Chemical and process engineering is the basis for developing modern process industry technologies, and the growing demand for modern products is driving the development of this field of science. This means that the demand for chemical engineering specialists will grow as fast as our civilisation develops.

For those wishing to learn more, several videos on the YouTube platform describe what chemical engineering is, the job prospects and potential earnings from the perspective of graduates, experts or employees after this course. Below are some sample videos: