Carnegie Mellon University

Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon

What do we do for careers? How much do we get paid? Where do we go to school after our undergraduate degrees?

What is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical engineering is a broad discipline based on mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Chemical engineering applies principles of chemical engineering science and process systems engineering for development and commercialization of new products and processes. Chemical engineering science is  knowledge, in the form of data and models, that helps the chemical engineer to understand and to predict the transport and transformation of chemicals in processes. Process systems engineering provides methodologies for the systematic design, control, and analysis of these processes, as well as their economic evaluation, and safety and environmental assessment.

What do Chemical Engineers Do?

The chemical engineering profession offers challenging and well-compensated careers in the process industries, including high-technology areas. Chemical engineers design safe, efficient and environmentally friendly chemical processes, supervise the operation of chemical plants and develop new products and processes. In the chemicals and petroleum industry, chemical engineers develop catalysts and new reaction and separation units to improve yields in the production of fuels and commodity chemicals.  Chemical engineers are also found in industries associated with polymers (plastics and resins) and coatings (paint, integrated circuits, magnetic tapes). The pharmaceutical industry recruits chemical engineers who possess expertise in both process engineering and biochemistry/molecular biology. In the semiconductor industry, chemical engineers supervise the processing of complex polymers, chip fabrication and production of thin films. Many consulting companies seek chemical engineers for evaluation of the technical and economic feasibility of industrial projects, as well as their environmental impact. Finally, the depth and breadth of coursework makes chemical engineering an excellent preparatory major for students interested in medical and business schools.

(See specific career examples.)                                                                                                  

Highlights of the program

The department emphasizes problem-solving techniques in the learning of basic principles in chemical engineering science and process systems engineering. Computing is integrated throughout the curriculum and extensive use is made of software for mathematical modeling and simulation in the department’s Gary J. Powers Educational Computer Lab. The Robert Rothfus Laboratory features state-of-the-art experiments with applications in safety, environment, process operations, product development, and computerized data acquisition and control. In addition to several engineering minors that students may choose, the Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces option is also available, as well as a minor in Manufacturing Management and Consulting, and the double major in Biomedical and Health Engineering. The department’s educational program also strives to broaden the experience of students by offering a significant number of electives, an active program for undergraduate research, and the following programs that showcase the strong industrial ties of the department:

International Exchange Program

The department has devised its own exchange programs with RWTH Aachen in Germany, Imperial College in London, Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, and Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) in Argentina.  We also have a summer semester exchange with Technische Universität Dortmund in Germany.

Practical Internship for Senior Chemical Engineering Students (PISCES)

Chemical Engineering students may participate in Practical Internships for Senior Chemical Engineering students (PISCES), a year-long industrial internship program possible between the junior and senior years. This program provides meaningful work opportunities within industrial settings for qualified juniors.

Masters of Chemical Engineering Degree

Qualified students may enroll in the Master of Chemical Engineering degree program. Students complete the degree requirements in one additional year at the University and, in some cases, at the time of the B.S. graduation, or after only one additional semester. 

CIT Minors

  • Audio Engineering
  • Automation and Controls
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces
  • Electronic Materials
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Global Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • Robotics (CIT minor for non-engineering students)

 

Placement Undergraduate Students

Average starting salary (2010-2016):  $70,279

Major employers (2010-2016) *Companies with more than 3 hires

Abbott

AbbVie

Accenture*

Air Products and Chemicals

AK Steel

Alcoa

Aspen Technology*

Athenahealth

ATI Allegheny Ludlum

Bayer

Bechtel

BNY Mellon

Boeing

Boston Scientific

BP

Braskem

Bristol Myers Squibb

Capital IQ

Cardinal Education

Caterpillar

Chevron

Consolidated Nuclear Security

Credit Suisse

Cytec

DC Energy

Deloitte

Delphi

Dow Chemical Company*

Dow Corning*

Eaton Corporation

Ecalix

Eli Lily & Co.

Emerald Therapeutics

Epic Systems*

Ernst and Young

Exxon Mobil*

Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles

Ford Motor Company

Freescale Semiconductors

Genentech

Glaxo Smith Kline

Helmock Semiconductor

Honeywell

Hospital for Special Surgery

IBM*

Infosys

Integral Biosystems

Intel*

Intertek

Johnson  & Johnson*

L’Oreal

LANXESS Corporation

Lexmark International

LG Chemicals

Linde*

Lord Corporation

M&H Engineering

Marathon Petroleum

McKinsey

McNeil PPC, Inc.

Merck*

Milliken

Nalco

National Institute of Health

Navigant Consulting

Neo PLM

Nissan Motors

Noblis Inc.

Nucor Steel

Occidental Petroleum

Oncal Inc.

Osisoft

Pacific Gas & Electric

PC Test

PPG Industries

Procter & Gamble*

Raytheon

Regeneron

Reliance Petrochemicals

Samsung

Schlumberger*

Synageva Biopharma

Synfuels Americas

Texas Instruments

Timet

Unilever

U.S. Patent Office

Valero Energy Corp.

Vitech Systems Group*

Votech America

Washington Penn Plastics

Westinghouse*

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

 

Major graduate schools (2010-2016)

Caltech

Carnegie Mellon*

Colorado School of Mines

Cornell University

Duke

EPFL

Georgetown University

Georgia Inst. of Technology*

Harvard

Illinois Institute of Tech.*

Imperial College

Johns Hopkins

Lehigh

MIT*

Northwestern University

Ohio State University

Oregon State University

Princeton

Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst.

Rice University

Stanford

University of Cambridge

University of Colorado - Boulder*

University of Illinois

University of Pennsylvania*

University of California, Riverside

University of Southern California

UC, Berkeley

UC, Santa Barbara

University of Delaware

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh

University of Texas, Austin*

Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

 

Department of Chemical Engineering

Doherty Hall

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone:  (412) 268-2230   

Fax:  (412) 268-7139