What is Chemical Engineering?
Chemical Engineering is you, me and all that surrounds us! One must look beyond chemical reactors and distillation columns to realize that the food we consume, the cosmetics we wear, the detergent we wash our clothes with are all a result of engineering of materials and their chemical reactions. In this sense, Chemical Engineering is one of the broadest and the most 'inclusive' branches of engineering that keeps redefining itself as it finds applications into new areas of modern technology.
Traditionally Chemical Engineering has been associated with fuel combustion, energy transfer and reaction systems, and while it continues to be essential to these areas, it has also found its way into new developments in microelectronics, textiles, medicine & healthcare, biotechnology, pulp & paper products, synthesis of advanced materials such as sophisticated devices based on MEMS, and many other day to day consumer goods. This wide range of applications is made possible only due to the intricate relationships of chemical engineering principles with basic sciences like chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology and materials science.
Chemical Engineers are easily the most highly sought-after engineers from employment perspective as they aid in design, supervision, construction, installation, operation and most importantly, in the optimization of any system. There are two major challenges that are facing the world today, one in the discovery of environmentally benign alternative fuels that can reduce our dependency on the depleting fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, and second in the development of better, cost-effective solutions for improved healthcare, and Chemical engineers have a large role to play in both these areas.