A chemical engineer applies the principles of math, physics, biology, and chemistry to resolve issues involving the use or production of food, drugs, fuel, chemicals, and several other products. They plan and test byproducts treatment and production methods, design equipment and processes for large-scale manufacturing and direct facility operations. Chemical engineers can also research business services, biotechnology, and life sciences.
Chemical engineers usually work in laboratories or offices with some time being spent in refineries, industrial plants, and other locations where they can direct or monitor operations or resolve onsite issues. Chemical engineers work with others responsible for designing systems as well as the mechanics and technicians who put the designs into practice. Some chemical engineers have extensive travel to work sites and plants both domestic and abroad associated with their positions.
The chemicals sector encompasses a wide variety of processes and job roles. It covers a huge range of products including food products and additives, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, catalysts, plastics, batteries, detergents, solvents, paints, cosmetics, petrochemicals, metal refining and much more. Graduates within the chemicals industry will usually find work in one of four areas: research and development (R&D), design, commissioning, or operations.