Chemical engineers are responsible for the chemical, biochemical and/or physical processes and machinery used to transform raw materials into valuable products.
As a chemical engineer, you will be involved in the design and development of a diverse range of products. Your work will focus on changing the chemical, biochemical and physical state of a substance to turn it into something else, such as making plastic from oil.
You can work in a variety of industries including:
- food and drink
- oil and gas
- water treatment.
- testing new processes
- collecting data required to make improvements and modifications
- overseeing the construction of new plants
- using and developing process simulation software to work out the best production methods
- purchasing and installing equipment
- using scientific principles related to magnitude, momentum, heat transfer etc
- supervising plant operations
- investigating and troubleshooting plant/process problems
- scheduling and coordinating work to tight deadlines and within financial budgets
- ensuring that equipment works to its specification and to appropriate capacities
- assessing safety and environmental issues
- liaising with installation/project engineers and specialists
- ensuring safe working conditions and compliance with health and safety legislation.
To become chartered, you will need to have studied at Masters level, either completing a four-year MEng in chemical engineering or a BEng followed by the relevant Masters.
The following degree subjects may be considered useful:
- applied chemistry
- biochemical/process engineering
- biomedical engineering
- environmental engineering
- nuclear engineering
- polymer science/technology.
- an understanding of engineering principles and mathematics
- an aptitude for, and interest in chemistry
- project management skills
- resource management skills
- oral and written communication skills
- analytical and problem-solving ability
- the ability to work as part of a team
- the capacity to motivate and lead a team
- strong IT skills
- a careful and methodical approach with good attention to detail
- commercial and business awareness
- creativity and innovation.