Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

About Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Our department focuses on environmental engineering, energy systems engineering and chemical engineering. We provide integrated and multidisciplinary programs of scientific education. Our mission is accomplished by instilling a tradition of lifelong learning; offering a curriculum of fundamental education coupled with applications in advanced focal areas and strengthened by our breadth in other disciplinary areas; participating in cutting-edge research with faculty and industrial partners; and providing access to state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation. Most undergraduate students in the department will pursue the BS in Chemical Engineering degree, accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, or the BS in Environmental Engineering degree (launched spring 2019). Other students may pursue the BS in Applied Science degree with a major in chemical engineering. The department offers a minor in environmental engineering science, and, in collaboration with other engineering departments, we co-sponsor a minor in energy engineering and a minor in nanoscale science and engineering. Graduate degrees (Master of Engineering, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy) in Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering are also offered by the department.

Chemical engineers are involved in the transfer of scientific discoveries to modern technologies and novel products that benefit society and minimize the impact on the environment. They deal with multiscale aspects of generating clean energy, producing novel and superior materials, and utilizing the biological revolution to manufacture new products. They are involved in the development and manufacture of consumer products as well as in the design, operation and control of processes in a variety of industries (e.g., petroleum, petrochemical, chemical, consumer products, food, feed, pharmaceuticals). Their broad training in basic sciences (e.g., chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics) coupled with a strong foundation in chemical engineering principles (e.g., thermodynamics, mass and energy balances, transport phenomena, kinetics, separations, reaction engineering, control, product development, process design) makes them invaluable team members and leaders in any engineering enterprise. It also prepares them well for graduate studies in biochemical, biomedical, chemical, environmental and materials engineering. In addition, the BS in Chemical Engineering is a great starting point for pursuing a degree in business, law or medicine.

Environmental engineers apply scientific and engineering principles to assess, manage and design sustainable systems for the protection of human and ecological health. The designs and technologies that they develop provide safe and sufficient public water supplies, enable effective and efficient treatment and resource recovery from wastewater and other wastes, and control pollutant releases that protect water, soil and air quality. Environmental engineers also seek to understand the effect of technological advances on the environment and to identify opportunities to improve the environmental sustainability of new technologies. Environmental engineers have broad training in basic sciences, mathematics and computational approaches as well as an engineering foundation that includes mass and energy balances, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and chemical, physical and biological treatment processes. The training of environmental engineers also includes natural science and environmental social science and the humanities. This training prepares environmental engineers to apply technological solutions within specific environmental and societal contexts. Environmental engineering graduates are prepared to enter professional practice and to pursue graduate study in environmental engineering and allied fields.

The curricula are planned to provide students with a strong background in basic engineering concepts while allowing students individual latitude to emphasize study in a specialized area or to obtain added breadth both within and outside of chemical or environmental engineering. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the department is to teach energy, environmental and chemical engineering principles and their application in an inspiring learning environment; to prepare students for engineering careers by developing the skills of critical thinking, analysis and communication proficiency; and to instill a sense of professional ethics and societal responsibility.


The department takes pride in its mentoring of undergraduate students. Each student who declares chemical or environmental engineering as a (potential) major is assigned an academic advisor from the full-time department faculty. Typically, the same advisor follows the student's academic progress and serves as a mentor from the first year through graduation.

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