With so many candidates entering the market this summer following their graduation, the prospect of finding a position within their chosen field is a daunting one. One area for consideration is Chemical Engineering – with its many applications it allows candidates to look at a number of sectors.
What is chemical engineering?
Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies chemical and biological sciences to the manufacturing of a wide range of chemical and biological products. Chemical engineers are involved in the design and development of products, and work on changing the state of a substance into something else, such as making plastic from oil.
What industries do chemical engineers work in?
Chemical engineers are required in a wide range of industries to work in the development and operation of large-scale manufacturing processes responsible for the production of products or generating energy. There are a number of industries open to graduates with Chemical Engineering qualifications such as:
- Chemical manufacturing
- Personal care / FMCG
- Water & waste treatment
- Food and drink
- Oil and gas
What are the responsibilities of a chemical engineer?
The day to day responsibilities for chemical engineers are extremely varied and they will depend on the specific role and industry that you are working within.
Some of the more common duties include:
- Working with process chemists, production teams and control engineering teams to ensure plant operations are running at optimal efficiency and output
- Calibration of process equipment to suit a specific manufacturing process
- Scale up and scale down of manufacturing processes including changes to equipment design and configuration
- Production optimisation via process analysis and de-bottleneck studies
- Developing new production methods to reduce hazards and environmental issues
As chemical engineers are involved in every aspect of process development they may work in a laboratory, processing plant or within an office. Depending on the stage of process development they may be involved in laboratory scale, pilot plant, and manufacturing plant scale or alternatively involved in the construction of a new processing facility.
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