What is Chemical and Process Engineering - Chemical and Process Engineering - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

What is Chemical and Process Engineering?

natural gasIn Brief

Chemical and Process Engineering is concerned with the transformation of materials by chemical, physical and biological changes, for example:

  • Crude oil and natural gas to petroleum
  • Milk to dairy products
  • Waste to energy
  • Timber to paper

Heaps of the things we take for granted in our lives have been made with the help of a Chemical and Process Engineer.

dist imageSo is it for you?

If you are interested in:

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Our physical world
  • Problem solving
  • Creative thinking
  • People

Then Chemical and Process Engineering might be for you.

Where to start...

If you are at high school, take maths, chemistry, physics and english - these are the fundamental disciplines behind Chemical and Process Engineering. Also take biology if pharmaceuticals or biological products interest you. Access more information about steering your career towards Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Canterbury on the College of Engineering website.

What will you learn?

Students learn to apply their skills in chemistry, mathematics and physics to gain an understanding of the fundamental principles that underlie Chemical and Process Engineering options. Such principles include:

  • The flow of fluids
  • Heat and cooling
  • Chemical and biochemical reactions
  • Distillation and other separation technologies
  • Computer programming
  • Energy and thermodynamics

Along the way you pick up many transferable skills as well, like:

  • Computer literacy
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Practical skills (i.e. mechanical workshop and laboratory skills)
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Time management
  • Leadership

What sorts of jobs do Chemical and Process Engineers get?

Access a comprehensive list of New Zealand companies that employ Chemical and Process Engineers in the Resources and Links section.

Broadly speaking, Chemical and Process Engineers can find themselves involved in:

  • Project coordination
  • Research
  • Consulting
  • Marketing
  • Computing
  • Management

The main Chemical and Process industries in New Zealand can be broken down into the following:

  • Milk (dairy)
  • Wool
  • Meat
  • Wood
  • Metals
  • Fertilisers

More and more Chemical and Process engineers find themselves involved in other cutting edge industries these days, such as:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental management
  • Energy production and management
  • Waste processing
  • Alternative fuel production
  • Nanotechnology
  • Department of Chemical
    and Process Engineering

    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800 
    Christchurch
    New Zealand
  • Phone: + 64 3 364 2543
    Fax: + 64 3 364 2063
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