— David Billington
This quote from David Billington, a hugely acclaimed professor of engineering, aptly sums the essence of what a Chemical Engineer does. Indeed, it is chemical engineering stream which has helped bring in so many new beneficial materials and compounds, like plastics, polymers, and various oil and gas distillates.
Here's what we at mapmytalent know about Chemical Engineering as a career.
Chemical engineering involves the processing and treating of liquids and gases. For example, some chemical engineers study ways to desalinate seawater—stripping it of salt to make the water safe to drink. Many chemical engineers work with petroleum and plastics, although both of these are the subject of independent disciplines.
While it is a given that a chemical engineer will work with chemical compounds in some capacity, the actual scope of duties that make up the work of chemical engineers is much broader. In fact, dealing with chemicals is only one part of the task of chemical engineering.
A chemical engineer often is involved in the research and development of new products that involve the interaction of chemical compounds with a number of different types of materials. It is possible for a chemical engineer to work in a number of different industries, with aerospace, electronics, textiles, and environmental companies. Many of the products on the market today were first envisioned and refined by chemical engineers who worked closely with product designers to achieve an effect that is sturdy, functional, and attractive. A chemical engineer is also often involved in designing the actual layout of the processing / manufacturing plant. They also assist in the selection and calibration of the machinery used in mixing compounds and producing parts or sections for the finished products. Along with the layout of the plant floor and the creation of the components, a chemical engineer also sets up the quality control parameters within the processing plant.