What is Chemical Engineering?
Chemical engineering involves using the principles of chemistry and physics to transform raw materials into other products. It incorporates an understanding of the fundamental chemical makeup of elements, and how these can be manipulated to achieve different results.
Chemical engineers also require knowledge of product design principles, as they consider the construction and impact of the materials they produce. The field involves a considerable amount of instrumental analysis, to develop a keen understanding of the uses of these raw materials.
Australia relies heavily on its exportation and processing of raw materials, accounting for 57% of global exports in 2019. ^
Encompassing several industries, those with a passion for engineering raw materials will find limitless opportunities. Chemical engineering is an industry geared towards the future.
Although it has a strong focus on analytical skills and technical knowledge, chemical engineering also requires creativity to solve complex problems. With applications across mining, food, materials processing and water and waste treatment; innovative solutions to future-focused problems are a core component of the field.
Chemical engineering offers multiple options for specialisation, including mining and minerals; water resource management; and sustainability. All of these can be used to complement a Major in Chemical Engineering, within the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at JCU.
What does a chemical engineer do?
Chemical engineers work closely with raw materials - whether this be ores, metals, grains, water, or more – to transform them into products that can have an array of uses.
Many chemical engineers work for mining and resource industries, analysing samples or developing refinement processes. This helps them better understand the potential applications for raw materials, and how they can be used to produce a high-quality product.
Or, chemical engineers may work within essential services. Water and waste treatment are fundamental to the healthy function of a town or city and would not be possible without chemical engineers. Water treatment engineers analyse the components of water supply to ensure safe and continuous delivery of this vital resource.
As a chemical engineer, you’ll apply your advanced theoretical understanding of raw materials and their extraction and refinement processes to modern problems and formulate effective, timely solutions.
Technology is an essential tool of modern chemical engineering. From 3D computer systems to processing equipment, you’ll become comfortable utilising programs and machinery to assist you in your role.
As the world responds to global climate challenges, chemical engineers will increasingly be called on to contribute to the field of environmental innovation. You’ll understand the practices and priorities involved in the sustainable management of raw materials and adapt this to embrace an environmentally positive approach.
A chemical engineer requires creativity to approach challenges from different angles. You’ll work closely with qualitative data and become an expert in modelling various scenarios, as you pitch effective solutions to emerging issues.
In your role as a chemical engineer, you will develop analytical skills and an understanding of their applications to your specific role. You may undertake additional specialisation within your field, as you use your knowledge and understanding to carve out your niche.
What jobs are there in chemical engineering?
Chemical engineers are in demand across a diverse range of industries.
Studying Chemical Engineering with the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at JCU will see you forge connections with industry, commercial, and community leaders. Your recognised qualifications, skills, and experience will provide you with local, national, and international opportunities.
With a JCU Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Chemical Engineering, you could find yourself in careers such as:
- Petrochemical engineer
- Water treatment engineer
- Mineral processing engineer
- Food and beverage scientist
- Pharmaceutical development and design
- Engineering project manager
- Agrichemical engineer
- Waste treatment engineer
- Process engineer
- Recycling chemical engineer.
Why study Chemical Engineering at JCU?
When you study Chemical Engineering with JCU, you’ll have access to a program that is responsive to industry feedback, and equips students with relevant, job-ready skills developed through extensive theory and hands-on learning experiences.
As a chemical engineering student, you’ll receive advanced theoretical and technical know-how from expert lecturers. You’ll benefit from small, interactive class sizes and be able to put your learning into practice sooner.
JCU students also gain access to a vast network of industry connections. You’ll embrace the opportunity for practical experience across industries including mining, food manufacturing, and materials processing throughout your study.
North Queensland is a hub for several growth industries in need of chemical engineers. The Queensland State Government has highlighted minerals processing, water infrastructure and biofuels as key sectors that will undergo expansion in the region.* There is no better place to learn than right on the doorstep of influential corporations.
Not only will you develop the skills you need right now, but you’ll be also encouraged to consider the role and relevance of engineering to JCU’s unique location in North Queensland. You’ll consider innovation alongside sustainability, as you contribute to future-proofing your chosen field and facilitate positive change for the region.
As you undertake a JCU Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), you’ll be equipped with a degree that supports both your learning and your career.
*Trade and Investment Queensland 2020