What do Chemical Engineers do?

Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions.
  • Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.
  • Perform tests and monitor performance of processes throughout stages of production to determine degree of control over variables such as temperature, density, specific gravity, and pressure.
  • Design and plan layout of equipment.
  • Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.
  • Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes.
  • Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new product and test proposed process in small scale operation such as a pilot plant.
  • Direct activities of workers who operate or who are engaged in constructing and improving absorption, evaporation, or electromagnetic equipment.

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Necessary Skills

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Systems Analysis
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Monitoring

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