What do chemical engineers do?

Chemical, process and biochemical engineers are involved in the design, modification and operation of processes to produce the things we rely on everyday - chocolate, petrol, cosmetics, electricity, cars, aspirin, the list is endless...

They are employed across a huge variety of sectors including:

  • Chemicals and allied products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Food and drink
  • Materials
  • Mining and minerals
  • Oil and gas
  • Process plant and equipment
  • Biotechnology
  • Business and management
  • Consultancy

Chemical engineers play a crucial role in everyday life. To find out more about the real life chemical engineers working in today's industries, please click here.

Chemical engineers make decisions concerning:

  • Which reaction pathway should be used to make the product?
  • How to purify the desired product
  • How to control the process and ensure it's safe
  • How to make the process cost effective
  • What should be done with any by-products formed?
  • How to reduce the amounts of unwanted by-products
  • What to do with unreacted raw materials
  • How to recycle energy within the process

For examples of the types of jobs available to chemical engineers, visit the job roles page.