Provost's Office

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Steven E. LeBlanc, Chairperson
G. Glenn Lipscomb, Graduate Director


The Chemical & Environmental Engineering department offers graduate courses and conducts research in the areas of polymer science and engineering, environmental engineering, protein engineering and materials science. Students may select from a variety of courses and research topics in each area. The department offers two graduate degrees: Master's of Chemical Engineering (M.S.Ch.E.) and Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science (Ph.D.E.S.).

Inthe polymer science and engineering area, students learn general polymer science, transport in polymer systems, polymer processing and polymer physical chemistry. Research activities emphasize better utilization of polyester materials for material packaging. Topics in the environmental engineering area include environmental catalysis, environmental chemodynamics, industrial waste treatment and hazardous material spills. Pollution control and prevention in manufacturing processes are the primary research objectives. In the protein engineering area, students learn protein separation processes (such as chromatography and membrane separations), thermodynamics of protein systems, protein crystallization and molecular modeling. Research efforts address problems related to downstream processing in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The materials area encompasses microelectronic and photonic materials science, thermodynamics and materials characterization. Students who do not have a strong interest in any one of these areas may select classes and a research project that either encompass multiple areas or are not included in any area.


Degree Requirements

The graduate curricula consists of four core classes, technical electives and a seminar. Master's and Doctoral students must complete all four core classes: Transport Phenomena I and II, Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics and Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering. To complete the elective requirement, students may take any course at the 5000 level or higher in the College of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, or the Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics departments of the College of Arts and Sciences; students will choose specific courses jointly with their advisers and generally focus on classes in their specific research area. Additionally, all graduate students must enroll continuously for seminars in Chemical and Environmental Engineering.


Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (M.S.Ch.E.)

Students may select one of two M.S.Ch.E. degree programs: the course work or the thesis options. Both options require a total of 30 credit hours. The thesis option requires successful defense of a thesis and typically takes two years to complete. The course work option does not require a thesis and typically takes one year to complete. Minimum requirements are: · Twelve (12) hours in four (4) chemical engineering courses: CHEE 6500 Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering CHEE 6510 Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics CHEE 6550 Transport Phenomena I CHEE 6560 Transport Phenomena II · Nine (9) hours of graduate course work (excluding the Graduate Seminar) · Continuous registration for the Graduate Seminar · Nine (9) hours of thesis work (thesis option) completed to the satisfaction of the thesis committee or nine(9) additional hours ofgraduate course work (course work option) for a total of 30 credit hours plus seminar credit. Only credit hours obtained with a letter grade of "C" or higher, or an "S" grade for the limited number of classes offered on a satisfactory or unsatisfactory basis, will fulfill degree requirements. The graduate course work must satisfy the following restrictions: · No more than three (3) hours of independent study, special problems or special topics; six (6) hours if the student opts for the course work option · No more than seven (7) hours in dual level courses; courses with a minority enrollment of selected undergraduates are not restricted · All courses must be taken at the 5000 level or higher in the College of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, or the Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics departments of the College of Arts andSciences

All students must register for one hour of Seminars in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, CHEE 5930, each semester during the academic year. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. To receive a grade of "S," students must attend all seminars or provide a written explanation for their absence.


Degree Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science (Ph.D.)

The doctoral degree requires a total of 90 credit hours split equally between course work and dissertation research. However, to be formally admitted to candidacy for the degree, doctoral students must first pass preliminary and qualifying examinations. After admission to candidacy, the completion of 45 credit hours of course work and 45 credit hours of dissertation research, doctoral candidates must prepare a written dissertation documenting their research efforts. Final approval for graduation is contingent upon a successful oral defense of the dissertation before the dissertation committee in a public forum.

The minimum requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Science are: · Twelve (12) hours in four (4) chemical engineering courses: CHEE 8500 Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering CHEE 8510 Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics CHEE 8550 Transport Phenomena I CHEE 8560 Transport Phenomena II · Thirty-three (33) hours of graduate course work (excluding the Graduate Seminar) · Continuous registration for the Graduate Seminar · Passage of the Preliminary Exam · Passage of the Qualifying Exam · Forty-five (45) hours of dissertation research completed to the satisfaction of the dissertation committee for a total of 90 credit hours. Only credit hours obtained with a letter grade of "C" or higher, or an "S" grade for the limited number of classes offered on a satisfactory or unsatisfactory basis, will fulfill degree requirements.

For students admitted with a Bachelor's degree, the graduate course work must satisfy the following restrictions: · No more than fifteen (15) hours of independent study, special problems or special topics · No more than eleven (11) hours of dual level courses; courses with a minority enrollment of selected undergraduates are not restricted · All courses must be taken at the 5000 level or higher in the College of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy or the Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics departments of the College of Arts and Sciences

The faculty may award students admitted with a Master's in Chemical Engineering up to 30 hours of credit. This may include credit for core classes if the faculty deem classes taken as a Master's student are comparable to the core classes. The student must satisfy all other requirements as listed above. Additional course work must satisfy the following restrictions: · No more than three (3) hours of independent study, special problems or special topics · No more than four (4) hours of dual level courses; courses with a minority enrollment of selected undergraduates are not restricted · All courses must be taken at the 5000 level or higher in the College of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy or the Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics departments of the College of Arts and Sciences

All students must register for one hour of Seminars in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, CHEE 5930, each semester during the academic year. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. To receive a grade of "S," students must attend all seminars or provide a written explanation for their absence.

Preliminary/Qualification Examinations

The purpose of the preliminary exam is to determine whether a student possesses the necessary background to complete doctoral degree requirements. The exam is given at the end of the Fall Semester and consists of two parts: written and oral. The two-hour written exam is a closed-book exam covering core areas: transport phenomena, thermodynamics and reaction engineering. Specific questions are tailored to match a student's background (for example, a student with a polymer background may answer questions in the above areas with a polymer emphasis). The exam tests material covered at the undergraduate level as well as material from the Fall Semester graduate classes. The hour-long oral exam covers the same material as the written exam. However, the questions are more open-ended and student responses are discussed in-depth. The faculty will evaluate students' oral communication skills and their ability to analyze problems qualitatively.

The qualifying exam consists of an oral defense of the proposed dissertation research before a committee of five faculty members. Prior to the defense, students submit a written proposal to their committee. The defense consists of a brief presentation of the written proposal followed by a question and answer session. During the exam, the committee will assess the appropriateness of the proposed research for a doctoral dissertation and the student's ability to successfully complete it. Students must take the qualifying exam within one calendar year of passage of the preliminary exam. Upon passing the qualifying exam, students may apply for admission to candidacy.

Last Updated: 6/26/15