Chemical engineering at... the university of illinois at urbana-champaign

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We are deeply conscious within ChBE of our role as a department within a public research university, and we seek to be distinctive in the ways we fulfill that role. Our undergraduate education ranks among the best in the United States even with a large student/faculty ratio. The curriculum emphasizes chemistry, laboratory experiences, and practical creative problem solving in a unique way. The program offers extensive opportunities for undergraduate research, and features a biomolecular course option taught by leaders in the field. In graduate education, the department features an extraordinary dedication to collaboration across disciplines and with many individual faculty spanning a wide range of areas. The large proportion of early-career faculty sharpens the focus on current-day research problems, and also fosters an environment of especially close mentorship of graduate students. The department exhibits a rare willingness to build global graduate education programs at the level of a multi-institutional doctoral degree, and to embrace public engagement efforts to interpret the engineering endeavors to the society at large. Looking ahead, we believe public research universities need to re-envision themselves in the changing social and economic landscape. As a discipline, chemical engineering must recognize that its reach extends with particularly broad scope into the pressing problems of our day, in areas of human health, energy, and sustainability, and in a milieu where access to powerful computational tools becomes widespread. Large numbers of students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are seeking to enter these areas for the benefit of the common good, and chemical engineering departments in public research universities must embrace those students in a spirit of both innovation and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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