The Department of Chemical Engineering at BYU has been offering graduate degrees since 1960 and has become a center of cutting-edge research and teaching. External funding for departmental research is over $2 million per year, with 14 faculty members and approximately 40 graduate students working to solve technical, scientific, and engineering problems to meet global and societal needs. Faculty and students share their innovations and research in leading scientific publications, attend international research conferences, and collaborate with other researchers across the world. As discussed below, the department is home to a number of specialized research centers where multiple faculty members and students collaborate on long-term projects with lasting impact. The department is known for strong research programs in sustainable energy, catalysis, thermodynamics, molecular modeling, process control, electrochemical engineering, and bioengineering.
The Department of Chemical Engineering offers two degrees: Chemical Engineering—MS and Chemical Engineering—PhD. The department also offers an integrated master’s program. The typical length of study for students who begin with a BS degree in chemical engineering is two years for the MS degree and four and a half years for the PhD degree.
Chair: Randy S. Lewis
Graduate Coordinator: John D. Hendengren
All the faculty members actively participate in research endeavors, and a number have gained international recognition for their work.
Some of the major facilities in the Department of Chemical Engineering are:
The Advanced Combustion Engineering Research Center (ACERC) is internationally recognized as a leading center for interdisciplinary energy research. Initially founded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as an engineering research center, ACERC now represents a collaborative effort of faculty with similar research interests and funding from both industrial and government sources. Students and faculty associated with the center pursue experimentation, analysis, computer modeling, and design of combustion systems.
DIPPR Thermophysical Properties Laboratory. Development and management of the DIPPR 801 thermophysical property database is the major pursuit of the DIPPR laboratory. This database, perhaps the best in the world of its kind, is sponsored by the Design Institute for Physical Property Data (DIPPR) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Research activities consist of collecting and evaluating literature data on pure component properties and developing correlation and prediction techniques. Experimental projects also compose a significant emphasis of the laboratory.
Catalysis Laboratory. The lab has a thirty-two-year history of productive research in heterogeneous catalysis. Highly interdisciplinary in nature, this research applies principles of kinetics, chemistry, materials science, surface science, and chemical engineering to the understanding of catalyst properties and catalytic reactions.
For all graduate degree programs, support is available from the department and the university in the form of teaching assistantships and competitive fellowships, and from faculty members in the form of research assistantships. Nearly every graduate student receives financial support.