Jan 30, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Department of Chemical Engineering

Chairperson: Dr. Holly Stretz; Professors: Dr. Joseph Biernacki, Dr. Bahman Ghorashi; Associate Professors:, Dr. Robby Sanders; Assistant Professors: Dr. Laura Arias Chavez, Lecturer: Mr. Bobby Adams.

Chemical Engineering (ChE) is a respected and ideal profession for modern times and dynamic changing markets. It is broad, adaptable to a large family of businesses (i.e., energy and economics, environmental, biotechnology, nanotechnology, biomedicine, pharmaceutical, materials, food and others) and highly paid. Rooted in basic sciences, ChE is mainly concerned with the design, scaling (Quantum, capillaries, cars or planet), operation and control of the transformation recycling and purification of raw materials into valuable products. Chemical Engineers are the inventors of nylon fibers, artificial heart valves, solar cells, nasal drug deliveries and efficient processes to clean our environment, to name a few.

The Department of Chemical Engineering at Tennessee Tech is a vibrant community of engineering educators where both teaching and research synergistically work to effectively enhance student learning. In fact, Tennessee Tech is the home of some of the top educators in the region with most of the ChE Department engaged in active research on various aspects of student learning. These efforts have led to multi-award-winning distinctions university-wide, nationally and internationally. ChE faculty members are frequently invited to conduct training workshops for colleagues in the United States and abroad and, therefore, students are exposed to some of the most effective and modern approaches in engineering education and innovation. Thus, Chemical Engineering at Tennessee Tech offers a well-rounded, competitive and modern curriculum highly adaptable to support the long-term contribution across today’s careers for the avid and curious student. For those interested in industrial careers, the Tennessee Tech experience has proven successful in a variety of businesses and national labs, such as Eastman, DuPont, Proctor & Gamble, Aphena, and Saturn, , as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy (Oak Ridge). For those more interested in graduate education, Tennessee Tech graduates can be found at some of the most prestigious universities in the country and have received fellowships from competitive agencies such as the National Science Foundation and Tau Beta Pi.

The Department of Chemical Engineering offers programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Engineering with concentration in Chemical Engineering. The undergraduate chemical engineering program is accredited by Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Students may elect to pursue the core curriculum or choose one of the two concentrations offered: biomolecular (BMOL) or energy and the environment (ENEV). Additionally, for those more motivated and qualified students, a distinction in the major option (DITM) is available to enhance the B.S. degree as well as a fast-track (5-year) B.S./M.S. option. The graduate program offers both MS with or without thesis, and a direct PhD option.

The mission of the Chemical Engineering Department at Tennessee Tech is to prepare relevant and adaptive chemical engineers in state-of-the-art areas by emphasizing real world problem solving and critical thinking skills. Students majoring in Chemical Engineering must meet the College of Engineering requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree as well as the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org requirements.

Students majoring in chemical engineering take courses in composition, literature, humanities, social science, mathematics, physics and chemistry. Students are required to take more than 40 hours of chemical engineering core courses including Material and Energy Balances, Thermodynamics, Transport Processes, Process Control, Reaction Kinetics and Process Design. In order to relate theory developed in classroom environments to practical application, most chemical engineering classes have an integrated lab experience. Twelve hours of technical electives are also required that allow the student curricular flexibility.

Owing to the increased level of regional and national interest in bio-related fields within chemical engineering (bio-fuels, pharmaceuticals, bio-materials, etc.), the Department of Chemical Engineering offers a “Bio-Molecular Engineering Concentration”. Students graduating with Bio-Molecular Engineering Concentration will still receive a B.S. Chemical Engineering degree (and take all of the core chemical engineering classes), but will have extensive exposure to bio-engineering related courses (cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, biological processes in chemical engineering, etc.). Note that students enrolling in the Bio-Molecular Engineering Concentration will not encounter any additional credit hour burden.To provide students with the opportunity to prepare for workforce needs associated with storage, production and use of energy in a green and sustainable economy, the department of Chemical Engineering now offers an Energy and The Environment concentration. This concentration will still receive a B.S. Chemical Engineering degree (take all the core chemical engineering classes) but will have extensive exposure to alternate energy technologies, economics, batteries, risk assessment and compliance with regulation.

In addition to a vibrant, graduate-level research program, the Department of Chemical Engineering offers many opportunities for undergraduate research for freshmen through senior students. Such recent topics include micro devices, materials fabrication, nanoparticles, and molecular-level compound design, among others. Students have the opportunity to present their work at regional and national conferences as well as become co-authors in refereed journal publications. Performing undergraduate research with the department is one of the most successful roads to graduate school for an M.S. or a Ph.D. degree, as well as providing experiential preparation in project management and product development leadership A number of our recent B.S. graduates have continued their graduate studies at Tech, while others have entered graduate programs at universities like Georgia Tech and MIT.


Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering