Chemical Engineering

The Department of Chemical Engineering (CHE) offers a curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in chemical engineering. The Chemical Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, Inc. (www.abet.org). In addition to the major there are two available tracks: biology and pharmaceutical. The department also offers the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

Faculty: Professor Brown, chairperson. Professors Bose, Gregory, and Lucia; Associate Professors Bothun, Greenfield, and Rivero-Hudec; Assistant Professors Meenach, Kennedy, and Worthen; Associate Research Professor Crisman; Professors Emeriti Barnett, Gray, Knickle, Rockett, and Rose.

The chemical engineer is concerned with the application and control of processes leading to changes in chemical composition. These processes are most frequently associated with the production of useful products (chemicals, fuels, metals, foods, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, and the like), but also include processes such as removal of toxic components from the blood by an artificial kidney, environmental cleanup, and semiconductor processing. The chemical engineer’s domain includes more efficient production and use of energy, processing of wastes, and protection of the environment.

Chemical engineers have a strong foundation in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and basic engineering. Chemical engineering courses include thermodynamics, transport phenomena, mass transfer operations, materials engineering, process dynamics and control, kinetics, and plant design. The student has the opportunity to operate small-scale equipment and to visit local industry. Intensive work is undertaken in the solution of complex problems in which economics and optimization of engineering design are emphasized.

Department Mission Statement. We are a community in a common quest to create and distribute chemical engineering knowledge in order to prepare our graduates to be successful leaders and practitioners.

Program Educational Objectives.

Three to five years after graduation from the B.S. in Chemical Engineering, graduates will :

  1. Successfully practice or apply the principles of Chemical Engineering in a variety of employment areas.
  2. Achieve professional success with an understanding and appreciation of ethical behavior, social responsibility, and diversity, both as individuals and in team environments.
  3. Pursue continued life-long learning through professional practice, further graduate education or other training programs in engineering science or other professional fields.

Student Outcomes. Chemical engineering students demonstrate knowledge in all outcomes required by ABET, Inc. which are listed in the college’s student outcomes section.

Program Description. URI’s chemical engineering program is more than just a collection of courses and credit hours whose content reflects the required criteria. The program has also been carefully designed to prepare students for the profession of chemical engineering through study, experience, and practice. Through eight specific program goals, the Department of Chemical Engineering at URI seeks to:

1) provide the necessary background in science, particularly chemistry, physics, and advanced mathematics through the study of differential equations, so that students will be able to continue their education in the engineering sciences, with depth of understanding, and learn to apply these subjects to the formulation and solution of engineering problems;

2) provide a broad cross section of fundamental engineering science courses, including some from other engineering disciplines so that our students will acquire an understanding of the way in which chemistry, physics, and mathematics have been and continue to be used to solve important engineering problems relevant to the general chemical engineering and engineering design;

3) provide students with experience in conducting and planning experiments in the modern engineering laboratory, including interfacing experiments with computers as well as interpreting the significance of resulting data and properly reporting results in well-written technical reports;

4) provide experience in the process of original chemical engineering design in the areas of equipment design, process design, and plant design through the process of formulating a design solution to a perceived need and then executing the design and evaluating its performance, including economic considerations and societal impacts if any, along with other related constraints, culminating in both written and oral presentations of results;

5) provide experience with the multifaceted aspects of using computers to solve problems and present results with word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and professional-level applications software used for design and analysis; and provide for obtaining and using information on the World Wide Web;

6) provide a familiarity with professional issues in chemical engineering, including ethics, issues related to the global economy and to emerging technologies, and fostering of important job-related skills such as improved oral and written communications and experience in working in teams at a number of levels;

7) encourage students to become actively engaged in the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and other student organizations, and to continue these associations after graduation with an emphasis on the importance of lifelong professional development including the desirability of attending graduate school or otherwise obtaining continuing or advanced education; and

8) make available continuous individual advising throughout the entire undergraduate educational experience to insure that each student makes the most of the educational opportunities provided by URI, particularly those related to general education electives that might enhance an engineering education, and special programs such as internships, cooperative experience and especially the International Engineering Programs in Chinese, German, French, and Spanish which are a unique opportunity available to globally motivated URI engineering students.

Traditional Chemical Engineering Major.

The chemical engineering major requires 120 credits.

Freshman Year First semester: 13 credits
CHM 101 (3), 102 (1); EGR 105 (1); MTH 141 (4); and PHY 203 (3), 273 (1).

Second semester: 17 credits
CHM 112 (3), 114 (1); ECN 201 (3); EGR 106 (2); MTH 142 (4); and PHY 204 (3), 274 (1).

Sophomore Year First semester: 12 credits
CHE 212 (3); CHM 227 (3); MTH 243 (3); and general education requirement (3).

Second semester: 15 credits
CHE 232 (3), 272 (3), 313 (3); CHM 228 or BCH 311 (3); and MTH 244 (3).

Junior Year First semester: 17 credits
CHE 314 (3), 347 (3); CHM 335 (2), 431 (3); approved mathematics elective1 (3); and general education requirement (3).

Second semester: 15 credits
CHE 348 (3), 364 (3); CHM 432 or approved professional elective1 (3); and general education requirements (6).

Senior Year First semester: 17 credits
CHE 345 (2) [capstone], 349 (2), 351 (3) [capstone], 425 (3), 428 (1); approved professional elective2 (3); and general education requirement (3).

Second semester: 14 credits
CHE 346 (2) [capstone], 352 (3) [capstone]; and approved professional electives2 (9).

1 Mathematics Elective Requirement: MTH 215 or any 300-, 400-, or 500-level MTH course except MTH 381.

Professional Elective Requirements: Half of the professional electives are to be 400-level or higher CHE courses taken at URI. The remaining courses are to be 300-level or higher in natural science, or 400-level or higher in engineering (BME, CHE, CPE, CVE, ELE, ISE, MCE, OCE), or 400-level or higher in MTH. All professional electives require prior prior approval by CHE advisor.

Biology Track in Chemical Engineering. The primary motivation is to respond to advances in our understanding of biological processes at the molecular and macroscopic levels, and the unique opportunity for chemical engineers to translate that understanding to useful processes. The application of the chemical engineering paradigm to biology enables graduates to develop new molecular biology tools; drug delivery systems; artificial skin, organs and tissues; sensors and alternative fuels; and to integrate new bio-products into existing materials. The curriculum is founded on the core principles of transport phenomena, unit operations, thermodynamics, and reaction kinetics. Students take a series of five courses in biochemistry and cell and molecular biology. Besides preparing students for the biotechnology industry, this combination of biology, chemical engineering, and chemistry courses is relevant to those considering medical school.

This track follows a program similar to the traditional chemical engineering curriculum, but with biology and biochemistry courses replacing some of the other technical and science courses.

The chemical engineering major with biology track requires 124 credits.

Freshman Year First semester: 13 credits
CHM 101 (3), 102 (1); EGR 105 (1); MTH 141 (4); and PHY 203 (3), 273 (1).

Second semester: 17 credits
BIO 101 (3), BIO 103 (1); CHM 112 (3), 114 (1); ECN 201 (3); EGR 106 (2); and MTH 142 (4).

Sophomore Year First semester: 15 credits
CHE 212 (3), CHM 227 (3); MTH 243 (3); and general education requirements (6).

Second semester: 15 credits
BCH 311 (3) or BIO 341 (3); CHE 232 (3), 272 (3), 313 (3); and MTH 244 (3).

Junior Year First semester: 16 credits
BIO 341 (3) or BCH 311 (3); CHE 314 (3), 347 (3); PHY 204 (3), 274 (1); and general education requirement (3).

Second semester: 17 credits
BIO 352 (4); CHE 348 (3), 364 (3); MIC 211 (4); and general education requirement (3).

Senior Year First semester: 17 credits
CHE 345 (2) [capstone], 349 (2), 351 (3) [capstone], 425 (3), 428 (1); approved professional elective2 (3); and general education requirement (3).

Second semester: 14 credits
BIO 437 (3); CHE 346 (2) [capstone], 352 (3) [capstone]; approved mathematics elective2 (3); and approved professional elective2 (3).

Mathematics Elective Requirement: MTH 215 or any 300-, 400-, or 500-level MTH course except MTH 381.

2 Professional Elective Requirements: Half of the professional electives are to be any 400-level or higher CHE courses taken at URI. The remaining courses are to be 300-level or higher in natural science, or 400-level or higher in engineering (BME, CHE, CPE, CVE, ELE, ISE, MCE, OCE), or 400-level or higher in MTH. All professional electives require prior approval by CHE advisor.

Pharmaceutical Track in Chemical Engineering. Biopharmaceuticals is one of the fastest growing industrial sectors both in the United States and worldwide, with a projected growth rate of ten percent per year for the foreseeable future. Driving this rapid growth are the worldwide increase in average life span, major developments in our understanding of key factors behind the development of disease, and important innovations in drug formulations and delivery. This growth has created a need for graduates who are well-versed in the basic sciences as well as all technological aspects related to the development process for therapeutic agents—production, scale-up and processing, formulation and delivery, and regulatory constraints. The chemical engineering pharmaceutical track serves to meet this need, combining the well-known strengths of the College of Pharmacy with those of the Department of Chemical Engineering, for a curriculum that will produce leaders in the pharmaceutical industry.

This track follows the traditional chemical engineering curriculum, but with biology, biochemistry, and biomedical-and-pharmaceutical-science courses replacing some of the other technical and science courses.

The chemical engineering major with pharmaceutical track requires 126 credits.

Freshman Year First Semester: 13 credits
CHM 101 (3), 102 (1); EGR 105 (1); MTH 141 (4); and PHY 203 (3), 273 (1).

Second Semester: 17 credits
BIO 101 (3), BIO 103 (1); CHM 112 (3), 114 (1); ECN 201 (3); EGR 106 (2); and MTH 142 (4).

Sophomore Year First Semester: 15 credits
CHE 212 (3); CHM 227 (3); MTH 243 (3); and general education requirements (6).

Second Semester: 15 credits
BCH 311 (3) or BIO 341 (3); CHE 232 (3), 272 (3), 313 (3); and MTH 244 (3).

Junior Year First Semester: 15 credits
BCH 311 (3) or BIO 341 (3); BPS 301 (2), 303 (2), 305 (2); and CHE 314 (3), 347 (3).

Junior Year Second Semester: 17 credits
BPS 425 (3); CHE 348 (3), 364 (3); MIC 211 (4); and PHY 204 (3), 274 (1).

Senior Year First Semester: 17 credits
CHE 345 (2) [capstone], 349 (2), 351 (3) [capstone], 425 (3), 428 (1); approved professional elective1 (3); and general education requirement (3).

Senior Year Second Semester: 17 credits
CHE 346 (2) [capstone], 352 (3) [capstone], 548 (3) or approved professional elective1 (3), 574 (3); and general education requirement (6).

1 Professional Elective Requirements: Half of the professional electives are to be 400-level or higher CHE courses taken at URI. The remaining courses are to be 300-level or higher in natural science, or 400-level or higher in engineering (BME, CHE, CPE, CVE, ELE, ISE, MCE, OCE), or 400-level or higher in MTH. All professional electives require prior approval by CHE advisor.

Minor in Nuclear Engineering. Qualified chemical engineering students may pursue a minor in nuclear engineering. Students declaring this minor must complete a minimum of 18 credits consisting of four required courses (12 credits) and two supporting courses (6 credits). Additional information can be found at egr.uri.edu/nuclear-engineering-minor/

Accelerated Five-Year B.S./M.S. Degree Program. To qualify for this program, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher while pursuing their B.S. degree. To ease the course load at the graduate level, candidates are encouraged to earn some graduate credits (e.g. one or two courses not required for their B.S. degree) during their senior year. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the department chairperson.