Chemical engineers may design and coordinate the construction and operation of manufacturing facilities and processes that convert raw materials into products such as petrol, toothpaste, pharmaceuticals and plastics.
Personal requirements of a chemical engineer may include:
- Enjoyment of technical and engineering work
- Ablility to identify, analyse and solve problems
- Well developed communication skills
- Skilled in computing and design
- Being practical and creative
- Ablility to work independently
- Willing to accept responsibility
Chemical engineers may complete the following tasks:
- Improve or find new uses for existing materials
- Make plans and specifications for new production plants, taking into account available technology, the cost and size of equipment and storage space, market needs, transport methods and disposal of surplus substances
- Find new and more efficient processes
- Design methods and equipment to control and contain the processes that transform basic materials into useful products
- Test products at various stages of production to check the quality
- Ensure safe and environmental friendly usage of materials
- Identify faults in the day-to-day operation of process plants (e.g. oil refining, steel making, water treatment) and take corrective action
The career pathway of this occupation usually requires the completion of a recognised Bachelor degree in chemical engineering. Universities may have different prerequisites and some may have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.
Some jobs may require a post-graduate qualification such as a graduate gertificate, graduate diploma, or Master degree.
Once they have obtained a Bachelor degree, chemical engineers generally focus on a specialisation area, like:
- Combustion which involves large industrial furnaces such as those for power generation from coal or ga
- Petroleum which involves the production of oil, gas and LPG from onshore and offshore fields
Among others, the gas industry is one of the major employmers of chemical engineers. Employment might also be found with state authorities concerned with gas, electricity, water supply and environmental protection.