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Dr Gary Leeke School of Chemical Engineering November 15th 2010 What is Chemical Engineering by Definition? • Definition found in a standard dictionary: “A branch of engineering which involves the design and operation of large scale chemical plants, petrochemical refineries, and the like.” • Another definition (from the www): “Concerned with processes that cause substances to undergo required changes in their chemical or physical composition, structure, energy content or physical state.” What do Chemical Engineers make? Low volume, high cost – Foods, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Skin Creams, – Detergents, Paper, Ceramics, – High Performance Materials (carbon fibre etc.), Fuel Cells, Bone implants. – Smart Materials…nanofactories…. High volume, low cost – Petrochemicals, – Fertilisers, – Plastics, Paints, Textiles What Chemical Engineers do... Chemical Engineers scale up processes from the Chemistry Lab Process Scale Volume of several m3 Lab Scale Volume of few ml A question of scale? N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3 (exothermic) Primary Reformer Secondary Reformer 1200 Tonnes per day Ammonia Plant A question of scale? Microreactors and Novel Reactor Configurations Liquid Distributor Catalyst Packing 0.5 mm Silicon nitride Pt catalyst membrane Support Silicon Plate Aluminium sealing plate Pt heater 3.5 mm 0.55 mm Gas flow Pt catalyst Packed Bed Aluminium sealing plate 18 mm What do we do when the oil runs out? Fuel Cells – Clean Power Chemistry of a Fuel Cell Anode side: 2H2 => 4H+ + 4e- Cathode side: O2 + 4H+ + 4e- => 2H2O Net reaction: 2H2 + O2 => 2H2O Energy Biofuels - Biodiesel Production of ‘carbon-neutral’ fuels from plant oils Influence of Process on Product Structure At molecular scale.... ....and above Multiphase materials – Immiscible phases (e.g. oil/water) – Crystallisation and crystal forms – Effect of structure on product air cell mayonnaise traditionalin ice cream performance Norton et al. (2006) AIChE J., 52, 5, 1632. Cell factories and biotechnology - Using bugs to make complex chemicals SEM of various cells Motion of cells in the body and material transport Red blood cells What do you need to know? How to move materials around (Fluid Flow) How to change a material’s temperature or state (Heat Transfer /Thermodynamics) How to optimise chemical reactions /reactors (Reaction Engineering/ Chemistry) Handling and processing of multiphase materials and how it affects their (micro)structure (Multiphase Flow / Colloid Science) What do you need to know? Computer modelling. Use of IT/Computers and electronic resources (C&IT) to design plants. How to work in teams and be an effective manager (Process / Project Management) Be able to problem solve! A chemical engineer is more than a chemist Chemistry Physics Chemical Engineer Biology Mathematics Management Economics What makes a good Chemical Engineer? Chemical Engineers need to be problem solvers, who enjoy science and maths. They must be looking for a challenge and be excited by a degree choice that will help them develop a wide range of skills including…… Specialist scientific Communication skills knowledge Leadership skills Project management IT Resource management Business & legal Health & Safety knowledge Team Work All skills which are highly valued by employers, even outside the chemical engineering industry www.whynotchemeng.com Real Life Chemical Engineers Matt Savage is an Environmental Consultant working in New Zealand. He works with different companies to reduce the amount of pollution their plants produce. Christine Waweru is a design engineer. She is developing hollow fibres for breathing systems used in space. Ryan McGovern works for ExxonMobil. He has been involved in making oil refineries more energy efficient and loves the challenge his job brings. www.whynotchemeng.com Real Life Chemical Engineers Rachel Cooke works for Cadbury’s. Her job includes doing plant trials, running the machinery in a different way to see how that can make a new product. She even gets to try out the chocolate! Peter Foster discovered how to process the drug used to treat haemophilia so that it could be produced on a large scale Lisa Lilley is Shell’s Technical Support manager. She tests and evaluates the fuels and lubricants used by Ferrari How do I become a Chemical Engineer? The most straight forward entry route into Chemical Further Study Engineering is…… BEng or MEng GCSEs or A-Levels or Chemical equivalent equivalent Engineering Degree It is possible, but less common, to enter Chemical Employment Engineering with a HND/HNC instead of A-levels or their equivalent. www.whynotchemeng.com What subjects should I take after GCSE? • A levels, Scottish (Advanced) Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate, European Baccalaureate – Maths is essential. Chemistry and Physics are the other 2 most useful subjects • Diploma – The new Engineering Diploma level 3 , combined with a maths A level is an alternative route. www.whynotchemeng.com WWW.WHYNOTCHEMENG.COM Is a Chemical Engineering degree well recognised? Chemical Engineering is a degree that is well respected in industry and commerce. A Chemical Engineering degree will equip you with skills that are easily transferable and graduates invariably take on considerable responsibility within a few years of graduation. For this reason job prospects are excellent and often involve the chance to reach senior managerial positions at a young age. www.whynotchemeng.com www.whynotchemeng.com WWW.WHYNOTCHEMENG.COM What are the benefits? Benefits include…… • Excellent job prospects on graduation and beyond • High earning potential • Variety and challenge • Opportunities to travel and see the world • The chance to make a real contribution to a sustainable future www.whynotchemeng.com WWW.WHYNOTCHEMENG.COM What do Chemical Engineers earn? Chemical Engineers are the best paid group of engineers and have the potential to earn more than doctors, lawyers and accountants. • The average graduate starting salary is £27,500 • The average salary is £50,000 rising to £60,400 for Chartered Chemical Engineers who are regarded as professional ‘high flyers’ (Source: Institution of Chemical Engineers Salary Survey, 2010) WWW.WHYNOTCHEMENG.COM What Qualifications do I need? Typical offers based on 3 A levels Birmingham offer (2011): 340 points (AAB) – including A levels in Maths and Chemistry To become a Chartered Engineer, should do MEng Why do Chemical Engineering at Birmingham? Excellence in Teaching and Research – 65% of our research is world leading and internationally excellent – 30% is nationally leading 1st National Student Survey 2010 Advanced laboratory, computational and e-learning facilities WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT Breadth and depth: 14 professors and 27 teaching staff in total Approx 80-100 undergraduates per year; greater than 100 postgraduates. Industrial Links Courses Available OUR PROGRAMMES ARE ACCREDITED BY IChemE Single Honours Programmes (Yrs 1-2 are common) H800 BEng/MEng Chem. Eng. H801 MEng Chem. Eng. (International Study) – 3rd Year Abroad Studying in an Overseas University H802 MEng Chem. Eng. (Industrial Experience) - Gap year in third year (Certificate in Industrial Studies) Joint Honours Programmes H8ND BEng/MEng Chem.Eng. with Business Management (joint with Business School) H803 Chemical and Energy Engineering Conclusions Our modern society relies on the work of Chemical Engineers – they help manage resources, protect the environment and control health and safety procedures, while developing the processes that make the products we desire or depend on…… Chemical Engineering is all about changing raw materials into useful products you use everyday in a safe and cost effective way. For example petrol, plastics and synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon, all come from oil. How can I find out more? www.whynotchemeng.com www.eng.bham.ac.uk/chemical/ G.A.Leeke@bham.ac.uk WWW.WHYNOTCHEMENG.COM
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