Everything around us is composed of chemicals. When chemicals react with each other newer forms of things are produced. So this branch of engineering applies the principles of chemistry along with mathematics, physics and mechanical engineering and is instrumental in formation of so many new things around help and us in discovering the existing materials for the use of mankind. Nowadays the applications of chemical processes are expanding in various industries so there is a greater need of chemical engineers now. Chemical engineers convert raw materials and chemicals into useful products and help in finding new materials and techniques of their usage. They design and maintain chemical processes of large manufacturing units. They are required as they work to create synthetic replacements for those natural materials and scarce resources.
These engineers manufacture better plastics, paints, fuels, fibers, medicines, fertilizers, semiconductors, paper, and all other kinds of chemicals, by carrying out chemical reactions and purifications. They also play an important role in protecting the environment by inventing cleaner technologies. Some of these engineers are engaged in the work of finding ways to recycle the waste products. Some Chemical Engineers work in factories and some find jobs in laboratories. Some find employment in universities, consulting firms, engineering firms, mineral based industries, petrochemical plants, synthetic fiber industry, food processing units, explosive manufacturing industry, fertilizer industry, plastic industry, petroleum refining plants, pharmaceuticals, law offices, government agencies, and many other types of jobs. So we can see that these engineers have a varied amount of job options. Those who have an additional management degree are sought by private industries. In process industries they could work in positions such as a supervisor or manager, technical specialist, project manager or project engineers. They are also employed in a variety of manufacturing industries other than chemical manufacturing, such as those producing electronics, photographic equipment, clothing, pulp and paper and even in the development of aircrafts.
For holding of a gazetted post in government one needs to clear the Engineering Service Examinations, which are held annually by the U.P.S.C or S.P.S.C.
In the public sector they may be employed in defense establishment and atomic power plants, waste and water treatment department, environment regulation and recycling department, health related research projects, energy conservation projects. They are also employed in service industries such as scientific research and development services, particularly in energy and the developing fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology.
To become a chemical engineer one needs to have a B.E/B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering or an M.E degree in Chemical Engineering. There are both, degree as well as diploma courses. One can go for the 3-year diploma course after the 10th standard (SSC). One can also think of doing an integrated 5-year course offered by IITs that leads to M.Tech Biochemistry Engineering.
The academic program of chemical engineering lays stress on the subjects like Industrial Chemistry, Polymer Technology, Polymer Processing, Polymer Testing, Polymer Synthesis etc. The ME level course specialized training is given in the areas like computer aided plant design, petroleum refining, fertilizer technology, processing of food and agricultural products, synthetic food, petrochemicals, synthetic fibers, coal and mineral based industries etc.
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
The specialized areas include research and studies in fluid mechanics, solid particle technologies, polymers, nonstructural materials, protein engineering, bio-catalysis, and biomedical devices. Another branch of specialization is Ceramic and Material engineering. Some of the other areas of specialization are Pollution control, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Metals, Fertilizers and pesticides, Automotive, Plastics, Manufacturing, Forensics, Thermodynamics, Food sciences, Cosmetics, Chemical safety, Education and training, Missile and space, Minerals and metals, Plastics and resins, Waste management