Brief History and career Opportunities in Chemical Engineering



Brief History and career Opportunities in Chemical Engineering. The origin chemical engineering as compared to other engineering discipline is relatively new, formal and distinct professional in engineering practice.

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Operations such as filtration, evaporation, drying, crystallization has been long in practice, production and recovery of food preservatives. According to the former president of chemical engineering, the discipline evolved from the practice of chemist in chemical industries.

These activities were traced from the manufacture of basic chemical products, like: acids, salts, bases and pharmaceutical materials in Europe in the 15th century. Also in 16th and 17th century, materials such dyes, gun powders and many more are being produced in Russia.

The word chemical engineering was first used by professor J Beckman in 1772 from the University of Gottingen. In 1880, an English man, George E Davis editor of the chemical engineering trade journal in Britain was the first to coin the word chemical engineer when he attempted to form the society of chemical engineer in United Kingdom .in spite of the pioneering work of George Davis, chemical engineering was not accorded it’s rightful position in United Kingdom early. It was only in 1923 that the university college London that the first department of chemical engineering was established , while the institution of chemical engineers was founded in 1922 and received it’s royal charter in 1957.


According the wide range of application of the field of study in engineering practices, many scholars has defined chemical engineering according to their own view of practice such as follows:
According to the American institute: chemical engineering is the application of the principles of physical sciences, economics and human relations, in which the field that pertains directly to processes or process equipment, in which matter is treated to effect changes in composition and energy content.
According to the British institute: chemical engineering is a branch of engineering in which matter undergo a required change in composition, energy content and physical state with means of processing, with the resulting product, and application to useful ends.

According to the Russian Institute: It is a branch of engineering that is concern with the production of bulk materials from basic raw materials in the most economical way by chemical reactions.


A graduate of chemical engineering has opportunities in several field of work due to the wide range of the field in the following areas:
• Research and development
• Process design/process engineering
• Plant engineering and operations
• Sales and marketing services
• Management
• Pharmaceutical and related fields
• Agriculture and food processing industries
• Consultancy
• Government employment
• Biomedical engineering
• chemical industries
• Nuclear industries
• Education
• Technical forecasting
• Petroleum industries
• Environmental control
• Law
And many other activities in different fields

• Constitution of the American Institute of chemical Engineers
• The institution of chemical Engineers, (1977). Rugby UK, regulation for election or tranasfer within the institution of chemical Engineers.
• Hougen,O.A. (1977). Seven decades of chemical engineering, chem..eng.prog; 89-104.

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