Chemical Engineering at Oxford

Chemical Engineering ......

Do you like the idea of a job that pays well, allows you to travel, offers immense variety and tackles some of the worlds most challenging problems? If you have a yearning for maths, physics and chemistry and want to study at university, Chemical Engineering may well be just the career for you. Chemical Engineering is all about transforming raw materials into the valuable and desirable products which we use everyday. Chemical Engineers understand how to alter the physical, chemical or biochemical state of a substance to create the new processes and products which society needs, in a safe, cost-effective and sustainable way. They take things out of the lab and make them happen on a big scale; they sit at the forefront of tomorrow's scientific and technological development, finding solutions to some of the world's most urgent problems - such as world famine, disease, global warming and clean water provision.

As the fourth largest engineering discipline, Chemical Engineers are employed in a wide range of industries - food and drink, materials, chemicals, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, biotechnology, water and power utilities, and space exploration. They may find themselves in research and development, plant or product design and construction, consulting, or marketing and management. Government agencies active in the areas of health, safety, and the environment use the skills of Chemical Engineers.

Chemical Engineers receive excellent training in a range of disciplines. A chemical engineering education is an excellent basis for many different career paths; a career in chemical engineering can develop and utilise skilled technical expertise, or can lead into business and general management. Its practitioners shoulder large amounts of responsibility and often handle multi-million pound projects.

...... at Oxford ......

The Engineering Science course at Oxford is a four year course in which the first two years give a firm foundation in general engineering. In their third year of study, students make a choice of specialist options, which are followed in years 3 and 4.

In our lectures, we cover essential thermodynamics, reactor design, conversion and separation processes, safety and hazard analysis, biotechnology, chemical product design and much more. Throughout the course, teaching by University staff is supplemented by invited lecturers from industry. The design project is run in conjunction with industry.

In the final year, there is a project in which the student works closely with a member of academic staff on some hot new technology topic, concerned with design, research, modelling and development. Many of these projects are also run in partnership with industry. Some examples of recent final year projects:

  • Removal of oestrogen contaminants from treated water
  • An emergency device to produce drinking water for developing countries
  • Foam fractionation of egg white to recover enzymes
  • The freezing of bioproducts
  • Design of biopharmaceutical processes: a template to produce a DNA vaccine
  • Bioreactors for tissue engineering
  • Dispersion in bubble column reactors
  • Drug delivery without the use of needles
  • A differential mobility analyser for engine exhaust particulates

Our course in chemical engineering is different to that in nearly all other UK universities. Our graduates have a much broader education in general engineering. This gives them breadth and flexibility, which is satisfying in itself, and their all-round skills are very appealing to employers.

...... is accredited

The Oxford Engineering Science course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers, as meeting the academic requirements for Corporate membership and also for stage 1 registration on the UK Engineering Council's Register of Chartered Engineers. The degree of MEng (Master of Engineering) will be awarded to those achieving Honours in the Part I and Part II examinations.