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Career in Chemical Engineering

Sep 10, 2018 14:40 IST
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What is Chemical Engineering all about?

Chemical Engineering is the field that deals with the designing and maintenance of chemical plants along with the development of chemical processes to convert raw material into useful products. This field combines the knowledge of both chemistry and engineering from a variety of fields like biotechnology, nanotechnology, mineral processing, synthetic fibers, petroleum refining plants etc.

Major Subjects Covered in Chemical Engineering

Some of the major subjects covered in a chemical engineering course are as follows -

  • Air Pollution Control Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering Economics and Plant Design
  • Chemical Process Industries
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • Environmental Pollution Control and Safety Management
  • Fertilizer Technology
  • Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Instrumentation and Process Control
  • Introduction to Electrical and Electronics Circuits
  • Introduction to Numerical Analysis

Top 10 Institutes for Chemical Engineering

In India, 'Indian Institutes of Technologies' i.e. IIT's are considered to be the best colleges for pursuing engineering courses. Also, the Top 10 UGC recognised engineering colleges in the country as per the NIRF rankings 2018 are as follows -

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Madras
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Bombay
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee
  • Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati,  Guwahati
  • Anna University, Chennai
  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  • Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Hyderabad

Career Prospects for Chemical Engineers

Chemical Engineers are commonly called 'Universal Engineers’ for their deep knowledge of both the fields of engineering and chemistry. Their work mainly involves converting the natural or waste materials into useful or less harmful chemical products. Their educational background provides them with an opportunity to work in a variety of industries. Like, for example, oil and gas industries, food industries, energy industries, chemical and allied products, utility companies, pharmaceuticals, government departments etc.

How to get admission in Chemical Engineering Courses?

In India, there are several indigenous chemical industries. A lot of multinational companies are also setting up in India. This trend represents the growing opportunities for students in the field of chemical engineering. This field is one of the broadest fields from the perspective of research and development. Also, given the wide range of industries that offer work opportunities to chemical engineers a lot of students have shown great interest in the field. Thus, several universities and colleges have started offering this course as a part of their academic programmes.

Eligibility Criteria for different Chemical Engineering Courses

  • Diploma Level - Students can pursue this course after class 10th. However, having appeared for the subjects of science, mathematics and English in the qualifying exams is a compulsory requirement.
  • Graduation Level - For admission into UG programme, the student must have passed the class 12th with minimum aggregate marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as the core subjects. Students also have to sit for the various entrance exams held by the state, central and private universities.
  • Post-graduate Level - For admission to PG programme, the student must have a degree in Bachelor of Engineering in related a field. Also, a good score in the required entrance exams.
  • Doctoral Level - For admission into the doctoral programme, the student must have a postgraduate degree i.e. M.Tech in Chemical   Engineering from a recognised university.

Entrance Exams for chemical engineering courses

Entrance exams are conducted at national, state and university levels for admission into different disciplines of engineering. Some of the popular exams that students must appear for are as follows -

•  For Undergraduate courses
•  Joint Entrance Exam - Mains (JEE Mains)
•  Joint Entrance Exam - Advanced (JEE Advanced)
•  VIT Engineering Entrance Examination (VITEEE)
•  The Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MHTCET)
•  Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Exam (UPSEE)
•  Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT)
•  For postgraduate courses
•  VIT University Master’s Entrance Examination (VITMEE)
•  Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
•  Birla Institute of Technology & Science Higher Degree Exam(BITS HD)

Some of the popular recruiters for chemical engineers are as follows -

Government Companies

  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited
  • GAIL Limited
  • HLL Lifecare Limited

Private Companies

  • Piramal Healthcare Limited
  • Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Nirma

Salary after Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering graduates earns an average salary of about Rs 3lakhs to Rs. 4lakhs per annum. However, with experience you can expect higher and better salaries like for example someone with of around 5 years of experience in the field can earn about Rs 6lakhs to Rs 7 lakhs annum.

Courses in Chemical Engineering

Recent developments in the field of chemical engineering has led to a development of many more advanced fields like nanotechnology, bio-engineering, bio-molecular engineering, material processing etc. And given the rising importance of this field in our everyday life, the courses in chemical engineering have gained a lot of popularity among students today.  The different level course offered in chemical engineering are as mentioned below -

  • Diploma Courses - This course offers the students a polytechnic diploma in chemical engineering. The duration of the course is of 3 years
  • Undergraduate Courses - This course offers the students an undergraduate degree i.e. B.Tech (Bachelor's in Technology) in Chemical Engineering. The duration of the course is of 4 years.  
  • Post-graduate Courses - This course offers the students a master degree i.e. M.Tech(Masters in Technology) in chemical engineering. The duration of this course is of 2 years.
  • Doctoral Courses - This is a research-based course that leads to a doctoral degree of Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Chemical Engineering.

Some universities and colleges also offer integrated degree programs that lead to M.Tech (Master of Technology) degree in Chemical Engineering. The duration of these courses of 5 years and they can be pursued after completion of class 12th.

Sub-Specialisations offered in Chemical Engineering

Some of the popular specialisations in the field of chemical engineering are as follows -

  • Biomedical Engineering - This field applies the principles and concepts of engineering to the field of biology and health care. Bioengineers work closely with doctors, therapists and researchers to develop systems, equipment and devices in order to solve medical problems. 
  • Process Engineering - Process engineering focuses on designing, operation, control, optimisation and intensification of chemical, physical and biological processes. Process engineering encompasses a vast range of industries, such as chemical, petrochemical, agriculture, mineral processing, advanced material, food, pharmaceutical, software development, automotive, and biotechnological industries.
  • Food Processing - This field involves the study of techniques that are used to convert raw materials into useful food products. It also deals with working out new ways and improving the earlier ones for preserving, conserving and processing food. The subjects of quality control procedures, adulteration and controlling the nutritional value of the food products all come under this field.
  • Electrochemical - This field deals with the application of electrochemical phenomena such as electrosynthesis of chemicals, electrowinning and electrochemical separations and corrosion.
  • Polymers - Polymer engineering is the field that deals with development and testing of plastics or related equipment and processes.

Architectural and Engineering Managers - Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct and coordinate activities in architectural and engineering companies.

Biomedical Engineers - This field combines engineering principles with medical sciences to design and create equipment, computer software, computer systems etc used in the healthcare industries.

Chemical Technicians - They use special instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical researchers to develop, produce and test chemical products and processes.

Chemical Material Scientists - The chemical and material scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels to analyse the ways in which the substance interact with one another. They use the knowledge to develop new products and to test the quality of the manufactured goods.

Nuclear Engineers - Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments and systems used to derive the benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Like for example the equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment.