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In the field of engineering, a chemical engineer is a professional, who is equip

ped with the knowledge of chemical engineering, works principally in the chemica
l industry to convert basic raw materials into a variety of products, and deals
with the design and operation of plants and equipment.[1] In general, a chemical
engineer is one who applies and uses principles of chemical engineering in any
of its various practical applications; these often include 1) design, manufactur
e, and operation of plants and machinery in industrial chemical and related proc
esses ("chemical process engineers"); 2) development of new or adapted substance
s for products ranging from foods and beverages to cosmetics to cleaners to phar
maceutical ingredients, among many other products ("chemical product engineers")
; and 3) development of new technologies such as fuel cells, hydrogen power and
nanotechnology, as well as working in fields wholly or partially derived from ch
emical engineering such as materials science, polymer engineering, and biomedica
l engineering.
Contents [hide]
1
History
2
Overview
3
Employment and salaries
4
See also
5
References
6
External links
History[edit]
Portrait of Johann Rudolf Glauber.
The president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers said in his presidential
address "I believe most of us would be willing to regard Edward Charles Howard (
1774 1816) as the first chemical engineer of any eminence".[2] Others have suggest
ed Johann Rudolf Glauber (1604 1670) for his development of processes for the manu
facture of the major industrial acids.[3]
The term appeared in print in 1839, though from the context it suggests a person
with mechanical engineering knowledge working in the chemical industry.[4] In 1
880, George E. Davis wrote in a letter to Chemical News "A Chemical Engineer is
a person who possesses chemical and mechanical knowledge, and who applies that k
nowledge to the utilisation, on a manufacturing scale, of chemical action." He p
roposed the name Society of Chemical Engineers, for what was in fact constituted
as the Society of Chemical Industry. At the first General Meeting of the Societ
y in 1882, some 15 of the 300 members described themselves as chemical engineers
, but the Society's formation of a Chemical Engineering Group in 1918 attracted
about 400 members.[5]
In 1905 a publication called The Chemical Engineer was founded in the US, and in
1908 the American Institute of Chemical Engineers was established.[6]
In 1924 the Institution of Chemical Engineers adopted the following definition:
"A chemical engineer is a professional man experienced in the design, constructi
on and operation of plant and works in which matter undergoes a change of state
and composition."[7]
As can be seen from the later definition, the occupation is not limited to the c
hemical industry, but more generally the process industries, or other situations
in which complex physical and/or chemical processes are to be managed.
Overview[edit]
Chemical engineers use computers to manage automated systems in production plant
s
Historically, the chemical engineer has been primarily concerned with process en
gineering, which can generally be divided into two complementary areas: chemical
reaction engineering and separation processes. The modern discipline of chemica
l engineering, however, encompasses much more than just process engineering. Che
mical engineers are now engaged in the development and production of a diverse r
ange of products, as well as in commodity and specialty chemicals. These product
s include high-performance materials needed for aerospace, automotive, biomedica
l, electronic, environmental and military applications. Examples include ultra-s

trong fibers, fabrics, adhesives and composites for vehicles, bio-compatible mat
erials for implants and prosthetics, gels for medical applications, pharmaceutic
als, and films with special dielectric, optical or spectroscopic properties for
opto-electronic devices. Additionally, chemical engineering is often intertwined
with biology and biomedical engineering. Many chemical engineers work on biolog
ical projects such as understanding biopolymers (proteins) and mapping the human
genome.
Employment and salaries[edit]
In the US, the Department of Labor estimated in 2008 the number of chemical engi
neers to be 31,000. According to a 2011 salary survey by the American Institute
of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the median annual salary for a chemical engineer
was approximately $110,000.[8] In one salary survey, chemical engineering was fo
und to be highest-paying degree for first employment of college graduates.[9]Che
mical engineering has been successively ranked in the Top 2 places in the Most L
ucrative Degrees Survey by CNN Money in the United States of America.[10][11][12
] In the UK, the Institution of Chemical Engineers 2006 Salary Survey reported a
n average salary of approximately 53,000, with a starting salary for a graduate a
veraging 24,000.[13] Chemical engineering is a male-dominated field: as of 2009,
only 17.1% of professional chemical engineers are women.[14] However, that trend
is expected to shift as the number of female students in the field continues to
increase.[15]
See also[edit]
Chemistry portal
icon
Engineering portal
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Distillation
Fluid dynamics
Heat transfer
History of chemical engineering
Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
List of chemical engineering societies
List of chemical engineers
Mass transfer
Process control
Process design (chemical engineering)
Process engineering
Process miniaturization
Unit operations
Chemfluence
References[edit]
Jump up ^ Licker, Mark, D. (2003). Dictionary of Engineering", McGraw-Hill, 2nd
Ed.
Jump up ^ Transactions of the IChemE (1951) Volume 29 page 163
Jump up ^ Herman Skolnik in W. F. Furter (ed) (1982) A Century of Chemical Engin
eering ISBN 0-306-40895-3 page 230
Jump up ^ Ure, Andrew (1839) A Dictionary of Arts Manufactures and Mines, London
: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, page 1220
Jump up ^ Colin Duvall and Sean F, Johnston (2000) Scaling Up: The Institution o
f Chemical Engineers and the Rise of a New Profession Kluwer Academic Publishers
Jump up ^ John C. Olsen (December 1932), Chemical Engineering As A Profession: O
rigin and Early Growth of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Jump up ^ Transactions of the Institution of Chemical Engineers volume 2 page 23
(1924)
Jump up ^ U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics: Chemical Enginee
rs
Jump up ^ Chemical Engineering Ranked Highest Paying Degree[permanent dead link]
, Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, February 15, 2006
Jump up ^ [1], 2009
Jump up ^ [2], 2006
Jump up ^ [3], 2007

Jump up ^ Institution of Chemical Engineers Annual Review 2006


Jump up ^ "Chemical Engineer Careers: Employment & Salary Trends for Aspiring Ch
emical Engineers". CollegeDegreeReport.com.
Jump up ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2
009-11-24.

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