Chemical Engineering

About Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering is the branch of engineering which deals with large-scale industrial processes that convert, by physical or chemical change, raw materials into products with a higher economic and social value thus it's all about turning raw materials into useful, everyday products. Think of the clothes we wear, the food and drinks we consume and the energy we use all depend upon chemical engineering

Examples of activities that depend on the application of chemical engineering principles are:

  • Production of plastics and synthetic fibres
  • Processing of minerals
  • Production of hydrocarbon oils from coal, and refining of crude oil
  • Biomedical and Biotechnological processes
  • Pulp and Paper manufacture
  • Fertiliser manufacturing
  • Cement making
  • Food processing Technology
  • Water and Sewage treatment
  • Solid waste management

South Africa and Africa as a continent, because of its tremendous natural resources, has a very active and growing chemical and mineral processing industry.

A chemical engineer is involved in the design, development, construction and operation of industrial processes for the production of a diverse range of products, as well as in commodity and specialty chemicals.

As a Chemical engineer, your role may focus on one or more of the following:

  • Researching new products from trial through to commercialisation
  • Managing scale-up processes from plant to full industrial-scale manufacturing
  • Improving product lines
  • Modifying the processing plant that produces the products
  • Designing and commissioning new plants
Careers in Chemical Engineering

Most jobs in the Chemical Engineering sector fall into one of two groups: the design, manufacture, and operation of plants and machinery, or the development of new or adapted substances and materials.

Jobs directly related to Chemical Engineering include:

  • Chemical engineer
  • Energy engineer
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Product/process development scientist
Careers in Chemical Engineering

Jobs where Chemical Engineering would be useful include:

  • Analytical chemist
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Energy manager
  • Materials engineer
  • Mining engineer
  • Production manager
  • Quality manager
Typical Employment Sectors

Employers in the Chemical Engineering sphere are as diverse as the products they produce and cover a broad range of industrial sectors. Any company involved in large-scale conversion of raw materials into a product will require chemical development engineers.

  • food and drink
  • toiletries
  • pulp and paper
  • plastic and metals
  • fibres and polymers
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