Apr 13, 2024  
2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog 
2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemical Engineering

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors

Chemical Engineers are concerned primarily with the design, operation and management of processing systems to alter and upgrade raw materials into products that are more useful to society (and therefore more valuable). In the design and operation of such facilities two competing concerns are generally paramount: the need to minimize both costs and environmental impact. Since chemical engineers are employed in many different industries, the basic training is general and not industry-specific.

The mission of the Chemical Engineering program is to provide education, research and public service in chemical engineering. The goals of the program are to provide high quality educational programs at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels; to conduct research projects that further fundamental understanding and address practically relevant problems; to act as a center of technical expertise and service to industry and to government agencies that may require assistance in the general area of chemical engineering; and to sustain our established strength as a center of excellence for teaching, research and service in areas related to the pulp and paper industry. More information about chemical engineering can be found on our web site http://www.umche.maine.edu/chb/

Program Description
The BS program in chemical engineering is broadly based and built on a thorough grounding in mathematics, physics and chemistry followed by the study of thermodynamics, kinetics, fluid mechanics and unit operations. Economics, process design and more specialized technical electives are studied during the final year. With the exception of BIO 100 (which is required for BLE students) the chemical engineering (CHE) and biological engineering (BLE) programs are common for the first five terms. This means that students who are undecided between CHE and BLE can defer their decision until the second term of the junior year.

Key objectives of the program are to develop analytical and problem solving skills, communication skills and a level of general education that will allow the graduate to function effectively as a chemical engineer in the twenty-first century. The specific educational objectives of the program are:

  • To provide students with a sound foundation in the principles of chemical engineering and an understanding of the scientific principles on which chemical engineering is based.
  • To assist students to develop their problem solving skills so that they learn how to apply chemical engineering principles to the solution of practical problems.
  • To assist students in developing their communication skills so that they learn how to present complex ideas in a clear, logical and concise way, both orally and in writing.
  • To provide students with practical laboratory training and with the opportunity to participate in the CHE cooperative education program and thus to gain experience and understanding of chemical engineering practice.
  • To provide students with the broad educational background needed to understand how our society functions and to appreciate their legal and ethical responsibilities.
  • To assist students to develop their teamwork skills.
  • To introduce students to the application of modern computer software, including advanced process simulation programs, to the solution of chemical engineering problems.

The program, which requires successful completion of 130 credits of course work with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in the major, can be completed in four academic years of full time study.  The program in Chemical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (207) 347-7700. 

Cooperative “Work-Experience” Program Option in Chemical Engineering
Students with satisfactory academic standing at the end of their fourth semester may elect to participate in the “Co-Op” program. This fifteen month program, which is undertaken during the junior year, involves a combination of two fourteen week periods of supervised (paid) professional experience as a junior engineer separated by a regular academic term and either followed or preceded by a summer term at Orono. Participating students must register for six credits but, in general, these cannot be substituted for the courses required for the BS degree. Student who plan to take their co-op work experience within the Pulp and Paper sector are strongly advised to take the Introductory course PPA 264 prior to their first co-op term. For such students this course will be considered as a technical elective.

Employment Opportunities
Chemical Engineering graduates find employment in all the major process industries: petroleum refining, petrochemicals, commodity chemicals, pharmaceuticals, extractive metallurgy, production of semiconductors and the pulp and paper industry. Job functions cover a wide range of activities including research and development, process design, control, operation and management of production facilities and technical sales.

Many of the Chemical Engineering undergraduates enjoy some degree of scholarship support. The following (unrestricted) awards are offered on a competitive basis:

Eileen M. Burns Scholarship
Charles A. Brautlecht Scholarship
Omar F. and Lenora L. Tarr Memorial Scholarship
S.T. Han Memorial Scholarship
Louis Calder Foundation Scholarship
Thomas and John Mangan Scholarship

In addition the Pulp and Paper Foundation offers merit based scholarships to students who intend to seek careers in the pulp and paper or related industries. Further information can be obtained from Peter Duncan, Executive Director, UM Pulp and Paper Foundation, Jenness Hall, Orono 04469-5737. Phone (207) 581-2298. FAX (207) 581-2000, email: woodcock@maine.edu

Suggested curriculum for the B.S. in Chemical Engineering

The recommended sequence of the four-year curriculum is shown below. Copies can also be obtained in the Chemical Engineering office with detailed explanations of the requirements. This program can be adapted to a student’s special scheduling needs in consultation with an academic advisor.

Second Year - First Semester

Second Year - Second Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

Special Requirements:

Approved Technical Electives (12 credits):
The technical elective program requires 3 credits of appropriate 300, 400 or 500 level courses with a major emphasis on chemistry plus 9 credits of unrestricted CHE electives (400 or 500 level). Suitable chemistry electives include CHE 420, CHE 430, CHE 520, CIE 533, or any other 300 or 400 level CHY courses. With permission of the Chair courses at the 300 level in other areas of science or engineering may be allowed in place of one or more of the CHE electives.


The course sequence CHE 111, CHE 477, CHE 479 and CHE 493 satisfies the University of Maine general education requirement for ethics. Transfer students who do not complete this sequence of courses should make sure that they satisfy the ethics requirement through their choice of non-technical electives or by taking the course TSO 360.

Fundamentals of Engineering Examination

Students are recommended (but not required) to take the FE examination.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors