Wednesday, May 25, 2022

This vs That: Chemical Engineering vs. Environmental Engineering

My name is Greg Harris,I'm an assistant professor here at UC in the departmentof chemical and environmental engineering andI'm affiliated with the chemical engineering sideof the program department. >> And I'm Dr Drew McAvoy,I'm on the environmental side and also the undergraduate program director. So if at some point,you're needing to substitute courses or if you're even transferring credits,I'll get involved. [LAUGH] I have to do the ultimateapproval of those activities. .

So let me see if I can share myscreen here and we can get started. [INAUDIBLE] way to, Okay, so hopefully everybody can see this. Here we go. Hang on here, faces everywhere. So, you're at the chemical andenvironmental engineering. This is in that, I'm gonna start out. So I'm gonna present the environmentalportion, and then Dr. Harris will continue with the chemical,and then we'll have, .

I think plenty of time forquestions at the end. So environmental engineers,so you may be wondering, what do you need to know and what's yourbackground, what kinda work do you do? So basically, principles of engineering,soil science, biology, chemistry all get involved with coming upwith solutions to environmental problems. That's really whatenvironmental engineers do, so it's really trying to solveenvironmental problems. So it could involve recycling wastedisposal, actually I should change that word waste disposal,we don't deal waste disposal anymore. .

It's waste reuse. So, waste can become a useful product,public health, water, air pollution control orareas that you may get involved with. Global issues are of concern as well. So unsafe drinking water,climate change is really big and just environmental sustainability. So these are areas of interest, you may want intoenvironmental engineering. So what do you study? .

Well, you're gonna be studying math,computer programming, physics, chemistry, both inorganic andorganic biology. So these are all basic coursesthat you need to go on to take the upper level courses. Instrumental chemical analysis, so we deala lot with chemicals in the environment, so, need to know how to analyze them forassessments. Material and energy balance. So we need to understand energy flow and material flows in the environment andin treatment systems. .

Heat mass transfer,fluid mechanics and hydraulic systems, is very important either air orwater is a fluid. So we have to be able to transportthese fluids from one place to another. Of course chemical reactions for looking at degradation ofcompounds both in treatment and in environment, which really leadsto water and wastewater treatment. Air pollution control andthen lastly here, water resources. And water resources is reallyunderstanding precipitation run off, river flows andgets into climate change and .

Flooding and those kinds of activities. Okay, so a lot of these are gonna bevery similar to chemical as well. There's a webpage that you can go to,environmental engineering. So it really houses everythingyou need to know for applying andbackground on courses and that's why I encourage you to go ahead andgo out to the website. Also there's a guide. So the web link is here as well. So it lays out what coursesyou should be taking for .

Each semester throughout the four yearsthat you would be in class and in person. Hopefully, we continueto be in person here. And just to make it a little more clear,just rearranging it here, these are kind of focus areas thatyou would be taking courses in. Of course, there is basic sciencethat you need to take just for understanding andthat's the chemistry, the physics, there's some geology courses, hydrologyand GIS that you would be taking. Of course, math calculus I, II,dynamic systems is really just differential equations, somath is all focused on calculus. .

In the middle there you can seethe environmental engineering, so about half of the courses you'llbe taking, maybe not quite half, are in the environmentalengineering discipline. There's some other engineering courses for first year the ENED courses thatall engineering students take. And then there's some additional courses that are required like sustainability andsome tech LX. Gen Ed, so this is to roundout your undergrad curriculum. So here you take economics andsome other elective courses and .

Then on the far right there,is professional practice and that's really dealing with co-op. So you'll go out five semestersduring the five year period on co-op. So there are a couple one and two creditcourses that you would be taking. That's interesting andjust advanced, so I should move on. We have three focus areas, air quality,hydrosystems and water quality. So when you get to your fifth year, generally you focus on two out ofthree of these focus areas, and there's various courses that you could betaking to requirements for graduation. .

You may be wondering about minors, several of the environmentalengineering students do. Go and take minors, soyou have to take additional courses. Probably the most popular is chemistry. [INAUDIBLE] engineeringis a lot of chemistry. So students that like chemistrywill take on a minor there, which is kind of relatedto environmental analysis. So that's actually chemistry in the lab where you're actuallyanalyzing samples policy. .

So some students are moreinterested in environmental policy. Biological science, of course, environmental engineeringdeals a lot with biology. I found this interesting Spanish, two students currently are minoring inSpanish, which is probably a good thing. Opens up the door for various things,and you can see communication, horticulture Math andsome other topics here. So you can, andyou're encouraged to take minors. Work environment saysokay what will I be doing .

Once I graduate go out there andget a job. So most of the job you'regonna be working in either design of systems control systems,either water air, urban planners, you may work with them. Most of the time, you're gonna beworking in an office type situation. But if you really like outside work,there's a lot of construction projects. Cuz right now with the passageof the infrastructure law and the federal level,there's gonna be a lot of construction. Water treatment,wastewater treatment plants, sewer system, .

Water distribution systems. So the next 10 years there's gonnabe a lot of construction going on, and if that's what you'reinterested in there's gonna be a lot of jobs in the future,where you can time outside. Just a little bit on the numbers,once you graduate there's a fair number of jobs already this was a coupleyears ago 52,000 A little bit more. So there's a lot of environmentalengineering jobs out there and there's going to be significantlymore now in the next 10 years. because of the infrastructure bill,median pay, .

92,000, again it a couple years ago,per year. So not bad entry level 68,000. Not quite as high as chemicalengineering that you'll find here in Dr Harris talk, but not bad. Money is not everything, so you shouldreally try to pursue something thing that you're gonna enjoy doing becauseyou're gonna be doing it 30,40 years. So verbal engineers may not getpaid quite as much as chemical, but you know if you enjoyed the work,it really doesn't matter. Job outlook again with the newinfrastructure bill it looks good. .

I think this 4% is probablyunderestimate I think it's gonna be much class of 22, sothis is the current seniors. We have 30 students, and you look atthe first year class, or we're about 40. Now, so relatively smaller classes,class sizes, compared to chemical engineering. Another difference between chemical is sofor environmental, you really don't need a masters or a PhDdegree you can go out with a bachelor's. And get a really decent job, butmost of the jobs you're gonna end up needing to get a professionalengineering license APE. .

That's something that's a little different than probably whatchemical engineers need. So instead of getting a graduate degreeyou're still work experience and getting a professionalengineering license. Any COA so this is the experiencebased learning that we have, he is well known forit was one of the first to do it, actually, I think weare the first back in 1906. So, it's a very strong program,highly rated. So, usually a draw for students. .

So, if we look at environmentalengineering, these are kind of the top employers for co-op the Metropolitan SewerDistrict employs a lot of our students. You can see there's constructioncompanies listed here. So again out there inthe field actually PA systems, Kroger interesting they doa lot of sustainability energy work,they are a lot of our Coop students. You wouldn't think of it, butthe Ohio Department of Transportation. They to do a lot of environmental work. If you are putting out a branch ornew road, .

You have to do environmental assessments. So there is, well, your CPA course. If you are a researcheroriented undergrad, EPA is a good way to go, soyou get experience in the lab. I must say you can also doresearch experience co ops with faculty as well inenvironmental engineering. Just to give you an idea of the typeof opportunities that you would have. Just a little bit on research,I would say the biggest impact we have it's really on the bottom here, areasare in water energy and the environment. .

So pretty much all of the faculty inenvironmental engineering one way or another. We also have an environmentalanalysis service center. So here, well, we can analyze fora lot of different contaminants and even microorganisms, pathogens and that. So it's a nice service,particularly for research, that we can do a lot of analysis. Student organizations, sohere I've only listed three, but you can get involved there's like over 100different student organizations at UC. .

These are probably the top three forenvironmental engineering students. We have a society ofenvironmental engineers, do a lot of volunteerwork in the community. One in particular isthe Mill Creek Alliance, where there's a water sampling program,so participate in that. Engineers Without Borders again thisis well we haven't been able to go over to Africa last two years but Tanzaniathere's three different sites over there. In fact, the bill, one of the studentsthat is here helping today, is heavily involved withEngineers Without Borders. .

And I believe that's actually goneover to Tanzania sector bill. >> Yeah, I went over once in 2019before the world kinda shut down on us. >> So, can you just talk a littlebit about your experience? >> Yeah, so I found the team,about 15 students, we had faculty last month join us as well. And then for like six months beforehand,I designed and through the entire engineering process fora water system two miles of pipe, three tanks, three tap stands. And we went andspent two weeks traveling Tanzania, .

Working with community members partneringwith the local community there. And then we're able to establisha water system that currently serves 4000 people with clean, safe drinkingwater that didn't have beforehand. And I think since we installed it,it's distributed over 5 million gallons of clean drinking water,which is pretty cool. Okay, great,also engineering CEAS tribunal. So that's the student government forcollege of engineering, and again, there's a lot of volunteering andsocial activities. So for the first two societyenvironmental engineering that .

Borders it really goes beyond engineering. So a lot students outside ofengineering participate need to, so you get interact with otherstudents in other disciplines. So it's really good, I encourage you toget involved with student organizations. So I think most everybody on the calltoday, our transfer applicants though, I think there's some currentUC students possibly as well. So this is just some websites that youcan go and get additional information, I just highlightedthe transfer applicants here. So if you can click on that link,this window that pops up and .

You can get a lot more information. So I'm just gonna summarize here forthe environmental engineering at least. What's this andthat of environmental versus chemical and at least in my mind, Dr.Harrison may have a different take on it. But I look at least traditionallychemical engineers or involved with synthesis andformulating chemistry into products that may be used forconsumer or industrial uses in that whereenvironmental engineers. Now, once these products are used,get discharged and .

The environmental engineersthen deal with the control of those chemicals that may get anddo get into the environment. So depending on your interest,creating things or destroying chemicals, that's the two ends ofthe spectrum of where you would be with chemical orenvironmental is a technical degree. Some may be interested inenvironmental science. Environmental science is more involvedwith understanding fate transport of chemicals in the environment. Where environmental engineers focus moreon control of the chemicals to try to .

Inhibit and control what chemicals wouldactually get out into the environment diverse opportunities after graduation andhe's not too bad either. So any questions I'm open,here's my email address, feel free to email me ifyou have any questions and we can discuss them at that point. That's all I have, I'm gonna turn itover to Dr. Harris, stop sharing, and we'll have time at the end forquestions, so he can hold off on questions >> Is that now? There we go. .

So like Dr.McAvoy did a very good introduction kind of laid out some of the differences, I'll kind of focus mainly onchemical engineering now. So just kind of few numbers for you, theAmerican Institute of Chemical Engineers. So that is the largestorganization that's going to be a big student group as well, a key. So the acronym American Instituteof Chemical Engineers, many students belong to that. But that has about 60,000 membersworldwide in about 110 countries. .

And there's similar number or a few moreemployed as traditional chemical engineers out there in the workforce now. So my opinion as somebody witha background I actually did my undergrad in mechanical engineering. Then went and got a grad degreein chemical engineering, and then I did a postdoc afterthat in molecular biology. So take that number that employedas traditional chemical engineers, a little bit of a grain of salt, becausechemical engineering is just so diverse. So you may get your chemical engineeringdegree, and then you may not be .

A traditional chemical engineerwhich I'll get into a little more. And that kind of goes for a lot of engineering disciplines toothat's not just chemical engineering. So the UC chemical engineering classof 2022 is about 122 students. So Dr. McAvoy pointed out the chemicalengineering program is a good amount larger than the environmentalprogram at this point in time. Cincinnati grads don't need graduatedegrees, you don't need a master's, you don't need a PhD,you don't need those other certificates. So generally, you won't needa professional engineers license either. .

You can definitely get all those, but they're not required to go get a job asa chemical engineer out the workforce. So chemical engineering is all aboutmath and chemistry, because that's generally what you think of comingout maybe even as a transfer student. But definitely as a high school student, you might think engineering is all aboutmath and chemistry, it's not necessarily. So chemical engineeringis going to use math, it's definitely going to use chemistry. But it's really applying all of thosethings that you learn about in this .

General education, your physics, yourchemistry, your math, to solve problems. So that again, I'm gonna say, cuz I'man interdisciplinary chemical engineer, so all of this is very interdisciplinary,but engineering is about solvingproblems at its core. So you have to want to solveproblems to be an engineer. And the chemical engineeringexample of that, making things in a beaker in the lab. You guys have probably takena lab in high school and in your first year of college,but how do you scale that up? .

How do you make 25,000 poundsan hour of that stuff? You're probably not going to do that onyour bench in your chemistry lab, right? It's just literally not possible. So kind of a real world example right nowthat we're dealing with on a daily basis, how do you make 500 million dosesof a new vaccine in a few months? There were a lot of chemical engineers andjust there was a lot that went into that. So chemical engineers were involvedin scaling that process from the bench to manufacturingall of those vaccines. So if you don't havethose chemical engineers, .

Creating those processes, and helping out,you might have some problems, right? Engineers are very important there. And have a look at what you would thinkof as a traditional chemical engineer? You have your distillation, big olddistillation column on the left hand side there, your large scale chemicalreactors on the right there. So that's kind of what you would think,go work in a chemical plant, right? Go work in a Non petroleum refinery. So those are definitely jobsthat a chemical engineer can do, they employ a ton of chemical engineers. .

They are, a big co ops force. A lot of people get co ops there. But that's not necessarily the onlything a chemical engineer can do. So this, picture, you would almost think your refinery isreally pretty looking at this picture. The people who live close to a prideon a share that same view, but yeah, so that's a big employerof chemical engineers. But there's a whole lot more out there, so again I'm gonna sayvery interdisciplinary. .

So bio reactors a lot of thingsare reaction right chemical reaction, that's gonna be a chemicalengineer that could be working on that a bioreactor andin the bio portion bio-separation. So separating and something you reallymight not think of directed evolution. So, genes, proteins, things like that. So directed evolution of enzymes here, an enzyme is just a protein thatcan catalyze a chemical reaction. So the person who kind of really jumpstarted this field won a Nobel Prize in chemistry, Dr. Francis Arnold,she was a chemical engineer. .

Looking at this directed evolution, sothat is used now in a lot of fields. It's used in the pharmaceutical industry,production of renewable fuels,manufacturing of chemical substances, stemming from this kind ofbiology backbone there. Then, there's your alternative energysources, so you have fuel cells. The automotive industry is using a lotof chemical engineers to explore those things. Military applications socoding on that's airplanes whatever it is, go coatings, nanotechnology,all sorts of different things. .

And then remote sensing, sothe military toxin detection, neutralization, medical diagnostics andtherapies. So personally, I'm in a space where, with my background,I do a lot of regenerative medicine. So I look at how to create biomaterials, how to use engineering to fix nerveinjury is, attempt to fix nerve injuries. Create therapies for spinal cord injuries,peripheral nerve injuries, which definitely you wouldn't think that'sa normal chemical engineering job, right? So I do a lot of research in that area,though, .

Which incorporates chemical engineeringprinciples into the medical field, really. Some of our capstone projects thatthe spring 2021 class went over just so you can get a sense of what they'rekind of doing as a capstone marketable products from waste materials. So those plants have waste,what do you do with that waste? You don't wanna just throw itout into a dream or anything, so converting those productsinto something marketable. Marketable products from captured CO2,and you can see down line vaccines, we had one group wanna look atvaccines for obvious reasons. .

And then usually we always have a groupthat will look at some kind of alcohol. Coz if you think about it, so I live onthe other side of the river in Kentucky, Bourbon down there is big right? Bourbon alcohol beer, how is that made? Fermentation, that is a keychemical engineering. That is a chemical reactionto make that alcohol. So really distilleries I always forget. But there's a couple ofthe big distilleries down in Kentucky that actually havechemical engineers and .

Kind of high positions cuz theyunderstand all that, right? Really, they understand everything fromthe fermentation, to the processing, and just everything that goes on. A distillery is a realcool place to visit. If you guys, haven't,there's a lot of engineering principles, that you can see all along the line. So where do chemical engineerswork in their first job? Industry is an obvious one,continuing education. So going on to get those master's degrees. .

Those PhDs, government is another onethat government employs engineers. So they continue education yet. Law school, med school orother ones, actually. Medical School,if you are thinking about medical school, an engineer is actually very competitivefor acceptance in the medical school. I don't know if anyone out inthe audience is or not, but you differentiate yourselffrom the big crop of premeds. There's a big crop, and you have toreally be, you have to try to stand out an engineer is going to be morealtruistic, because like Dr McElroy said. .

They make a lot more than a premed coming out of school. So the med schools know you're doingit for ultra critical reasons and you can think critically. So, yeah, talk to me if you want anymorebecause I was considering med school coming out of college, soI have some thoughts on that. But engineers are very competitive formed school and law school as well. Industry, most of our UCchemical engineering graduates go to industry, andthat is a function of our Coop program. It's just sogreat that most of them have job offers. .

So, if you have a job offerin hands before you graduate, it kind of sways them to go to industry,so a lot of them will go to industry. Because they are very well set up togo out and work in the workforce. Where do they go andwork in their first jobs? So you can see kinda the graph there. 20% A little under 20% do go intochemicals to kind of that traditional chemical engineering job that you maythink of, but really it's only like 18% or so, that go out. The rest you can see along that linethere, food and consumer products, .

Biotech pharmaceutical, that's a bigemployer of chemical engineers fuels design, all the way down there. There's a lot of opportunities forchemical engineers. Your traditional I'm going to go workin oil refinery, or I'm going to go. Definitely do not have to do that,but to chemical engineers earn. So this is broken downinto years of experience. So that starting salary fora chemical engineering grad right out of your degree is about 75,000 I thinkit is hovers around 75,000 right now. And then as you get more experienceobviously you're going to top out there .

This is a couple years old a surveyfrom Chemical Engineering progress. You're topping out a little over160,000 when you get experience, but yeah, that's starting salary isgoing to be around $75,000 generally. What do chemical engineersstudy like Dr McEvoy mentioned? These are gonna be very similar forthe first two years? Chemical engineers and environmental science engineersthey have very similar curriculum. And then when you get into that third,fourth, fifth year, you'll kind of diverge andstudy a little bit different. .

So chemical engineers are gonna study allthose same prerequisites are going to say their math, their physics, orchemistry, all of that good stuff. And then as you get intokind of the upper stages. You will get into heat masstransfer thermodynamics is gonna be a big one separationsis gonna be a big one. [INAUDIBLE] Distillation,your chemical reaction engineering, all of your key chemicalengineering courses. So, again, you need to be good at math,good at chemistry, but great at applying those to solve problems,that's gonna be the key here. .

So, a good chemical engineer has to bea fair chemist, you don't have to be an awesome A plus chemists [INAUDIBLE]to be able to apply that [SOUND]. Again you can see that curriculum online,the page is right there, go look up everything, all the classes andeverything if you're interested in that. A snippet of that it's just gonnabe your first couple of years here, where you do take, all of those Gen Ed's. So that first semester might just beEnglish, Math, you'll take your units, your foundations of engineering,your first in a class. And then you get into some ofyour more chemical engineering .

Classes as you kind of getinto that second year, where you start to get into materials andenergy balance. Organic chemistry is gonna to beimportant as a chemical engineer, and then your transport and things like that. So, kind of you can see over on the side, there's general educationrequirements can be transferred in. So for the transfer students,you can transfer in or out of those Gen Ed's, andyou don't have to retake them. If you haven't taken the ENED thosefirst year, just general engineering so .

All of the engineering studentsacross every discipline. Environmental, mechanical,aerospace, chemical, all of them are gonna takethat ENED11oo and ENED 1120. If you haven't taken those, and you'retransferring in, you might want to take a programming course before you startto get in those upper level classes, if you don't have a program. So we have a lot ofpotential in our program for earning Master of Sciencealong with your bachelor's. So if you're interested inthat the ACCEND program, .

You can actually do your master's andyour Bachelor of Science in five years. So we have quite a few students that haveactually taken advantage of that and are taking advantage of that. So with that bachelor's in chemicalengineering you can get a Master of Science in chemical engineering, Masterof Engineering Chemical engineering, he did an MBA, soProgram where you get your Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering, and thena Master of Science in cosmetic science. And that's with the pharmacologicalprogram, common minors for these kameez. Like Dr. Maccaai mentioned,you can do whatever you want, .

If you can make the credits work,you can do Spanish, anything. The common ones forchemist are gonna be chemistry, because you literally needone more chemistry course. So if you just take the chemicalengineering curriculum, as it is, you need one more course as an electiveto get a minor in Chemistry. So it's very low-hanging fruit, you mightas well almost, there's environmental engineering as a minor MaterialsEngineering, Mathematics, business. All of those are prettycommon with our students. So a big range of opportunities, .

We kind of talked about this grad schoolall of the different things we talked about as far as kameez goingout into the workforce. Law school, business school,medical school, the government, The Patent Office,is one that might not be obvious, but, so look at all of these patents comingin getting submitted by people. I know a few engineers that have takenjobs [INAUDIBLE] cuz they want somebody who can think critically about, okay,does this idea actually make sense? Is it gonna work? And then can I look andcompare it to what's already out there, .

Engineers are very good at that. So, the Patent Office,[INAUDIBLE] of engineers. Specialties you know,our co op is amazing. You can see our topCo-Op Employers over there, BASF, Patheon, a lot of chemicalcompanies there, Marathon, Dow Chemical, but it's unlimitedyou can go wherever you want. Most of our [INAUDIBLE] studentsare gonna stay in a 250-mile radius, from Cincinnati, butyou can go find a Co-Op. And the Co-Op advisors are awesome,they will help make .

Connections andwhere you would like to go, basically. So electives,you can specialize based on interest, and we have a pretty diversechemical engineering faculty. So we have interest in separations,Bio applications, energy, you can takeenvironmental classes. As a chemical engineer, that's perfectlyokay, so, very big range of options there. And if you are interested, definitely go look at some of the facultywebsite will list kinda the interest, to see if one of the faculty members hassomething that you're interested in doing. .

And then reach out to them,they're happy to answer those questions. So in summary, chemical engineersare gonna solve problems as well as most engineers,it's a pretty broad degree. So there are a lot of opportunities,diverse opportunities, applications, engineers. So you could be in the field,you Can work for a pharmaceutical company, a lot ofdifferent things you could be in sales, engineers that can talk topeople are very, very valuable. Because, the product inside now,and then if you can talk and .

Communicate that you'regonna do well in life. Like Dr. McEvoy said, the pay is prettygood as a chemical engineer, so okay, an engineer in general. So with that my email is down there. Some of our leadership in the chemicalengineering department is there, but feel free to reach out to meas well if you have any questions. That is what I've got ifwe have any questions for either Dr Yoonjee ormyself, I had to take them. >> So if you do have questions forour presenters, don't be shy. .

You can put them in the chat box, and wecan read those out and have them answer. Or, we would even love it if youwent ahead and unmuted yourself, and you can ask the question out loud as well,any takers? Well, I think this is representativeof how well the job you did of covering all of these topics today. Everyone in today's session shouldhave contact information for our presenters,they put that up on the screen for us. And of course you can reach out to myself,our advising team, I'll put our email address in the chat. .

So if you do leave here, you startreflecting you realize you actually do have some questions we are here for you. Otherwise, I think we are in a goodspot to go ahead and wrap it up for the day any final words from our faculty? >> Thank you all for attending. >> All right, awesome, I hope you allhave a good day and a wonderful weekend, take care. Bye now.>> Awesome >> Bye. .


Most Popular