Prospective Graduate Students

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From the Lehigh Course Catalog (2012 - 2013)

The department of chemical engineering offers graduate programs leading to the master of science, master of engineering, and doctor of philosophy degrees. The programs are all custom tailored for individual student needs and professional goals. These individual programs are made possible by a diversity of faculty interests that are broadened and reinforced by cooperation between the department and several research centers on the campus.

A free flow of personnel and ideas between the centers and academic departments ensures that the student will have the widest choice of research activities. The student is also exposed to a wide range of ideas and information through courses and seminars to which both faculty and center personnel contribute. In addition, strong relationships with industry are maintained by the department and the research centers, some of which operate industrially-sponsored liaison programs whereby fundamental nonproprietary research is performed in areas of specific interest to participating sponsors.

While the department has interacted with most of the centers on campus, it has had unusually strong and continuing liaisons with Emulsion Polymers Institute, Process Modeling and Control Research Center, Biopharmaceutical Technology Institute and Materials Research Center. The Department also has a strong relation with the Bioengineering Program.

In addition to interacting with the centers, the department originates and encourages programs that range from those that are classical chemical engineering to those that are distinctly interdisciplinary. The department offers active and growing programs in adhesion and tribology; emulsion polymerization and latex technology; bulk polymer systems; process control; process improvement studies; rheology; computer applications; environmental engineering; thermodynamics; kinetics and catalysis; enzyme technology; and biochemical engineering.


Career Opportunities
Master of science, master of engineering, and doctor of philosophy graduates in the chemical engineering area are sought by industry for activities in the more technical aspects of their operations, especially design, process and product development, and research. Many of these graduates also find opportunities in research or project work in government agencies and in university teaching and research.


Physical Facilities
The department is well equipped for research in colloids and surface science, adhesion and tribology, polymer science and engineering, catalysis and reaction kinetics, thermodynamic property studies, fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer, process dynamics and control, and enzyme engineering and biochemical engineering.

The departmental and university computing facilities include PCs and workstations, connected by a university-wide high speed network, which in turn provides worldwide networking via the Internet/WWW.

All of these facilities can access a wide variety of general-purpose, and scientific and engineering software via the university and local networks, including software specifically for the steady state and dynamic simulation of chemical engineering systems. The networks are extended as needed to ensure the chemical engineering department has access to the latest computing technology.


Special Programs
Polymer Science and Engineering. The polymers activity includes work done in the Department of Chemical Engineering as well as the Departments of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Physics, the Materials Research Center, the Center for Polymer Science and Engineering, the Emulsion Polymers Institute, and the Polymer Interfaces Center. More than 20 faculty members from these organizations or areas have major interests in polymers and cooperate on a wide range of research projects. For students with deep interest in the area, degree programs are available leading to the master of science, master of engineering, and doctor of philosophy degrees in polymer science and engineering.

There are three major polymer research thrusts in which chemical engineering students and faculty are involved. These are polymer colloids (latexes), polymer interfaces, and polymer materials. The Emulsion Polymers Institute, with strong industrial support, sponsors projects in the preparation of monosize polymer particles, in mechanisms and kinetics of emulsion, miniemulsion and dispersion polymerization, in latex particle morphology and film-formation, and in rheological properties of latexes and thickeners. The Polymer Interfaces Center has programs in adsorption/characterization, wetting/adhesion, and mechanical behavior. The Engineering Polymers Laboratory investigates the behavior of bulk polymer materials, focusing on multicomponent polymers and composites.


Distance Education
The Department offers some of its regular credit courses each semester via distance learning. Click here to learn more about the Master's degree programs offered through the Office of Distance Education.


Major Requirements
All candidates for the Master of Science degree are required to complete a research report or thesis for which six hours of graduate credit are earned. Course selection is done individually for each student, although CHE 400, CHE 410, CHE 415 and CHE 461 are required.

Candidates for the Master of Engineering degree do not do research; all 30 credit hours are fulfilled by course work. Course selection is done individually for each student within the University requirements for a master's degree.

In addition to an approved course and thesis program, the Ph.D. student must pass a qualification examination given during the second year of residence.


Advanced Courses in Chemical Engineering

CHE 400. Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (3) fall
Applications of thermodynamics in chemical engineering. Topics include energy and entropy, heat effects accompanying solution, flow of compressible fluids, refrigeration including solution cycles, vaporization and condensation processes, and chemical equilibria. Prerequisite: an introductory course in thermodynamics.

CHE 401. Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II (3) spring, every other year
A detailed study of the uses of thermodynamics in predicting phase equilibria in solid, liquid, and gaseous systems. Fugacities of gas mixtures, liquid mixtures, and solids. Solution theories; uses of equations of state; high-pressure equilibria.

CHE 410. Chemical Reaction Engineering (3) spring
The application of chemical kinetics to the engineering design and operation of reactors. Non-isothermal and adiabatic reactions. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Residence time distribution in reactors. Prerequisite: CHE 211.

CHE 413. Heterogeneous Catalysis and Surface Characterization (3) fall, every other year
History and concepts of heterogeneous catalysis. Surface characterization techniques, and atomic structure of surfaces and adsorbed monolayers. Kinetics of elementary steps (adsorption, desorption, and surface reaction) and overall reactions. Catalysis by metals, metal oxides, and sulfides. Industrial applications of catalysis: selective oxidation, pollution control, ammonia synthesis, hydrogenation of carbon monoxide to synthetic fuels and chemicals, polymerization, hydrotreating, and cracking.

CHE 415. Transport Processes (4) spring
A combined study of the fundamentals of momentum transport, energy transport and mass transport and the analogies between them. Evaluation of transport coefficients for single and multicomponent systems. Analysis of transport phenomena through the equations of continuity, motion, and energy. Prerequisite: CHE 461 or equivalent.

CHE 419. (MECH 419) Asymptotic Methods in the Engineering Sciences (3)
Introductory level course with emphasis on practical applications. Material covered includes: Asymptotic expansions. Regular and singular perturbations; algebraic problems. Asymptotic matching. Boundary value problems; distinguished limits. Multiple scale expansion. W.K.B. Theory. Non-linear wave equations.

CHE 428. Rheology (3)
An intensive study of momentum transfer in elastic viscous liquids. Rheological behavior of solution and bulk phase polymers with emphasis on the effect of molecular weight, molecular weight distribution and branching. Derivation of constitutive equations based on both molecular theories and continuum mechanics principles. Application of the momentum equation and selected constitutive equations to geometries associated with viscometric flows.

CHE 430. Mass Transfer (3) fall, every other year
Theory and developments of the basic diffusion and mass transfer equations and transfer coefficients including simultaneous heat and mass transfer, chemical reaction and dispersion effects. Applications to various industrially important operations including continuous contact mass transfer, absorption, humidification, etc. Brief coverage of equilibrium stage operations as applied to absorption and to binary and multicomponent distillation.

CHE 433. (ECE 433, ME 433) State Space Control (3) fall
State-space methods of feedback control system design and design optimization for invariant and time-varying deterministic, continuous systems; pole positioning, observability, controllability, modal control, observer design, the theory of optimal processes and Pontryagin's Maximum Principle, the linear quadratic optimal regulator problem, Lyapunov functions and stability theorems, linear optimal open-loop control; introduction to the calculus of variations; introduction to the control of distributed parameter systems. Intended for engineers with a variety of backgrounds. Examples will be drawn from mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering applications. Prerequisite: ME 343 or ECE 212 or CHE 386 or consent of instructor.

CHE 434. (ECE 434, ME 434) Multivariable Process Control (3)
A state-of-the-art review of multivariable methods of interest to process control applications. Design techniques examined include loop interaction analysis, frequency domain methods (Inverse Nyquist Array, Characteristic Loci and Singular Value Decomposition) feed forward control, internal model control and dynamic matrix control. Special attention is placed on the interaction of process design and process control. Most of the above methods are used to compare the relative performance of intensive and extensive variable control structures. Prerequisite: CHE 433 or ME 433 or ECE 433 or consent of instructor.

CHE 436. (ECE 436, ME 436) Systems Identification (3)
The determination of model parameters from time-history and frequency response data by graphical, deterministic and stochastic methods. Examples and exercises taken from process industries, communications and aerospace testing. Regression, quasilinearization and invariant-imbedding techniques for nonlinear system parameter identification included. Prerequisite: CHE 433 or ME 433 or ECE 433 or consent of instructor.

CHE 437. (ECE 437, ME 437) Stochastic Control (3)
Linear and nonlinear models for stochastic systems. Controllability and observability. Minimum variance state estimation. Linear quadratic Gausian control problem. Computational considerations. Nonlinear control problem in stochastic systems. Prerequisite: CHE. 433 or ME 433 or ECE 433 or consent of instructor.

CHE 438. Process Modeling and Control Seminar (1) fall-spring
Presentations and discussions on current methods, approaches, and applications. Credit cannot be used for the M.S. degree.

CHE 440. Chemical Engineering in the Life Sciences (3)
Introduction of important topics in life sciences to chemical engineers. Topics include protein and biomolecule structures and characterization, recombinant DNA technology, immunoaffinity technology, combinatorial chemistry, metabolic engineering, bioinformatics. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree in science or engineering.

CHE 441. Biotechnology I (3) fall
See the course description listed for CHE 341. In order to receive 400-level credits, the student must do an additional, more advanced term project, as defined by the instructor at the beginning of the course. Closed to students who have taken CHE 341.

CHE 442. Biotechnology II (3) spring
See the course description listed for CHE 342. In order to receive 400-level credits, the student must do an additional, more advanced term project, as defined by the instructor at the beginning of the course. Closed to students who have taken CHE 342.

CHE 444. Bioseparations (3)
Separation techniques for biomolecule isolation and purification. Theory and problems of bioaffinity chromatography, electromigration processes, and aqueous two-phase polymer extraction systems. Engineering principles for scaling-up bioseparation processes. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

CHE 446. Biochemical Engineering Laboratory (3)
Laboratory and pilot-scale experiments in fermentation and enzyme technology, tissue culture, and separations techniques. Prerequisites: CHE 341 and CHE 444 or CHE 342 previously or concurrently. Closed to students who have taken CHE 346.

CHE 448. Topics in Biochemical Engineering (3)
Analysis, discussion, and review of current literature for a topical area of biotechnology. Course may be repeated for credit with the consent of the instructor. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

CHE 450. Special Topics (1-12)
An intensive study of some field of chemical engineering not covered in the more general courses. Credit above three hours is granted only when different material is covered.

CHE 451. Problems in Research (1)
Study and discussion of optimal planning of experiments and analysis of experimental data. Discussion of more common and more difficult techniques in the execution of chemical engineering research.

CHE 455. Seminar (1-3) fall-spring
Critical discussion of recent advances in chemical engineering. Credit above one hour is granted only when different material is covered.

CHE 460. Chemical Engineering Project (1-6)
An intensive study of one or more areas of chemical engineering, with emphasis on engineering design and applications. A written report is required. May be repeated for credit.

CHE 452. (ME 442/ENGR 452) Mathematical Methods in Engineering (3) Fall
Analytical techniques are developed for the solution of engineering problems described by algebraic systems, and by ordinary and partial differential equations. Topics covered include: linear vector spaces; eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and eigenfunctions. First and higher-order linear differential equations with initial and boundary conditions; Sturm-Liouville problems; Green's functions. Special functions; Bessel, etc. Qualitative and quantitative methods for nonlinear ordinary differential equations; phase plane. Solutions of classical partial differential equations from the physical sciences; transform techniques; method of characteristics.

CHE 464. Numerical Methods in Engineering (3)
See the course description listed for CHE 364. In order to receive 400-level credits the student must do an additional, more advanced term project, as defined by the instructor at the beginning of the course.

CHE 473. (CE 473) Environmental Separation and Control (3)
Theory and application of adsorption, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, air stripping and chemical oxidation in water and wastewater treatment. Modeling engineered treatment processes. Prerequisite: CE 470 or consent of the instructor.

CHE 480. Research (3)
Investigation of a problem in chemical engineering.

CHE 481. Research (3)
Continuation of CHE 480.

CHE 482. (CHM 482, MAT 482) Engineering Behavior of Polymers (3)
A treatment of the mechanical behavior of polymers. Characterization of experimentally observed viscoelastic response of polymeric solids with the aid of mechanical model analogs. Topics include time-temperature superposition, experimental characterization of large deformation and fracture processes, polymer adhesion, and the effects of fillers, plasticizers, moisture and aging on mechanical behavior.

CHE 483. (CHM 483) Emulsion Polymers (3) fall
Examination of fundamental concepts important in the manufacture, characterization, and application of polymer latexes. Topics to be covered will include colloidal stability, polymerization mechanisms and kinetics, reactor design, characterization of particle surfaces, latex rheology, morphology considerations, polymerization with functional groups, film formation and various application problems.

CHE 485. (CHM 485, MAT 485) Polymer Blends and Composites (3) spring, every other year
Synthesis, morphology, and mechanical behavior of polymer blends and composites. Mechanical blends, block and graft copolymers, interpenetrating polymer networks, polymer impregnated concrete, and fiber and particulate reinforced polymers are emphasized. Prerequisite: any introductory course in polymers.

CHE 486. Polymer Processing (3)
Application of fundamental principles of mechanics, fluid dynamics and heat transfer to the analysis of a wide variety of polymer flow processes. A brief survey of the rheological behavior of polymers is also included. Topics include pressurization, pumping, die forming, calendering, coating, molding, fiber spinning and elastic phenomena. Prerequisite: CHE 392 or equivalent.

CHE 487. Polymer Interfaces (3) spring, every other year
An intensive study of polymer surfaces and interfaces, with special emphasis on thermodynamics, kinetics, and techniques for characterization. Chemistry and physics of adsorbed polymer chains. Diffusion and adhesion at polymer-polymer interfaces, especially as related to mechanical properties such as fracture and toughness will be described. Prerequisite: Introductory polymer course.

CHE 492. (CHM 492) Topics in Polymer Science (3)
Intensive study of topic selected from areas of current research interest such as morphology and mechanical behavior, thermodynamics and kinetics of crystallization, new analytical techniques, molecular weight distribution, non-Newtonian flow behavior, second-order transition phenomena, novel polymer structures. Credit above three hours is granted only when different material is covered. Prerequisite: CHEM 392 or equivalent.