The best chemical engineering universities in the world

PIF takes an interactive look at two of the world's top ten ranked Chemical Engineering universities to find out what kind of learning opportunities are out there for undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals looking to further themselves.

According to the most recent league tables published by leading university ranking specialists, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), almost a quarter (48) of the 200 best ranked global institutions are based in the United States. The next closest heavyweights are Britain and China (15 each), followed by Japan and South Korea (11 each), Canada (10), and Australia and Germany (9 each).

Chemical engineering universities

The best Chemical Engineering Universities

So we've selected the highest ranking Chemical Engineering universities from the United States and Europe to highlight the distinctive learning opportunities available on each side of the Atlantic.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ranking: Number 1

Perennial chart topper MIT has been at the forefront of Chemical Engineering for donkey's years. How many other institutions can boast an alumni that accounts for 25% of the winners of major awards presented by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Chemical Society's Murphree Award? Or indeed more than 10% of senior executives at industrial companies?

Undergraduate chemical engineering degrees

Undergraduate options are plentiful, with a broad-reaching Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, narrower Bachelor of Science in Chemical-Biological Engineering, and flexible Bachelor of Science options that allow for a specialist focus in either an engineering field or wider academic subject.

Postgraduate chemical engineering courses

Among the three postgraduate programs, two are available only at MIT. The Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.CEP) taps into the world-class resources of MIT's David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice ("Practice School") and the Sloan School of Management. The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Practice degree gives hands-on experiences in industrial settings. While the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering promise a thorough grounding in chemical engineering with an intensive research experience.

Chemical engineering professional development

In terms of professional development, the Advanced Study Program includes credit courses and MIT Professional Education also offers a comprehensive array of 2-5 day Short Programs taught by MIT faculty and experts.

Chemical engineering Research

In 2013, MIT chemical engineers and biologists devised a way to dramatically boost isobutanol production in yeast, which naturally make it in small amounts, in pursuit of gasoline alternatives. According to MIT News, “They engineered yeast so that isobutanol synthesis takes place entirely within mitochondria, cell structures that generate energy and also host many biosynthetic pathways. Using this approach, they were able to boost isobutanol production by about 260 percent.”

Chemical engineering research

University of Cambridge

Ranking: Number 4

The highest overall rated university in the UK, according to the Guardian's league tables, is also the highest achieving European centre of excellence for Chemical Engineering.

Undergraduate chemical engineering degrees

The Chemical Engineering Tripos is an IChemE accredited four-year course, leading to a BA after three years or the full MEng qualification, that also boasts strong links with industry and great career prospects.

Postgraduate chemical engineering courses

The MPhil and PhD research programmes cover the breadth of chemical engineering and biotechnology disciplines, with fundamental and applied sciences research and access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. There's also options to pursue MPhil studies focussing on laboratory-based research (ACE) or a company internship placement (MBE).

Chemical engineering professional development

Cambridge offers short professional study courses, such as the five-day Biopharmaceutical Pricing and Market Access Strategy Programme, delivered jointly with ICON Pricing & Market Access.

UK Chemical engineering research

Ongoing research in the Processes section of the department ranges from reaction engineering to downstream processing. Current studies include separation and recovery of high-value chemicals present in wastes, such as packaging, used engine oils and tyres and CO2 sequestration.

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