I would like to take up chemical engineering. What would you say are the pros and cons of being a chemical engineer? And what different types of chemical engineering is there? What are the working areas? Mostly labs??
by Camilla, Windhoek, Namibia
on March 28, 2012
I love the flexibility and creativity involved in being a chemical engineer. With a degree in chemical engineering, I'm ready to tackle a challenge in a variety of fields and have the creativity to come up with a number of solutions. I could head to the food industry to design healthier potato chips or soda bottles that keep the fizz forever. I could work in the oil and gas arena, designing looking at ways to harness energy in environmentally and economical ways. I could explore the plastics industry, seeking to reduce waste, develop applications for biodegradable plastics and come up with the latest and greatest new gadget. I could work for a consumer product company, figuring out how to make a toothbrush that has bristles that never wear out or new household cleaners or never-chip fingernail polish. Chemical engineers are everywhere you find paints, plastics, food, packaging, medicine and so many other things we interact with in our daily lives.
Chemical engineers work in a variety of environments and it can vary based on your interests. I have worked in an office setting, a corporate lab setting and a university lab setting, and a production environment where I was often out in the chemical plant. Depending on what environment best suits you, you can find a chemical engineering job to fit. I have worked on projects where I was the sole person seeking a solution with input from a variety of customers. I have worked on small teams of 2-5 people to seek a solution. I have also worked on large teams of 20+ where each person or small group of people had specific responsibilities that tied in together to provide the overall design or solution.
Chemical engineering is one of the most diverse engineering fields. With chemical engineering, you really can make a world of difference!