Chemical Engineering

Website

Thomas J. Webster, PhD
Professor and Chair
Art Zafiropoulo Chair in Engineering
th.webster@northeastern.edu

Ming Su, PhD
Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies

313 Snell Engineering Center
617.373.2989
617.373.2209 (fax)

The department offers a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering. The MS degree is offered as either a thesis MS or a course work (nonthesis) MS degree. Most courses are in the late afternoon or early evening to make them accessible to part-time students with full-time industrial careers. A full-time MS student may apply for participation in the cooperative (co-op) education plan. MS students pursuing the thesis MS option should first gain the consent of their advisors prior to participating in the co-op plan. The course work MS may be taken part-time, but the thesis MS and PhD degrees are only offered as a full-time program. Any deviations from the curriculum must be addressed by petition to the graduate committee and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Candidates pursuing a thesis MS or a PhD can select thesis topics from a diverse range of faculty research interests. New graduate students can learn about ongoing research from individual faculty members, faculty websites, and graduate student seminars. Graduate student seminars are held on a regular basis and provide an interactive forum for learning and exchanging research ideas.

Graduate Certificate Options

Students enrolled in a master's degree in chemical engineering have the opportunity to also pursue one of the many engineering graduate certificate options in addition to or in combination with the MS degree. Students should consult their faculty advisor regarding these options.

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership Option

Students have the opportunity to pursue the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in combination with the MS degree.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSCHE)

Graduate Certificate

Chemical Engineering Courses

CHME 5101. Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering Analysis. 4 Hours.

Provides graduate students from undergraduate studies outside traditional chemical engineering with a practical understanding of the core principles behind the chemical engineering discipline. Topics include vector and tensor calculus; continuum mechanics and thermodynamics; macroscopic and microscopic analyses of mass, momentum, and energy conservation; the fundamental principles of processes in which mass, energy, and momentum are transported; consequences of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the principles governing phase and chemical reaction equilibrium; the fundamental theories of chemical reaction kinetics and reactor design; and the mathematical formulation and solution of the underlying equations involved in all these topics.

CHME 5137. Computational Modeling in Chemical Engineering. 4 Hours.

Builds on chemical engineering fundamentals to introduce computer programming to allow simulation of physical, chemical, and biological systems. Covers numerical experiments (e.g., Monte Carlo, global sensitivity analysis) to analyze the significance of parameters and model assumptions. Offers students an opportunity to work on a research or design project throughout the course.

CHME 5160. Drug Delivery: Engineering Analysis. 4 Hours.

Focuses on engineering analysis of drug delivery systems, demonstrating the application of classic engineering principles to a nontraditional field for chemical engineers. Presents quantitative analysis of transport of a drug through the body and its control by physical and chemical drug and drug delivery device properties. Emphasizes the influence of biological tissue composition and structure on these processes.

CHME 5204. Heterogeneous Catalysis. 4 Hours.

Explores design principles of gas-solid catalytic reactors. Covers heterogeneous catalysts, adsorption surface area and pore structure of catalysts, and mass and heat transport in porous catalysts. Studies catalyst preparation and industrial catalytic processes.

CHME 5240. Introduction to Polymer Science. 4 Hours.

Introduces basic concepts of polymers and polymer properties. Designed for both undergraduate and graduate students, and requires no prior knowledge of polymers. Covers macromolecular structure from both theoretical and experimental viewpoints, polymerization processes and kinetics, polymer/solvent thermodynamics, crosslinking and network dynamics, thermal and phase behavior of polymers, viscoelasticity and mechanical behavior, diffusion in polymers, and selected advanced topics.

CHME 5260. Special Topics in Chemical Engineering. 4 Hours.

Covers topics of interest to the staff member conducting this course for advanced study. A student may not take more than one special topics course with any one instructor. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 5510. Fundamentals in Process Safety Engineering. 4 Hours.

Introduces the basic concepts in process safety engineering as applied to the process industries as well as various terms and lexicon. Reviews the fundamentals involved in the prediction of scenarios and covers the assumptions involved as well as the range of these predictions. Emphasizes toxicology, industrial hygiene, sources models, toxic releases, and dispersion models, as well as fire and explosion prevention.

CHME 5520. Process Safety Engineering—Chemical Reactivity, Reliefs, and Hazards Analysis. 4 Hours.

Reviews chemical reactivity hazards. Introduces relief methods and sizing estimation to prevent overpressurization vessel damage. Covers methods of hazards identification and risk assessment. Offers students an opportunity to obtain the ability to lead hazards analysis in any organization at any level.

CHME 5630. Biochemical Engineering. 4 Hours.

Focuses on topics relevant to the design of cell culture processes for the production of pharmaceuticals. Topics include an overview of prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic cells; enzyme kinetics; overview of cellular processes (DNA replication, transcription, translation, primary metabolism, and regulation of protein synthesis at the transcriptional, posttranslational, and metabolic levels); overview of genetic engineering methods (for bacteria, mammalian, and plant cells); kinetics of cell growth (growth models, growth kinetic parameters); kinetics of product formation; bioreactor design and optimum operating conditions; scale-up; and overview of product recovery and purification methods.

CHME 5631. Biomaterials Principles and Applications. 4 Hours.

Offers a broad overview of the field of biomaterials (materials used in medical devices that interact with living tissues). Begins with introductory lectures on biomaterials and their translation from the laboratory to the medical marketplace and progresses to discussions of important biomaterials terminology and concepts. Basic materials science lectures then emphasize material structure-property-function-testing relationships. Concludes with introductions to topics in the field such as biomaterials-tissue interactions, tissue engineering, regulatory requirements, etc. Considers principles of device design as related to the selection and application of biomaterials throughout this course.

CHME 5632. Advanced Topics in Biomaterials. 4 Hours.

Addresses several important topics in biomaterials, specifically, materials used in medical devices that communicate with living tissues. Topics that may be addressed include biomaterials: past, present, and future; tissue engineering: scope, status, promise, challenges; biomaterials-tissue interactions; regulated medical device design, fabrication, and testing; strategies for translating medical products from concept to the marketplace; and medical device disasters. Some topics are covered in more depth than others depending on their value and interest to the students.

CHME 5699. Special Topics in Chemical Engineering. 4 Hours.

Focuses on topics related to chemical engineering to be selected by the instructor. May be repeated up to two times.

CHME 5899. Biotechnology. 4 Hours.

Introduces biotechnology to students who are not majoring in biological sciences. The goal is to cover fundamental concepts, principles, and technologies central to the modern biotechnology industry. Topics range from, but are not limited to, recombinant DNA technologies; genomics, proteomics, and epigenetics; viruses, vaccines, and gene therapy; stem cell biology; genetically modified organisms (GMOs); synthetic biology; drug discovery and development; and regulatory issues in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries.

CHME 5976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 5978. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers theoretical or experimental work under individual faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 5984. Research. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 6610. Computational Programs in Process Safety for Relief and Scenario Modeling. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the use of process safety software that is available to perform hazard analysis, relief and flare system evaluation, and scenario analysis. The software may include use of Process Safety Office (ioMosaic), Aspen Process Simulator (Aspen Technologies), and FLACS (Flame Acceleration Simulator by GexCon). These programs are dedicated to predicting relief sizing for vessels and processes; flare system sizing; chemical reactivity analysis; and dispersion modeling, should a release occur, and its damage potential either as an explosive or toxic cloud.

CHME 6960. Exam Preparation—Master’s. 0 Hours.

Offers the student the opportunity to prepare for the master’s qualifying exam under faculty supervision.

CHME 6962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 6964. Co-op Work Experience. 0 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for work experience. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 6965. Co-op Work Experience Abroad. 0 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for work experience abroad. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 6966. Practicum. 1-4 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for practical experience. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7201. Fluid Mechanics. 4 Hours.

Examines statics, kinematics, and stress concepts associated with fluids. Also focuses on the formation of the general equations of motion with application to laminar and turbulent flow. Topics include boundary layer theory and compressible flow.

CHME 7202. Chemical Process Heat Transfer. 4 Hours.

Covers empirical methods and calculations used to design heat transfer equipment for the chemical process industries. Reviews basic heat transfer principles. Focuses on shell-and-tube calculations for liquid and/or vapor phase heat transfer. Also covers direct contact and other special heat exchanger applications.

CHME 7203. Separations Process. 4 Hours.

Comprises calculation and design methods used in processes involving mass transfer. Topics include vapor liquid equilibria for binary and multicomponent systems, and multicomponent distillation, absorption, and extraction. Emphasis is on methods and techniques common to many separation processes.

CHME 7205. Numerical Techniques in Chemical Engineering. 4 Hours.

Examines digital computer applications to chemical engineering problems. Topics include location of roots of linear and nonlinear equations, numerical integration, and curve-fitting techniques, with emphasis on the numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations and on linear algebra.

CHME 7210. Advanced Chemical Engineering Calculations. 4 Hours.

Focuses on fundamental process principles leading to an understanding of the stoichiometric principles of chemical process plants. Undertakes the study of complex material and energy balances with the view to apply these principles to actual large chemical plant conditions. Requires familiarity with differential equations.

CHME 7220. Electronic Materials, Thin Films, and Nanostructures. 4 Hours.

Presents the fundamental transport, kinetic, thermodynamic, and solid-state physics principles for semiconductor device processing. Emphasizes the various physical and chemical processes (including e-beam processes, sputtering, chemical vapor deposition, and molecular beam epitaxy) used in semiconductor technology and nanotechnology. Helps students appreciate the application of chemical engineering in the growing microelectronic industry, provides a working background in various microfabrication processes and ultrahigh vacuum technology, and introduces students to novel semiconductor material development and nanostructures.

CHME 7221. Thin Film Technology. 4 Hours.

Presents processing techniques as well as the surface chemistry and physics involved in the growth and characterization of single-crystal, polycrystalline, and amorphous thin films. Emphasis is on microelectronic device applications and various forms of chemical vapor deposition and molecular beam epitaxy. Covers homoepitaxy, heteroepitaxy, heterostructure device fabrication, and current developments in advanced electronic materials.

CHME 7222. Principals of Membrane Processes. 4 Hours.

Introduces membrane separation processes. Topics include the properties and characterization of membranes, preparation of synthetic membranes, and transport through membranes. Focuses on the determination of diffusion coefficients and free volume theory.

CHME 7231. Chemical Process Dynamics and Control. 4 Hours.

Reviews linear and nonlinear dynamic systems analysis. Topics include analysis/synthesis of single/multiple input-output control strategies including model predictive control, theoretical and practical implementation considerations in modern digital control systems, such as process identification and control application interactions, and introduction to multilayer plant-wide control. Also surveys recent control technology advances.

CHME 7232. Process Pollution Prevention and Control. 4 Hours.

Explores modeling of the transport/transformation of environmental contaminants, analysis of pollution prevention/reduction approaches for process facilities, techniques for environmental auditing, fundamentals of selected waste management technologies, and pollution prevention planning and project/risk evaluation methods. Includes an overview of various aspects and viewpoints on environmental quality, regulation, and the impact of industrial activity.

CHME 7235. Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics. 4 Hours.

Covers the introductory concepts used to predict molecular, bulk, and mixture properties from molecular structure. Topics include nonideal solutions, high-pressure systems, complex reaction equilibria, phase equilibria, and molecular modeling. Student projects are self-selected to focus on specific applications of individual interest. The material is appropriate for graduate students who have taken classical thermodynamics in either an undergraduate chemical engineering course or similar content in a physical chemistry course.

CHME 7240. Polymer Science. 4 Hours.

Covers basic concepts of polymers, thermodynamics of polymer solutions, and measurement of molecular weight. Topics include physical and chemical testing of polymers, crystallinity in polymers and rheology of polymers, physical and chemical properties of polymers, and mechanisms and conditions for polymerization of polymers including step reaction, addition, and copolymerization. Discusses carbon-chain polymers, fibers, and fiber technology. Requires BS in chemical engineering or chemistry.

CHME 7241. Principles of Polymerization and Polymer Processing. 4 Hours.

Introduces polymers and polymer properties. Examines mechanisms of polymerization including step polymerization, radical chain polymerization, emulsion polymerization, ionic-chain polymerization, chain copolymerization, and ring-opening polymerization. Focuses on stereo chemistry of polymerization and synthetic reactions of polymers. Also covers applications to reactor design of industrially important polymers.

CHME 7250. Advanced Management Techniques in the Chemical Industry. 4 Hours.

Comprises management techniques applied to the chemical industry. Emphasis is on management of research organizations and management of engineering services, such as design, computer, and related activities.

CHME 7260. Special Topics in Chemical Engineering. 4 Hours.

Covers topics of interest to the staff member conducting this class for advanced study. A student may not take more than one Special Topics course with any one instructor. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7261. Special Topics in Chemical Engineering. 2 Hours.

Covers topics of interest to the staff member conducting this class for advanced study. A student may not take more than one Special Topics course with any one instructor. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7262. Special Topics in Process Safety. 4 Hours.

Covers topics of interest to the staff member conducting this class for advanced study. Current topics relevant in process safety are considered, such as a focus on layers of protection analysis, qualitative risk analysis, and specific process safety challenges. Process safety challenges from industrial settings may also serve as problems tackled in the course. A student may not take more than one special topics course with any one instructor.

CHME 7320. Chemical Engineering Mathematics. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the formulation and solutions of problems involving advanced calculus as they arise in chemical engineering systems. Covers ordinary differential equations, series solutions, and complex variables. Also studies applications involving Laplace transforms, partial differential equations, matrix operations, vectors and tensors, and optimization methods. Emphasis is on methods for formulating the problems.

CHME 7330. Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics. 4 Hours.

Designed as an introductory course to graduate-level, classical thermodynamics. Covers the first and second laws, and their applications to problems of interest to the chemical engineer. Introduces Legendre transformation, multicomponent phase equilibrium, and stability as well as reaction equilibrium in an engineering context.

CHME 7340. Chemical Engineering Kinetics. 4 Hours.

Covers fundamental theories of the rate of chemical change in homogeneous reacting systems, integral and differential analysis of kinetic data. Examines the theoretical foundations for the analysis of elementary chemical reaction rates. Comprises analysis and modeling of batch and ideal flow reactors, axial and radial dispersion in flow tubular reactors, and design principles of gas solid catalytic reactors. Builds on undergraduate chemical engineering kinetics concepts. Requires proficiency in calculus and differential equations.

CHME 7350. Transport Phenomena. 4 Hours.

Explores analytical and approximate solutions of equations of momentum, energy, and mass transport and their analogies. Covers heat and mass transfer at a fluid-solid interface. Introduces creeping, potential, and boundary layer flows. Examines macroscopic balances for isothermal systems and interphase transport of multicomponent systems.

CHME 7390. Seminar. 0 Hours.

Presents topics of an advanced nature by staff, outside speakers, and students in the graduate program. This course must be attended every semester by all full-time graduate students. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7978. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers theoretical or experimental work under individual faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7990. Thesis. 1-4 Hours.

Offers analytical and/or experimental work conducted under the direction of the faculty in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree. First-year students must attend a graduate seminar program that introduces the students to the methods of choosing a research topic, conducting research, and preparing a thesis. Successful completion of the seminar program is required. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7994. Thesis Continuation—Part Time. 0 Hours.

Continues thesis work conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 7996. Thesis Continuation. 0 Hours.

Continues thesis work conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty.

CHME 8960. Candidacy Preparation—Doctoral. 0 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to prepare for the PhD qualifying exam under faculty supervision. Intended for students who have completed all required PhD course work and have not yet achieved PhD candidacy; students who have not completed all required PhD course work are not allowed to register for this course. May be repeated once.

CHME 8964. Co-op Work Experience. 0 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for work experience. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 8966. Practicum. 1-4 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for practical experience. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 8982. Readings. 1-4 Hours.

Offers selected readings under the supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 8984. Research. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 8986. Research. 0 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct full-time research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 9000. PhD Candidacy Achieved. 0 Hours.

Indicates successful completion of program requirements for PhD candidacy.

CHME 9984. Research. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 9986. Research. 0 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct full-time research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

CHME 9990. Dissertation. 0 Hours.

Offers theoretical and experimental work conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty. May be repeated once.

CHME 9996. Dissertation Continuation. 0 Hours.

Continues thesis work conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty. CHME 9990 completed twice. May be repeated without limit.