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Master in Chemical Engineering

(33 Posts)
Dancingdreamer Sat 09-Feb-19 16:52:57

Looking for some advice please. My DS is currently studying for a chemistry degree at a good redbrick uni. He is currently on track for a low 1st or high 2.1. At his uni he has the option to finish after 3years with a BSc or to continue to do the Masters. He now seems keen to follow a route into chemical engineering by taking a masters but his uni doesn’t offer chemical engineering. How easy is it to transfer to a masters in chem eng? And if so, where would be a good course? TIA.

OP’s posts: |
marialuisa Sat 09-Feb-19 18:36:58

It’s not that easy if he wants to become an accredited Chemical Engineer unfortunately, I’m not sure there are any conversion masters in the UK.icheme.org should have some information or contact one of the universities offering an accredited programme e.g. Birmingham directly.

Dancingdreamer Sun 10-Feb-19 07:03:20

Ok so it sounds more complicated than he thought. He seemed to think there were conversion courses available.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Sun 10-Feb-19 10:37:33

Does he definitely need a conversion course? Some universities want a Chem eng or related first degree, Aberdeen for example. It might be worth him spending a few days emailing and giving details of his modules to see if they're enough. Is his final year dissertation in something relevant?

ContinuityError Sun 10-Feb-19 16:09:05

Be aware that Chem Eng is very maths heavy - my DS finds that there is way more maths than chemistry.

Birmingham, for instance, will accept Chemistry as a first degree if it has sufficient mathematics.

incorrectpassword Sun 10-Feb-19 16:24:04

Does he realise that chemical engineering is completely different to chemistry? It's a lot more maths and physics based than chemistry, so I can't see it being that easy to do a conversion. My DS started off doing a chem eng degree and hated every minute of it, he ended up withdrawing and starting afresh with pure chemistry, which he absolutely loves. The two are very different.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 10-Feb-19 20:13:50

DH was a chemist in industry - he reckoned some of their chemical engineers seemed to be more like applied mathematicians!

ErrolTheDragon Sun 10-Feb-19 20:44:33

* Some universities want a Chem eng or related first degree, Aberdeen for example.*

I found an Aberdeen one which specifies 'Chemical Engineering or other related engineering discipline.'.

Dancingdreamer Sun 10-Feb-19 21:03:32

It’s the maths and physics side which really appeals to him. I don’t really understand all this as I am not a chemist. But he said since studying the chemistry degree that he really doesn’t like organic chemistry and has become more interested in engineering.

Sadly my DS wouldn’t consider Aberdeen - a bit too far from home!

OP’s posts: |
JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 10-Feb-19 21:30:13

Thank you so much for posting this Dancing. We'd never heard if a Chemical Engineer before now DS (Y10) is considering it as a choice smile

ContinuityError Sun 10-Feb-19 21:35:14

Would suggest that you look at the IChemE accredited courses, the course content and the entry requirements. Many require a Chem Eng first degree but some will take students with an associated science degree. You’ll need to trawl through to find courses, and be open minded about locations.

BubblesBuddy Sun 10-Feb-19 22:49:09

Aberdeen says it wants a related engineering degree. Not quite the same as a science degree.

The IChemE web site doesn’t help much. It has a section on why chemistry is not the same as Chemical Engineering. If also says chemists can become chemical engineers but it doesn’t say how. I would recommend ringing them.

There are various strands to chemical engineering and I wonder if a masters more closely related to chemistry might be appropriate. I think the only thing to do is to rule nowhere out and trawl through. However I feel that a 4 year engineering course is unlikely to be replicated in one year.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 11-Feb-19 00:39:18

I'm a chemist, I don't like organic chemistry either.grinsame goes for DH, come to think...

It may be there's a route for your DS to chem eng - but it's not exactly obvious how.
If that doesn't work out, there's all sorts of areas of physical chemistry which are very mathsy ... for instance, my PhD was crystallography and then I got into molecular modelling/computational chemistry.

chemenger Mon 11-Feb-19 01:01:20

UCL has a conversion MSc suitable for Chemistry graduates, I believe.

BubblesBuddy Mon 11-Feb-19 01:14:34

I think that’s Chemical Process Engineering. They do take Chemists though.

chemenger Mon 11-Feb-19 16:34:38

Chemical Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering are pretty much the same thing. There some discussion in the IChemE boards as to whether we should refocus and rename as Process Engineers but I don't see an advantage.

BubblesBuddy Mon 11-Feb-19 17:37:32

Stick with Chemical! Process sounds like churning out potato crisps!

ErrolTheDragon Mon 11-Feb-19 17:42:53

If you don't like organic chemistry you might prefer making crisps to chemicals... not sure, but are there more jobs in PE than CE?

chemenger Mon 11-Feb-19 17:48:20

PE and CE are essentially the same thing. The argument in the IChemE is essentially about whether academics and other people with chem eng degrees who don't work in the process industries are "really" chemical engineers. At graduate level it makes no difference. Food manufacture is an important sector for chem eng graduates. Crisp making is an interesting application of chem eng, lots of fascinating control and energy management problems, though not as interesting as the fluid mechanics of chocolate or the water efficiency problems of alcohol distilling.

ContinuityError Mon 11-Feb-19 17:56:14

Suspect there might be other perks involved in alcohol distilling as well? Particularly on the QC side?

ComicalEngineering Mon 11-Feb-19 18:07:31

I did a broader BSc, many moons ago, and then did a MSc which no longer exists in Chemical Process Technology.
Got a job on a manufacturing site, dealing with the process chemistry. I have a basic knowledge of what the engineers are talking about, and can hold my own in a meeting, but there is no way I could do some of the engineering calcs DH messes about with (he is MEng, and a chartered Chemical Engineer).
Equally, he occasionally flings some of the chemistry he faces my way.

I would suggest a masters in some form of industrial or process chemistry, followed by a job in a big engineering team (if such a place exists now) could be a mid ground.
If he does pursue the engineering route, see if chartered status would be possible - it opens up further job opportunities.

chemenger Mon 11-Feb-19 18:11:06

Many distilleries are very strict about having no drinking on the premises. I visited one major gin distillery and we could smell but not taste. The botanicals warehouse is literally the best smelling place in the world (if you like gin). Employees often have a generous allowance of alcohol that they can buy at lower cost. They are popular placements. Students on chocolate placements usually get over having as much chocolate as they can eat in the first couple of weeks. I had a friend who worked in the Monster Munch factory for a while (production engineer) she always had a box or two in the car, heaven.

chemenger Mon 11-Feb-19 18:23:36

ComicalEngineering hits the nail on the head. There is a big difference between the skill sets of chemists and chemical engineers, there is surprisingly little chemistry in most chemical engineering degrees.

Not all chemical engineering jobs involve a lot of chemistry - the oil industry, for example, gets by on fairly basic chemistry, relatively speaking, although there are plenty of chemists in the industry. Some speciality chemicals manufacture, on the other hand, such as pharmaceuticals or some agrochemicals are very chemistry dependent and actually use quite simple process technology (batch processing, much closer to lab synthesis methods on a large scale). So a chemist with some chem eng would maybe be an asset.

I would warn that chemical engineering graduates are not in short supply in the UK so someone with a conversion MSc would have to work hard to stand out in competition for jobs.

BubblesBuddy Mon 11-Feb-19 21:05:24

Ha! I literally threw out the crisps suggestion as I was eating a packet! Engineering touches us in so many ways.

chemenger Mon 11-Feb-19 21:12:03

If course chemical engineers made the vegetable oil for frying your crisps, the flavouring on them, the plastic for the bag, the pigments that the bag is printed with, the cardboard of the box the bag was packed in, the diesel that fuelled the lorry that delivered it, (or the hydrogen in the future) ...

You can’t live without us, yet many people don’t know we exist.

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