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Explore our Graduate Programs

Department Research Areas

Our faculty and staff work in a broad array of research areas, some of which are directly supported by graduate programs. For information on our graduate technical divisions, visit the Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy pages. 


Aerosol Technology

CHBE researchers investigate the formation, composition and fate of atmospheric aerosol to explore the impacts on foremost climate and subsequently health.


Biophysicists study the mechanics of how the molecules of life are made, how cells function and how complex systems in our bodies work to create new technology and provide life-saving treatments.

Bioprocess Engineering

Some CHBE engineers focus on biochemical and bioprocess engineering for protein and enzyme immobilization and angiogenesis, on-line chemical and biochemical process monitoring, and biosensor design using, for example, protein arrays, antibody/antigen interaction, and DNA hybridization.


Engineers use a catalyst to increase the rate of a chemical reaction that will continue to regenerate - this is the backbone of numerous industrial processes that use chemical reactions to turn raw materials (e.g., natural gas) into commercial products. 

Colloid Science

CHBE engineers study the chemistry and physics of microscopic solid or liquid particles dispersed in a continuous liquid phase. Colloidal science has vast applications in the areas of coatings (paint), food science (emulsions), and pharmaceuticals.

Energy Storage

Optimizing energy storage is one of the important sub-fields of energy research. CHBE engineers are at the forefront of developing electrochemical energy storage - especially of rechargeable batteries, including liquid and all-solid-state.

Fluid Mechanics

CHBE faculty members are developing a fundamental understanding of the controlling fluid dynamics for both "single" and multiphase processing, which will be used to develop a basis for data correlation, process scale-up, and assessment of device performance.

Metabolic Engineering

Researchers work in the areas of metabolic engineering and systems biology, including metabolic flux analysis and gene regulatory network analysis, to combine experimental methods such as isotope labeling, two-dimensional NMR, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and DNA microarray analysis.

Molecular Modeling

This area includes the use of molecular-scale models to describe fundamental properties of molecules, both large and small. The method can be applied to studying thermodynamics of complex mixtures, proteins, cell membranes, or material surfaces.


Department faculty members study the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules that are less than 100 nanometers in size.

Numerical Analysis

This computational field of study creates, analyzes and implements algorhythms to find numerical solutions to society's most challenging problems.  

Particle Technology

The science of particulate materials in process industries is highly complex. Understanding the ways in which powders, or other particles, behave can minimize processing problems, which means improvements in quality control and decreased environmental emissions.


Department engineers focus on  the synthesis characterization and processing of novel polymer-based architectures, such as plastics and resins, used in a variety of technologies and devices including energy storage devices, medical devices and cosmetics. 

CHBE 490 student discuss micro-plasticsCHBE 490 students discuss micro-fibers

Protein Engineering

CHBE research focuses on making mutations to a protein or peptide to improve its function to a specific target - for example, optimizing an antimicrobial peptide sequence to effectively kill a harmful bacteria. 

Systems Biology

This specialty untangles the complexity of biological systems, such as the human circulatory and nervous systems. Researchers predict how bio-systems change over time, and under various conditions, to develop solutions to an array of health and environmental issues.

Systems Engineering

Department engineers use a precise set of methods and computational tools to manage the design of complex systems over the course of the project life cycle. SE methods are making their way into CHE design due to the growing importance of concurrent product/process design, advanced manufacturing methods and the enterprise-scale management of chemical supply chains.


This fundamental area of chemical engineering focuses on understanding work and heat requirements for different fluids and the phase behavior of compounds - necessary for the understanding self-assembly of surfactants to binding affinity of drugs to proteins.