Department of Chemical Engineering

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chemical engineering studentsCONTACT INFORMATION:
204 Chemical Engineering Building
Box 43121, Lubbock, TX 79409-3121
T 806.742.3553 | F 806.742.3552


About the Program

This department supervises the following degree programs:
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering

Vision. The Department of Chemical Engineering will be the undergraduate Chemical Engineering department of choice in Texas and will be recognized as one of the top research and graduate Chemical Engineering departments in the nation.

Mission. The Department of Chemical Engineering educates, conducts research, and disseminates chemical engineering knowledge through internationally recognized programs for the benefit of society.

Program Educational Objectives. The undergraduate program educational objectives embody the expected accomplishments of graduates during their first few years following graduation. The program educational objectives of the Department of Chemical Engineering (CHE) as adopted by the CHE faculty, with advice from students, alumni, and the CHE External Advisory Board are as follows:

  • Graduates will be successful in chemical engineering-related careers and other diverse career paths.
  • Graduates will continue professional development and will pursue continuing education opportunities relevant to their careers.
  • Some graduates will pursue advanced degrees.

These objectives are published on the Department of Chemical Engineering website.

Student Outcomes. Student outcomes are statements of the expectations for the knowledge and skills that students should possess when they graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech University.

Graduates of the program must demonstrate the following:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
  • An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning.
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Program Overview. The profession of chemical engineering combines the principles of physical and chemical sciences with the discipline of engineering to solve modern technological problems and be of effective service to society. The chemical engineer is largely responsible for the continual development of new processes and new products that have a direct impact on improving the quality of life and the environment. To this end, the department provides a broad-based program with individual, academic, and professional counseling.

The importance of professionalism in engineering cannot be overemphasized. Chemical engineering students are presented with a code of professional behavior and ethics at each academic level and are required to adhere to it. Copies of these codes are available on request.

The chemical engineering curriculum is sufficiently general that upon completion the student is prepared for a career in any of the process industries that involve chemical transformations. Employment opportunities cover a wide spectrum that includes, among others, petroleum, plastics production, basic chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, metals, textiles, semiconductors, and various biomedical and biological specialties. Many chemical engineers also are directly involved in the design of systems to minimize pollution of the environment or are active with governmental regulatory agencies that set environmental standards.

Continuing advances in the practice of chemical engineering include extensive use of computer simulation and computer control of chemical processes. The Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech has well-established programs in both of these areas. All chemical engineering students must have access to a personal laptop computer running the Windows operating system, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and MatLab software. Many on-campus classes have their own Internet sites, and some classes are available only on the Internet. For this reason, access to an Internet provider is strongly recommended.

To be prepared for professional training as well as to practice chemical engineering professionally, it is essential that the prospective engineer have a good background in the physical sciences, namely mathematics, physics, and chemistry, in addition to the engineering sciences. Summer experience in a chemical processing industry is strongly recommended as part of the preparation for professional practice. To illustrate the application of engineering principles, visits to processing installations may be required as part of academic coursework.


Undergraduate Program

General Standards and Requirements. Admission requirements and academic standards for the Department of Chemical Engineering are consistent with the plan for the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. Refer to the introduction to the Whitacre College of Engineering section of this catalog (pages 295-296) for a description of the criteria for initial admission to the Whitacre College of Engineering and the lower-division foundational curriculum. The recommended foundational curriculum for chemical engineering consists of ENGL 1301, 1302; MATH 1451, 1452; CHEM 1307/1107; PHYS 1408; and CHE 1305.

A student may apply for admission to the upper division of a degree program upon completion of the foundational curriculum and a minimum of 12 credit hours of Texas Tech coursework. The acceptance criterion is based exclusively on a cumulative GPA for coursework completed at Texas Tech. The specific GPA standard varies among the degree programs and may change from one academic year to the next as necessary to align enrollments with the educational resources. For students who entered Texas Tech prior to June 1, 2012, a minimum 2.0 GPA is required for admission to the chemical engineering upper-division degree program. Students entering Texas Tech after June 1, 2012, must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

The academic standards required by the Whitacre College of Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering are given in the introduction to the Whitacre College section of the catalog and summarized below. Exceptions to these standards are at the discretion of the dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering.

  • A grade of C or better is required for all courses in an engineering degree plan.
  • A grade of C or better must be achieved in all prerequisites before the subsequent course may be attempted.
  • A minimum 2.5 GPA is required to maintain academic good standing and continued membership in the Whitacre College of Engineering.
  • A full-time student must achieve a C or better in 18 credit hours of coursework in the degree plan in each year (fall and spring).
  • An engineering course may be repeated only one time after a course drop, withdrawal, or failure to achieve a C or higher. A maximum of three engineering courses may be repeated.

Assessment. The department uses outcome assessment to monitor quality. In addition to activities that contribute to course grades, students should expect periodic assessment of technical competence, including a comprehensive examination in their senior year.

Scholarships. In addition to scholarships offered through the university's Financial Aid Office and the Whitacre College of Engineering, the Department of Chemical Engineering offers scholarships to qualified students.

Curriculum. The first curriculum table in this section gives an eight-semester sequence of required courses that must be taken in the order shown as partial requirements for the B.S.Ch.E. degree. The remaining requirements can be taken as the student's load permits, provided all prerequisites are met. Specification of prerequisites implies all prior prerequisites must have been met. Oral communication is included in CHE 2306 and 4555. Writing intensive courses include CHE 2306, 3232, 4232, and 4555.

The department also offers a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science curriculum in which completion of degree requirements leads to the awarding of two degrees (see curriculum table).

Minors. Along with the B.S.Ch.E. degree, a student may declare a minor in a field of his or her choice. Any required or elective courses in the chemical engineering curriculum may be applied toward the minor, with the approval of the minor department. While declaration of a minor is not required, it is strongly recommended. Minors in bioengineering and polymers and materials are offered by the department. A minor in chemistry or mathematics can also be earned with very few additional hours.

A minor in chemical engineering consists of 18 or more hours in chemical engineering courses, including CHE 2410, 2421, 3315, 3322, and 3326. Prerequisites for all of these courses will be enforced.

A minor in bioengineering requires a minimum of 21 hours in biology, chemistry, and bioengineering courses. Required courses include BIOL 1403; CHEM 1308/1108; CHEM 3306/3106 or BIOL 1404 or MBIO 3400; CHE 4363 or ECE 5356. Two courses from the approved list of bioengineering electives must also be completed.

The minor in polymers and materials consists of 18 hours, six of which must be taken outside of the student's major. Two courses are required: CHE 4344 Polymers and Materials Laboratory and a course in materials science and engineering (either CHE 3330 or ME 3311). The remaining four courses should be selected from the following list:

  • CHEM 3306 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 4310 Polymer Chemistry
  • CHE 4340 Polymer Processing
  • CHE 4341 Polymerization Engineering
  • CHE 4342 Polymer Physics and Engineering
  • CHE 4345 Dynamics of Polymeric and Nonlinear Fluids
  • CHE 4346 Polymer Viscoelasticity
  • ECE 4381 VLSI Processing
  • ME 3228 Materials and Mechanics Laboratory
  • ME 4338 Polymer Composite Materials


Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

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Graduate Program

All master's students and doctoral candidates are required to register for CHE 7121, 7122, 7123, or 7124 each long semester unless exempted by the chairperson.

Master's Programs

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. The master's program is a structured program requiring five core courses: CE 5310, 5312, 5321, 5323, and 5343. The graduate student will be required to take one additional chemical engineering course and at least two other courses as specified by his or her advisory committee. A written thesis and a minimum of 24 hours of graduate-level coursework, exclusive of thesis, are required for the master's degree. In addition, a final oral exam in defense of the completed thesis will be administered by the candidate's thesis committee.

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, Non-Thesis Option. The master's program may also be completed without a thesis. Entry into the non-thesis option must be approved by the departmental graduate committee. Graduate students in this non-thesis option are required to take 36 credit hours of graduate coursework, and must pass a comprehensive examination. The coursework for each student must meet approval of the department's graduate committee. Students must obtain approval from the department before registering for required graduate courses.

Doctoral Program

In addition to the five core courses and to regulations established by the Graduate School, applicants for candidacy for the doctor's degree are required to demonstrate high proficiency in a single research area. Certification of the research proficiency will be based on a record of accomplished research that demonstrates the required level of competence in the research area. The record must be substantiated by published articles, final research reports, or papers presented at meetings of learned societies. Ph.D. students are required to have 60 hours, exclusive of dissertation hours.


Course Descriptions

Chemical Engineering (CHE)



Alphabetical listing of all TTU faculty and their academic credentials.


Sindee L. Simon, Ph.D., Chairperson

Horn Professors: McKenna, Simon
Professors: Chen, Gill, Sacco, Weeks
Associate Professors: Hedden, Khare, Vanapalli, Vaughn, Wiesner
Assistant Professors: Khatib, Lacerda, Li, Marston, Nuraje
Assistant Professor of Practice: Hu

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