Chemical Engineering: An Underappreciated Field

From pharmaceuticals to optical fibers, from food technology to chemical manufacturing, the one for all branch, Chemical Engineering is one of the most diverse fields with multiple specializations. Following a graduation course of just 4 years in India, this course has a vast array of masters options as well as Ph.Ds., yet somehow very few students aspire to take this up. This is a direct result of fewer jobs in this sector in India.

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People in India often consider Chemical Engineers as incapable of technical work, but the truth is that Chemical Engineers are the most self-sufficient and all-round engineers. These Engineers have a curriculum that includes dynamics based on physics, chemistry, mathematics, coding, simulation, research and experimentation, industrial manufacturing process studies and the application of software such as MATLAB, ASPEN and languages such as JAVA and PYTHON. Chemical Engineers are the providers and problem solvers of today. Even though this field was initially developed to aim at the manufacturing of chemicals on a large scale, Chemical Engineering has expanded over to numerous branches and sub-branches. It now deals with the production of consumer products such as drugs, gasoline, textile, bio-materials such as biodiesel, aerospace, automotive, plastics and polymers, and the list goes on. Chemical Engineers are the only personnel equipped with the knowledge needed to design, maintain, optimize and operate any machinery on a large scale at industrial plants.

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A nation should prioritize in increasing the employment opportunities for chemical engineers. This is an indication of more industries, more in-house production and manufacturing within the country, as well as the development of newer methods to deal with environmental crisis such as global warming due to industrial and automotive exhausts, deforestation, air pollution etc., and also better medical and health facilities. Moreover, Chemical Engineers are the only source of light in the deep issue of constant depletion of the precious non-renewable fuel deposits and can work on coming up with more efficient energy utilization methods. In most of the developed nations, a Chemical Engineer earns the highest salary compared to any other branch of engineering. Jobs in this sector are expected to grow approximately at the rate of 8%, however, with more advancements in technology and automation, Chemical Engineer’s job demand will slowly start shifting from traditional chemical manufacturing towards fields such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and alternative energy.

Unlike other branches, this field is still in its growth phase and is expected to take over every sector with time. Despite having its own set of pros and cons, one can’t deny that Chemical Engineers are the need of the hour.

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Shreyasi Dutta
Hard to crack, but soft from within. I am inspired by emotions which lead me to write and also draw.

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