The Student Experience
In first year, like most other engineering students, Chemical Engineering students mainly study science and maths subjects. There are also some engineering lectures and chemical engineering laboratory sessions. In second year the emphasis shifts to engineering subjects such as fluid flow, heat transfer, distillation etc. This change to more practically applicable subjects continues through third and fourth year.
Students are taught to become more independent as the four years progress. In first year for example the instructions for laboratory practicals are quite detailed. In second year students are expected to compare their results with information from the library. In third year students get half a page of instructions for a five hour laboratory session. In final year students spend half their time doing two major projects: an experimental project based in the lab or in industry and also a design project.
Students work in the chemical industry during the summer at the end of 3rd year. They find it enjoyable, interesting and educational and get hands-on work experience. They are normally paid for this work.
The chemical engineering department is small. It comprises of 4 year groups each containing 30 students, 9 lecturers and 3 support staff. Students get to know their own classmates very well. They also get to know the staff and students from other years. Students from all 4 years share a common computer room.