Asee peer logo

Updating The Chemical Engineering Curriculum For The 21 St Century

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Teamwork and Assessment

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1346.1 - 9.1346.16

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Dana Knox

author page

Robert Barat

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3513

Updating the Chemical Engineering Curriculum for the 21st Century

Dana E. Knox & Robert B. Barat

Otto H. York Department of Chemical Engineering New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ 07102


The field of chemical engineering is evolving, and curricula must evolve to match the new world in which graduates of our programs will find themselves. There is a general consensus that there should be ever-greater emphasis on biological-based processes and on batch processes. But does this force a decreased emphasis on chemical processes and continuous processes? Feedback from alumni and from industry continues to indicate the need for an even greater emphasis on written and oral communication skills, as well as the ability to function well in teams and in multidisciplinary environments. But does this require less emphasis on engineering fundamentals? Students often have difficulty synthesizing material from various courses. Can design content be introduced throughout the curriculum to help resolve this without adverse effects? These are the types of issues that must be addressed by all departments when they undergo their periodic program reviews.

The chemical engineering department at New Jersey Institute of Technology has just completed an extensive top-to-bottom review and revision of the curriculum for its Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree. This paper will review the input that was received from our various constituencies, and will discuss how the above (and other) issues were resolved in the re- development of our program.


The need for periodic review of your core processes is needed in all fields of endeavor. Higher education is no different. Curricula must change and evolve as the world changes and evolves.

The field of chemical engineering has undergone substantial change in recent years and continues to do so in the present. Most departments of chemical engineering across the country are renaming themselves to include some aspect of biology in their names. These changes reflect a fundamental shift in where most chemical engineering graduates find jobs in the modern world.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Knox, D., & Barat, R. (2004, June), Updating The Chemical Engineering Curriculum For The 21 St Century Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015