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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Stocker Center 172
Athens, OH 45701

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Russ College of Engineering and Technology

Stocker Center
Athens, OH

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Undergraduate Admissions

120 Chubb Hall
1 Ohio University
Athens, OH 45710

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Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering  

Chemical engineers start with an experimental product that can be made in a laboratory, then design and operate a process to produce it commercially. This could mean billions of gallons of gasoline, or a few pounds of pharmaceuticals. Trained to understand systems at the large scale and molecular level, chemical engineers design new processes and redesign old ones to increase efficiency, improve safety, and reduce adverse environmental effects.

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering offers an ABET-accredited B.S. in chemical engineering with the option to focus technical electives in the biological, energy and the environment, or materials tracks. The department also offers an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, and an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. The undergraduate program's objectives are for graduates to have a strong foundation in chemical engineering theory and practice, have communication and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in a professional environment, and be scholars and professionals and dedicated to the betterment of themselves and society.

Undergraduate study begins with foundation courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics.  First-year engineering courses provide early exposure to teamwork and professional development. Individual and team projects throughout the curriculum develop teamwork and communication skills and the ability to solve problems beyond the textbook. Sophomore courses focus on analysis of commercial chemical and biological processes. Junior courses help students develop an in-depth understanding of heat transfer, mass transfer, fluid dynamics, and chemical reactions. The senior year culminates with students operating pilot-scale manufacturing equipment and designing a complete manufacturing process. In addition to these core courses, students select from large range of technical elective courses in engineering, science, and mathematics, giving the degree a strong interdisciplinary flavor.

Career Opportunities

In addition to coursework, students prepare for professional success through optional research projects, intercollegiate engineering competitions, internships and cooperative education. Open to all engineering majors, the Russ College's Cooperative Education program integrates coursework with paid, career-related work experience. Students alternate full-time employment with full-time study, with most students working a total of three to four quarters. Companies may assist students with living arrangements or stipends during their co-ops, and many often extend job offers upon graduation. Students have worked at companies and organizations such as Upon, General Electric, Kokosing Construction Co., the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Forest Service. For more information, visit

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering develops interdisciplinary problem-solvers for work in a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, food processing, specialty chemicals, microelectronics, polymers, biotechnology, and environmental health and safety. Alumni also go on to graduate study in engineering or further professional study in fields such as medicine and law.

Because of their strong interdisciplinary background, chemical engineers perennially command among the highest starting salaries for new college graduates, exceeding most other engineering disciplines as well as the sciences. The job descriptions of B.S. chemical engineers often overlap with those of bio-, environmental, material, and mechanical engineers.

Some chemical engineers work in manufacturing plants, checking the quality of the product and working with technicians to monitor and optimize equipment function.  Others focus on the design and startup of new processes, sales and marketing, or management of technical staff.  Some are more devoted to fundamental or applied research -- whether in industry, academia, national laboratories, or regulatory agencies. Research positions usually require a graduate degree.  


Special Features

Students and alumni of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering consistently cite positive and frequent faculty-student interaction as the department's greatest strength.  Classes are taught by faculty.  Open doors welcoming students for further discussion outside class are common. Students meet regularly with a faculty advisor to discuss academic progress and professional development.

Commitment to students also shows in the time faculty volunteer to advise intercollegiate engineering competitions and undergraduate research projects, and host student-faculty cookouts and ballgames. Students have frequently placed in national and regional competitions sponsored by organizations such as the American Institute for Chemical Engineers and WERC (the Waste Management Environmental Research Consortium).

The department has particular strengths in the biological, energy and the environment, and materials areas, and offers undergraduate research opportunities as well as a track with focused technical electives in each.

Of note are state-of-the-art facilities for research in air quality, alternative energy, biomedical engineering, and corrosion. Undergraduate and graduate students work closely with faculty on research projects funded by government and industry. The department has strong ties to Ohio University's Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment, Center for Air Quality, Edison Biotechnology Institute, and Institute for Corrosion in Multiphase Flow, as well as the Ohio Coal Research Center.

In addition, Russ College students can broaden their horizons with more than 15 engineering organizations and honor societies. The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering hosts student chapters of the American Institute for Chemical Engineers and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, as well as Omega Chi Epsilon, the chemical engineering honor society. Chemical engineering students often hold leadership roles in collegewide organizations such as Tau Beta Pi, Theta Tau, the Society for Women Engineers, and the National Society for Black Engineers.

The Russ College also offers an outreach program for multicultural students. The five-week Pre-Engineering Program for Multicultural Students (PEP) assists eligible first-year students with the transition from high school to a Russ College engineering or technology program. Program graduates receive credit hours toward their engineering or technology degree and either a stipend or scholarship. For more information, visit

Our Faculty

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Bachelor of Science, chemical engineering, optionally with:

  • Biological track

  • Materials track

  • Energy and the environment track

The tracks are complete, accredited chemical engineering B.S. degrees with a concentration of technical electives to provide depth in a particular area of interest.

Master of Science, chemical engineering

Master of Science, biomedical engineering

Doctor of Philosophy, chemical engineering

Russ College of Engineering and Technology

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and team-project skills. Enrolling approximately 1,400 undergraduate students and almost 300 graduate students, the Russ College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in technology disciplines such as aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Strategic research areas include bioengineering, energy and the environment, and smart civil infrastructure. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world.

Ohio University

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Ohio and the first in the Northwest Territory. Admission to Ohio University is granted to the best-qualified applicants as determined by a selective admission policy.