Chemical Engineering in Uganda being new branch of Engineering that has yet been introduced to the country a few years back, students (not to mention the flooding graduates and the employers who have no idea about it yet) have had a hurdle identifying what is exactly done by a graduate Chemical Engineers.
Graduates say “Employers ask us what we exactly do and what the difference between us and Industrial Chemists is” while the Employers say “We find no difference between Chemical Engineers and Industrial Chemists” and of course this has rendered it even harder. Infact, in most cases Chemical Engineering has been entirely been associated to purely handling chemicals and work in this line (which is partly true, though not entirely all it means) thus being quite problematic explaining their way out.
This has perhaps been caused by the optimum cause of the course not being properly explained to the students in the course’s preliminary stages of their study just after they have been admitted into their respective Institutions of learning.
From the little survey i actually did about “Why different students opted to do Chemical Engineering at University “, the results were not so far from what one may expect especially for a so-called ‘new marketable course’. Part of the majority did the course simply because it was the one they were given after application while the other part of the majority did it because they were eying venture into the current Oil and Gas which seems to be soon ripening and the minority that did it on government sponsorship was no different from the former(because it was the one they were given).
In this Article today however, i found it vital to discuss about What do Chemical Engineers do?. In the bid to come up with clear explainations, i borrowed a leaf from what the Out standing institutions having the course think to make it easier for you to understand and as we continue i will along the way be giving you links which you can follow for further reading.
It would take too long to list all the products that are impacted by chemical engineers, but knowing what industries employ them may help you comprehend the scope of their work.
Chemical engineers work in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, design and construction, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, food processing, specialty chemicals, microelectronics, electronic and advanced materials, polymers, business services, biotechnology, and environmental health and safety industries, among others.
Within these industries, chemical engineers rely on their knowledge of mathematics and science— particularly chemistry— to overcome technical problems safely and economically. And, of course, they draw upon and apply their engineering knowledge to solve any technical challenges they encounter. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that chemical engineers only “make things,” though. Their expertise is also applied in the areas of law, education, publishing, finance, and medicine, as well as in many other fields that require technical training. Specifically, chemical engineers improve food processing techniques, and methods of producing fertilizers, to increase the quantity and quality of available food. They also construct the synthetic fibers that make our clothes more comfortable and water resistant; they develop methods to mass- produce drugs, making them more affordable; and they create safer, more efficient methods of refining petroleum products, making energy and chemical sources more productive and cost effective. Chemical engineers also develop solutions to environmental problems, such as pollution control and remediation. And yes, they process chemicals, which are used to make or improve just about everything you see around you. Chemical engineers face many of the same challenges that other professionals face, and they meet these challenges by applying their technical knowledge, communication and teamwork skills; the most up-to- date practices available; and hard work. Benefits include financial reward, recognition within industry and society, and the gratification that comes from working with the processes of nature to meet the needs of society.
The bottom line is, the work of a Chemical Engineer is diverse but solely aimed at maximising production in a way that is both cost effective and environmentally friendly.