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Topic: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?  (Read 54625 times)

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Offline eazye1334

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 10:09:18 AM »
So again, you're painting all chemical engineers as smug idiots who don't know what they're talking about and only screw things up. I have plenty of anecdotal evidence against self-righteous chemists too, but I can chalk that up to the person, not the profession. I fail to see what pay scale has to do with me knowing what I'm talking about, but I digress. I don't see how anyone can fit your contribution wants when you discount anything we do and insist you can do it better, the exact same thing you're accusing ChemE's of.

Anyway, good to know your feelings, at least I know I can stop respecting any opinion you have; anyone who paints an entire profession with such broad strokes doesn't deserve it.

Enough of the pissing match, sorry this got off-topic.

Offline DrCMS

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 11:34:10 AM »
So again, you're painting all chemical engineers as smug idiots who don't know what they're talking about and only screw things up.

Yes because as I have said time and time again EVERY single UK or USA trained chemical engineer I have EVER dealt with professionally HAS been a smug idiot.

I have plenty of anecdotal evidence against self-righteous chemists too, but I can chalk that up to the person, not the profession.

If it's some chemists then sure chalk it up to the person but if it was each and every chemist you'd met I'm sure you'd blame the profession.

As my experience is the same for all the chemical engineers I've met then I do blame the profession.  I think that it is the training of chemical engineers that leads to that smugness; they are taught they do know it all when it is plain to see by us chemists that they do not. 

You can disregard my opinion all you want but it will not change my opinion or the same opinions of ALL the chemists I know.  I have yet to meet a chemist working in the chemical industry who has a good word to say about chemical engineers.  Clearly if you do not like that then we must all be wrong.

Offline Sircodekill

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2012, 10:22:08 AM »
I am on last course of chemistry and I share a subject called "industrial inorganic chemistry" (focused on chemistry at industry) with chemical engineers. Week ago, some engineers had to do some kind of exposition about LED's. On the powerpoint there was a chemical structure with a clear "B" on it, which they called it twice: bromine.

When our teacher corrected that big mistake they meant to say that that fail was not so important. f&#$ off, they don't know the f&#^$*@ elements? That is just unbelievable.

Chemical engineers do not know a s#*$ about chemistry. If you like chemistry (as i do) go to the science branch, you won't regret.

Offline eazye1334

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2012, 11:46:01 AM »
Yes, because some idiots in your class made a mistake, that must mean no engineers have any clue and can't even name elements.  ::)

The OP made a post questioning which direction is best for him. How about we stick to answers for him instead of listening to some arrogant chemists make disparaging remarks about an entire profession?

Offline Sircodekill

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2012, 01:25:00 PM »
Yes, because some idiots in your class made a mistake, that must mean no engineers have any clue and can't even name elements.  ::)

The OP made a post questioning which direction is best for him. How about we stick to answers for him instead of listening to some arrogant chemists make disparaging remarks about an entire profession?

don't misinterpret me, i do no take conclusions from a single case.

What i meant to say is if he loves chemistry, if he needs to know how the things are built, why the world is like it is, why the sky is blue or why the blood gets brown when dried... if he feels the curiosity to understand this things i recommend him to be a scientist. Otherwise, if he gets fascinated with human structures or i don't know what chemical engineers get fascinated to, then go for that, but in my opinion chemistry opens (more or less) your eyes, you are able to see the world in a way you couldn't before and that has no price.

I suppose the path we take depends on how are we, the important thing is not choosing the wrong way.

Offline eazye1334

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2012, 02:19:49 PM »
I was specifically referring to your comment that ChemE's "do not know a s#*$ about chemistry." I admittedly do not know nearly as much as those in the chemistry field, and any engineer in their right mind would say the same, but I do happen to have a good knowledge base in it.

Thank you, that is actually a pretty good description and I appreciate the civility. My apologies for jumping.

Based on his interests, I would suggest the chemistry route for him as well. To answer your question, I truly love the scale-up process: taking the designs from the chemists and trying to produce it, tweaking processes to make things work, and dealing with all the problems that come along with it. I love having to troubleshoot something on the fly and being put on the spot to fix a problem. I like having the background to understand a goood chunk of the chemistry world, but I'm just not driven to all the details. That's where our differences lie: you are more interested in the what and why, I'm more interested in making the application work. If lab work appeals to you, then chemistry is certainly the route to take.

Offline vatsalpatel1995

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2012, 05:18:43 PM »
Hi guys, I want to be a chemical engineer, i live in Canada. I was wondering if ...

1) all they do is labor work?
2) is there good demand for them?
3) i know the pay is good
4) is bachlors enough?
5) some personal experience

Much appreciated

Offline vatsalpatel1995

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2012, 05:21:13 PM »

What would a typical chemical engineer's project look like? I know now that it has to do with designing plants to run chemical reactions - so, to me it sounds like the making of some sort of blueprint which attempts to achieve maximum yield of a product, which essentially another company is selling. This is reminding me of how sea salt is extracted from seawater - I recall watching the extraction process while I was away for vacation. Would that process be something that would be designed by a chemical engineer? What do you guys, as chemical engineers, typically find yourselves working on?




Hi guys, I want to be a chemical engineer, i live in Canada. I was wondering if ...

1) all they do is labor work?
2) is there good demand for them?
3) i know the pay is good
4) is bachlors enough?
5) some personal experience

Much appreciated
In terms of areas, some of the big employers are: Petroleum Refining, Pharma,Plastics,  Bulk Chemicals, Fine Chemicals, Food Processing. 

About types of projects, some types:

*Expanding the capacity of a current process. This can be by changing reaction conditions, optimizing existing equipment or simply buying a larger machine at the bottleneck.

*Designing the Process for a totally new chemical or drug

*Making an existing product via a new route. Deciding the relative feasibility among of several routes. (Can't be left to a Chemist!  :P ). Often, it is not just the yields; but the cost of capital equipment. e.g. Corrosive reagents or high pressures may need Exotic Materials of Construction.

*Safety or pollution oriented changes to existing plant. Complying with the hundreds of regulations and inspectors out there. Documentation. Audits.  ::)  (Sorry, this part isn't very glamorous)

*Changing batch operations to continuous ones. Deciding optimum scheduling and blending operations.

*Scaling up: A chemist might have made 100 gm of the drug in a flask and we get to figure how to make 10 tons in a plant.


Another way to look at it is along the lifecycle of a typical project:
Deciding if a project makes sense monetarily; Then choosing the basic route and reaction conditions (e.g. steps, reagents, temperatures, Pressures, Seperation scheme etc.) This part is where the Chemists are kings and get to boss around.  :)

After that comes a detailed design where every piece of equipment is sized. Suitable control schemes and automation is decided. Followed up by the mechanical and piping design. This is the stage you get to work with many other experts like Mechanical, Civil, Electrical Engineers etc.

Then come the part where equipment is actually ordered; lots of contracts get made.  Project engineers then install and commission all the equipment. Startup can be an exciting time.  >:D

Then comes the routine operation and maintainance of  an ( hopefully ) well-running plant.

Offline vatsalpatel1995

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2012, 10:48:08 AM »
I want to know about the future of chemical engineering, their demand, and their pay!

Offline eazye1334

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2012, 07:40:16 AM »
Hi guys, I want to be a chemical engineer, i live in Canada. I was wondering if ...

1) all they do is labor work?
Not sure what you mean exactly. In my experience, I've always worked in industry with a little bit of lab time.

Quote
2) is there good demand for them?
Generally yes, but a lot depends on where you are and what you're willing to do. For example, there is a lot of petroleum-based positions in the southern and western US areas. If you're open to possibly moving, I would pretty much guarantee you'll find something.

Quote
3) i know the pay is good
Usually yes. Some positions more than others, but ChemE's consistently have some of the highest starting and average salaries for bachelor's degrees.

Quote
4) is bachlors enough?
Personal choice based on what you want to do. A Masters in ChemE is really more of a specialization into a certain area. Typically you'll either stay with Bachelors or go all the way to PhD. Personally, I have my Bachelors and will be going back for a Masters in something else because the ChemE Masters really will not help me in my current position.

Quote
5) some personal experience
I have enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm very happy with my choice and have not only enjoyed what I'm doing, but have made a comfortable living for myself as well. You definitely have to be willing to get your hands dirty; chemical engineering is not a desk job. Pilot work, startups, etc., all require your involvement.

One major piece of advice: There's a good chance you'll always be working with technicians in some way. BE NICE TO THEM. Do not treat them as simple workers, treat them as equals. In most cases, they have been there for a long time. Over that time, they've gained a ton of experience and will know their equipment and process inside-out. They are by far your best resource and having them on your side will be a great help to you. It also makes the work much easier as they will respect you if you respect them. Trust me on this.

Offline Bublik

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2012, 08:22:01 PM »
I didn't expect to see all this when I got back  ;D and I didn't mean to spark an argument between the chemists and the chemical engineers on this forum.

Thanks a lot for the input guys, I heard both sides of the argument (literally and figuratively  ;) )

Both careers are very respectable but I would prefer to go to the direction where the most science is, so I am probably going to conclusively choose chemistry as my major.

Offline vatsalpatel1995

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2012, 10:44:10 PM »
I want to go to Chemical engineering, but I'm just scared I wont find jobs here in Canada and make decent money! I just want to know if there is good demand for them in the future!

somebody please *delete me*

Offline eazye1334

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2012, 07:32:39 AM »
I want to go to Chemical engineering, but I'm just scared I wont find jobs here in Canada and make decent money! I just want to know if there is good demand for them in the future!

If you want specifics on Canada, then you should probably try asking there. This is an international forum with very few chemical engineers, so the odds of finding a Canadian chemical engineer on here are not good (not impossible of course, but the odds are low). You'd be better off going to a nearby university and asking for information from them.

Offline zeshkani_usa

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2012, 09:19:21 PM »
I graduated with a BS in chemistry/BA in Biochemistry I thought I would be making some good money, and continue with some sort of lab work, did that happen no

I worked as a Production scientist, pay is anywere from 12/hour to 21/hour max with experience,
i analyzed DNA, did PCR, not chemistry involved at all, i did it for 2 years starting at 15/hour left making 17/hour

right now i' am back in school to get a chemical engineering degree, because A) pays alot more, my friend is a mechanical engineer right out of college making 26/hour working for catapiller, other friend a chemical engineer that left the state is starting at 70K + bonuses
I only made about 36K, now the work was very easy I enjoyed it, but I have a family and with 36K + benefits its just not enough to cover everything

So in my opinion i choose CHE to make more money, you might say i' am after the money, not the science, yes of course i wanna get paid more, plus there is alot more jobs for chemical engineers
just my opinio

Offline vatsalpatel1995

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Re: Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering?
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2012, 02:16:50 PM »
Hey guys, do you know if chemical engineers work in the energy sector except for petroleum?

Do they work in sustainable energy, such as hydro energy, solar energy, wind energy and etc ... nuclear energy etc etc etc

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