This programme will provide you with advanced chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in the chemical and process industries. This programme also prepares graduates for a PhD study.
If you’ve studied chemical engineering before, you’ll develop your knowledge in key areas such as reaction engineering, process modelling and simulation, pharmaceutical formulation, and fuel processing. If your degree is in chemistry or another related science or engineering discipline, you’ll build your knowledge and skills to convert to a specialisation in chemical engineering.
The course has been designed to provide a greater depth of knowledge in aspects of advanced chemical engineering and a range of up-to-date process technologies. These will enable you to design, operate and manage processes and associated manufacturing plants and to provide leadership in innovation, research and development, and technology transfer.
Your Research Project module gives you the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of chemical engineering.
We have world-class facilities for carrying out research in manufacturing (including crystallisation), processing and characterising particulate systems for a wide range of technological materials, as well as facilities for nanotechnology and colloid science/technology.
We also have high performance computing facilities and state-of-the-art computer software, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), for modelling and simulation of a wide range of processes. This will provide a strong background knowledge in industrial process and equipment design and optimisation.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. This adheres to the requirements of further learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.
The path you take through this programme will depend on your background. If your degree is in Chemical Engineering, you’ll take a suite of compulsory modules on advanced topics such as recent advances in chemical engineering, reaction engineering, multi-scale modelling (including CFD), pharmaceutical formulation and fuel processing. If your degree is not in Chemical Engineering, you’ll build the knowledge you need to succeed in this area with modules such as Separation Processes, Reaction Engineering and Chemical Process Technology and Design.
You’ll then complement this with a choice of optional modules, allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in a topic that suits your career plans or personal interests. Different modules will be available to you depending on your background – for example, if your degree is in Chemical Engineering you could study Process Optimisation and Control, while if your degree is in another subject you might want to gain an understanding of energy management.
Every student undertakes a research project that runs throughout the year. You’ll focus on a topic of your choice that fits within one of the School’s research areas and produce an independent study, reflecting the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired. This will enable you to gain experience of planning, executing and reporting a research work of the type you will undertake in an industrial/academic environment.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Chemical Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, practicals, tutorials and seminars. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including problem sheets, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessments.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects by students in MSc Chemical Engineering have included:
A proportion of projects are formally linked to industry, and may include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer
Career prospects are excellent. There is a wide range of career opportunities in the chemical and allied industries in process engineering, process design and research and development as well as in finance and management.
Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles at companies like National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement, the National Centre of Science and Technology Evaluation, Invensys Operations Management, Worley Parsons, Hollister-Stier Laboratories, BOC, ASM Technologies and more.
The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering programme is primarily aimed at applying chemical engineering principles to develop technical products and to design, control and improve industrial processes. Students also learn to take environmental and safety issues into account during all phases of the process.
Two guiding principles of sustainable development – the rational exploitation of resources and energy, and the application of the best available technology – are emphasised, as is the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”.
As a chemical engineering student, you will learn to think in a process-oriented manner and grasp the complexity of physico-chemical systems. Even more than other specialists, you will be asked to solve problems of a very diverse nature. Insights into processes at the nano and micro scale are fundamental for the development of new products and/or (mega-scale) technologies.
While students should have a foundational knowledge of chemistry, the underlying chemistry of the elements and components, their properties and mutual reactions are not the main focal points of the programme.
With a focus on process, product and environmental planet engineering, the programme does not only guarantee a solid chemical engineering background, it also focuses on process and product intensification, energy efficient processing routes, biochemical processes and product-based thinking rather than on the classical process approach.
The programme itself consists of an important core curriculum that covers the foundations of chemical engineering. The core curriculum builds on the basic knowledge obtained during the Bachelor’s. In this part of the programme, you will concentrate on both the classical and the emerging trends in chemical engineering.
Students also take up 9 credits from ‘Current trends in chemical engineering’-courses. These courses are signature courses for the Master’s programme and build on the research expertise present within the department. These courses encompass microbial process technology, process intensification, exergy analysis of chemical processes and product design.
The curriculum consists of a broad generic core, which is then strengthened and honed during the second year, when students select one of the three specialisations: product, process and environmental engineering.
This choice provides you with the opportunity to specialise to a certain extent. Since the emerging areas covered in the programme are considered to be the major challenges within the chemical and related industries, graduating in Leuven as a chemical engineer will give you a serious advantage over your European colleagues since you will be able to integrate new technologies within existing production processes.
During their Master’s studies, students are encouraged to take non-technical courses (general interest courses), organized for instance by other faculties (economics, social sciences, psychology…) in order to broaden their scope beyond mere technical courses.
An important aspect of the Master’s programme is the Master’s thesis. Assigning Master’s thesis topics to students is based on a procedure in which students select 5 preferred topics from a long list.
The Master’s programme highly values interactions with the chemical industry which is one of the most important pillars of the Flemish economy. As such, some courses are taught by guest professors from the industry.
One or two semesters of the programme can be completed abroad in the context of the ERASMUS+ programme. Additionally, you can apply for an industrial internship abroad through the departmental internship coordinator. These internships take place between the third Bachelor’s year and the first Master’s year, or between the two Master’s years.
The department also offers a new exchange programme with the University of Delaware (United States) and with the Ecole Polytechique in Montréal (Canada).
The faculty’s exchange programmes are complemented by the BEST network (Board of European Students of Technology). This student organisation offers the opportunity to follow short courses, usually organised in the summer months. The faculty also participates in various leading international networks.
You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty website.
The chemical sector represents one of the most important economic sectors in Belgium. It provides about 90,000 direct and more than 150,000 indirect jobs. With a 53 billion euro turnover and a 35% share of the total Belgian export, the chemical sector is an indispensable part of the contemporary Belgian economy.
As a chemical engineer you will predominantly work in industrial branches involved in (the production of) bulk and specialty chemicals, oil and natural gas (petrochemical companies and refineries), non-ferrometallurgics, energy, waste treatment, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The following professional activities lie before you:
Apart from the traditional career options, your insight into complex processes will also be much appreciated in jobs in the financial and governmental sector, where chemical engineers are often employed to supervise industrial activities, to deliver permissions, and to compose regulations with respect to safety and environmental issues.
As self-employed persons, chemical engineers work in engineering offices or as consultants. Due to their often very dynamic personality, chemical engineers can also be successful as entrepreneurs.
The Master of Engineering Practice will be available from 2018 (subject to approval).
Designed for recent graduates and practicing engineers who want to upgrade and update their knowledge in the rapidly changing fields of electronics, materials and processing and mechanical engineering, the Master of Engineering Practice (MEngPrac) is a taught programme that may be completed in either 12 or 18 months.
The programme was developed not only in response to the demand from New Zealand employers for work-ready engineers able to tackle the challenges of the changing global, national and local environments, but to also meet the demand of international students who are looking at improving their employability with a taught masters degree. The MEngPrac will enable you to work in diverse industries and fields in New Zealand and worldwide.
The programme includes a management component that will equip you with the professional skills demanded by employers. It also includes a capstone research and development project that will allow you to apply your advanced technical skills to an industrially relevant problem. This is a unique opportunity for young professionals to extend their skills and expertise in their chosen field.
The University of Waikato School of Engineering’s specialised laboratories includes the Large Scale Lab complex that features a suite of workshops and laboratories dedicated to engineering teaching and research. These include 3D printing, a mechanical workshop and computer labs with engineering design software.