Cassie's Creative Catalyst
Cassie's Creative Catalyst

Season 2, Episode 1 · 11 months ago

ChemE College Rundown


In this episode, I give a bullet point rundown of what college courses you will take as a chemical engineer! There's a lot of info here, so pause and breathe as needed!

Note: Chemical Engineering Podcast

Hey guys, this is cassie the host ofCassy's creative catalyst. This week, I'm going to start my chemicalengineering, one o one series. I am a senior cheme in college and I'm reallyexcited to share at the knowledge I've gained fer the last four years Iremember, being a senior in high school and not really knowing what a chemicalengineer did. I had taken an engineering class in high school, but Iknew that that still wasn't going to give me the full picture. So in thisepisode, Iam going to break down what classes I took by year and tried toexplain what we did in each one, this is definitely going to be a little bitof an infodump, so feel free to pause and process. As you need my freshman year in college, I took twogeneral chemistry classes with labs Calculus, one and two: an introductionto chemical engineering, the biology course, chemical engineering problem,solving the principles of engineering materials, a career orientation and alearning community course. The General Chemistry couruses wereprobably the most useful in my opinion, and can me we primarily set upreactions and morbilances, but it's also really important to considerthings like Ph and general reactivity and selectivity when we design systems.I also want to note that if you get to college- and you hate your Gen Camlabs,that doesn't mean you shouldn't be a Kenmy. Genkem labs always stressed meout because it felt like we had so much to do and such a short period of time.However, I still love chemistry. I just hated the stress that came with thatclass, so it's really important to be able to separate your feelings about aclass from your feelings about a subject. The next class that I thought wasreally useful is calculus. The Calculus course are important because everythingwe do in engineering is based and calculus at least somewhat, even ifit's just the methodology, so it...

...definitely helps to understand calculus.We don't usually do anything to fancy with it, but we do do a decent amountof simple derivatives and intergil. So it is nice to kind of have that shofeback away. So you can pull it out later. The introduction to chemicalengineering course and the learning community kind of went hand in hand.The introduction to chemical engineering was essentially a crashcourse of everything we'd see over the next few years. It overwhelmed me, butit was hopeful because I was able to get excited about chemical engineering.The learned community shove me in a class with half of the other freshmancennys and made us socialize work on projects together. I wasn't a huge fanto the mandatory socializing at the time, but looking back on it, I reallydo appreciate it. It's at the foundation for my class relationshipsfor the next few years. We didn't really jump into major specific classesuntil sophomore year, so, if not for this class, I probably wouldn't haveknown too many people in my major at first. The chemical engineering problemsolving course was essentially a course on how to use MAT lab. One of myprofessors routinely says that Matt Lab is strong and stupid and he's not wrong.Matlove can do a large variety of calculations, but you have to type inyour formulas and commands exactly if you were missing one period. Thatprogram is not going to work at least not correctly. It's almost likelearning a programming language, but instead of writing a program for awebsite, you're writing a program to solve equations. I use Mat lab at leastonce a year, so it's definitely a necessity, but there are a lot ofonline forums and stuff to look at so you're, not totally screwed. If youdon't know it exactly to the DOT, but you will be at a lot of time. I shouldknow the principles of engineering materials class was important becauseit showed us how materials were chemically structured, how they deforedthrough heat and stress, and a lot more.

This class is definitely useful. I dowish that I had taken this class my sophomore year because as a freshman, Iwasn't aware of how important this class would be, and even though Ireally liked it, I didn't retain much information from it. I regretted thatwhen I took an advanced materials class a few years later, the careerorientation class is a class I've affectionately, dubbed how not to beawkward as an engineer. It goes through how to write a resume and a coverletter how to set up a Linkd, dit and use it to network and how to interviewwell at the time I thought the class was a waste of time, but once I startedapplying to internships, I really appreciated it. I've gotten quite a fewcompliments on the skills that I picked up from that class, so I guess it haspaid off. Finally, there's biology: This class is useful, but in reallyobscure ways. If you want to go into the medical industry or on to medschool, it is absolutely necessary and it will feed into a lot of classes.Otherwise it really only feeds until one biochemical engineering course thatmost universities require. For me, biology was a definition of a weedoutcourse. I took it twice because the first semester I had thought that itshould be difficult so that biology and premed majors could reconsider theircareer choices early. She sped, through her slides, got annoyed any time.Someone asked a lottle up a question and just generally made life miserable.My second professor understood that non biology, majors had to take the classand she taught the class in a much better tone. She was super friendly andnever made students think that their questions were a waste of time. Thatsecond, professor, actually really improved my overall opinion of biology,and I'm very thankful for that. So if... struggle in a course wonts,sometimes it is you, I will admit this was partially me, but also some typesof professor really doesn't help, and it's totally okay to say that thisprofessor is not for me and to take it again with a different professor, mysophomore year, I took organic chemistry, one and two physics with thelab winear Alebra differential equations, engeneering thermodynamicsand mass and Energy Balanceis one an two. This was definitely one of myhardest years, just in terms of the amount of homework I had, but I didgenuinely enjoy all of these classes. I was just constantly overwhelmed. Wedon't use organic chemistry too much outrate. However, knowing how to nameorganic compounds and understanding how the reactions occur is extremely useful.Some problem statements you'l run into expect you to build a formula from thename and once you get into the design classes, you might be asked to show howa reaction happens inside a reactor. Organic chemistry can be intense. Ilove doing it when I had time to sit down and think about it, and I actuallyfound it really. Relaxing. However, as a semester got busier, a d busierorganic chemistry slowly got shove aside, so that I could focus on classesthat I deemed more important mass and energy balances. One and two sum up:What cammes do we determine what goes into a system and what comes out of it?And it's also where the infamous squiggle is introduced. SWIGGL is asymbol. We use to account for the reactions that take place INSIDEAreactor. This allows us to make sure that all of the masks that enters TAsystem leaves the system. We also have to account for the energy used in asystem. If you do not like these classes, you really should think aboutwhy you're becoming a chemy. This concept comes up in a lot of variousforms and if you don't enjoy it, there's no shame in saying hey, I hatethis. I need to consider a different...

...major there's. Also, no shame if youlove the class but you're not good at it. Some of the smartest people I knowhave had to retake these classes. It happens and as long as you learn thematerial, it really doesn't matter if it takes to a little longer than others.Physics helps with the understanding of Engineering Thermo Dynamics, it's notreally needed for anything else, but I didn't mind taking it. I love physicsand the professor was one of my favorites. I have a lot of respect foras willigness to sit down and explain the smallest of details of both hisclass problems and his research in terms that I could understand.Engineering thermodynamics is one of the building blocks of engineering. Thetheory and thermodynamics lay the foundation for almost every class. Youtake in your junior and senior year for Ceme's. The most important part, asidefrom the theory, is how energy is transferred within a cooling andheating system. Once this concept comes up, it really never goes away. So it'sreally important to make sure you understand it. wineer Algebra has someuseful concepts that can be applied to different equations and the ChemicalEngineering Madeling class that you'll take later. I can't really speak onthis too much because it's really just a bunch of matricies. So if you likematrices, that's not really a bad thing. If you don't like Matricees, I'm verysorry, but I promised most professors are really willing to work with youdifferential equations pop up and a lot of the theory and Khemy courses.Usually we are told that we can use a simplified version of the equations, soyou don't have to solve it with diferential equations, but it is niceto have a baseline understanding of what's happening. The most importanttopic of this class is a laplos transform because they will be used formodeling process controls. Later on my junior year, I took face equilibria,fluid mechanics, heat transfer, analytical chemistry, mass transfer,basic electrical engineering, advanced...

...topics and material science, chemicalengineering, modeling and Applied Calculus and Chemical ReactionEngineering, which some schools call kinetics heap transfer, is pretty muchexactly what it sounds like. The entire class is about how he transfers fromone object to another. What conditions affect this heat transfer and how tomodel the heat transfer. My favorite projects actually came from this classand I'll try to talk about them a little more on a future podcast. Myfavorite part of this class was learning about and designing kindexchangers. It was fun and I felt like it was the easiest to apply in anindustry scenario. Phasicallibria focuses primarily on how to determinethe composition of a vapor or liquid and multicomponent compositions, thetemperature pressure and Molfraction of the component, and each phase can beused to create diagrams that can predict the behavior of the mixture fora wide range of parameters. These diagrams can then be used to help,understand and design a process. This cost is a lot of theory, especially atthe beginning, but as you get into it, the ball starts rolling and it doesbecome extraordinarily useful. Chemical Engineering, modeling and AppliedCalculus was a class that didn't really necessarily teach new theories orcalculations, but it's hot a different way of how to apply them. So we weremodeling what happened in a reactor using various methods from ourengineering courses in our mouth courses and this class really broughteverything. We had learned a full circle and prepared us for all themodeling and process designs we have to do in our senior year. Fluid mechanicsrevolves around how different factors affect a fluid in the process. Thedensity of a fluid, a height change, the type of piping, the velocity of thefluid and the efficiency of the pump or...

...turbine used can all affect how thefluid travels through a system and how much energy is used. Mass transferfocuses on the methodology and the equipment used to separate componentsfrom a mixture that equipment should be chosen based on the face of the mixture,the desire face of the product and the efficiency and completeness of theseparation reaction. Engineering talks about the different types of reactorsthat are used in industry, the type of reactor size of the reactors and thereaction order can all affect how quickly and completely a reactionwilltake place in alitical chemistry isn't a required course. But it's one that Ireally liked the class focused on how to accurately and precisely run anexperiment. The statistics use in a lab and electric chemistry. I love the labfor this class. It wasn't as intense as Jen Kim labs, and I was really able toOrient Myself and conduct the experiments in a more relaxed fashion,that isn't to say that we weren't on a time crunch, but having three weeks todo a lab is definitely better than having three hours. This class alsotaught me how to write lab reports, which I absolutely hated, but it's askill that I'm glad I've learned because now I have to write them forUnit Operations Labs, and I can appreciate the fact that I no longerhave to do them alone. Advanced topics and material science was an optionalcourse that went more in depth, thayand the materials class that took as afreshman. We talked about the properties of steel, the opticalproperties of materials, how fiber orientation affected the strength of amaterial and so much more for our final project. We had to write a paper aboutthe application of a material from an engineer's point of view. I was reallyobsessed with electriistatic dissipating materials because of aprevious internship, so I was really excited that I could research,something I was interested in and get a...

...grade for it. I'm honestly not entirelysure what I needed basic electrical engineering for, but it was a requiredclass to graduate. So I took it. The class pretty much revolves aroundsolving circuits and circles. My Dad is an electrical engineer, so I reallyenjoyed not only being able to ask him for help but being able to watch himstruggle with the same problem because- and I quote my brain hasn't thought ofthis in fifteen years. This semester is the first semester of my senior year,I'm taking professional and ethical issues. Unit operations, Leb onechemical process, control chemical engineering process designed oneapplied cell and melecular biology and atmospheric chemistry, professional andethical issues feels like a commonsense class, but it is important to thinkabout. It can be really easy to get lost in the proess of making the bestproduct and saving the most money, but that doesn't mean you should cookcorners. The challenger incident is a great example of some of the issuesdiscussed in this class unit operations. Love one is a mix of actual lab workand Statistics. The ladwork is great because you finally get to work withthe equipment. You've been learning about for years. I really enjoy thehands on experience. It's also produced a few of my favorite memories. Thisyear, for example, one of my labe partners wore shorts. Instead of longpants on our first day in the lab and he had to run home and change so nowit's a running joke that anytime we go to the lab. We drop a message in thegroup Chek to remind everyone to wear pant. I even hid a note in one of ourlab reports, as we were typing it up, and he found it during his proof,freeding and left me a little message and I will post that message on myinstagram, because I still think it's one of the funniest things chemicalprocess control is a class that really focuses on how to operate an industrialprocess. So far, we've discussed how...

...alarms and fills safe valves work.We've modeled the process, controls in Mat lab and we've taken a closer lookat how to efficiently and safely monitor and control a system. Chemicalengineering process designed one is a class that teaches us how to designindustrial processes. We have to determine how a process should bedesigned how much the products cost to make and how safe the products and thereactions are. I really enjoy modeling and Ken Catch, so this class can be alot of fun, applied cell and molecular biology is basically the engineeringand regulation side of biology. I've really enjoyed exploring the FDA,ragulations and learning the processes that medical trials must go through toensure that they're safe. There is a decent amount of biology there, but itis kind of Nice because, if you're not superfluent in biology, you can stilldo very well in the class atmosphere. Chemistry isn't a required course, butI decided to take it because I really want to get into the safety side ofchemical engineering and there are a lot of safety jobs that includemanaging the environmental impact. This class focuses a lot on how we model howmuch pollution is in the air. How much is emitted from a certain area and howlong it takes to lower the level of pollution. Throughout all of thesecourses, I've had to complete sa Che certificates through the AmericanInstitute of Chemical Engineers, which is also called Aich. These tradingcertificates focus primarily on different types of plant safety. Theydo take a lot of time to complete, but a lot of them are genuinely useful inthe industry. My college requires them, but I know that others don't. However,if your school doesn't require them, I would still recommend checking them outbecause they're free to students with an evu email next semester. I have totake UNIDOP's lab to chemical... design to and a few classesof my choice at the end of next semester. I'll do another podcast totalk about those classes. Remember that these are very, very, very brief.overviews of what classes you will encounter as a chemical engineering,major each school offers slightly different couruses with differentrequirements to get into those courses, but the base of the engineering majoris the same thanks for listening. If you've enjoyed this podcast and haveany questions, comment or suggestions, I'd love to hear from you, you cancontact me on instagram at Cassi's, underscore creative undersqore catalystor by email at cassie's, creative catalyst at gmalcom.

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