Chemical and Biological Engineering

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127 Perlstein Hall
10 W. 33rd St.
Chicago, IL 60616
312.567.8874 fax

Sohail Murad

Faculty with Research Interests
For more information regarding faculty visit the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering website .

The mission of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is to meet the present and future needs of society and industry by providing state-of-the-art education and research programs. In order to accomplish this mission, the department provides graduate students with:

  • Fundamental knowledge and design capability in chemical and biological engineering
  • Advanced research programs in core competency areas
  • Knowledge of industrial ecology/design for the environment
  • Understanding of ethical, economic, and social issues that influence intellectual technological choices
  • Leadership and communication skills
  • Lifelong learning capabilities

Research Centers and Institutes

Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering
Jai Prakash, Director

Center of Excellence in Polymer Science and Engineering
David Venerus, Director

Engineering Center for Diabetes Research and Education
Ali Cinar, Director

Center for Molecular Study of Condensed Soft Matter
Jay Schieber, Director

Center for Complex Systems and Dynamics
Fouad Teymour, Director

Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research
Hamid Arastapoor, Director

Research Facilities

Research facilities of the department include:

  • Biochemical Engineering Lab
  • Biointerfaces Lab
  • Biomaterials Lab
  • Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering Lab
  • Center of Excellence in Polymer Science and Engineering Lab
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Lab
  • Fuel Cell Lab
  • Fuel Cell Battery Lab
  • Fluidization Lab
  • Gas Processing Lab
  • Interfacial Phenomena Lab
  • Light Scattering Lab
  • Multiphase Flow and Fluidization Lab
  • Particle Technology Lab
  • Polymer Characterization Lab
  • Polymer Reaction Engineering Lab
  • Porous Media and Core Analysis Lab
  • Process Control & Optimization Lab
  • Process Modeling, Monitoring and Control Lab
  • Rheology Lab
  • Riser Lab
  • Hydrogen Storage Lab

The computational facilities of the department include the Advanced Computer Laboratory, and the computer facilities of each research group. All computers are connected to the university computer network by ethernet. Both the PCs and workstations access the multimedia system to provide data visualization and high-quality presentations. Each research lab also has specialized computer facilities. The computational capability for the department is provided by three servers that include both Linux and Windows. Students also have access to the university’s computing and network services.

Research Areas

Faculty members conduct numerous projects in the department’s core areas of research competency:

Energy and Sustainability

Fuel cells and batteries
Fluidization and gasification
Hybrid systems

Biological Engineering

Molecular modeling
Biomedical and pharmaceutical engineering
Biochemical engineering
Food processing

Advanced Materials

Interfacial and transport phenomena

Systems Engineering

Complex systems
Advanced process control
Process monitoring

Energy/Environment/Economics (E3)

Faculty Adviser
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Javad Abbasian
127 Perlstein Hall
10 W. 33rd St.
Chicago, IL 60616

The Energy/Environment/Economics (E3) program was developed to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the energy industry by providing the interdisciplinary research and training required to produce a new breed of engineer—one who specializes in energy technologies and who understands the associated environmental and sustainability issues and economic forces that drive technology choice.

The E3 specialization requires an interdisciplinary thesis in an E3 area of research for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and an interdisciplinary graduate project or additional energy and sustainability courses for professional master’s degrees. Graduate students in E3 should also be enrolled in fundamental courses related to the topics of energy, environment, and economics. E3 is designed primarily for students majoring in engineering who are planning careers in energy-related fields. This interdisciplinary training prepares students to be not only creative and expert in a specialized area of energy extraction, conversion, or utilization, but also to possess a broad knowledge base of different energy sources, of sustainability issues related to energy extraction, conversion, and utilization, and of the impact of sustainability principles on the design and operation of energy systems. Furthermore, students will gain sufficient knowledge of sustainability and regulatory issues to enable them to make more viable technology choices.

Admission Requirements

Cumulative undergraduate GPA: 3.0/4.0 

GRE score minimum:


  1. 900 (quantitative + verbal), 2.5 (analytical writing)
  2. After August 2011: 295 (quantitative + verbal),  2.5 (analytical writing)


  1. 900 (quantitative + verbal), 2.5 (analytical writing)
  2. After August 2011: 304 (quantitative + verbal), 3.0 (analytical writing)


  1. 1000 (quantitative + verbal), 3.0 (analytical writing)
  2. After August 2011: 304 (quantitative + verbal), 3.0 (analytical writing)

TOEFL minimum score: 550/213/801

Note: the GRE requirement is waived for professional master’s degree applicants who hold a bachelor of science in a related field from an ABET-accredited university in the United States with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0

Certificate program applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. The GRE is not required.

Meeting the minimum GPA and test score requirements does not guarantee admission. Test scores and GPA are just two of several important factors considered. Admission to graduate study in chemical engineering or biological engineering normally requires the completion of a program leading to a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or another engineering discipline from an accredited institution. Depending on the student’s background, deficiency courses, some of which may not count toward the degree, may be required. Please see the department’s list of applicable undergraduate courses.

Admission to the graduate degree program in biological engineering requires one college-level semester of biology. Students not meeting this requirement may be admitted, but will have to take CHE 412 to remove the deficiency.


Paper-based test score/computer-based test score/internet-based test score.

Certificate Programs

The department offers six graduate certificate programs. These programs provide students with post-baccalaureate knowledge of an area of specialization within chemical engineering. Students in these programs register as certificate students.

Certificate programs typically require a set of three to four courses that must be completed in three years with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0. (Note: some courses may have prerequisites.) Students who are admitted to master’s degree programs may apply coursework previously taken in a certificate program toward the requirements for the master’s degree.


Course Descriptions

CHE 503

Laws of thermodynamics applied to chemical and biological engineering problems, properties of real fluids, phase and chemical equilibria, applications to chemical and biological processes and auxiliary equipments. Core course.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 351 and CHE 451)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 506
Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Management

Graduate standing or consent of instructor. This course aims to introduce and develop a number of diversified professional skills necessary for success in an engineering research and development environment. Selected topics covered in the areas of technology entrepreneurship, opportunity assessment, creativity and innovation, project management, management of organizational change, entrepreneurial leadership, and intellectual property management.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 508
Process Design Optimization

Organization of the design problem and application of single and multi-variable search techniques using both analytical and numerical methods.Prerequisite:An undergraduate course in process design.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 516
Technologies for Treatment of Diabetes

Study of physiological control systems and engineering of external control of biological systems by focusing on an endocrine system disorder -- diabetes. The effects of type 1 diabetes on glucose homeostasis and various treatment technologies for regulation of glucose concentration. Development of mathematical models describing the dynamics of glucose and insulin concentration variations, blood glucose concentration measurement and inference techniques, insulin pumps, and artificial pancreas systems.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 525
Chemical Reaction Engineering

Advanced treatment of chemical kinetics and reactor systems including non-isothermal, nonideal flow systems. Modeling of complex reactions, catalysis and heterogeneous reactor analysis. Reactor stability concepts. Core course.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 423)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 530
Advanced Process Control

State space, transfer function and discrete-time representations of process systems. Control system design. Interaction assessment. Multivariable and model predictive-control techniques. Core course.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 435)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 535
Applications of Mathematics to Chemical Engineering

Mathematical techniques and their application to the analytical and numerical solution of chemical engineering problems. The analytical component includes review of matrices and determinants, as well as solution of ordinary, partial differential and integral equations. The numerical component includes iterative solution of algebraic equations, numerical analysis and solution of ordinary differential equations. Core course.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 536
Computational Techniques in Engineering

Advanced mathematical techniques, numerical analysis, and solution to problems in transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and reaction engineering. Review of iterative solution of algebraic equations. Nonlinear initial and boundary value problems for ordinary differential equations. Formulation and numerical solution of parabolic, elliptic, and hyperbolic partial differential equations. Characteristics, formulation, and numerical solution of integral equations. Solution of transient two-phase flow problems using CFD codes.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 538
Polymerization Reaction Engineering

The engineering of reactors for the manufacture of synthetic polymeric materials, commercial processes for manufacture of polymers of many types, polymer chemistry and engineering reactor design.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 423)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 541
Renewable Energy Technologies

The course will cover three topics related to renewable Energy Technologies. 1. Review of renewable energy sources; solar, wind, biomass, etc. 2. Energy storage and conversion with emphasis on batteries and fuel cells 3. Hydrogen as an energy carrier and the Hydrogen Economy.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 542
Fluidization and Gas-Solids Flow Systems

Fluidization phenomena (bubbling, slugging, elutriation, and jets in fluidized beds). Multiphase flow approach to fluidization and gas/solids flow systems. Kinetic theory approach to fluid/particle flow systems. Analysis of flow of particles in pneumatic conveying lines (dilute flow) and stand pipe (dense flow). Hydrodynamic analysis of spouted and circulating fluidized beds. Examples from current literature on applications of multiphase flow.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 501 and CHE 535)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 543
Energy, Environment, and Economics

The linkage of energy, environmental and economic issues. The impact of energy supply and end use on human well-being and the ecosystem. A comprehensive approach to the resolution of resource, technical, economic, strategic, environmental, socio- and geopolitical problems of the energy industries. Pathways to a sustainable global energy system.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 545
Metabolic Engineering

Cellular metabolism, energetics and thermodynamics of cellular metabolism, regulation of metabolic pathways, metabolic flux analysis, metabolic control analysis, analysis of metabolic networks, synthesis and manipulations of metabolic pathways, applications - case studies.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 551
Advanced Transport Phenomena

Formulation, solution and interpretation of problems in momentum, energy and mass transport phenomena that occur in chemical and biological processes.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 406)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 553
Advanced Thermodynamics

Advanced thermodynamics for research-oriented graduate students. The course covers the fundamental postulates of thermodynamics and introductory statistical mechanics, with applications to pure fluids, fluid mixtures, elastic solids, surfaces and macromolecules.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 351 and CHE 451)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 555
Polymer Processing

Analysis of momentum, heat and mass transfer in polymer processing operations. Polymer processes considered include extrusion, calendaring, fiber spinning, injection molding, and mixing.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 406)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 560
Statistical Quality and Process Control

Basic theory, methods and techniques of on-line, feedback, quality-control systems for variable and attribute characteristics. Methods for improving the parameters of the production, diagnosis and adjustment processes so that quality loss is minimized. Same as MMAE 560.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 565
Fundamentals of Electrochemistry

Thermodynamics and potential, Marcus theory, charge transfer kinetics and mass transport of simple systems. Electrode reactions couple with homogeneous chemical reactions. Double layer structure and adsorbed intermediates in electrode processes. Potential step and potential sweep methods.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 566
Electrochemical Engineering

Basic concepts of electrochemistry used in electrochemical reactor analysis and design. Thermodynamics, kinetics and transport processes in electrochemical systems, current and potential distribution, corrosion engineering, electrodeposition, batteries and fuel cells, industrial electrolysis, and electrosynthesis.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 567
Fuel Cell Fundamentals

A detailed study of the thermodynamics, electrochemistry, electrode kinetics and materials aspects of fuel cells with an emphasis on polymer electrolyte fuel cells. The course will include a vigorous laboratory component and will cover the development of detailed data analysis procedures. A part of the course will cover current trends and interests through the critical discussion of recent archival publications.

Lecture: 2 Lab: 1 Credits: 3
CHE 575
Polymer Rheology

Flow of viscoelastic fluids, integral and differential constitutive equations from continuum and molecular considerations, methods of experimental evaluations.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 406)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 577
Bioprocess Engineering

Application of engineering principles to the biological production processes. Enzyme kinetics, cell culture kinetics, transport phenomena in cells, membranes, and biological reactors ,genetics, bioseparation and downstream processing, energetics of metabolic pathways, operation modes of cell cultures, mixed and their applications.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 580

Metal, ceramic, and polymeric implant materials. Structure-property relationships for biomaterials. Interactions of biomaterials with tissue. Selection and design of materials for medical implants.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 582
Interfacial and Colloidal Phenomena with Applications

Applications of the basic principles of physical chemistry, surfactants and interfacial phenomena, surface and interfacial tension, adsorption of surfactants from solutions, spreading, contact angles, wetting, electro kinetic phenomena, rheology, dynamic interfacial properties, mass transport across interfaces. Applications include emulsions, foams, dispersions, tribology, detergency, flotation, enhanced oil recovery, suspension, emulsion polymerization and liquid membranes.

Prerequisite(s): [(CHE 351) OR (CHE 451)]AND[(CHE 406)]
Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 583
Pharmaceutical Engineering

Application of transport phenomena, and reaction engineering to pharmaceutical processes. Heat and mass transfer in bioreactors and the fluidized beds. Drying, coating and granulation. Environmental and economical issues in the pharmaceutical process. Examples from industrial processes and current literature.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 584
Tissue Engineering

Growth and differentiation of cells and tissue. In vitro control of tissue development. In vivo synthesis of tissues and organs. Transplantation of engineered cells and tissue. Techniques and clinical applications of tissue engineering.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 585
Drug Delivery

Principle of diffusion in liquids membrane and polymers, and methods for measurement and analysis of diffusion coefficient. Principle of molecular transport in polymeric material, and drug solubility in polymers. Intravenous infusion, and polymer drug delivery systems. Process involved and kinetics of solute release. Design and optimization of drug delivery system based on pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic requirements.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
CHE 591
Research and Thesis for M.S. Degree

Credit: Variable
CHE 593
Seminar in Chemical Engineering

Presentations on recent developments in the field by academic and industrial visitors.

Lecture: 0 Lab: 0 Credits: 1
CHE 594
Special Projects

Advanced projects involving computer simulation, modeling or laboratory work. (Credit: 1-6 hours.)

Credit: Variable
CHE 597
Special Problems

Independent study and project. (Credit: variable)

Credit: Variable
CHE 600
Continuance of Residence

Lecture: 0 Lab: 0 Credits: 1
CHE 691
Research and Thesis for Ph.D. Degree

Credit: Variable