Chemical Engineering is the science which studies the technology of factory designs. The intended factory might be a chemical factory, bioprocess, food, and some others. Almost all manufacturing facilities in the world are designed by the Chemical Engineering graduates. Factory designs here are the engineering of processes carried out within the factory itself, such as the reaction design within a reactor to achieve intended products, designing a system in utilizing energy resources within a factory, performing process control, and so on.
Not only designing factories, in this program students will also learn how to carry out chemical or biological processes, within as well as outside the factory, faster and more efficiently to achieve certain results. The example often seen in our daily life is a fermentation process, such as in making yoghurt, bread, cheese, soy sauce, etc. Some other examples are gas and oil refinery, processes in production of fuel, solar, and biofuel.
In 2003, the Chemical Engineering study program opened new degree courses, making the study programs to offer three main courses, i.e. TKU (General Chemical Technology), BP (Bioprocess), and TP (Food Technology). The Chemical Engineering study program requires basic aptitudes in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology (only for Bioprocess and Food Technology degree courses).
The world's demand for industries keeps increasing, which subsequently demands the increase in the capacity of a Chemical Engineering graduate to handle industrial problems. The existing issue of clean industrialization poses new challenges for Chemical Engineering graduates, at the same time broadens the Chemical Engineering field for the study program to also encompass the study of accomplishing sustainable development.
In practice, a Chemical Engineering graduate will be asked to design new processes for factories, as well as to improve existing processes.
Initially, Chemical Engineering graduates will start the job with calculating mass and energy balances within the process of a certain factory. At this stage, the engineer is able find out the production capacity, the amount of raw materials required, up to the number of products made. In designing industrial processes, several other factors should also be considered, such as the production process reliability, the production cost, and the safety factor, to avoid accidents within the factory, such as explosion, etc. At the following stage, (bio) reactor design is carried out, as well as designing the piping system, determining energy utilization and process control system. In the instance where the production process produces waste, a Chemical Engineering graduate should also design the waste processing system to minimize its effects on the environment. On the other hand, a Chemical Engineering graduate may also be assigned to increase the production capacity of a certain factory, for example from 500 tons/year to 1,000 tons/year.