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BS in Chemical Engineering in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (BSChe) is a five year degree program that equips students with an understanding of both engineering and chemical principles, and develops proficiency in the design, development, operation and management of industrial processes in which materials are transformed by chemical reaction and/or physical means.

The BSChe program develops students’ skills in the analysis of chemical processes, the design of effective laboratory experiments to test hypotheses and verify assumptions, as well as to analyze and interpret data and simulate processes. Other components of this program are the processes of evaluation, planning and preparation of specifications and cost estimates, operation and management of industrial plants.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BSChe curriculum are divided into three categories:
  • Technical Courses:
    • Mathematics: College Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Solid Mensuration, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus, Differential Equations, Probability and Statistics
    • Natural/Physical Sciences: General Chemistry, Physics 1 and 2
    • Basic Engineering Sciences: Engineering Drawing, Computer Fundamentals and Programming, Computer-Aided Drafting, Statics of Rigid Bodies, Dynamics of Rigid Bodies, Mechanics of Deformable Bodies, Engineering Economy, Engineering Management, Environmental Engineering, Safety Management,
    • Allied Courses: General Chemistry Calculations, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Basic Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Introduction to Biotechnology, Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering, Quantitative Methods in Management, Safety in the Process Industry
    • Professional Courses: Advanced Engineering Mathematics in Chemical Engineering, Physical Chemistry for Engineers 1 and 2, Chemical Engineering Calculations 1 and 2, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 1 and 2, Principles of Transport Processes, Chemical Process Industries, Momentum Transfer, Heat and Mass Transfer, Separation Processes, Introduction to Particle Technology, Chemical Reaction Engineering, Process Dynamics and Control, Biochemical Engineering, Industrial Waste Management and Control, Chemical Engineering Plant Design, Equipment Design, Laws and Ethics for Chemical Engineers, Computer Applications in Chemical Engineering, Methods of Research
  • Non-Technical Courses:
    • Social Sciences: Social Science 1 to 4
    • Humanities: Humanities 1 to 3
    • Languages: Languages 1 to 4
    • Mandated Subjects
  • Technical Electives:
    • Food and Drug Manufacturing: Food Processing Technologies, Pharmaceuticals, Soaps/Detergents, Cosmeteuticals
    • Packaging Technologies: Fundamental Principles of Packaging, Packaging Materials and Components
    • Environmental Management: Air Pollution Control, Solids Waste Management, Hazardous Waste Management,
    • Petrochemical Engineering: Introduction to Petroleum Engineering, Polymer Engineering, Plastics Technology
    • Energy Engineering: Renewable Energy Technologies, Energy Management, Nuclear Engineering
    • Biotechnology: Molecular Biology, Enzyme Technologies
    • Paints and Coating Technology: Paints and Coatings, Ink Technology
    • Semiconductor Technology: Microelectronic Materials for Chemical Engineering, Nanotechnology
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Emerging Technologies
The lessons in the BSChe program are taught to students through classroom lectures and laboratory exercises, seminars and educational talks. Frequent field trips and plant visits are scheduled where students are able to see and observe firsthand what goes on inside laboratories and industrial plants.

During the fifth year of study, students are required to make a Plant Design/Project Study where they focus on the manufacturing of a particular product including its marketing, technical, and financial aspects. In this project, students will be able to apply the engineering principals they have learned.

Students also need to prepare a thesis paper with a topic related to problems that arise in the practice of chemical engineering. After completion the student defends his/her work in front of his/her research teacher or any other expert in the field of chemical engineering.

In addition to the from Plant Design/Project Study and thesis paper, students must also complete the number of hours intended for Industry Immersion.

BS in Chemical Engineering vs BS in Chemistry

While BS in Chemistry’s curriculum contains mainly Chemistry subjects, BS in Chemical Engineering’s curriculum has combined Chemistry subjects, Engineering subjects and an intensive set of mathematics subjects. Chemical Engineering is more diverse and general than Chemistry, and the range of positions a BS Chemical Engineering graduate can apply to are broader.

In terms of duration, BS in Chemistry is a four year course while BS in Chemical Engineering is a five year course.

Both courses have correlating licensure examinations that can be taken by graduates in order to become licensed practitioners.

Is Chemical Engineering a profession?

Chemical Engineering is a profession. A graduate of BSChe who passes the Chemical Engineering Licensure Examination is called a Registered Chemical Engineer.

The responsibilities of a Chemical Engineer include:
  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions
  • Determine most effective arrangement of operations, such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying
  • Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management
  • Direct activities of workers who operate or who are engaged in constructing and improving absorption, evaporation, or electromagnetic equipment
  • Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new product and test proposed process in small scale operation (pilot plant)
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents, using controlled chemical processes
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes
  • Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations
  • Design and plan layout of equipment

What are the admission requirements for the BS in Chemical Engineering program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers.
  • General Weighted Average (GWA) requirement: there are schools that require a specific high school GWA.
  • Grade average in Mathematics and Science: some schools require students to have a specified minimal grade average in subjects such as Math and Science.
  • College entrance exam: pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: pass the interview conducted by the college.

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Aptitude for Chemistry and related sciences – the foundation to succeed in this course is centered mainly on having a keen interest in Chemistry and related sciences. Students must have the innate ability to understand Chemistry and other science subjects.
  • Aptitude for Physics and Mathematics – math and physics are the fundamental tools in chemical engineering. Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics go hand in hand therefore a student must also have the aptitude for the first two subjects and possess the ability to apply them in chemical problems. Math is most important in this course because majority of subjects use both basic and complicated forms of mathematical equation.
  • Logical skills – this is a must when taking up BSChe. Scientific experiments, laboratory work, mathematical and chemical computations all need to follow a specific concept, a step by step process. However, most often is up to the student to think in an abstract manner and create a problem-solving process of his own based upon the concepts that he/she has learned. Logical Intelligence means that you are able to recognize patterns and logically analyze problems. You must be able to think conceptually about numbers, relationships and patterns.
  • Analytical skills – chemical engineering is a very complex subject matter. Strong analytical skill is essential because you will be dealing with a lot of chemical process so you should be able to integrate knowledge across chemical sub-disciplines and apply this knowledge to solve problems
  • Abstract thinking – the ability to evaluate and interpret data derived from laboratory observations and measurements in terms of their significance, and to relate them to appropriate theories
  • Problem-Solving skills – taking into consideration that Chemistry is a subject that is taught to students in high school they students should be able to apply the scientific method: define a problem clearly, develop testable hypotheses, design and execute experiments, analyze data, and draw appropriate conclusions.
  • Mechanical Inclination – during the Industry Immersion students will be taught different chemical engineering procedures and protocol used in the specific industry, this may entail using a lot of equipment and tools that may be difficult to use, and excellent mechanical inclination would be an advantage.
  • Detail Oriented – during scientific experiments and lab exercises you must pay attention to the smallest detail, committing even the slightest mistake will yield a different result or may even cause laboratory accidents.
  • Strong Observational skills – having strong observational skills will be very helpful when you study this course. When solving problems or doing computations and laboratory experiments your professors will demonstrate the task to you at first, however, they will do this only once and you will be left alone doing the rest thus you must be very good in observation.
  • Freehand skills – the ability to transform a design into an image through drawing and sketching
  • Technical skills – since you will be doing a lot of laboratory work the ability to use complex equipment and modern chemical instruments both safely and accurately are important
  • Computer Knowledge – a wide knowledge on computers is critical to succeeding in the majority of engineering courses because much of the actual design work is done using computers.
  • Research skills – the ability to undertake in depth investigations, collecting complex data, using a variety of different approaches, in order to reach conclusions about a range of scientific issues
  • Memorization skills – while most of the subjects in the BSChe need deeper understanding, there are certain concepts, theories and formulas that you have to memorize so that you will be able to carry on more complex tasks in chemistry.
  • Communication skills – covering both written and oral communication; this includes the ability to present scientific information in a clear and concise manner and to discuss them intelligently, both in writing and orally.
  • Patience/Persistence – to survive this course you must be patient, because lecture and laboratory hours will be very long, ranging from 3 to 6 hours. During laboratory work, you will not always achieve the result of a certain experiment so you need to be very persistent.

How difficult is BS in Chemical Engineering?

BS in Chemical Engineering is one of the most difficult programs in the Philippines. Chemistry is a highly complex subject and combining it with engineering makes it even harder. This program also integrates a lot of Physics principles and theories which is another difficult subject for most people.

Majority of BSChe subjects are paired with laboratory; long lecture hours coupled with long laboratory hours, highly technical long exams and case analysis projects wear students down, and it is the reason why many decide to shift to easier courses.

Aside from this, students have to study a wide array of other subjects, choose an area of specialization that he/she must take in the fifth year, and complete the Industry Immersion, thesis paper and Plant Design/Project Study. Plant design and thesis, both on your fifth/last year of study, are the most tedious of all. It will definitely lead to a lot of sleepless nights.

Lastly, the most difficult part of this program is the board exam. You will need to study intensively, review every single concept and take several comprehensive practice examinations to ensure that you’ll be able to pass this exam.

How long does it take to complete the BSChe program in the Philippines?

The BS in Chemical Engineering program takes five years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Industry Immersion

The Industry Immersion, equivalent to an on the job training (OJT) in other courses, is taken by BSChem students in the fifth year of their studies. During the Industry Immersion, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The immersion program is done under the supervision of a licensed chemical engineer in the establishment/office which will evaluate the student periodically and submit the evaluation form to the assigned faculty member.

Students will be assigned in a company related to their specific field of study. Chemical, energy, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, electronic device fabrication, environmental and oil industries are just some of the companies that students may be assigned in.

The number of hours required for the Industry Immersion is 240.
(See source)

Fields of Specialization

  • Food and Drug Manufacturing – revolves around the chemical procedures used in food, pharmaceuticals and soaps/detergents manufacturing
  • Packaging Technologies – teaches students the materials used in packaging, how they are processed and the principles that need to be followed in executing packaging procedures
  • Environmental Management – concerned with applying chemical engineering to control air pollution, solid waste and hazardous waste
  • Petrochemical Engineering – emphasis is placed on Petroleum Engineering, Polymer Engineering and Plastics Technology
  • Energy Engineering – topics of interest include Renewable Energy Technologies, Energy Management and Nuclear Engineering
  • Biotechnology – lessons primarily center on molecular biology and enzyme technologies.
  • Paints and Coating Technology – teaches students the chemical and engineering procedures involved in the production of ink technology and paints and coatings
  • Semiconductor Technology – teaches students all about Microelectronic Materials for Chemical Engineering and Nanotechnology
  • Entrepreneurship – teaches students on how chemical engineering can be used and applied in entrepreneurship
  • Emerging Technologies – discusses current trends and newly developed technologies used in chemical engineering and how they can be utilized in different industries
(see source)

Chemical Engineering Licensure Examination

To become a Registered Chemical Engineer in the Philippines, a graduate of BS in Chemical Engineering needs to pass the Chemical Engineering Licensure Examination. The examination is conducted by the Board of Chemical Engineering under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). The exam is conducted twice a year. (see source)

You can view the passing rates of the Chemical Engineering Licensure Examination here.

Career opportunities for BS in Chemical Engineering graduates

  • Jobs for licensed Chemical Engineers (board exam passers)

    • Chemical Engineer working in biotechnology, chemical process, design and construction, electronics, energy and fuels and food industries – responsible for developing new industrial processes and designing new process plants/equipment or modifying existing ones.
    • Manufacturing engineer – plans, designs, sets up, modifies, optimizes and monitors manufacturing processes.
    • Plant Process Engineer – provides technical support and troubleshoots processes in a production facility.
    • Quality Control Engineer – monitors the manufacture of a product to ensure that it meets specifications. Also, tests materials to determine how they perform over time.
    • Process Safety Engineer – designs and maintains plants and processes that are safer for workers and communities.
    • Chemical Engineering Professor – instructs students in the field of chemical engineering and conducts research in pertinent areas.
    • Technical Services Engineer – works with customers, usually on-site, to solve production problems caused by a specific process or machine.
    • Project Engineer – oversees the design and construction of specific processes in a facility.
    • Instrumentation Engineer – design strain gauges or sensors that capture data about the safety, efficiency, and reliability of industrial machines used in the manufacturing process.
    • Process Design Engineer – designs manufacturing facilities and the equipment and material used inside.
    • Product/process development scientist – responsible for identifying and developing new processes for product manufacture, as well as putting in place process controls to make sure the products are of a high quality and are manufactured in a reproducible manner
    • Production Manager – involved with the planning, coordination and control of manufacturing processes. They ensure that goods and services are produced efficiently and that the correct amount is produced at the right cost and level of quality.
    • Technical Manager – manages people, research programs and daily operations of the engineering functions.
    • Energy Engineer – involved with the production of energy through natural resources, such as the extraction of oil and gas, as well as from renewable or sustainable sources of energy, including biofuels, hydro, wind and solar power.
    • Petroleum Engineer – involved in nearly all of the stages of oil and gas field evaluation, development and production. The aim of their work is to maximize hydrocarbon recovery at minimum cost while maintaining a strong emphasis on reducing environmental impact.
    • Reservoir engineers – who work to optimize production of oil and gas via proper well placement, production levels and enhanced oil recovery techniques
    • Materials Engineer – responsible for the research, specification, design and development of materials to advance technologies of many kinds; their expertise lies in understanding the properties and behaviors of different substances, from raw materials to finished products.
    • Environmental engineer – design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental health hazards utilizing various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.
    • Research & Development Engineer – seeks out new and efficient ways of producing existing products. Explores and develops new processes and products.
  • Jobs for Non Board Passers:

    • Chemical Technician – responsible for helping chemists and engineers to develop, research, produce, and observe chemical products and processes; works in laboratories, conducts experiments, and monitors production processes.
    • Secondary Chemistry Teacher – teaches chemistry in private and public secondary schools; may need a few units in education subjects
    • Technical sales and service agent – manufacturers of chemicals, scientific instruments and equipment and products based on chemicals require technically trained people for direct sales and to provide problem-solving assistance to their sales division.
    • Technical and Science Writer – careers in this field include writing of technical material for industrial companies, science writer for magazines or newspapers, and editor of scientific publications.
    • Food and Beverage Processing Grader – test or grade ingredients and finished food, beverage or tobacco products to ensure conformance to company standards

Find schools offering BS in Chemical Engineering:

Reviews of BS in Chemical Engineering graduates:

R. C.
◈ Studied BS Chemical Engineering
◈ At University of the Philippines Los Banos
◈ Graduated 2010

list bulletWhy did I choose Chemical Engineering: The course was very appealing. I knew a lot of successful chemical engineers back then, and they were already "big time" even though they were just starting out in their career.

list bulletAbout my college education: Studying Chemical Engineering was tough. During your first two years, your subjects will be a mixture of Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Mathematics. It started out easy, and it gets difficult each time the number at the end of the subject increases. When you reach third year, Engineering Sciences and major Chemical Engineering subjects are there.

I failed a lot of exams. And I repeated two subjects. However, these failures did not stop me from graduating. I was still able to graduate on time (5 years), which I consider as an achievement, since a lot of chemical engineering students are delayed.

Plant design and thesis, both on your fifth/last year of study, are the most tedious of all. It will result to a lot of sleepless nights are sometimes I would even miss my other classes because of this.

list bulletMy current job: I work as an internal auditor in our company.
We make audits in order to assess whether or not the company complies to a certain standard.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college: I have learned a lot in college, but not all it were applicable to my current job. For instance, I still cannot figure out where I can apply integral calculus or reaction kinetics on my job, especially this one.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: 3 weeks.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Chemical Engineering: Definitely! Chemical Engineers have endless employment opportunities.
In addition, there are surveys that show that on the average, chemical engineers earn better than other types of engineer and other science courses graduates.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course: Think hard before you take a dip into the very difficult world of Chemical Engineering.
Was this review useful to you? Usefull Not usefull
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