Chemical Engineering

Creative application of basic and engineering sciences in the design, production and analysis of chemical products

Related Student Organizations and University Programs

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

Chemical Engineering Car Club (ChemE Car)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society)

Career Paths

The chemical engineering program prepares students for a variety of opportunities in industry, government or academia. Common industry sectors include food, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, specialty gases, plastics, environmental clean-up, catalysis, consumer products and finance. Recent alumni have secured the following positions:

  • Operations Engineer, Frito-Lay, Inc.
  • Process Engineer, ExxonMobil Corporation
  • Associate Manufacturing Specialist, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Systems Engineer, Exelon Nuclear
  • Process Engineer, Merck & Company, Inc.
  • Materials Scientist, Army Research Laboratory
  • Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.S.E. Candidate, University of Pennsylvania

Grants & Awards

Chemical engineering faculty have recently secured grants from the National Science Foundation for:

  • Development of a nanofabrication laboratory
  • Study of atmospheric aerosols
  • Enhancing engineering education
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Fabrication and barrier performance evaluation of polymer nanocomposites
  • Nanoindenter for characterization of biological and advanced engineering materials
  • Study of metallic glasses
  • Implementing guided inquiry in diverse institutions

Selected Faculty Publications

Chemical Engineering faculty have recently published their scholarship in:

Journal of the Electrochemical Society

Granular Matter

Journal of College Science Teaching

Journal of Geophysical Research

Applied Surface Science


Acta Materialia

Elective Courses Recently Offered

Applied Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Biomaterials: Materials in Medicine
Bioprocess Engineering
Chemical Engineering Project
Chemical Engineering Research
Colloid, Surface and Nanoscience
Food Technology
Fuel Cell Science and Technology
Green Engineering
Pharmeceutical Engineering
Polymer Science
Product and Process Chemistry
Topics in Chemical Engineering Applied Mathematics
Topics in Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
Topics in Reaction Engineering
Topics in Transport Theory

Quick Facts

Number of full-time faculty: 12

Average number of majors per class year: 25-30

Class sizes: 12-30 (8-12 in elective courses)

Laboratory Section Sizes: 8-14

Graduate and Professional School

Some chemical engineering alumni choose to enroll in graduate programs focusing on chemical engineering, energy, catalysis, biotechnology, polymers, medicine, biomedical engineering, pharmacy and materials science. Recently, alumni have gone on to:

  • University of California at Berkeley
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Michigan
  • Princeton University
  • Cornell University
  • Drexel University
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Texas-Austin

Graduate Student Career Paths

Upon completing their Master of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering, the students are prepared to take on career options in both academia and industry. Some recent graduate program alumni have secured the following positions:

  • Ph.D. Candidate, University of Virginia
  • Senior Development Engineer, Corning Incorporated
  • Process Engineer, Saint-Gobain S. A.
  • Operations Engineer, L'Oreal USA, Inc.
  • Drug Development Engineer, Merck & Co.
  • Ultrapure Water Engineer, Intel Corporation

Program Details

  • Students relate theory and practice through intensive laboratory and project design experiences.
  • Heavy emphasis on oral and written communication and teamwork skills.
  • Students learn from accomplished faculty who are committed to teaching excellence.
  • Bucknell’s liberal arts environment offers diverse learning opportunities, encourages critical thinking and supports engineering problem solving in a societal context.
  • The department's senior design experience involves work on open-ended engineering problems proposed by real clients in industry, government or academia.
  • Students can tailor the curriculum to their interests, which may include study abroad, pre-medical training, preparation for graduate study or pursuit of a concentration within the major (biological, environmental, materials, process).
  • Students can further minor within the College of Arts and Sciences or in biomedical engineering, or apply for a five-year dual degree (second degree in liberal arts, management, or M.S. in chemical engineering).


Bucknell’s chemical engineering faculty members provide close, personal attention to students in the classroom and in the lab. The professors are active researchers who often invite students to become involved in their work.

Daniel P. Cavanagh
B.S., M. S., Ph.D. Northwestern
Scholarly interests: biomedical fluid mechanics, surfactant effects at interfaces, multiphase flows

Jeffrey Csernica
B.S. Lehigh; Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scholarly interests: materials science, polymer physical chemistry, solid surface modification, polymer blends

Michael Gross
B.S. Bucknell; M.S., Ph.D. Pennsylvania
Scholarly interests: electrochemistry, catalysis, electronic and ionic conducting materials, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)

Erin Jablonski
B.S. Rutgers, M.S. Rutgers, Ph.D. Iowa State
Scholarly interests: polymer physics, photoresist technology, surface spectroscopy polymer blends and thin film chemistry

William King
B.S. Pittsburgh; M.S. Carnegie Mellon; Ph.D. Pennsylvania
Scholarly interests: bioengineering, chemical reaction engineering, process control, transport in tumors, photodynamic therapy, hemodialysis

James Maneval
B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute; M.S., Ph.D. California at Davis
Scholarly interests: process design, applied math, NMR methods, chromatographic and membrane separations

Michael Prince
B.S.,WPI; Ph.D. California at Berkeley
Scholarly interests: problem-based and collaborative learning, instructional design, environmental barrier design

Timothy Raymond
B.S. Bucknell; Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon
Scholarly interests: atmospheric physics and chemistry, materials science, cloud condensation nuclei, organic aerosols

Ryan Snyder
B.S. Delaware; Ph.D. California at Santa Barbara
Conceptual design, crystallization, pharmaceutical engineering

William Snyder
B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Penn State
Scholarly interests: thermodynamics, polymer degradation, catalysis, specific ion electrodes, drag reduction, water quality monitoring

Margot Vigeant
B.S. Cornell; M.S., Ph.D. Virginia
Scholarly interests: surface chemistry, bacterial transport and surface adhesion, novel microscopic imaging

Brandon Vogel
B.S. Minnesota; M.S. Iowa State; Ph.D. Iowa State
Scholarly interests: materials and polymer science, biomaterials, chemistry

Katsuyuki Wakabayashi
B.S. Pennsylvania; M.S., Ph.D. Princeton
Scholarly interests: materials science, polymer processing and characterization, nano blends/composites, sustainable engineering

Wendelin Wright
B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Stanford
Scholarly interests: mechanical behavior, bulk metallic glasses, nanoindentation, deformation at small length scales

Undergraduate Research

Chemical engineering students often participate in research projects with faculty mentors. Recent projects include:

  • Fabrication of Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites via Solid-State Processes
  • Synthesis of Poly(lactic acid)-Silica Particles for Targeted Drug Delivery
  • Development of Redox-Stable SOFC Electrodes for Fuel Cell Applications
  • Small Molecule Diffusion Through Semi-Permeable Microchannels
  • Effect of Aerosol Morphology on Cloud Condensation Nuclei Activity

Students are encouraged to present research work to peers and professionals both on and off campus. For example, 14 students presented their work at the recent American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. More than 75% of our students work with faculty on independent study research projects at Bucknell.

Facilities & Resources

  • Analytical Laboratory (thermal, optical, chromatographic analyses)
  • Bioprocess Laboratory (fermentation systems, biological monitoring)
  • Fluid Flow Laboratory (pressure, flow, viscosity measurement)
  • Heat Transfer Laboratory (conductivity, boiling and convection, industrial heat exchange)
  • Kinetics Laboratory (flow and stirred reactors, reaction monitoring)
  • Materials Science Laboratory (physical and mechanical property characterization)
  • Nanofabrication Laboratory (surface patterning, thin film segregation and self-assembly)
  • Polymer Laboratory (synthesis, characterization and processing)
  • Process Control Laboratory (coupled tanks, heating/cooling, and analysis instrumentation)
  • Unit Operations Laboratory (pilot scale distillation, extraction, and solid-liquid separation and processing)

Study Abroad

Each year, about 25 percent of our junior year engineering students study overseas at such locations as the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain.


Bucknell provides opportunities for students to find summer employment in industry, government or academia. Recently, students have interned at:

  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
  • Merck and Company, Inc.
  • Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
  • ExxonMobil Corp.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • University of Colorado
  • Cherokee Pharmaceuticals

Recent Graduate Thesis Titles

Our graduate students conduct fundamental and applied research in a wide range of topics. Our recent Master's thesis titles include:

  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Measurements of Fluid-Solid Interactions in Dialysis-Membrane Materials
  • Investigation of Drag Reducing Polymers by Dielectric Spectroscopy
  • Calcium Alginate Encapsulation and Continuous Separation of the Capsules through Co-Laminar Flow of Immiscible Fluids
  • Solid-State Fabrication and Characterization of Polymer-Graphite Nanocomposites
  • Morphology and Cloud Condensation Nuclei Activity of Single-Component and Multi-Component Organic Aerosols
  • Development of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Electrodes with High Conductivity and Enhanced Redox Stability
  • The Repairing of Misconceptions through the Use of Inquiry-Based Activities
  • A Microfluidic Method to Measure Diffusion in Hydrogels
  • A General Approach towards the Synthesis of Amido-Functionalized Biodegradable Polyesters
  • Synthesis and Surface Modifications of CdSe and CdS Quantum Dots Exhibiting High Quanum Yield