Candidates for a master's degree in chemical engineering must complete three required core courses in chemical engineering, four elective courses, and a graduate thesis. The program requires an average of 24 months of full-time study.

The core courses are offered in engineering mathematics, thermodynamics, reaction engineering, and transport theory. Topics offered as chemical engineering electives include polymer science, bioprocess engineering, advanced materials science and engineering, particle technology, fuel cell technology and independent study projects. In addition, graduate-level courses offered by other departments may be taken as electives with the approval of the chemical engineering department.

Master's Thesis

A written master's thesis is an integral part of Bucknell chemical engineering master's program and a primary contribution to the education of the candidate. The thesis must describe work on an experimental or educational research, mathematical and/or computational modeling, or design or other problem involving original scientific inquiry. Selection of a thesis advisor will be conducted prior to the start of the candidate's graduate program.

Thesis Projects and Facilities

The department maintains state-of-the-art laboratory and computing facilities, enabling master's degree candidates to pursue a variety of research/thesis activities. Graduate students are encouraged to present their work at professional meetings at both the regional and national levels, and serve as coauthors for journal and other peer-reviewed publications. Some recent thesis titles are:

  • Assessing the Validity of Brain Glucose Concentration Measurement Using Microdialysis
  • The Investigation of Uniform, Monodisperse Crystalline Particles via the Evaporation of Small Droplets
  • Development of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Electrodes with High Conductivity and Enhanced Redox Stability
  • Characterization of Biodegradable Polymer Nanocomposites Fabricated via Solid-State Processing
  • Morphology and Cloud Condensation Nuclei Activity of Single-Component and Multi-Component Organic Aerosols
  • Investigation of Drag Reducing Polymers by Dielectric Spectroscopy
  • eLEAPS - an Investigation of Web Application to Support Learning Engineering and Problem Solving
  • Calcium Alginate Encapsulation and Continuous Separation of the Capsules Through Co-Laminar Flow of Immiscible Fluids

Courses Offered

600. Process Engineering (I; 3, 3)
Applications of engineering, economic, environmental, and ethical principles in preliminary process design using computer aids such as process simulators. Problem definition, literature survey, flowsheet development, material and energy balances, equipment design, profitability analysis, oral and written communication. With design laboratory. Open only to students without previous design course work.

610. Project Engineering (II; 3, 3)
Second of two Capstone experiences for chemical engineering majors. Students refine a general problem statement in order to plan, execute, and assess a project that achieves specified goals. Design, construction, and testing of an apparatus, system, or simulation. Problem-solving, teamwork, communication, professional development, and laboratory work are emphasized. With design laboratory. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

630. 631. Chemical Engineering Project (I or II; R; 1, 5) Half course.
Individual work with a faculty adviser on a development or design project beginning with a written plan and culminating with a deliverable product and a written report. Problem analysis involving information synthesis, experimentation, mathematical modeling, or software development. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

635. Experiments in Polymer Science and Technology (II; 1, 3) Half course.
Laboratory investigation into problems involving the synthesis, characterization, and processing of polymeric materials. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

640. 641. Chemical Engineering Research (I and II; R; 1, 10)
Independent study with a faculty adviser on a research project. Submit a project proposal for group review, conduct the work, and culminate with a written and an oral presentation before a faculty group. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

648. Electrochemical Energy Conversion (I or II; 4, 0)
Principles of electrochemistry including electrochemical thermodynamics, kinetics, and catalysis. Related emerging energy applications such as fuel cells and advanced batteries. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

650. Polymer Science (II; 4, 0)
Structure, characterization and properties of polymeric materials. Chemistry and kinetics of polymerization. Processing and application of polymers. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

652. Bioprocess Engineering (I or II; 4, 0)
Survey course in biochemical engineering. Introduction to microbiology, biochemistry, cell metabolism and genetic control. Enzyme structure and function; enzyme kinetic mechanisms. Emphasis on the design of biochemical reactors and separation processes utilizing fundamental principles of kinetics, thermodynamics and heat, mass and momentum transfer. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

653. Product and Process Chemistry (II; 4, 0)
Examination of the internal structure of the chemical industry. The roles of key chemicals and intermediates in modern chemical synthesis will be emphasized to provide an overview of current industrial product methods. Product and process history, design and improvement will be covered through discussions, simulations and case studies. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

655. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (I or II; 4, 0)
Addresses the relationships of chemistry, physics, and engineering principles in understanding processes in the Earth's atmosphere. Topics include overview of the Earth's atmospheric history and problems of current environmental concerns including urban ozone, acid rain, particulate pollution, and global change. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

657. Applied Colloid, Surface, and Nanoscience (I; 4, 0)
Exploration of the ways in which surfaces are different from bulk substances, and how this impacts processes such as illness, chemical processing, contaminant transport, and enzymatic activity. The topics discussed will be shaped by student interest. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

660. Biomaterials: Materials in Medicine (I or II; 4, 0)
Classes of biomaterials, their applications, and current trends in biomaterials research and technology. Medical/ethical implications of biomaterials development and research. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

665. Advanced Materials Science and Engineering (I or II; 4, 0)
Advanced, in-depth exploration of processing - structure - property - performance relationships of materials through real-world examples and case studies. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

670. 672. Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (I and II; R; 4, 0)
Advanced, in-depth courses developed from areas of chemical engineering science or technology. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

680. Graduate Research and Thesis (I or II; 1, 6-12)
Individual graduate-level investigations culminating in a thesis. Required for the master of science in chemical engineering degree.

681. Topics in Reaction Engineering (I or II; 4, 0)
Reactor design and analysis applied to specific systems. Complex chemical reaction networks with emphasis on nonideal flow and transport effects on heterogeneous reactors. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

682. Topics in Chemical Engineering Applied Mathematics (I or II; 4, 0)
Analytical and numerical methods for ordinary and partial differential equations with problems drawn from chemical engineering. Topics include transform methods, matrix methods, weighted-residual methods, and finite differences. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

683. Topics in Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (I or II; 4, 0)
Advanced study of thermodynamics applied to fluid flow, heat transfer, gas compression, air conditioning, refrigeration, and chemical equilibria. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

685. Topics in Transport Theory (I or II; 4, 0)
Mass, energy, and momentum transfer in continuous media. General equations of transfer developed and used to analyze real systems. Development and application of mathematical techniques appropriate to the topic. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

687 and 688. Advanced Study in Chemical Engineering (I and II; R; 4, 0)
Courses in chemical engineering theory designed to meet the needs of graduate students in residence.

ENGR 695. Advanced Topics in Engineering Mathematics (I; 4, 0)
Linear algebra and analytical/computational techniques for solving ordinary and partial differential equations relevant to engineering applications. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.