skip to content

Chemical Engineering

Emeriti: (Professors) Andreas Acrivos, Michel Boudart, George M. Homsy, Robert J. Madix, Channing R. Robertson

Chair: Eric S. G. Shaqfeh

Professors: Stacey F. Bent, Curtis W. Frank, Gerald G. Fuller, Chaitan Khosla, Jens K. Nørskov, Eric S. G. Shaqfeh, Alfred M. Spormann, James R. Swartz

Associate Professor: Zhenan Bao

Assistant Professors: Alexander R. Dunn, Thomas F. Jaramillo, Elizabeth S. Sattely, Andrew J. Spakowitz, Clifford L. Wang

Courtesy Professors: Annelise E. Barron, Gordon E. Brown, Christopher E. D. Chidsey, Daniel Herschlag, Jeffrey R. Koseff, Franklin M. Orr, Jr., Robert M. Waymouth

Lecturers: Lisa Y. Hwang, Shari B. Libicki, Sara Loesch-Frank, John E. Moalli, Anthony Pavone, Howard B. Rosen

Consulting Professors: Douglas C. Cameron, Jae Chun Hyun

Visiting Professor: Subhash Risbud

Administrative Office: Stauffer III, Room 113

Student Services Office: Keck Science Building, Room 189

Mail Code: 94305-5025

Student Services Phone: (650) 723-1302

Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Chemical Engineering are listed under the subject code CHEMENG on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Research investigations are currently being carried out in the following fields: applied statistical mechanics, biocatalysis, bioengineering, biophysics, colloid science, computational materials science, electronic materials, hydrodynamic stability, kinetics and catalysis, Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, polymer science, renewable energy, rheo-optics of polymeric systems, and surface and interface science. Additional information may be found at

The Department of Chemical Engineering offers opportunities for both undergraduates and graduate students to pursue course work in interdisciplinary biosciences, which include the chemical, biological, physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences. Courses include CHEMENG 25B, 150, 181/281, 183/283, 185B, 355, 450, 454, and 456. In addition, students seeking a broad introduction to current topics in the interdisciplinary biosciences and engineering should consider CHEMENG 459, Frontiers in Interdisciplinary Biosciences, which covers emerging technologies and other subject matter at the intersection of engineering and biology, ranging from molecular to complex systems; see Students are encouraged to review course offerings in all departments of the School of Engineering.

Further information about the department may be found at Undergraduates considering majoring in Chemical Engineering are encouraged to talk with faculty and meet with staff in the departmental student services office. Students interested in pursuing advanced work in chemical engineering, including coterminal degrees, should contact the department as well. Admission to the Master of Science program for an active undergraduate Stanford student is by approval of an Application for Admission to Coterminal Master's Program. Admission to an advanced degree program for an active Stanford graduate student is by approval of a Graduate Authorization Petition. All other students should go to for general and departmental information about the requirements and processes for applying for admission to a graduate degree program.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers are responsible for the conception and design of processes for the purpose of production, transformation, and transportation of materials. This activity begins with experimentation in the laboratory and is followed by implementation of the technology in full-scale production. The mission of the undergraduate program in Chemical Engineering is to develop students' understanding of the core scientific, mathematical, and engineering principles that serve as the foundation underlying these technological processes. The program's core mission is reflected in its curriculum which is built on a foundation in the sciences of chemistry, physics, and biology. Course work includes the study of applied mathematics, material and energy balances, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, energy and mass transfer, separations technologies, chemical reaction kinetics and reactor design, and process design. The program provides students with excellent preparation for careers in the corporate sector and government or for advanced study.

Learning Outcomes

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate:

  1. proficiency in and ability to apply knowledge of engineering and mathematics through differential equations, probability and statistics, and science including physics, chemistry, and biology.
  2. ability to design and to conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and to interpret data.
  3. ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
  4. ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
  5. ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. professional and ethical responsibility.
  7. ability to communicate effectively.
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
  9. recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  10. knowledge of contemporary issues.
  11. ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  12. the background for admission to engineering or other professional graduate programs.

Graduate Programs in Chemical Engineering

The University's requirements, including residency requirements, for the M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees are summarized in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

Current research and teaching activities cover a number of advanced topics in chemical engineering, including applied statistical mechanics, biocatalysis, biochemical engineering, bioengineering, biophysics, computational materials science, colloid science, dynamics of complex fluids, energy conversion, functional genomics, hydrodynamic stability, kinetics and catalysis, microrheology, molecular assemblies, nanoscience and technology, Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, polymer physics, protein biotechnology, renewable fuels, semiconductor processing, soft materials science, solar utilization, surface and interface science, and transport mechanics.

Fellowships and Assistantships—Qualified predoctoral applicants are encouraged to apply for nationally competitive fellowships, for example, those from the National Science Foundation. Applicants to the Ph.D. program should consult with their financial aid officers for application information and advice. In the absence of other awards, incoming Ph.D. students normally are awarded departmental fellowships. Matriculated Ph.D. students are primarily supported by fellowship awards and assistantship appointments. All students are encouraged to apply for external, competitive fellowships and may obtain information about various awarding agencies from faculty advisers and student services. Assistantships are paid positions for graduate students that, in addition to a salary, provide the benefit of a tuition allocation. Individual faculty members appoint students to research assistantships; the department chair appoints doctoral students to teaching assistantships. Contact departmental student services for additional information.


In addition to core CHEMENG graduate courses in the 300 series and elective CHEMENG graduate courses in the 200 and 400 series, students pursuing advanced degrees in chemical engineering include elective courses offered by other departments. The following list is a partial list of the more frequently chosen courses and is subdivided into five focus areas.

Broadly Applicable—

APPPHYS 207. Laboratory Electronics (3 units)

CHEM 221. Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 units)

CHEM 271. Advanced Physical Chemistry (Quantum Mechanics) (3 units)

CHEM 273. Advanced Physical Chemistry (Angular Momentum, etc.) (3 units)

EE 261. The Fourier Transform and its Applications (3 units)

EE 268. Introduction to Modern Optics (3 units)

MS&E 234. Organizations and Information Systems (4 units)

STATS 200. Statistical Inference (3 units)

Biochemistry and Bioengineering focus, e.g., with CHEMENG 281, 283, 454, 456—

BIO 203. Advanced Genetics (human)

BIO 217. Neuronal Biophysics (4 units)

BIOC 133. Genetics of Prokaryotes (3 units; needs approval of chair)

BIOE 331. Protein Engineering (3 units)

BIOPHYS/SBIO 228. Computational Structural Biology (3 units)

BIOPHYS/SBIO 241. Biologic Macromolecules (3-5 units)

CBIO 241. Molecular, Cellular, and Genetics Basis of Cancer (3 units)

CEE 274. Environmental Microbiology I & II (3 units each)

MCP 256. How Cells Work: Energetics, Compartments, and Coupling in Cell Biology (4 units)

MPHA 210. Signal Transduction Pathways and Networks (4 units)

MPHA 240. Drug Discovery (4 units)

MPHA 260. Quantitative Chemical Biology (4 units)

SBIO 228. Computational Structural Biology (3 units)

SBIO 241. Biological Macromolecules (3-5 units)

Fluid Mechanics, Applied Mathematics, and Numerical Analysis focus, e.g., with CHEMENG 462

AA 218. Introduction to Symmetry Analysis (3 units)

CME 200. Linear Algebra with Application to Engineering Computations (3 units)

CME 204. Partial Differential Equations in Engineering (3 units)

CME 206. Introduction to Numerical Methods for Engineering (3 units)

CME 212. Introduction to Large-Scale Computing in Engineering (3 units)

CME 332. Computational Methods for Scientific Reasoning and Discovery (3 units)

CME 340. Computational Methods in Data Mining (3 units)

ME 338A. Continuum Mechanics (3 units)

ME 351A. Fluid Mechanics (3 units)

ME 457. Fluid Flow in Microdevices (3 units)

ME 469A. Computational Methods in Fluid Mechanics (3 units)

Materials Science focus, e.g., with CHEMENG 260, 442, 460, 461, 464, 466—

MATSCI 210. Organic and Biological Materials (3 units)

MATSCI 251. Microstructure and Mechanical Properties (3 units)

MATSCI 316. Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (3 units)

MATSCI 343. Organic Semiconductors for Electronics and Photonics (3 units)

MATSCI 380. Molecular Biomaterials (3 units)

Microelectronics focus, e.g., with CHEMENG 240—

AA 218. Introduction to Symmetry Analysis (3 units)

CME 200. Linear Algebra with Application to Engineering Computation (3 units)

CME 204. Partial Differential Equations in Engineering (3 units)

CME 206. Introduction to Numerical Methods for Engineering (3 units)

CME 212. Introduction to Large-Scale Computing in Engineering (3 units)

CME 332. Computational Methods for Scientific Reasoning and Discovery (3 units)

CME 340. Computational Methods in Data Mining

ME 338A. Continuum Mechanics (3 units)

ME 351. Fluid Mechanics (3 units)

ME 457. Fluid Flow in Microdevices (3 units)

ME 469A. Computational Methods in Fluid Mechanics (3 units)

Copyright ©2011 Stanford University | Office of the University Registrar | Academic Year 2011-12 | Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints | Report a Problem with this site.