Doing a PhD in Chemical Engineering

If you’re considering a PhD in Chemical Engineering, there are tough questions that need to be answered. For instance: what is a PhD in Chemical Engineering and how long does it take? What’s the typical line of research and how much can I expect to pay for PhD courses in chemical engineering? And what about funding opportunities or career paths after completing a PhD in Chemical Engineering? This article will answer all your burning questions on the subject!

What Is a PhD in Chemical Engineering?

A PhD in Chemical Engineering, also known as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is the highest academic level that can be achieved. It’s typically undertaken after receiving an undergraduate degree and provides further education for those wishing to pursue or advance their career in research or academia.

The PhD in Chemical Engineering is an internationally recognised qualification and can be taken at universities all over the world. The focus of this degree is on developing your skills as a researcher, so you’ll be able to independently carry out research in chemical engineering and work on complex problems.

Browse Chemical Engineering PhD Opportunities

Development of fluorescent organic molecules for application in super-resolution imaging techniques

Project Description We are looking for a highly motivated, passionate and competitive candidate for a fully-funded PhD position in fluorescent sensing and chemical biology. The successful candidate will join an international team working in the areas of high interest for chemical sensors and super-resolution imaging. This position is based at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical […]

Discovery of solid state electrolytes using Deep Learning

Project Description This opportunity will remain open until filled and so early applications are encouraged. In the quest towards safer and higher capacity batteries to enable electrification and a net zero society, the development of an all-solid-state battery is a top priority, and is currently limited by the lack of a high-performance material to serve […]

PhD Studentship: 3D-Printable Functional Biopolymer Composite Materials

Project Description Natural biopolymers such as polysaccharides (e.g. chitin/chitosan, cellulose, starch, and alginate) and proteins are widely available, biodegradable, biocompatible, chemically versatile, and inherently functional, and thus have huge potential in developing advanced functional materials. This exciting PhD project aims to develop a series of biopolymer-based composite materials (hydrogels or other forms) with tailored structures, […]

What’s the Focus of A PhD in Chemical Engineering?

A PhD in Chemical Engineering is all about developing your skills as a researcher and allows you to work on more complex problems than an undergraduate or Master’s degree. You’ll be able to independently carry out original research in chemical engineering and have access to some of the latest equipment and technology.

You’ll also be able to specialise in a wide range of area of chemical engineering that interests you and develops your knowledge in this field. Typical lines of research for chemical PhD students include those that focus on different types of chemical engineering processes such as:

  • waste management
  • pharmaceuticals production
  • process modelling
  • water and wastewater treatment
  • nanotechnology
  • bioengineering
  • renewable energy

Depending on the nature of your project, you’ll also have the opportunity to work with other engineers from disciplines like physics or materials science and build links with industry.

Chemical Engineering PhDs

How Long Does It Take to Get A PhD in Chemical Engineering?

In the UK, it usually takes prospective students around three years to complete a PhD in Chemical Engineering. However, this can vary depending on your individual circumstances and the university you attend.

What Are the Entrance Requirements for A PhD in Chemical Engineering?

To be eligible for a PhD in Chemical Engineering programme, you’ll need to have completed an undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject such as chemical engineering, chemistry, applied science, mechanical engineering etc. You’ll also need to meet the specific entry requirements for your chosen university, which may be different depending on where you study.

As part of the application process, international postgraduate research students will also require a student visa and will usually be required to demonstrate English proficiency by holding several English Language qualifications (i.e. IELTS).

How Much Does A PhD in Chemical Engineering cost?

The costs of undertaking a PhD in Chemical Engineering can vary significantly between universities and depending on whether you are a home or international student. Tuition fees can range from around £12,000 pa up to £18,000 pa. Depending on the specific nature of your research project, there may be additional costs associated with your studies, such as bench fees for laboratory supplies and travelling to conferences.

There are numerous higher education funding opportunities available so it’s worth doing some research before applying to find out what financial support is available for completing your research programme.

What Funding Opportunities Are There for Studying a PhD in Chemical Engineering?

There are several options when researching funding opportunities: charities; local authorities; business organisations; industry bodies and professional associations; universities or colleges.

You could also consider applying for a PhD in Chemical Engineering scholarship if you’re eligible and meet the criteria of the award.

It’s important to note that some funding opportunities at postgraduate level will only cover the tuition fees whilst others will also provide a stipend for maintenance costs, such as for living costs.

To find funding opportunities, we recommend asking the potential supervisor for the projects you’re interested in and checking out our database here: Browse funded PhD projects.

Careers for Chemical Engineering PhD Students

What’s Next After Completing a Chemical Engineering PhD?

There are several career paths open to those who complete a PhD degree: academia, research and development (R&D), education and training, consulting and professional practice (e.g. engineering).

Processing companies, in particular, are looking for chemical engineers with a PhD degree who have a good understanding of the engineering process and can provide consulting services. The engineer will be in charge of solving engineering problems in a variety of industries such as petroleum, petrochemicals, plastics and more.

A PhD opens up many opportunities as it demonstrates your ability to undertake independent research at the highest level of academic achievement, not to mention the broad range of transferable skills it imparts on you. It can also provide an advantage when looking for employment within organisations such as charities, government departments, NGOs or consultancy firms that require high-level skills like analytical thinking or problem-solving abilities.

Conclusion

To conclude, a PhD in Chemical Engineering is an internationally recognised qualification that can lead to a career in research or academia. It’s a challenging degree that requires dedication and hard work, but it’s also very rewarding and allows you to specialise in an area of chemical engineering that interests you. There are numerous funding opportunities available, so be sure to do your research before applying to ensure you have the best chance of securing financial support.

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