Chemical Engineering

We pride ourselves in supporting and nurturing the academic, industrial and entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow together with providing a thorough technical understanding of the scientific and engineering principles underpinning the industrial processes they might encounter. We are committed to providing the highest quality of educational experience through excellent teaching of industrially relevant courses in an environment where students' needs are a top priority.

Why choose Chemical Engineering at Loughborough?

Our courses are taught by experts supported by world-class facilities. The Chemical Engineering department is housed in a newly refurbished building with impressive pilot plant, laboratories, a 360 degree virtual learning dome "the Igloo" and modern computing facilities. Close links with industry and an established placement scheme provide opportunities to gain vital paid work experience in a professional environment.

We have an outstanding reputation for producing highly trained, well-educated and highly sought-after Chemical Engineer graduates equipped to succeed in today’s global economy.

Our chemical engineering courses have a great reputation

You'll have the opportunity to go on a placement year

Chemical engineers work in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, design and construction, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, food processing, speciality chemicals, microelectronics, electronic and advanced materials, polymers, business services, biotechnology, and environmental health and safety industries, among others.

All of our chemical engineering courses provide the option of a year working in industry. Plus, our Chemical Engineering department has close links with industrial partners, which means we are able to provide our students with considerable help in sourcing and securing their placement. Typically, about a third of our students are offered a graduate job with their placement employer.

We are the UK’s number one university for engineering placements, with 15% more students on year-long placements than any other university (HESA 2016/17, for Engineering and Technology).

Recent companies who have employed our placement students include 3M, AstraZeneca, BP, British Sugar, Croda, Cadbury, E.On, EDF Energy, Esso Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Foster Wheeler, JGE Water, Johnson Matthey, GSK, Heinz, Huntsman, INEOS, Invista, Kraft Mars, L’Oreal, Lonza, Merck, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nestlé, PepsiCo, PwC, Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble, Sellafield Ltd, Shell, Schlumberger, Syngenta, Tate and Lyle, Total, Unilever and United Biscuits.

Chemical Engineering - Unilever student placement

Chemical Engineering student Mark has been on placement with Unilever for the past 12 months and gives us an insight into the projects and roles he has been working on throughout the year.

You also have the opportunity to study abroad

Those wishing to study abroad can choose from various partner institutions from around the world, developing highly prized intercultural skills that employers are looking for.

You can participate in overseas placements such as the Erasmus SchemeUNITECH, and other study exchanges to destinations such as Australia, USA and Europe.

Graduates from our Chemical Engineering courses are in great demand

95% of our recent graduates were employed or undertaking further study within 6 months of graduation, with an average starting salary of £30,000 (DLHE, 2017*). Most of our graduates are employed by process companies in the oil, gas, water, food and drink, pharmaceutical, plastics and general chemical industries and they go on to hold senior positions in major companies.

*2017 graduates from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

I have not only grown professionally but also as an individual over the last four years – I am more confident about seizing opportunities and accomplishing anything I set my mind to.

Shreyasi MEng Chemical Engineering

Our facilities are world-class

Our world class laboratories allow you the opportunity to gain practical hands on experience with industry scale equipment, offering students an enhanced learning experience.

We have invested £4 million into the facilities in S-Building, home to our Chemical Engineering Department. This means new laboratory space and equipment has been installed since 2016 including:

State of the art pilot Engineering facilities – with the addition of new mezzanine floors, housing new equipment and providing flexible student space for computational and modelling work.

A new 87 seater IT Laboratory – for taught sessions, but also available for project work and private study.

A new interactive virtual-reality learning facility – the “Igloo” - that uses state-of-the-art software to create simulations of real-life engineering scenarios, e.g. working in hazardous areas of industrial plants. This will allow small groups of students to engage with realistic situations in a safe and accessible environment.

Take a tour of our brand new STEMLab

You'll experience a rich learning environment

There is a rich diversity of teaching and learning experiences, from lectures and tutorials to problem classes, presentations, supervised computer and modelling sessions, and visiting speakers from industry and commerce. Laboratory work and research based projects are embedded within the curriculum. Design workshops supervised by industrials from GSK and BP provide the opportunity to work as a part of the team, while the final year design provides the chance to apply the course to the real work problems.

Join a culture of enterprise

We encourage a spirit of enterprise here at Loughborough. It’s a key part of the Loughborough experience and it can really boost your job prospects.

As a student at the Chemical Engineering Department, your employability will be developed both inside and outside of the classroom. There are lots of opportunities available through student enterprise, clubs and societies, as well as through Loughborough's Careers Network. Student Enterprise thrives on campus with a range of extra-curricular activities including business planning competitions, events, and support services for students with real business ideas.

You'll have the opportunity to participate in design projects

Loughborough offers students participation in design projects in each year of the course. Designing a chemical plant from scratch includes putting together a flowsheet, calculating process parameters (flowrates, compositions, temperatures, pressures, heat loads), sizing the various items of equipment and then estimating and optimising capital and running costs. The level of design naturally increases each year. 

Design uniquely allows the many facets of chemical engineering (which by necessity need to be pigeonholed), to be considered together. The interlinking between subjects is more clearly understood, and the reason for studying the subjects becomes much clearer. Thermodynamics on its own looks a pretty theoretical subject but it is often indispensable to a design team. The design projects are typically undertaken in groups of 4-6 students, and students work together to produce an overall flowsheet. Our design projects therefore give you a good experience of team working which is often a large component of a professional chemical engineer’s job.

However, key individual items of plant are normally designed by individual students and this provides a chance for students to demonstrate their skill and knowledge.