MEng Chemical Engineering

Hi everyone! So, it’s that time of the year again.

No, not Christmas, deadline season! Fun times! Can you tell how excited I am? (note the sarcasm).

So, I realised I’ve never dedicated a blog to my course and what exactly I do…so that’s what today’s post is on. An insight into life as a 4th year Chemical Engineering student.

So where do I start…

Well, this semester, I’m taking 60 credits worth of modules. Usually this is split into 4 modules worth 15 credits each, but I’m taking 3:

  • Optimisation and Decision Making (15 credits)
  • Multi-Disciplinary Design Project (30 credits)
  • Chemical Engineering Research Methods (15 credits).

The first one, Optimisation and Decision Making (Optimisation for short), basically deals with how decisions are made in the process industry. Saying it this way makes it sound like common sense and simple logic, but in reality, a lot of operations management rely on complex mathematical models (who would’ve thought eh?). So, this module aims to introduce students to the wide range of optimisation processes and methodologies used to make decisions and reduce risks associated with the aid of models (the mathematical kind lol). It’s super useful particularly for those interested in Supply Chain Planning and Logistics.

Multi-Disciplinary Design Project:

This is a group project where each group, as the name suggests, consists of students from different engineering disciplines all working on the design of a specific task. My project for example, has 2 Chemical, 3 Mechanical and 1 Electrical and Electronics Engineer. The interesting thing is that, the projects aren’t designed with specific disciplines in mind, so there is always a chance of working on something that isn’t directly related to your course. It’s very helpful because it’s a true reflection of life in industry where you might find yourself working outside your comfort zone, on things you’re not familiar with and you have no choice but to push yourself and learn from others. What’s super interesting is that my project is based on an existing biomass plant in South Africa. So, it’s very likely, that whatever the outcome is, it might be implemented in the real-world. (How cool is that?!).

Chemical Engineering Research Methods:

We have a research project which kicks off in the second semester, so this module builds up to that and aims to introduce us to proper research techniques. The deliverable for this module is a Training Proposal and Literature Review. We are able to either work alone or with a partner on a topic of choice (well kinda). We were given a long list of possible research topics and were able to make our top 5 preferences. I was a bit sad that I didn’t get my first choice but my second one is still pretty interesting. The topic is on Optimising Integrated Biorefineries. This one really appealed to me because I’m personally interested in the Energy Industry and the major issue facing it regarding the increased energy demand, CO2 emissions and the need for renewable energy sources. I’m looking forward to properly getting into the Research next semester.

Well that’s it for today guys. I hope I’ve been able to spark some interest in someone out there into considering the ChemEng life haha.

Till next time!