Is chemical engineering really as hard as people make it out to be?

Chemical Engineering is legitimately difficult. Itís a field that requires the ability to learn and think in a multitude of very different frameworks and foundational skills.

Itís frankly the only field that requires understanding how microscopic interactions cause mesoscopic phenomena which result in macroscopic properties. Entire fields of study are devoted to understanding microscopic, mesoscopic, and macroscopic phenomena but rarely do those disciplines traverse all length and timescales. Biochemical engineering is certainly the only bioscience discipline that extends over the angstrom to human scale. The only other field that comes up is material science engineering which many would argue to be a subfield of chemical engineering.

The other aspect is that those phenomena have a vigorous mathematical basis. Of course the math isnít as difficult as what would be seen in pure math, physics, and even electrical engineering but the phenomena that the math explains is much more tied to a deductive physical problem. With that mathematical foundation, youíll need to explain difficult to measure properties which are described in dimensionless numbers.

Dimensionless numbers are completely artificial concepts used to explain physical and chemical properties. Moreover, minute changes at the microscale will influence those dimensionless properties in a way that ties with the macroscale. Once you get into the turbulent regime, the cleanliness of the math quickly breaks down and youíre relying number more on Moody diagrams to make comparisons across length scales. While dimensionless numbers are used in a variety of fields, they are cranked to overdrive in chemical engineering.

With the overlap between chemistry, physics, materials, and engineering principles, you effectively have extremely complex and unstable problems that have a lot of unpredictability behind them and you need to tie all of that together with equations. This requires students to wear a variety of problem solving hats and this legitimately makes chemical engineering a difficult field.


Source: https://www.quora.com/Is-chemical-en...e-it-out-to-be



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