The distinctive characteristics of the chemical engineering graduate program at Kansas State University include the following:
Emphasis on educating Ph.D. students
The Department admits primarily Ph.D. candidates, with the goal of increasing its research productivity, thereby enhancing its recognition among peer institutes. In the Fall of 2015, the ratio of Ph.D. to M.S. candidates was 12:1.
Strong financial support for graduate students
All on-campus students receive competitive stipends in addition to their tuition. The Department is, therefore, selective in accepting the highest quality, most committed applicants to the graduate program. The solid financial support makes it possible for students to focus on their studies and research. Funding comes from industrial contracts or donations, government grants, and private gifts.
Extensive multidisciplinary collaborations
Faculty and graduate students collaborate with a wide variety of other disciplines and institutions (both universities and government laboratories) to access needed expertise for their projects. Many of the papers from the Department involve coauthors from other disciplines and institutions. Recent collaborators included faculty and researchers from countries such as Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, and Sweden, and from disciplines such as chemistry, biochemistry, grain science, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science. These collaborative efforts are tremendously beneficial to students’ educational experience by providing wide-ranging perspectives.
Excellent educational and professional development opportunities for students
The courses taken by students comprise a combination of advance core chemical engineering courses in thermodynamics, reaction engineering, transport phenomena, and process systems engineering that develop depth, and electives courses in mathematics, sciences, and engineering fields that enable students to acquire expertise in their specialties. Through research, students learn new analytical and experimental skills by practice, strategies for problem solving, and the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively. Students learn effective oral and written communication through presentations at professional meetings and publications in technical journals. They also work closely with their advisors and collaborators, learning from their experiences and expertise. This frequently involves traveling to attend meetings or visiting government laboratories and other universities, where students can interact with colleagues in their fields. Upon completing their education, they find a multitude of unique employment opportunities in academia, private industries, public institutions, and government agencies.
Research with major impact
Research in the Department addresses problems of foremost societal significance and of vital economic importance. Major topics addressed encompass: sustainable energy production, storage, and transmission; the environment; homeland security; health; catalysis; semiconductors; separations; nanoparticles; and process synthesis. Studies are both fundamental - generating new knowledge, and applied - developing new processes and technologies. The research advances existing industries and spawns new enterprises. Graduates from the program are capable of becoming leaders in their respective fields of choice.