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Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Civil Engineering Building, which houses the department of chemical and environmental engineering

We offer BS, MS and PhD degrees in both chemical and environmental engineering. Our programs are large enough to attract recruiters from a variety of industries, including consulting firms, government, manufacturing, petroleum, semiconductors and utilities – but small enough for individual attention. We encourage our undergraduates to become involved in research projects funded by industry, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and other organizations.

UA chemical and environmental engineering alumna and environmental engineer Sarah Laughland recently introduced Anchorage School District girls to the world of math and science careers.

The goal is to get girls considering STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—careers earlier in their education.

As part of a partnership between Anchorage School District, the Girl Scouts of Alaska and ExxonMobil, Laughland participated in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, teaching students how cosmetics and chemical engineering go hand-in-hand during her science lesson on lip gloss.

"Most people when they think about engineering don't think about makeup. They think about oil and gas or Procter & Gamble manufacturing. But makeup gets manufactured as well," Laughland explained.

UA research associate Bob Seaman and Chris Yazzie, a master's degree student in environmental engineering, fasten solar panels to the roof of the bus that will purify water in Navajo Nation.

Kimberly Ogden, professor of chemical and environmental engineering, is helping develop a STEM traineeship to support food, energy and water security, or FEWS, in the Navajo Nation.

Led by Karletta Chief, assistant professor in the UA Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, the NSF-funded traineeship will focus initially on building the program and recruiting students, with enrollment beginning in August 2018.

Once enrolled, at least 26 graduate students will major in STEM disciplines while completing internships, a FEWS-themed minor, professional development and immersion in indigenous communities.

Joe Schlosser is among the first University of Arizona undergraduates to double-major in chemical engineering and environmental engineering – and he’ll be the first CHEE student in recent history to graduate with a first authorship, for a 2017 paper on wildfire emissions.

Shot below the wing of an aircraft, with a wildfire burning on a mountain in the distance Joe Schlosser didn’t grow up planning a life where he would be published in a well-known scientific journal before he completed his undergraduate degree. Even as a high school graduate, Schlosser had no inkling that he would be involved in environmental studies. He trained to be a paramedic after high school and has continued to work as one for the past five years.

“You get to a point as a paramedic where you stop learning,” he said. “And I always want the knowledge gained from solving more problems.”

In search of that knowledge, Schlosser enrolled in fall 2014 as a student at the UA, where he will earn bachelor’s degrees in both chemical engineering and the new environmental en...

Kerri Hickenbottom and Andrea Achilli joined the CHEE faculty this semester. Both aim to further their research while making a positive impact on students.

Andrea Achilli, a new assistant professor in the CHEE department, says he has always been a curious person, and his passion for his research stems from the personal need to know more.

Achilli received his combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Ancona in Italy.

“The PhD programs in the states are truly the best,” said Achilli, who pursued his doctorate in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. With his PhD, Achilli earned a position at Humboldt State University. Following this placement, he came to the University of Arizona in the hope of better research opportunities.

UA’s Water & Energy Sustainable Technology Center was a big draw for Achilli. In one of his past research projects, Achilli essentially made energy out of water using waters with different levels of salinity....

University of Arizona engineers and recently delivered a mobile water treatment system to an off-the-grid school in a water-scarce Navajo community. The system, developed with local consulting firm Apex Applied Technology, is built into a refurbished operational school bus, which also houses a laboratory, adding an educational component.

“It’s a way to extend infrastructure to these communities,” said Bob Arnold, UA professor of chemical and environmental engineering and an expert in water purification and wastewater treatment systems.

The desert portion of the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona receives only 7 to 11 inches of rain per year. There is, however, plenty of groundwater, but it is high in salinity and contaminated with metals such as uranium, in some areas. According to Vicky Karanikola, UA adjunct professor in chemical and environmental engineering, this supply can – if treated -- provide water to the Na...

Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, represent only about 3 percent of U.S. climate pollution, but can be 1,000 to 12,000 times as potent as CO2 emissions.

Paul Blowers, University Distinguished Professor in the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department, said in an interview reprinted in Scientific American that 1 kilogram of HFCs can equal 1.7 tons of carbon dioxide pollution.

The EPA approved a federal rule to cut to HFCs in 2015 by mandating companies replace the gas in refrigerator cases. HFC manufacturers Mexichem Fluor and Arkema of France sued the EPA over the decision, and a three-judge panel decided the EPA overstepped its bounds.

According to Blowers, despite their potency, HFCs are easier to regulate than vehicular emissions because there are far fewer HFC-reliant refrigeration units in use than there are vehicles on the road.

The court’s decision can be appealed either t...

University of Arizona College of Engineering