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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.

CHEE professor Kim Ogden has made headlines recently for being named head of the UA’s new Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions Center and 2019 president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

The new UA center, which will research the efficient growth of plants and algae to use as biofuels, is funded by a five-year grant of up to $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Research will focus on guar, a legume that can be used to recover gas and oil in fracking operations, and guayule, a flowering shrub that produces organic resins and natural rubber. Both plants grow well in the Southwest, and researchers hope their work will serve as an example of how to produce biofuels in dry climates.

Ogden was first elected to the AIChE board of directors in 2014. Her appointment to AIChE makes...

From left to right, Carlos Weiler, Stephanie Gustavsson and Kira ZeiderStephanie Gustavsson, Carlos Weiler and Kira Zeider talk about their first semester as CHEE majors.

Tell us a little about yourself and where you are from.

Stephanie: I’m a Swedish citizen and from an American point of view I would classify myself as a nontraditional student. I started college at Santa Monica College in Los Angeles when I was 22, which is later than most of my American friends. I spent my time off school working and travelling, going on adventures, and gaining valuable life experience. Mostly I had fun.

Carlos: I’m a sophomore dual majoring in chemical engineering and environmental engineering, with a minor in Spanish. I am a diehard Wildcat, born and raised in Tucson. I’m in the Tau Beta Pi honor society and involved with other clubs on campus. I volunteer at the local animal shelter when I can and in my spare time I like to run and play soccer...

UA EWB Travel Team and Community LeadershipThe UA’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, or EWB, offers a place for the next generation of engineers to learn, grow, and lead projects of a magnitude they don’t typically experience in school, according to Sarah Moore.

Moore, former international project manager and current secretary of the EWB Mountain Region’s steering committee, has been a part of the organization since she first started her undergraduate career at the University of Arizona, where she is a doctoral candidate in CHEE. While working with EWB, Moore traveled to Bolivia in 2015 and to the Dominican Republic in January 2017. The project in the Dominican Republic is focused on irrigation.

“The community relies on rainwater for crops and wells, so we are working on an irrigation project that would help them have water year-round,” she said. The club plans to go back to the Dominican Republic in a few months to continue surveying the land in preparation for implementation.

An important part of...

UA chemical and environmental engineering alumna and environmental engineer Sofia 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...


University of Arizona College of Engineering