Professional Master's Program


1. Biochemical Engineering
Energy System Fundamentals and Processes
Kinetics, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering
4. Particulate Products and Processes
5. Pharmaceutical Engineering

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Program Details

List of Courses
Frequently Asked Questions
Cost of Living

The School of Chemical Engineering is proud to announce five new concentrations for the Professional Master’s Program, starting with fall 2015. This will be a full time, non-thesis, 12-month program on the West Lafayette campus. Participants in this program will receive a Master in Chemical Engineering degree.

This initiative is designed specifically to prepare university graduates for specialized careers in industry and government, or to broaden the prospects of university graduates with careers in progress.

The new concentrations will provide advanced technical education combined with development of professional management skills in key areas of chemical engineering related to industry sectors of regional, national and international importance. Most courses are offered in Chemical Engineering, but there is also a wide variety of electives in related discipline areas such as Industrial & Physical Pharmacy and Biomedical Engineering. As part of the electives courses, students can undertake independent research during the summer in world-class laboratories. The program offers students the opportunity to take some management, finance, marketing and operations courses through Krannert, enabling them to be successful in management roles, in addition to engineering.

The School anticipates that the program will attract a vibrant cohort of qualified students, given the strong Purdue ChE reputation and an increasingly critical need for specialized knowledge. Purdue Chemical Engineering has always ranked high in employment statistics and there will be many opportunities available for the graduates of these new concentrations in the Professional MS program.


1.     Biochemical Engineering

Biochemical engineering applies the combination of knowledge of living systems with engineering principles to the large scale manufacture of valuable products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, enzymes and antibodies. This concentration will prepare students with a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of biological processes based on the core areas of chemical engineering; thermodynamics, kinetics, and transport phenomena. Topics that will be covered are enzyme kinetics coupled with mass transfer, bioreactor design and operation, genetic and metabolic engineering, animal cell culture and purification of bioproducts. Students and faculty in the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue are researching the efficient conversion of raw materials such as sugars, woody biomass or CO2 by a wide array of processes into useful bioproducts. The design and operation of the production and separation systems for biomolecules is a significant focus of biochemical engineers. Career paths are primarily available in the food, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries.


2.     Energy System Fundamentals and Processes

The Energy System Fundamentals and Processes program will prepare well students in key fundamental concepts that govern transformation and use of energy in industrial processes as well as in daily human activities. Students will become expert in the use of thermodynamic principles to assess efficiency of various energy conversion as well as separation processes. They will learn what to do and what not to do while synthesizing and designing energy processes. Students will develop system level mastery for the entire landscape of energy that will include fossil resources such as coal, natural gas, oil, etc. as well as renewable resources including solar, biomass, etc. Common features of various energy conversions processes that are independent of the energy source will be highlighted. This will enable students to perform systems level analysis for evaluating complex and highly interconnected energy processes and activities.

The mastery of the course will enable rational decisions related to energy transformations and usage. The systems level understanding will lead to quick identification of process/system inefficiencies and provide tools for creating innovative solutions.


3.     Kinetics, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering

The Kinetics, Catalysis and Reaction Engineering program will introduce students to the design and operation of chemical and catalytic reactors. These vessels are usually the most important part in a chemical plant or oil refinery.  Chemical Engineers, with their knowledge of kinetics, heat and mass transfer, separations and control, are the only engineers trained with all the tools necessary to work with reactors. The team of instructors for this concentration is part of the Purdue Catalysis Center (PCC) and spans molecular level control of catalyst synthesis; detailed chemical kinetic analysis; a wide variety of structural and chemical characterization methods for catalysts, their surfaces and their interactions with reacting gases; molecular level theory; reactor modeling, analysis and design; and practical aspects of industrial processes.  With this expertise the PCC group offers unique opportunities for students to be trained in all aspects of developing new technologies, including simulations, experimentation, and economic analysis. In addition, we currently expose about 50 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students in the PCC to hands-on projects from fundamental science to industrial practice.  Students joining  this concentration will be in an ideal environment to learn this science and technology, augment it with specific management courses, and be able to apply the knowledge to solve important practical problems.


4.     Particulate Products and Processes

Processing of particulate solids is extremely important in producing many high value products. The products of interest are many and varied including protein and other biological materials, pharmaceuticals, detergents and consumer goods, foods, ceramics and high value materials, fertilizers and agricultural chemicals, and minerals. Estimates by the chemical industry are that over 80% of the products are in the form of particles either as delivered or during manufacturing. These products are worth more than 1 trillion dollars annually in the USA alone. However, many engineering programs focus mainly on fluids processing.  Particulate systems offer some unique challenges to scientists and engineers and often present the most interesting and difficult problems to be solved. 

The core of this program provides the students with fundamental understanding and tools in:

A.     Characterization of particles and powders;
B.     Design of systems for processing and handling particulate materials;
C.     Design of particulate products using processes that produce new particles and build them into delivery forms.

This core is supported by elective courses in application areas including pharmaceuticals, food and agricultural products.  An independent study project with an expert faculty, often linked to an industry sponsored project, is also possible.


5.     Pharmaceutical Engineering

The Pharmaceutical Engineering program addresses, using a holistic approach, the emerging problems of pharmaceutical production with special emphasis on the purification, formulation and administration of active pharmaceutical products and the development of novel healthcare engineering approaches. It takes from 10 to 15 years to bring a new pharmaceutical product to market at a cost which rapidly approaches $1 billion. Many potential new pharmaceutical products fail because researchers lack reliable information about their behavior and are unable to develop production processes which guarantee consistent product quality, stability and suitable dosage forms and methods. Courses are designed to provide graduates with the skills to be able to design and develop pharmaceutical products and modern manufacturing processes at the systems level, ensure quality of products through design, development and control, increase the technical depth of knowledge in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes and products, as well as to communicate, negotiate, and lead within a global pharmaceutical enterprise and manage pharmaceutical organizations and people.