Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is everything.
Everything you don’t really know where it comes from, a chemical engineer has had a
hand in it. That vitamin you took this morning, we helped
manufacture it. The plastic that you’re sitting on in class, we had a hand in that. Oil materials
and plastics, and things that people use every single day. Potential application in drug
delivery–drug and gene delivery. Fuel cell and battery technology. You take something
that’s cheap–raw materials–and you turn it into something expensive. and we can do
it in so many fields that no one really knows we’re there but we’re having this great impact
on the world at large. because of the breadth of the discipline it allows you to have a
very broad perspective in terms of what you want to do. you can work in a plant you can
go to medical school. you can become a policy person. manufacture pharmaceuticals, to manufacture
plastic–a lot of people end up going into the business side of it. the job prospects
once you graduate are a lot greater than other majors. people get job offers even in bad
economies and with very good salaries so there’s a very pragmatic benefit to the student. our
research is focused in three main thrusts. One being advanced micro-nano materials, the
other one is biomolecular engineering, and the third one is renewable energy. I love
the breadth of research that we have going on so that there’s really–everyone can find
their own flavor their own passion. Biomolecular engineering reflects that the future of the
world is more and more biological. eventually we’re going to be using a lot of microbes
to do a lot of the productions that we’re doing. we’re kind of getting a jump on the
future. Oak Ridge National Lab is obviously very close to campus. They have equipment,
they have resources, and they have expertise that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.
The professors in our department are outstanding. They know me by name, I’m not just a number.
To have the opportunity to work with somebody which is so knowledgeable and so experienced
in the topic that you’re interested in–that’s something that will help take your research
to another level. When I started working in a lab, that’s when I really started to like
college. We’re not just glass washers in the labs. We’re actually doing the research we’re
getting our hands dirty our professors are listening to us. Which is pretty exciting
because I don’t think you get that everywhere. Hopefully we get what we strive for which
is students that are leaders and innovators. Not just engineers. When we educate a student
and send them out there as an engineer they’re really prepared to face some of the biggest
challenges that are out there. We have a lot of fun too, so, I’ve had a really worthwhile
experience here. And I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It’s important to love where you’re
going to school and UT makes it really easy to love it here.

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