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University of Rochester

Department of Chemical Engineering

Rochester, NY

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Overview

Graduate Studies in Chemical Engineering

The University of Rochester Chemical Engineering graduate program trains students for dynamic professional careers in a variety of specialties.

Our faculty and graduate researchers are motivated by scientific discovery and the application of chemical engineering fundamentals.  We are fortunate to have world-class leaders in the department who bring knowledge, expertise, and passion to bear at the device and the systems levels.  The department’s prime research strengths are advanced materials, catalysisbatteries,  biological & medical systems, theory & simulation, computational fluid dynamics, functional interfaces and optical materials.

Our collective faculty expertise in chemical engineering is significantly enhanced by interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues in biology, chemistry, environmental & earth sciences, physics, biomedical engineering, electrical & computer engineering, optics, the prestigious University of Rochester Medical School, and the renowned Laboratory for Laser Energetics on campus.  Together, we are committed to solving problems with far-reaching impacts on affordable energy resources, sustainable process engineering, and human health.

University of Rochester a Technological Leader

The University of Rochester enjoys a reputation as a world leader in technological innovation. The Laboratory for Laser Energetics' 60-beam OMEGA laser is the world's most powerful fusion laser, and faculty and alumni make up nearly a quarter of scientists on the board advising NASA on the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, which will replace the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011.

The university also has produced numerous Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as Guggenheim Fellows.

Graduate Degree Programs Span Variety of Chemical Engineering Areas

The Chemical Engineering graduate program at the University of Rochester offers two degrees: a Master of Science (M.S.) in Chemical Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering. 

In the M.S. programs, students have the option of obtaining their degree solely through coursework or through a combination of coursework and the successful defense of a thesis based on independent research.

Well-Funded Research Focuses on Disciplines

The Chemical Engineering Department's research efforts receive generous support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy, as well as from numerous private industries. 

The research efforts take on challenges related to biological, chemical, and physical properties of the environment, materials, and energy, and they emphasize four pivotal research cluster areas: advanced materials, catalysis, batteries : biological systems: medical systems: theory & simulations: computational fluid dynamics: functional interfaces: optical materials.

Advanced Materials Research Focus

Advanced materials are urgently needed to accelerate progress in emerging areas such as photonics, green process engineering, heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis, renewable energy, aerospace, tissue engineering and biomedicine. The intersection between engineering and materials science offers fertile ground for technological breakthroughs and is a hallmark of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester. Researchers skillfully apply thermodynamics, kinetics, and transport principles to design and achieve new materials with unprecedented end-properties.

Innovations have included glassy liquid crystals, vapor deposited polymer films, electrically responsive liquid crystal flakes, hydroxyapatite thin films for bone healing, and self-stretching polymers. Faculty and students have access to quality laboratory facilities, computational resources, and characterization tools.

Active Faculty / Research Areas

Anthamatten: Macromolecular & Nanoparticle Self-Assembly; Associative & Functional Polymers; Nanostructured Materials; Interfacial Phenomena; Optoelectronic Materials; Vapor Deposition Polymerization; Shape-Memory Polymers

Chen:  Glassy Liquid Crystals; Robust Photoalignment Polymers; Organic Semiconductors; Self-Organization of Nanoparticles; Optoelectronic Devices

Müller: Solid-State Electrocatalysis; Pulsed Laser in Liquids Synthesis of Controlled Nanomaterials; Nanocatalyst Property–Functionality Relationships; Selective CO2 Reduction Catalysis.

Porosoff: CO2 Reduction; Heterogeneous Catalysis; Catalyst Structure-Property Relationships; C1 Chemistry; Upgrading Light Alkanes.

Shestopalov:  Monomolecular Interfaces; Nano-Scale Contact Patterning; Electronic Properties of Monomolecular Films; Multicomponent Anisotropic Colloids

Tenhaeff: Electrochemical Energy Storage; Solid State Lithium Batteries and Solid Electrolytes; Polymer Thin Films, Interfaces and Thin Film Synthesis & Characterization; Vacuum Deposition Techniques

White:  Modeling Peptide Self-Assembly; Data-Driven Molecular Simulation; Molecular Modeling Methods Development; Materials Design; Deep Learning; Artificial Intelligence in Chemical Engineering

Yates:  Thin Films; Membranes; Coatings; Small Particles; Crystallization; Microencapsulation; Electrolytic Surface Coatings and Electrochemical Surface Modification

Catalysis Research Focus

Catalysis science is a cornerstone of chemical engineering, which touches one-third of the global GDP. With diminishing crude oil reserves and efforts to increase energy efficiency and lower emissions, catalysis science is at the center of innovations to produce chemicals and fuels via novel routes. Chemical engineers are at the core of this discipline by designing new catalysts that replace expensive precious metals with low-cost materials and by identifying reaction pathways to synthesize commodity chemicals via abundant raw materials (e.g., carbon dioxide and methane). Chemical engineering at the University of Rochester is uniquely equipped to educate students in heterogeneous catalysis, with two faculty recently hired with expertise in this area. By forming collaborations with homogeneous catalysis scientists in the chemistry department, the University of Rochester is poised to answer calls by the Department of Energy to bridge the gap between the two distinct areas of the field and develop collaborative research projects.

Electrocatalysis is a rich scientific discipline that integrates chemistry, materials science, thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and transport phenomena, i.e. the core competencies of chemical engineers. Chemical Engineering is the only department at the University of Rochester that offers extensive expertise and training of students in this vital field, in pursuit of efficient electrochemical conversion of climate-damaging carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and upgraded chemicals.

Active Faculty / Research Areas

Müller: Solid-State Electrocatalysis; Pulsed Laser in Liquids Synthesis of Controlled Nanomaterials; Nanocatalyst Property–Functionality Relationships; Selective CO2 Reduction Catalysis.

Porosoff:  CO2 Reduction; Heterogeneous Catalysis; Catalyst Structure-Property Relationships; C1 Chemistry; Upgrading Light Alkanes.

Batteries Research Focus

Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are essential to modern daily life, powering smartphones, laptop/tablet computers, and increasingly electric vehicles. The field of electrochemical energy storage is highly interdisciplinary with chemists, material scientists and engineers working together to address the many challenges to safe, long life, energy dense batteries. At the University of Rochester, chemical engineers are contributing through the development of novel solid-state lithium conductors (solid electrolytes), engineering electrochemical interfaces through surface functionalization and coatings, and by advancing next-generation lithium ion battery designs.

Active Faculty / Research Areas

Jorné: Electrochemistry; Energy Conversion & Storage; Fuel Cells; Flow Batteries; Lithium Batteries; Green Energy; Microelectronic Processing; Copper Electrodeposition; Reaction-Diffusion Interactions; Scaling Theory.

Tenhaeff: Electrochemical Energy Storage; Solid State Lithium Batteries and Solid Electrolytes; Polymer Thin Films, Interfaces and Thin Film Synthesis & Characterization; Vacuum Deposition Techniques.

Biological & Medical Systems Research Focus

Prof. White uses deep learning as a tool for understanding complex biochemical systems that govern the design of drugs. Deep learning can provide accurate data-driven predictions for the design of new drugs and is especially important in complex biologic therapeutics like peptide drugs or delivered drugs.

Prof. Foster has active projects with three different departments at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Neurosurgery, Eastman Dental and Urology, to simulate flow dynamics relevant to medical systems. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the application of numerical methods to create simulations of systems of interest in many areas of engineering. The general mathematical approach is to discretize the governing equations of fluid flow using finite volume methods to solve the equations of motion numerically via iterative procedures. We use CFD in various medical related projects to assist physicians at URMC in patient care and treatment.

The Yates group synthesizes coatings designed to interact with biochemical species. Electrochemical synthesis has been used to apply coatings on titanium that have been designed to promote bone growth and prevent bacterial infection in orthopedic implant applications. Polymer coatings have been designed to enhance the performance of photonic biosensors by promoting strong interaction of the analyte with the surface of the sensing element.

Active Faculty / Research Areas

White:  Modeling Peptide Self-Assembly; Data-Driven Molecular Simulation; Molecular Modeling Methods Development; Materials Design; Deep Learning; Artificial Intelligence in Chemical Engineering

Foster: Fluid Mechanics; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Rheology of Non-Newtonian Fluids; Biological Transport Phenomena

Yates:  Thin Films; Membranes; Coatings; Small Particles; Crystallization; Microencapsulation; Electrolytic Surface Coatings and Electrochemical Surface Modification

Theory and Simulation Research Focus

Robust theory and simulation is a core part of interdisciplinary research, especially in chemical engineering, as we develop complex new materials, study increasingly complex biochemical systems and model sophisticated electrochemical systems. Theory and simulation provide the tools to develop detailed molecular-level understanding, offer predictions for complex systems, and enable rationale design of molecules and materials. Recent trends in areas like data-science and machine learning are creating new directions for chemical engineering theory and simulation, leading to new advances and new funding directions. For example, the material genome initiative at NIST and NSF and the computational data-science enabled cross-cutting program at NSF are funding opportunities specifically focused on theory and simulation research that use data-science. Our department has expertise in molecular dynamics, network theory, ab ignition quantum dynamic, electrochemical finite element modeling and empirical data-driven models.  Our work utilized the state-of-the-art computational resources provided through the university’s Center for Integrated Research Computing. The department also has fostered the development of a university-wide center for simulation, bringing together faculties in other departments focused specifically on molecular simulation. Our excellence in computational tools is emphasized in our undergraduate education as well, with a core class covering computational methods, computational statistics, and a significant use of computation in our upper-level courses.

Active Faculty / Research Areas

White:  Modeling Peptide Self-Assembly; Data-Driven Molecular Simulation; Molecular Modeling Methods Development; Materials Design; Deep Learning; Artificial Intelligence in Chemical Engineering

Computational Fluid Dynamics Research Focus

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the application of numerical methods to create simulations of systems of interest in many areas of engineering. The general mathematical approach is to discretize the governing equations of fluid flow using finite volume methods to solve the equations of motion numerically via iterative procedures. The discipline exists at the intersection of fluid mechanics, mathematics and computer science. As computer systems have evolved and become more capable, the opportunities to use CFD to simulate complex processes have become more useful, accepted and available. CFD is currently used in many industries to simulate complex processes for understanding and process development. It also enables simulations in design spaces that are either impractical or dangerous to perform physically. CFD is an established technique in many industries and is now being used in medical, environmental and energy systems. It is common to combine other processes such as heat transfer, particle size distribution and electrochemistry with the CFD code to expand what can be learned. CFD also enables the study of complex biological systems in vitro without harming the patient. Researchers at the University of Rochester are fortunate to have access to the state-of-the-art computational resources provided through the University’s Center for Integrated Research Computing, to enable complex CFD calculations.

Active Faculty / Research Areas

Foster: Fluid Mechanics; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Rheology of Non-Newtonian Fluids; Biological Transport Phenomena

Functional Interfaces Research Focus

Material interfaces play a crucial role in such fundamental phenomena as adhesion, friction, separation, light scattering, and heterogeneous molecular interactions. Therefore, a wide-ranging control over the interfacial material properties would catalyze implementation of a vast range of innovations spanning multiple disciplines such as sensing and recognition, heterogeneous catalysis, electrocatalysis, polymer science, material separation and filtration, nano-scale manufacturing, molecular electronics and others. Chemical engineers at the University of Rochester advance fundamental molecular engineering at interfaces, especially as applied to novel molecular and thin-film coating, nano-scale fabrication, processing of soft materials, and interfacial molecular interactions and transport. The Chemical Engineering Department and the University of Rochester provide researchers with access to a broad range of preparation and characterization equipment, and to excellent computational tools.

Active Faculty / Research Area

Müller: Solid-State Electrocatalysis; Pulsed Laser in Liquids Synthesis of Controlled Nanomaterials; Nanocatalyst Property–Functionality Relationships; Selective CO2 Reduction Catalysis

Shestopalov:  Monomolecular Interfaces; Nano-Scale Contact Patterning; Electronic Properties of Monomolecular Films; Multicomponent Anisotropic Colloids

Tenhaeff: Electrochemical Energy Storage; Solid State Lithium Batteries and Solid Electrolytes; Polymer Thin Films, Interfaces and Thin Film Synthesis & Characterization; Vacuum Deposition Techniques

White:  Modeling Peptide Self-Assembly; Data-Driven Molecular Simulation; Molecular Modeling Methods Development; Materials Design; Deep Learning; Artificial Intelligence in Chemical Engineering

Yates:  Thin Films; Membranes; Coatings; Small Particles; Crystallization; Microencapsulation; Electrolytic Surface Coatings and Electrochemical Surface Modification

Optical Materials Research Focus

Optical materials include glasses, thin films, structured media that influence the transmission and reflection of light. The department leads a center, Advanced Materials for Photonics and Lasers (AMPL), that includes member institutions from industry, academic, and departments across UR. The focus of AMPL is on polarization control through novel glassy liquid crystals and mesomorphic ceramics

Active Faculty / Research Area

Anthamatten: Macromolecular & Nanoparticle Self-Assembly; Associative & Functional Polymers; Nanostructured Materials; Interfacial Phenomena; Optoelectronic Materials; Vapor Deposition Polymerization; Shape-Memory Polymers

Chen:  Glassy Liquid Crystals; Robust Photoalignment Polymers; Organic Semiconductors; Self-Organization of Nanoparticles; Optoelectronic Devices

Financial Aid Includes Tuition Waivers

Tuition scholarships up to 50 percent of registered credit hours are awarded typically to M.S. students in Chemical Engineering require all students to perform teaching in return for the tuition scholarship. 

Doctoral students typically receive a full tuition scholarship, in addition to a stipend. In their first year of study, the stipend is in the form of a grant, and in subsequent years, all students are expected to perform teaching and research in return for the stipend.

University of Rochester Balances Science, Arts, Recreation

In addition to its technological offerings, the University of Rochester supports a vibrant environment, with the Eastman School of Music's Eastman Wind Ensemble, for example, representing a pioneering force in the symphonic band movement, and the Memorial Art Gallery featuring one of the most balanced collections of American Art outside of New York City. 

The surrounding city of Rochester, New York, offers a thriving cultural urban center close to the Finger Lakes region, where recreational opportunities including hiking, skiing, and boating abound. 

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Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 14
Doctoral Degrees 2

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Alternate accepted
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required
Qualifying exam

Admissions

Acceptance Rate

116
Applied
40
Accepted
15
Enrolled
34%

Applying

60
Application Fee - Domestic
Yes
Electronic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline January 15th January 15th No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE
Master's Degree Requirements Curriculum vitae, personal and research statement, three letters of recommendation, official transcript
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE
Doctoral Degree Requirements Curriculum vitae, personal and research statement, three letters of recommendation, official transcript

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Recommended TOEFL IBT score: 90
IELTS: Recommended IELTS Paper score: 7

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Application deadlines for financial awards April 15
Types of financial support available Fellowships
Teaching Assistantships
Health Care Benefits
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

42
Total Graduate Students
61%
International Breakout (representing other countries)

Race/Ethnicity

Hispanic/Latino 2.38%
Black or African American 0%
White or Caucasian 33%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 0%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Unknown 2.38%

Gender

Male (69%)
Female (30%)

Faculty

11
Total faculty
Full-time - 11
Part-time - 0
Male (10)
Female (1)

Research

Focus of faculty research: Advanced materials, biotechnology, electrochemistry, theory and simulation, functional interfaces
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year:
1,066,447

Location & Contact

Address 4510 Wegmans Hall, PO 270166
Rochester, NY  14627
United States
Contact Mitch Anthamatten
Department Chair
Email: mitchell.anthamatten@rochester.edu
Phone: 585-273-5526

University of Rochester
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