Chemical Engineering

Who we are

We work hard to shape scientific minds in a familial, friendly, tight-knit atmosphere. You’ll be made to feel welcome from the very first day, forming strong bonds with your professors and fellow students that will benefit you professionally and personally.

What we do

In focused research groups, students and faculty within WPI’s Chemical Engineering Department go beyond the classroom to solve real-world problems, continuing to make discoveries in areas like environmental protection, renewable energy, and life sciences, through research and development of new technologies, processes, and materials.

Degree is also offered online.
Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
Chemical Engineering bachelor master phd
Chemical Engineering (Professional MS) master
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Undergraduate Research Projects Showcase

A celebration of research, design, and creative theses—a requirement of every graduating senior through the Major Qualifying Project (MQP)—takes place each spring on campus. Student teams representing all academic departments present their work to their faculty advisors, external sponsors, and the community-at-large, and the public is invited.

Faculty Highlights

Christina Bailey-Hytholt

Professor Christina Bailey-Hytholt receives 2023 Extraordinary Women Advancing Healthcare Award from The Women's Edge

Christina Bailey-Hytholt, Assistant Professor Chemical Engineering, receives a 4th Annual Extraordinary Women Advancing Healthcare Award from The Women’s Edge (formerly The Commonwealth Institute), the leading nonprofit organization devoted to advancing women leaders. This award is the first of its kind in the nation, reaching across diverse sectors of healthcare – from life sciences, healthcare education and systems, to healthcare foundations, patient care, and public health. 

Elizabeth Stewart

Professor Elizabeth Stewart Receives NSF Engineering Research Initiation Award

Elizabeth Stewart, assistant professor of chemical engineering, received a $200,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Initiation (ERI) grant. Stewart’s grant will engineer an innovative microfluidic model to look specifically at how bacteria build biofilms on catheters inserted into blood vessels. 

Christina Bailey-Hytholt

Professor Christina Bailey-Hytholt receives the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 35 Under 35 Award

Christina Bailey-Hytholt, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, was selected for the prestigious AIChE 35 Under 35 Award. She is one of six awardees in the Bioengineering category, recognized for her impactful work on developing new biomaterials and drug delivery vehicles influencing fundamental understanding and treatment strategies for reproductive health complications.

Professor Eric Young

Professor Eric Young to lead Synthetic Biology course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Eric Young, the Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, will instruct a Synthetic Biology course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from July 26 - August 8, 2023. The course will focus on how the complexity of biological systems can be combined with traditional engineering approaches to result in new design principles for synthetic biology. 

Professor Christina Bailey-Hytholt named to Forbes 30 under 30

Christina Bailey-Hytholt, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, was named to the 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 list. She was recognized for her ground-breaking research on the placenta, an organ that has historically received little scientific attention compared to its importance for everyone living today. Congratulations!!!

Professor Andrew Teixeira awarded National Science Foundation CAREER Grant

Andrew Teixeira, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, was awarded a prestigious NSF CAREER grant for his project entitled "Nitrogen Activation: Splitting Kinetic Cycles and Breaking Energetic Barriers with Pulsed Catalysis." The five year award will develop a new catalytic strategy for overcoming thermodynamic and kinetic barriers by dynamically operating a catalytic cycle at various temperatures and thermodynamic environments.

Professor Eric Young awarded National Science Foundation CAREER Grant

Eric Young, the Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, was awarded a prestigious NSF CAREER grant for his project "A Red Yeast Cell Factory." The five year award will enable the bioengineering of basidiomycetes, a group of fungi essential to many important biological processes yet lacking tools available for other yeast.

Mike Timko on designing bioreactors for supercritical CO2

Associate Professor Mike Timko's collaborative work with researchers at MIT was recently published in Nature Communications. The paper, titled "Engineered microbial biofuel production and recovery under supercritical carbon dioxide," describes organism engineering and separations processes to produce biofuels in supercritical CO2. Congratulations to Professor Timko, his research team, and collaborators on this innovative work!

Professor Susan Zhou on Designing Biosensors

Researchers in the lab of Professor Hong Susan Zhou are developing a biosensor that doctors and nurses can use to quickly detect Clostridium difficile, a dangerous and sometimes fatal gastrointestinal infection. The work is funded by the National Science Foundation.


Contributions to systems and control theory by Professor Kazantzis are recognized by the scientific community

The work of Professor Nikolaos K. Kazantzis on nonlinear state estimation and observer design has been recognized and will be presented as a tutorial session by other members of the systems community at the 2022 European Control Conference in London.

Professor Deskins - Molecular modeling for the future of energy

Professor Deskins, in collaboration with WPI Mechanical Engineering Professor Pratap Rao, received funding to train clean energy innovators.

Professors Deskins and Rao also were awarded NSF funding to increase the efficiency of catalysts for the production and utilization of carbon-free or carbon-neutral fuels via electrical-to-chemical and solar-to-chemical processes. Professor Deskins, in collaboration with Professor Xiaowei Teng at the University of New Hampshire, is also funded to develop efficient, cleaner methods to produce hydrogen, a valuable fuel and chemical feedstock.

Professor Roberts on improving anticancer drug production

Department of Chemical Engineering Professor Sue Roberts, Department Head, was highlighted in the Worcester Telegram! The new genetic engineering technique developed by her research group could improve plant cell based production of the important anticancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol). 

NBC 10 Boston interviews Professor Michael Timko and PhD student Elizabeth Belden about their innovative research turning plastic into fuel. Check out the report here! 

WGBH interviews Professor Michael Timko on All Things Considered. Listen here!

Mike Timko highlighted in the news

Student Impact


Martin Thulani Milanzi '24

Milanzi Brings STEM to Refugees in Zambia

Student Spotlight

RJ Franzen ’24 MS ‘25
RJ Franzen ’24 MS ‘25
BS Chemical Engineering; MS Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Advanced Process Engineering

Active fraternity member RJ seeks to make a difference in the community while applying his skills learned inside and outside the classroom. [...]

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Paige Agostini '25
Paige Agostini '25
BS in Chemical Engineering with Environmental concentration

Paige’s passion for sustainability and making a difference in the community gives her a sense of place at WPI.  [...]

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Zachary Manfredi '24
Zachary Manfredi '24
BS Chemical Engineering, Minor in Music

Zachary takes advantage of the many opportunities on campus, both inside and outside of the lab or classroom. He hopes his research work and leadership roles help make a difference for others and the community.[...]

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Joelis Velez Diaz '24
Joelis Velez Diaz '24
BS in Chemical Engineering

Joelis discovers the importance of shared experiences in addressing real-world problems. [...]

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Elitumaini Swai '23, MS
Elitumaini Swai '23, MS
BS Chemical Engineering, MS Management

Elitumaini is looking to make a difference in her home country - inspiring the next generation of STEM students. [...]

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From the University Magazine

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Untapped Energy

WPI researchers use novel ideas to tackle the urgent need for clean energy.

Donor Profile

people in a lab

Randall D. Partridge ’72

This donor’s endowed research fund honors Professor Alvin H. Weiss and will help WPI chemical engineering students follow their research dreams as he was able to do while at WPI and well beyond.


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