Graduate Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering.  In our PhD program, students develop into innovative problem solvers, working closely with a faculty member to advance human knowledge through an original research project.  Read more about the research interests of our faculty on the Research page.

Professional Master's in Chemical Engineering.  The next step for a rising professional, our Professional Master's program jumpstarts careers with industry-focused project-based learning in the concentrations of Bioengineering or Advanced Process Engineering.  This unique degree program partners students with industry as part of a Graduate Qualifying Project (GQP).  In this way, students gain experience by solving real problems and interacting with potential future employers.

Master's in Chemical Engineering.  This degree program offers both thesis and non-thesis options, permitting individualized training in the Chemical Engineering discipline beyond the undergraduate level. Students with a chemistry background, but no chemical engineering background, are also encouraged to apply.


A Continuing Tradition of Innovation

WPI’s Chemical Engineering Department has a rich history of innovative research in the areas of membrane science, materials science, catalysis and reaction engineering. During the past decade we have hired new faculty and expanded our efforts to become a leader in the fields of bioengineering and energy.

Research Environment

Faculty research groups typically consist of a combination of postdocs, doctoral students, masters students, and undergraduate students, enabling diverse, dynamic teams of students to solve complex problems at the interfaces of engineering and science. WPI’s emphases on project based learning, interdisciplinary approaches, international perspectives and industrial relevance enable students to thrive in a contemporary research environment and to obtain a distinctive research preparation for careers in industry, academia, and government.

WPI Graduate Student Behnam Partopour wins award at the 2017 AIChE National Meeting

Behnam Partopour won the Area 20 poster session with his poster entitled "An integrated workflow for numerical generation and meshing of packed beds of non-spherical particles: Applications in chemical reaction engineering." Congratulations Behnam!

His abbreviated abstract:

Packed beds of different particle shapes are widely used in different areas of the chemical industry. Therefore, numerical generation of these beds is highly desired. In this work we introduce the automated packed bed generator (PBG) package for spherical and non-spherical particles based on the Bullet physics library. The bed properties for packed beds of different particle shapes are validated against existing experimental and computational data in the literature. Finally, for the first time the generated geometries are successfully used for resolved particle fixed-bed CFD simulations.

Scientists search for cheaper and cleaner alternatives

With a $500,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, Michael Timko is exploring the use of solid acids in biomass conversion, which he believes will simplify the breakdown process, significantly reduce the cost of biofuels (making them not only competitive with, but possibly less expensive than fossil fuels), and, ultimately, create a cleaner and more sustainable source of energy for the world.

Turning Plant Waste into Fuel with Solid Acids

Professor Datta demonstrates new membrane technology for hydrogen fuel cells

New liquid metal membranes could make hydrogen fuel cells more efficient, less expensive, and more durable.

Professor Deskins receives NSF sponsorship for two projects

Congratulations to Chemical Engineering Professor N. Aaron Deskins for two recent projects funded by the National Science Foundation!  

Professor Deskins, in collaboration with WPI Mechanical Engineering Professor Pratap Rao, received NSF funding for  “Engineering Charge Transport through Directed Orientation of Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Catalysts."  The project aims to improve the process of charge transport between these layered catalysts and other materials by understanding the influence of layer orientation and edge chemistry. This work will 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, also received funding for “Hydrogen Production via Highly Efficient Electrochemical Reforming of Ethanol in a Proton Exchange Membrane Cell.” The project works to develop better catalyst materials for conversion of ethanol into hydrogen. Ethanol can be obtained from biowaste and other biomass. This work will lead to efficient, cleaner methods to produce hydrogen, a valuable fuel and chemical feedstock. 

Professor Amy Peterson awarded NSF REU

Congratulations to Professor Amy Peterson and WPI Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Aaron Sakulich for receiving National Science Foundation REU sponsorship for “Advanced materials and processes for a resilient society."  Research under this award will investigate creative materials & process solutions to maintaining the deteriorating built environment, one of the 14 grand challenges in engineering identified by the National Academy of Engineering.  Read more here!

Professor Amy Peterson receives Office of Naval Research sponsorship

Congratulations to WPI Chemical Engineering Professor Amy Peterson for her recent award entitled “Thermal modeling of BAAM for tailoring residual stresses and strength” sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. Additive manufacturing (AM) offers the ability to fabricate complex structures that could not previously be achieved, or which could only be achieved with significant waste. Big area additive manufacturing (BAAM) is a large-scale form of polymer AM in which a filament is extruded layer-by-layer onto a bed. Residual stresses in BAAM structures can lead to distortions or delamination. The project will develop a fundamental understanding of the effects of BAAM material and processing parameters on the interlayer bonding and residual stresses in large scale additively manufactured composite parts. Thermal finite element modeling of the BAAM process will be performed collaboratively with ongoing experimental as well as 1-D and 2-D simulation efforts.