The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) at Iowa State offers three graduate degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science (MS), and the non-thesis degree Master of Engineering (MEngr). Click an image below to explore the degree program you desire.
Iowa State conducts research in six general areas of chemical and biological engineering. If you’re not sure which area is best for you, learn what research our faculty are doing.
- Advanced and Nanostructured Materials
- Catalysis and Reaction Engineering
- Computational Fluid Dynamics
- Health Care Technology and Biomedical Engineering
- Renewable Energy
The department offers outstanding facilities and resources that help students succeed in their academic and research endeavors. These include excellent laboratories, advanced computing environments and modern classrooms.
The department is housed in Sweeney Hall, which contains 44,000-plus square feet of modern laboratory and office space, including a series of advanced teaching laboratories. The state-of-the-art research facilities include laboratories for:
- Atomic force microscopy
- Biochemical and protein separations
- Catalyst characterization
- Cell and tissue culture
- Chemical vapor deposition and reactive sputtering
- Gene delivery
- Particle imaging velocimetry
- Particle size analysis and light scattering
- Polymer characterization
- Spectroscopic techniques
In the upgraded computing facilities for undergraduates, students use PCs on which they carry out simulations and write research and laboratory reports.
Space in the Biorenewables Research Laboratory also houses chemical engineering research.
Iowa State University Community is Highly Acclaimed
Ames, Iowa, is the home of Iowa State University. We are proud to have reached many “top” lists for desirable qualities. Such lists include:
Graduate Program Alumni are Hugely Successful
Alumni from Iowa State chemical engineering graduate programs have gone on to work for globally recognized companies and organizations, such as Cargill, Dow Chemical Company, 3M, Dow Corning Corp., Emerson Process Management, General Mills, Archer Daniels Midland Company, LyondellBasell and more. Alumni have even carried an entrepreneurial spirit with them after completing their Iowa State degrees:
- Ankit Agarwal, 2007 PhD alumnus, started Imbed Biosciences, a Wisconsin-based company that develops advanced materials for wound healing
- William Schroeder and Thomas Paskach, 2001 and 2002 PhD alumni respectively, co-founded Nitro Ice Cream (now franchised under Blue Sky Creamery) with their invention using liquid nitrogen to flash freeze ice cream
- John Kaiser, 1987 MS alumnus, became global R&D director of cocoa/chocolate for Mars Company
The global academic community also has welcomed our graduates and their research advances. While dozens of graduate alumni now research and teach, here we name a few:
- Deniz Uner, 1994 PhD alumna, is the professor and chair of chemical engineering at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey
- Ganesh Sriram, 2004 PhD alumnus, is a member of University of Maryland’s Clark School Academy of Distinguished Professors (Keystone)
- James Halligan (BSChE’62, MSChE’65, PhDChE’67) is an Oklahoma senator and a former administrator at Texas Tech University (professor and chair), University of Missouri-Rolla (dean of engineering), University of Arkansas (engineering dean and interim chancellor), New Mexico State University (president), and Oklahoma State University (president)
- George Burnet (BSChE’48, MSChE’49, PhDChE’51), is an Anson Marston Distinguished professor emeritus, former Iowa State department head, and former national president of the American Society of Engineering Education
Iowa State Chemical Engineering Recruits from All Over
Iowa State chemical engineering graduate programs have attracted students from more than 100 universities throughout the United States and around the world. Many have recognized the leading chemical engineering research and land-grant philosophy Iowa State breeds. These ideals encourage practical approaches to chemical engineering problems and the sharing of knowledge among other U.S. states and countries around the world. In fact, Iowa State University was one of the first institutions founded on these ideals.
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