University General Course Catalog 2016-2017 
    Jun 07, 2023  

Chemical and Materials Engineering

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Chemical and Materials Engineering

474 Laxalt Mineral Research Building
(775) 784-6771
Fax (775) 327-5059

Vision and Mission

The vision for the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department is to move our programs to achieve national and international recognition. This will result in the department being in the top 100 Chemical and Materials Engineering programs in the nation in five to ten years and the top 70 departments in the nation in ten to fifteen years.

The purpose of the degree programs in Chemical and Materials Engineering at UNR is to offer students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in the chemical engineering and materials sciences. Our mission is to educate students at a nationally competitive level in the fundamentals of the field, and to provide an opportunity to conduct small scale, independent research projects. We aim to educate students sufficiently to successfully enter academia, or to work in industry in positions of responsibility. In either case, our goal is to provide them with a knowledge base and skill set above that of BS level Chemical and Materials Engineers.

Our mission is to provide a quality education that prepares students for the challenges and opportunities presented by our modern technical society. Rigorous classroom instruction and laboratory experiences using modern equipment and computers provide broad insight into natural phenomena, technology, chemical and biological process-engineering equipment, and systems engineering. Classroom and research projects provide students with hands-on experience in problem solving. We seek to provide meaningful research opportunities for graduate students, and to address state and national priorities in competitive, funded research programs.

Our goal is to provide our graduating doctoral students with the necessary experiences and education to qualify them to work in academia, in industry, and in government laboratories. The mission and goal of the Chemical and Materials Engineering graduate programs relates to the land grant mission of UNR. It does so by contributing in the areas of energy, the environment, biomedical and materials engineering and other chemically related engineering fields.

The program mission is likely to evolve in the future as our graduate program grows. As the program grows, the number of faculty in the graduate faculty will increase, and there will be an opportunity to develop other areas of research which the department is not currently exploring.

Student Organizations

Students are encouraged to participate in many different organizations within the College of Engineering that will enrich their educational experiences. These include: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Materials Advantage and Research Society (MARS), which is associated with the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS); the American Society for Metals (ASM); the Materials Research Society (MRS), the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and the Society of Women Engineers. .

Chemical Engineering


Chemical engineering graduates have the capability for serving the needs of industry and government or for pursuing advanced academic training. Graduates of the chemical engineering program are recruited by the chemical process industries, government, and graduate and professional schools.

In addition to the general university requirement of at least a 2.0 grade-point average, the student must hold at least a 2.0 average in all chemical engineering courses to be eligible for graduation.

All students must see their advisor and obtain a signed Official Advisement Form each semester. All electives must be approved by the assigned chemical engineering faculty advisor. Students who do not meet the prerequisites for MATH 181  should attend summer school prior to their first semester.

All students must take the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination administered by the Nevada Board of Professional Engineers.

There are five emphases within the B.S.Ch.E. program: biomedical, environmental engineering, process and energy engineering, material science and engineering, and extractive metallurgy.

Chemical Engineering Educational Objectives

  • Our graduates will be successful in their professional careers, as demonstrated by their abilities to solve important chemical engineering problems, to solve problems in areas different from their training, and to develop new and valuable ideas. 
  • Our graduates will be aware of the larger context of the application of their engineering, including global, ethical, environmental, societal, and legal concerns.
  • Our graduates will have the communication and problem- solving skills necessary to succeed individually, in groups, and in leadership positions.

Materials Science and Engineering


The materials science and engineering program requires that students gain basic preparation in chemistry, physics and mathematics during their first two years of university-level study. Early in the sophomore year, students are taught the principles of the atomic and microscopic structure and properties of metallic, ceramic, polymeric (plastic), composite, and electronic materials. Advanced instruction, features specialized courses in structure, mechanical, and physical properties, corrosion, phase transformations, and nanotechnology. Graduates can pursue a diverse selection of careers, including materials processing and manufacturing, materials selection for advanced applications and design and development of new materials. Outstanding graduates may also pursue advanced graduate study.



  • Enable students to apply advanced science and engineering principles to materials systems (ceramics, glasses, composites, metals, polymers) in the context of material structure, behavior, processing, and performance.
  • Develop skills in our students to solve real world materials engineering problems with creativity and professionalism, and to develop new, valuable ideas through critical thinking.
  • Provide students with the skills to communicate well with others through verbal, oral and written presentations, and listening, and will develop team skills in solving problems.
  • Teach students the importance of ethical engineering practice with an emphasis on developing an understanding of the legal, moral, and environmental responsibilities and consequences of engineering problem solving.
  • Prepare students to enter a broad range of Materials Engineering careers by providing diversity within the program and opportunity for exploration of different areas (e.g., biotechnology, nanotechnology, ceramics, polymers, metals, and more.)

In keeping with the above objectives, graduates will understand and be able to apply advanced science and engineering principles to materials systems, i.e., ceramics, glasses, composites, metals and polymers. Graduates will be able to apply these in the context of material structure, behavior, processing, and performance.

In addition to the university’s general graduation requirements of a minimum 2.0 grade point average, degree candidates must maintain at least a 2.0 average in Material Science and Engineering courses. All students must see their assigned advisor and obtain a signed official advisement form each semester. All electives must be approved by the assigned advisor. All students must take the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination, administered by the Nevada State Board of Professional Engineers.

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