Chemical Product Engineering

Chemical Product Engineers love understanding product function and performance as well as how people use and perceive those products. They never stop innovating to envision completely new products and functions that benefit society and their company’s bottom line.

With an emphasis on product design and development, Chemical Product Engineering is a new frontier for chemical engineers, with high relevance among both industrial and scientific communities. As a career, it incorporates technical and entrepreneurial skills needed to innovate, develop and design novel chemical and consumer products for large and small employers. From cosmetics, drugs and solar cells to advanced biomedical devices, your ability to identify and meet customer needs will ensure your success.

Chemical Product Engineering is part of the long chain in the manufacturing process, dealing with the ideas, design, testing and prototyping of new industrial products. To help solve problems, you’ll combine a unique blend of in-depth knowledge, application of chemistry and creativity to envision and create entirely new intellectual property.

What do Chemical Product Engineers Learn? 

Fostering a collaborative and innovative culture, this degree focuses on product design and development rather than just production processes. You’ll build on the study of chemical and physical sciences and processes to create products ready for commercialisation in fields as diverse as: 

  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Cosmetics 
  • Agricultural chemicals 
  • Foods 

UNSW is a research leader in Chemical Product Engineering and you’ll benefit from our close links with industry. Chemical Product Design is a signature component of the degree, giving ample opportunity to cultivate your abilities in designing and taking a product to market. Develop intellectual property and product prototypes for projects proposed by and mentored by industry partners. 

While the core concepts of chemical engineering – unit operations, heat and mass transfer, equilibrium, and thermodynamics – remain the foundation for this program, you’ll also learn to design products, and their manufacturing processes, in fields where the end-users performance criteria are more complex than chemical composition or purity. 

Advanced elective options include: 

  • Polymers 
  • Reaction engineering 
  • Particle systems 
  • Research thesis

Through academic and project work and 60 days of approved industry training, you’ll graduate with all the tools and skills you need. 

Where do Chemical Product Engineers Work? 

This broad degree opens doors to many different industries once you’ve completed your studies. These include: 

  • Energy 
  • Materials science 
  • Fine chemicals 
  • Inks, coatings and thin films 
  • Human and veterinary pharmaceuticals 
  • Health 
  • Cosmetics and household care 
  • Food 
  • Environment 
  • Electronics 

With a strong foundation in chemical process engineering, the product design element of this degree offers an employability edge by connecting technology, creativity and understanding of consumers. The ability to design and take a product to market is a skill in great demand from employers. Your entrepreneurial skills might also see you become CEO of your own start-up.  

UNSW graduates have been employed within these companies and industries: 

  • Reckitt Benckiser (home chemical products) 
  • Pfizer (pharmaceuticals) 
  • ERA Polymers (polyurethanes) 
  • Unilever (personal care products) 
  • DuPont (science innovation) 
  • Qenos (petrochemicals) 
  • Selleys 

What Skills Should I Have as a Chemical Product Engineer? 

An interest in teamwork, chemistry, maths and strong communication skills. Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Do you love solving problems? 
  • Do you think you could work as part of a team with other scientists and engineers? 
  • Do you want to use your love of chemistry and your skills in creativity to produce new products that enhance global consumer quality of life? 
  • Do you enjoy experiments in a laboratory? 
  • Have you ever wondered how the products around you are designed to perform so well, in so many complex ways?