Project work

Female undergraduate student working on pipes in chemical engineering teaching lab

Year one

In year one, you’ll participate in an introductory group project, which will form part of your coursework. This project is concerned with the design of processing plants, which is a major aspect of all process-based engineering. 

You’ll research and review different aspects of the manufacture of a specific commodity chemical including:

  • the different process routes available to the group and the selection of a specific process
  • the construction of a process flow diagram
  • the chemistry involved in the process
  • the unit operations used on the manufacturing plant
  • the sources and properties of the raw materials
  • the uses and applications of the product
  • the health and safety, environmental and ethical issues associated with the manufacturing of the chemical
  • the economics of the process.

​Year two

You’ll work on a mini team project which is a simplified version of an industrial process that you may meet in a real-life situation as a Chemical Engineer.

You’ll learn to balance a chemical process which usually includes a recycle and a purge, and then calculate the energy balance across a reactor. After designing a heat exchanger, you’ll calculate the pressure drops across and the piping to help you produce a pump and its motor. 

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Year three

You’ll work in a group to design a chemical process plant or other industrial operation. Each project is supervised by a member of academic staff who you’ll meet with on a weekly basis. You’ll also attend a series of lectures and seminars dealing with relevant aspects of the planning, design and evaluation of the project, and ethical issues. Each design group will assume the role of a group of engineers within a company and you’ll be tasked with making a recommendation to the company’s Board of Directors as to whether the expansion of an existing chemical plant or the installation of a new chemical plant would be the preferred course of action. 

Examples of projects include:

  • manufacture of detergent powder
  • hydrogen production from natural and shale gas
  • manufacture of chlorine
  • CO2 capture plant
  • highly active waste treatment plant.

Year four (MEng)

You’ll carry out an individual research project under the supervision of an academic supervisor. The project will enable you to develop your research ability, a key skill needed in industry. The topics of the projects provided vary greatly and are associated with current engineering problems in Chemical and Process Engineering. Through the project, by the methods of experiment or computational simulation, you’ll gain an understanding in the area and develop the scientific understanding and engineering technology for the specific problem. It will also give you experience of:

  • project initiation
  • literature review
  • methodology planning
  • experiments and analysis
  • scientific presentation and report writing.

Examples of projects include:

  • crystallisation behaviour of sodium myristate surfactant (soap) in water and organic solvents
  • molecular dynamics simulations for change of physico-thermal properties of nanoparticles
  • in-line rheometry of nuclear waste suspensions
  • functionalisation of silica nanoparticles for enhanced oil recovery in reservoirs with high temperature, pressure and salinity
  • tap widget atomisation: experimentally measuring characteristics of the spray produced by a commercial nozzle for water taps.