chemical engineering student

Key facts

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

1st in the UK (Engineering) – based on the proportion of world-leading research

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

1st in the UK

The Department of Chemical Engineering is one of the world’s leading institutions in both teaching and research in chemical engineering.

Research carried out within the Department covers a very broad spectrum, ranging from technological studies of the behaviour of processes and equipment to techniques for process planning, design and control. This is supported by a wide range of specialist research facilities, including a carbon capture pilot plant – the most sophisticated facility of its kind in the world.

Teaching and research laboratories are well equipped and backed by comprehensive technical services.

The Department has strong links with industrial and commercial organisations, including BP, Shell, ICI, P&G, GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever, which provide financial support for bursaries and real world research projects.


Our specialist facilities include:

  • High pressure engineering laboratories for studies up to 8,000 bar
  • A clean laboratory for work on surfaces
  • A world-leading carbon capture pilot plant
  • A tissue engineering laboratory
  • Laboratories specialising in nanotechnology and supercritical processes

Research studies are underpinned by electronics and computing services, engineering workshops, and an analytical laboratory.

Study opportunities

The Department offers a number of study options to help you take your knowledge to the next level.

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Research programmes

Three PhD doctoral courses are on offer from the department, with research that may be undertaken in one of the Department's research themes, academic research groups and/or research centres and institutes.

  • PhD Carbonates and Carbon research
    (2-4 years full-time; 4-6 years part-time)
  • PhD Chemical Engineering research
    (2-4 years full-time; 4-6 years part-time)
  • PhD Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet
    (3.5 years full-time)

PhD opportunities