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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA 2008-2009 undergraduate bulletin
undergraduate bulletin index

updated 8/15/2008

Chemical Engineering

Michael A. Matthews, Chair

Michael D. Amiridis, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1991,
Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing
Christine W. Curtis, Ph.D., Florida State University, 1976, Vice Provost for Faculty Development
Michael A. Matthews, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1986, Chair
Harry J. Ploehn, Ph.D., Princeton University, 1988,
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Branko N. Popov, Ph.D., University of Zagreb, Croatia, 1972
, Carolina Distinguished Professor
James A. Ritter, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1989
, Graduate Director
Vincent Van Brunt, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1974
John W. Van Zee, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1984
John W. Weidner, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1991

Ralph E. White, Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1977, Westinghouse Distinguished Scientist

Associate Professors
Francis A. Gadala-Maria, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1979, Undergraduate Director
Edward P. Gatzke, Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2000
Esmaiel Jabbari, Ph.D., Purdue University, 1993
Thanasis D. Papathanasiou, Ph.D., McGill University, 1990
Christopher T. Williams, Ph.D., Purdue University, 1997

Assistant Professors
James O. Blanchette, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2004
Andreas Heyden, Ph.D., Hamburg University of Technology, 2005
Melissa A. Moss, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2000
Thomas G. Stanford, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1977

Research Professors
Thomas A. Davis, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1967
John R. Monnier, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1978
Jean St.-Pierre, Ph.D., Ecole Polytechnique (Montreal), 1989
Kohichi Segawa, Ph.D., Sophia University, Japan, 1971

Research Associate Professors
Oleg Alexeev, Ph.D., Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, Siberian Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1989
Armin D. Ebner, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2000

Research Assistant Professors
Tao Gu, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2004
Woo-Kum Lee, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2000
Florian Patcas, Ph.D., University of Chemnitz, Germany, 1998
Sirivatch Shimpalee, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2001
Godfrey Sikha, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2005

Adjunct Professors
Mark Kindy, Ph.D., Boston University, 1987
Thomas Vogt, Ph.D., University of Tübingen, Germany, 1987

Adjunct Associate Professor
Donna A. Chen, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1997

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Susan M. Lessner, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor
Michael Yost, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1999

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Joseph H Gibbons, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1961


Chemical engineers are involved in the design of materials and devices and in the design and operation of plants which manufacture a wide variety of chemicals, including plastics, textile fibers, gasoline, and pharmaceuticals. The work of the chemical engineer can be highly diverse, ranging from research on pollution prevention to the marketing of new chemical products.

The department offers the Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in chemical engineering. The objectives of the undergraduate program in chemical engineering are to provide the student with a thorough grounding in mathematics, chemistry, and chemical engineering subjects, and to prepare the student for a professional career or graduate studies in chemical engineering and other fields. The department, jointly with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, offers a major in biomedical engineering. Degree requirements for biomedical engineering are listed under the college offerings at www.sc.edu/bulletin/ugrad/EngrHome.html.

Degree Requirements

Chemical Engineering Curriculum

(131 hours)

ECHE 101, ENGR 101, or UNIV 101 for engineers (3 hours)
ENGL 101, 102 (6 hours)
Liberal Arts (18 hours)
MATH 141, 142, 241, 242 (14 hours)
CHEM 111, 112, 333, 334 (14 hours)
PHYS 211, 211L, 212, 212L (8 hours)
ECHE 310 or ENGR 290 (3 hours)
ECHE 320 or ENGR 360 (3 hours)
ECHE 300, 311, 321, 322, 430, 440, 460, 461, 465, 466, 550, 567 (36 hours)
Chemistry electives (6 hours)
Chemistry laboratory electives (2 hours)
Engineering electives (6 hours)
Technical electives (12 hours)

Accelerated B.S.E./M.E. Education Plan

The Accelerated B.S.E./M.E. Plan in Chemical Engineering allows students to complete both the B.S.E. degree and a Master of Engineering degree in chemical engineering in as few as five years. The use of dual credit--courses that can be used toward both degrees--enables acceleration of the program, reducing the total enrollment of the student by one semester.

Chemical engineering students may apply for approval of an accelerated education plan in the semester in which they will complete 90 hours of undergraduate course work. In addition, students must have a sufficient foundation in chemical engineering course work to enable them to take graduate-level courses. University and department regulations stipulate that applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.40, both overall and in chemical engineering courses. Students may apply by submitting an accelerated education plan, an application for senior privilege, and a copy of a Graduate School application to the graduate director in chemical engineering. The dean of The Graduate School has final authority for approving accelerated education plans.

Only graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above) may be used for dual credit. No more than nine credit hours may be used as dual credit. The graduate courses used for dual credit must be taken during the student’s final undergraduate year. The student graduates with the B.S.E. degree after completing the B.S.E. degree requirements. At that time, the student is admitted to the graduate program with up to nine hours of graduate credit.

Course Descriptions (ECHE)

  • 101 -- Introduction to Chemical Engineering. (3) Introduction to engineering, with emphasis on chemical engineering. Problem-solving techniques, including the use of computer tools. Basic engineering design methods.
  • 300 -- Chemical Process Principles. (3) (Prereq: MATH 141, prereq or coreq CHEM 112) Material and energy balances in the chemical process industry. Properties of gases, liquids, and solids. Two one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory period devoted to problem solving.
  • 310 -- Introductory Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics. (3) (Prereq or coreq: ECHE 300, MATH 241) First law and second law of thermodynamics. Mathematical relationships between thermodynamic properties. Analysis of power and refrigeration cycles. Introduction to phase and chemical equilibrium.
  • 311 -- Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics. (3) (Prereq: ECHE 310 or ENGR 290) Mass, energy, and entropy balance analysis of chemical engineering systems; evaluation of thermodynamic property changes of pure materials; solution thermodynamics of single-phase multicomponent systems; phase and chemical reaction equilibrium.
  • 320 -- Chemical Engineering Fluid Mechanics. (3) (Prereq: PHYS 211; prereq or coreq: MATH 241) Fluid statics and dynamics with emphasis on chemical engineering applications.
  • 321 -- Heat-Flow Analysis. (3) (Prereq: ECHE 320 or ENGR 360, grade of C or better in MATH 242) Theory of heat transmission; mechanism, generation, distribution, and measurement; use of theory in practical equipment design.
  • 322 -- Mass Transfer. (3) (Prereq: ECHE 300) Molecular diffusion in fluids; diffusion in laminar and turbulent flow; momentum, transport analogies; interfacial mass transfer; design applications include humidification, absorption, adsorption, and ion exchange.
  • 389 -- Special Topics in Chemical Engineering. (3) Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of classes by suffix and title. May be repeated as topic varies.
  • 430 -- Chemical Engineering Kinetics. (3) (Prereq: ECHE 311; prereq or coreq: ECHE 321) Concepts of chemical kinetics, batch and flow reactors, catalysts and reactor design.
  • 440 -- Separation Process Design. (3) (Prereq: ECHE 300) Design of stagewise chemical separation cascades; analysis of binary and ternary systems; multicomponent separations, plate and column specification procedures; distillation, crystallization, extraction, and leaching.
  • 456 -- Computational Methods for Engineering Applications. (3) (Prereq: upper division standing) Introduction to advanced computational tools for the analysis of chemical engineering systems. Initial and boundary value problems related to heat and mass transfer, reaction engineering, and parameter estimation.
  • 460 -- Chemical Engineering Laboratory I. (3) (Coreq: ECHE 311, ECHE 321) Review of technical-report writing and presentation techniques; topics in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics; verification of theoretical results and determination of design parameters. One lecture and six laboratory hours.
  • 461 -- Chemical Engineering Laboratory II. (3) (Prereq: ECHE 460; coreq: ECHE 430, 440) Continuation of ECHE 460; topics in mass transfer, kinetics, and process control.
  • 465 -- Chemical-Process Analysis and Design I. (3) (Coreq: ECHE 430, 440) Economics of chemical engineering projects related to typical corporate goals and objectives; process-flowsheet development techniques; review of shortcut design techniques; selection of profitability criteria.
  • 466 -- Chemical-Process Analysis and Design II. (3) (Prereq: ECHE 430, 440, 465; prereq or coreq: ECHE 322, 550, 567) Continuation of ECHE 465; computer-aided design of chemical processes; written and oral presentation of a comprehensive design project.
  • 498 -- Topics in Chemical Engineering. (1-3) (Prereq: upper division standing) Reading and research on selected topics in chemical engineering. Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of classes by suffix and title. May be repeated two times as topics vary. Pass-Fail grading.
  • 499 -- Special Problems. (1-3) (Prereq: advance approval of project proposal by advisor and instructor) Individual investigation or studies of special topics. A maximum of three credits may be applied toward a degree.
  • 520 -- Chemical Engineering Fluid Mechanics. (3) (Prereq: ENGR 360) Multi-phase pressure drop, phase contacting, flow through porous media, fluidization, mixing, and turbulence.
  • 550 -- Chemical-Process Dynamics and Control. (3) (Prereq: grade of C or better in ECHE 300 and MATH 242) Fundamental physical and chemical principles in mathematically modeling the dynamic response of chemical processes; feedforward and feedback control systems; design of control schemes for selected chemical processes.
  • 567 -- Process Safety, Health, and Loss Prevention. (3) (Prereq: senior standing) Reliability, availability, and fault-tree analyses, risk indices, hazard evaluation, vapor cloud modeling, toxicology, material safety classification and regulations, individual/corporate ethical responsibilities.
  • 571 -- Corrosion Engineering. (3) (Prereq: senior standing) Basic principles of corrosion engineering developed from a chemical engineering approach to thermodynamics, kinetics, mass transfer, and potential theory.
  • 572 -- Polymer Processing. (3) (Prereq: senior standing) Industrial polymers with emphasis on their characterization and on the modeling of the major polymer fabrication processes.
  • 589 -- Special Advanced Topics in Chemical Engineering. (3) Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of classes by suffix and title. May be repeated as topic varies.

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