Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringWestern Engineering

Program Overview

When you join the Faculty of Engineering at Western University you embark on an academic journey like no other. Western Engineering offers an innovative student-focused, career-driven educational experience where you play an active role in choosing your career path from a diverse array of opportunities including a common first year. Some students are certain they want to be engineers but are undecided about which area of engineering to specialize in and others think they know until they start studying at university. Our Common First Year leaves their options open. In first year, students have the opportunity to experience various engineering disciplines before selecting an area of engineering specialization.

Admission to First Year:

The current admission requirements from Ontario high schools to the Engineering program at Western are:

English (ENG4U), Chemistry (SCH4U), Physics (SPH4U), Advanced Functions (MHF4U), Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U) and one additional 4U or 4M level course from any discipline for a total of 6 courses. For the past several years, the admission minimum has been 85% (calculated on the basis of the five required Grade 12 courses plus one additional U or M course).

All other applications to the first year are prepared by the Office of Admissions and reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Engineering Excellence Admission Program

Western Engineering guarantees your acceptance into the program of your choice if you have a mid-year and final grade average of at least 85% on the courses required for admission into Western Engineering from high school and you maintain a 75% average on a full course load in first year.

Extended First Year

In 1991 the Faculty initiated an Extended First Year program in which students in the first year are given an opportunity in January to extend their first year into the summer term. The final marks in the half courses ending in December are collated. Those students whose average is below 60% are given the opportunity to lighten their second term load by dropping one or more courses. The student must then complete these courses during the summer program at Western. These students are adjudicated at the end of the summer program, rather than in May. The purpose of this program is to provide students with an opportunity to recover from a difficult first term in which the student has had to adjust to the changes and rigors of university life. Due to time limitations for provision of marks by other universities, the students must complete the course at Western only.

CBE Undergraduate Programs

Students enter Chemical and Biochemical Engineering department following a general Year 1 that is common to all engineering disciplines. The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering offers three programs:

Chemical Engineering Program with five options, Green Process Engineering with three options and Chemical Engineering International Collaborative Undergraduate Degree Program

Our program educates engineers to design, develop and operate chemical processes to make useful products such as plastics, polymers, medicines, food, fuels, fertilizers, detergents, cosmetics, and consumer goods at minimum costs in a safe and environmentally sustainable way that benefit society and lead to economic development. Our graduates learn how to find creative solutions to many societal issues by integrating innovative design principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. It differs from fundamental sciences in its emphasis on commercial applications of science and technology.

Green Process Engineering Program
with three options:

The Green Process Engineering program is the first of its kind in Canada. Its basic objective is to combine and integrate the fundamental principles of chemical engineering to design commercial products and processes that are safe, economical and environmentally friendly. Traditional Environmental Engineering concentrates on treating emissions and waste. In contrast, Green Process Engineering focuses on developing products and processes that are inherently clean and sustainable. Upon completing Western Engineering's Common First Year, students can apply to the Green Process Engineering program. Once accepted, students will develop the necessary skills to design green products and processes by combining and applying principles of chemical and biochemical engineering.

Curriculum Contents

Year 1

Year 1 is common to all engineering students in the Faculty. After successful completion of the first year, the students choose one of the programs in the Faculty. In Year 1, all students take the following courses: AM 1411: Linear Algebra for Engineers, AM 1413: Applied Mathematics for Engineers, Phys 1401: Physics for Engineering Students I, Phys 1402: Physics for Engineering Students II, Chem 1024 General Chemistry, ES 1021: Properties of Materials in Engineering, ES 1022: Engineering Statics, ES 1036: Programming Fundamentals for Engineers, ES 1050 Introductory Engineering Design and Innovation Studio, and 2 Non-technical Electives from list of approved courses to meet the requirements of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

Years 2-4

In Year 2, all students in the Chemical Engineering Program are required to take advanced mathematics and statistics (AM2411 - Applied Mathematics, CBE2291A/B – Computational Methods for Engineers and SS2413A/B – Applied Statistics and Data Analysis for Engineers). These three courses provide the necessary mathematical and statistical skills required for subsequent engineering courses.

Students also take a half course CE2208A/B (Electrical Measurements and Instrumentation), and ES2211F/G (Engineering Communications), which helps in developing effective communication concepts and ideas by written, oral and graphical means. This course is beneficial in preparing our students for the final year Capstone Design Project Presentation and Report.

CBE2206A/B – Industrial Organic Chemistry I, CBE2207A/B – Industrial Organic Chemistry II and CBE 2290A/B – Fundamentals of Biochemical and Environmental Engineering, provide students with the fundamental principles governing the structure and reactivity of organic molecules that form the basis of industrial chemical, biochemical and environmental processes.

CBE2214A/B – Engineering Thermodynamics, CBE2220A/B – Chemical Process Calculations, CBE2221A/B – Fluid Flow and CBE2224A/B - Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics collectively provide the essential elements of mass, energy, entropy, and momentum balances. Furthermore these courses introduce the governing principles of non-ideal fluids, solution thermodynamics, phase and reaction equilibria pertinent to chemical engineering discipline.

Knowledge gained is further enhanced with laboratory experiments in upper year courses such as CBE3322A/B (Heat Transfer Operations), CBE3323A/B (Staged Operations), CBE3324A/B (Mass Transfer Operations), CBE3325A/B (Particulate Operations), CBE3310A/B (Process Dynamics and Control), CBE3315A/B (Reaction Engineering), CBE 3318A/B (Process Simulation), CBE3319A/B (Introduction to Plant Design and Safety), CBE4415A/B (Chemical Engineering Project), CBE4417A/B (Catalytic Processes), CBE4432A/B (Oil Refining and Processing), and CBE4497 (Chemical Process and Plant Design).

In addition, all students take BUS2299 (Business Organization for Engineers), ES4498F/G (Engineering Ethics, Sustainable Development and the Law), and one 0.5-credit non-technical elective.

In the Chemical Engineering Option students have the flexibility to take up to six technical electives to enhance breadth and knowledge in diverse fields such as nanotechnology, alternative energy and green engineering. CBE4415 (Chemical Engineering Projects) is designed for students to get research experience and encourage them to pursue graduate studies. Technical elective offerings are continuously reviewed to keep pace with trends and new developments in industry. For example, the department is currently developing a new technical elective on energy and society. 

Chemical Engineering International Collaborative Undergraduate Degree Program

The department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (CBE) has a unique International Collaborative Undergraduate Degree Program between the Faculty of Engineering at Western and three top Chinese Universities (Zhejiang University, East China University of Science and Technology, and Zhejiang University of Technology).

This program allows selected students from the partner Chinese Universities to complete the first 2 years of their Chemical Engineering education at their institution before joining Western. Upon successful completion of the first 2 years at their home institution, students will be admitted to Western to complete the remaining two years of their Chemical Engineering education, provided that they meet Western's admission requirements. While registered at Western, students will take the 3rd and 4th year CBE courses as outlined in the academic calendar (click here for details).

By the end of their study, students will receive a BESc. in Chemical Engineering (International collaboration) degree from Western and another Degree from their home institution in China. Western Engineering recognizes that the experiences gained though such program to be beneficial to the broad development of knowledge, skills and diversity of undergraduate students and that these may be relevant to improved first degree success. It is also expected that such a program will enhance Western Engineering's international outreach activities, in particular, in the area of undergraduate education.

For more information on this program, please contact