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My question is pretty simple. Does studying chemical engineering require memorizing manufacturing processes and other complex chemical mechanisms, or does it rely more on the practical side of things focusing on how stuff actually works.

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    $\begingroup$ Every subject in the world will require some level of factual retention. You cannot say every time, "Hey, let me check the reference before I can answer you." Secondly, you will need a solid background in mathematics to succeed (differential equations, some programming knowledge etc.) $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    May 28 '20 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ Your question will probably be closed because there is no yes-no answer to your query. Opinion based questions are discouraged here. $\endgroup$
    – M. Farooq
    May 28 '20 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ As a chemical engineer, my answer to your question is that it involves applying the basics of thermodynamics and physical chemistry to quantitatively design and analyze the operation of processing equipment in chemical plants, including chemical reactors, absorption columns, cooling towers, heat exchanges, etc. So it's going to involve a lot of physical and mathematical modeling calculations, and relatively less memorization. $\endgroup$ May 28 '20 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ @ChetMiller thank you, helps a lot. $\endgroup$
    – 808kalli
    May 29 '20 at 1:34
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    $\begingroup$ @M.Farooq well when it comes to meths and fundamental understanding I'm all about that just because I'm pretty bad at memorizing so u have to rely on understanding how something works. Also mathematics aren't really the problem here. I actually hope that studying chemical engineering will involve more maths and less memorizing. Thanks for your answer. $\endgroup$
    – 808kalli
    May 29 '20 at 1:38
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I can speak based on my experience studying chemical engineering as an undergraduate at an ABET accredited university in the United States and working in industry.

A typical curriculum would include a focus on fundamentals which can then be applied in specific industries or in different cases rather than an in depth study of specific manufacturing processes or specific chemical reactions. This process is intended to develop a core of knowledge to approach specific processes or reactions and also as a preparation for learning more

So for example an undergraduate might start off taking calculus, and general chemistry and proceed to additional chemistry like organic and possibly phsyical chemistry. Starting in chemical engineering a student will encounter fundamental fields of chemical engineering which are fundamental tools such as mass and energy balance, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, mass transfer, and chemical kinetics. These are all tools which can be used as a chemical engineer to evaluate processes. Also a review and study of types of what's called unit operations would be included.

Unit Operations are like the building blocks of many processes. The include operations like heat exchangers, distillation or absorbion columns, cooling towers, reactors, tanks, and more.

An understanding of chemical engineering fields such as kinetics or thermodynamics or heat transfer combined with an understanding of unit operations can be combined to learn more about a specific process.

I am sure there are some folks out there with more insight so I'll be very interested to hear from them as well!

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