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The School and the Department

Basic information about the department

The UCLA School of Engineering was first established in 1944, with the goal of providing engineers with a broad array of talents to the emerging industrial base of Southern California. The School awarded its first B.S. in Engineering degree in 1947, and its first M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering degrees soon thereafter, in 1948 and 1949 respectively. This interdisciplinary philosophy permeated the school’s activities from the beginning and continues to act as catalyst for research collaborations even today. In tune with the nationwide prevalence of engineering disciplines, the School moved in this direction transforming its research units into departments.

The UCLA Chemical Engineering Department was established in 1983 and received ABET/AICHE accreditation shortly thereafter. Despite its relative youth, the Department has established itself as the primary supplier of B.S. chemical engineers in Southern California and as a research force to be reckoned with.  Departmental offices are located in Boelter Hall, adjacent to Mathematical Sciences, and across the Science Quadrangle from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA prides itself on preparing its students for creative careers in industry, academia, and government. The Department is a community of outstanding researchers, experienced educators, distinguished visiting scholars, and talented students. Our weekly seminars also bring many outstanding visitors to the Department, thereby providing additional exposure to current research at other institutions. Research activities undertaken by the faculty span a wide range of chemical engineering topics and involve studies ranging from the molecular level (characterized by length scales on the order of Angstroms) to the design and control of large-scale production facilities (with length scales in the order of meters and kilometers).

Approximately 70 chemical engineering graduate students are in residence, most of them pursuing the Ph.D. degree.  Nearly all graduate students receive financial support either from research and teaching assistantships, or from internal or external fellowships.  Teaching is viewed as an integral part of the graduate experience, and all graduate students participate in the instruction of our approximately 275 undergraduates.

The Department has established an international reputation for research and education on environmental chemical engineering and on the conception, design, and development of clean chemical technologies for pollution prevention.  Committed to maintaining its excellence in the broad themes of energy and the environment, the Department has also established itself as a destination of choice in the focus areas of molecular/cellular bioengineering, process systems engineering, and semiconductor manufacturing, as well as in the broad theme of nanoengineering.

Educational Environment

  • Three UCLA Nobel Laureates in the last 12 years
  • Ten CBE Faculty with National Awards
  • 12 CBE Ph.D. Alumni placed in U.S. faculty positions in the last 12 years