Figure 3: Chemical Engineering Education.

Emergence & Growth

Chemical engineering education emerged from the American tradition in industrial chemistry at the turn of the Century. However, the coursework for these first programs varied greatly in substance and emphasis. While all envisioned chemical engineering as bridging the gap between mechanical engineers and chemists, this still allowed for wide divergence.

In 1925 the AIChE attempted to rectify this situation by becoming the first organization to use accreditation. This concept quickly spread to other engineering fields. Today, ABET's audits strike fear and foreboding across the country as it strives to raise the quality of higher education higher and higher. Below we see the number of chemical engineering programs that must undergo this scrutiny.

"Enough already...go to the bottom."

Figure 3-1, Source: (R3) & "AIChE Correspondence"

Enormous growth in chemical engineering education was seen in the years just prior to, and the decades following, World War II. Today, this growth has stagnated, and no new programs have been accredited since 1992. Despite the stagnation, many feel there are still too many new chemical engineers graduating (about 5000) each year. It is therefor unlikely that many new University will seek accreditation in chemical engineering.

Take a Look at the Original Programs (1925)

Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)

Columbia University (New York, NY)

Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)

Iowa State University (Ames, IA)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)

Polytechnic University (Brooklyn, NY)

Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)

University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)

University of Wisconsin at Madison (Madison, WI)

Yale University (New Haven, CT)

The Geographic Trends in Chemical Engineering Education (1925 to the Present)

Figure 3-2, Source: (R3) & "AIChE Correspondence"

Figure 3-3, Source: (R3) & "AIChE Correspondence"

Figure 3-4, Source: (R3) & "AIChE Correspondence"

Figure 3-5, Source: (R3) & "AIChE Correspondence"

Figure 3-6, Source: (R3) & "AIChE Correspondence"

Note: All dates are based upon the first year of accreditation. This is often much later than the year in which a given chemical engineering program may have begun.

Table of Contents

Struggle for Survival

AIChE & The Future

Nitrogen: Food or Flames

"The end already...go back to the top."

Copyright 2000, Wayne Pafko