University of Utah
Chemical and Fuels Engineering
CHFEN Course Descriptions
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University of Utah

 General Catalog 2002-2003
Posted March 1, 2002

The undergraduate program in chemical engineering  is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

College of Engineering 

Department Office: 3290 Merrill Engineering Building, 581-6915 

Mailing Address: 50 S. Central Campus Dr., Rm. 3290, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9203 

Web Address:

Department Chair, Philip J. Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Chair, Geoffrey D. Silcox, Ph.D.


Distinguished Professors. R.H. Boyd, D.W. Pershing. 

Presidential Professor. A.F. Sarofim. 

Professors. D.M. Bodily, N. de Nevers, M.D. Deo, F.V. Hanson, J.S. Lighty, H.L.C. Meuzelaar, R.J. Pugmire, T.A. Ring, J.D. Seader, P.J. Smith. 

Professors Emeriti. L.L. Anderson, A.D. Baer, D.A. Dahlstrom, F.E. Massoth, A.L. Tyler. 

Associate Professors. E.G. Eddings, J.J. Magda, G.D. Smith, E.M. Trujillo, B. Tyler. 

Assistant Professors. K. Roper, M. Skliar. 

Research Professors. S. Schamel, J.S. Shabtai. 

Research Associate Professors. C. Rappaport, D. Slaughter, W. Zmierczak. 

Associate Professors (Lecturing). J.V. Fletcher, G.D. Silcox. 

Research Assistant Professors. M. Krahenbuhl, S. Kumar, R. Rawat, P. Rose, M. Solum, J. Spinti, R. Stewart. 

Assistant Professor (Lecturing). R. Peterson.

Adjunct Professors. D. Caldwell, K. Caldwell, R.F. Cane, S. Churchill, R. Coates, J. DuBow, B. Froisy, D. Grant, V.F. Khokhrayakov, S. Ramanov, W. Scouten, H.Y. Sohn, J. Speight, E.K. Vasilenko, J. Veranth, C. Yang. 

Adjunct Associate Professors. J. Bunger, J. Chan, R. Schmidt. 

Adjunct Assistant Professors.  J.C. Quick, R.M. Roehner.

The chemical engineer uses the physical, life, and engineering sciences to devise means for converting natural resources into needed materials and energy. Engineers take into account long-range and immediate concerns for the environment, safety, and other human needs. 

Undergraduate Program

Degree. B.S. in Chemical Engineering. 

The department offers a basic program and a cooperative education program with several specialized options to accommodate students who desire special preparation for a career in a particular chemical-process area or in related areas. The basic program of study can be completed in four years by qualified students who devote full-time effort to the educational program. The cooperative education program requires one additional year, but provides the opportunity for alternating periods of chemical engineering employment and on-campus instruction. Those who devote significant additional time and effort to concurrent employment must expect to take longer. 

The basic program should be followed by students who have decided on a chemical engineering major. Applications from those interested in entering the cooperative education program are due as the student nears completion of the sophomore-year chemical engineering course work. (See Cooperative Education Program.) The faculty assists in planning study programs for those who wish to enter chemical engineering from another university-level program. 

All courses listed by number in the basic program, as well as courses selected to meet the technical-elective requirement, must be taken for letter-grade credit. Substitution of equivalent course work may be made upon faculty approval of a written request. Degree candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in required chemical engineering courses. They also must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination prepared by the National Council of Engineering Examiners (NCEE) and administered under the direction of the Utah Department of Professional Licensing. 

Environmental Engineering. Every chemical engineer is an environmental engineer. Graduates deal with the environmental consequences of the production and use of chemical, biological, forest and food products, and of fuels and power. Many chemical engineers work in environmental control agencies and in environmental consulting and control firms. While a degree in environmental engineering is offered only at the graduate (Master's and Ph.D.) level, interested chemical engineering undergraduates may satisfy their B.S. chemical engineering elective requirements by taking fundamental courses in environmental engineering. 

Admission and Prerequisites. Any student admitted to the University may elect the chemical engineering program and initially be assigned pre-chemical engineering status. Students in pre-chemical engineering who are qualified may enroll in general education offerings and in technical course work outside the College of Engineering (e.g., in chemistry, mathematics, and physics). In addition, the sophomore-level courses in chemical engineering (CHFEN 2853, 2703, and 2803) are open to any student with the required prerequisites. 

Intermediate Status. In order to enroll in other courses in the College of Engineering, including more advanced chemical engineering courses, students must apply for and be admitted to intermediate status. The application for admission to intermediate status may be submitted at any time after a student has completed the following minimum requirements: CHEM 1210, 1230 MATH 1210. In addition, applicants must have completed or be currently enrolled in the following courses: CHFEN 1703, CHEM 1220, 1240 MATH 1220 PHYCS 2210 WRTG 2010. Conditional approval, pending successful completion of the required courses, will be given qualifying students whose applications are based on courses in which the student is currently enrolled. 

Admission to intermediate status is limited, and selection is made on the basis of academic performance in technical courses specified by the College of Engineering. Students may submit appropriate high school Advanced Placement (AP) credit for any of the courses listed in the preceding paragraph. Once admitted to intermediate status, students are allowed four full-time-equivalent semesters in residence (60 credit hours) to meet the requirements for admission to major status. 

Major Status. All senior-level and some junior-level CHFEN courses are open only to students with major status in chemical engineering (or in other engineering departments with permission of the instructor). Students intending to complete the requirements for a B.S. degree in chemical engineering must be admitted to major status and should normally apply at the beginning of the junior year. In order to be admitted to major status, students must have been admitted to intermediate status. In addition, they must have completed a minimum of 5 credit hours of required chemical engineering course work in residence at the University of Utah (normally CHFEN 2853, 2803) and have achieved a GPA of 2.3 in all required chemical engineering course work. Students who enter the University with transfer credit in the sophomore-level chemical engineering courses listed above will be evaluated for admission to major status on the basis of their performance in required chemical engineering courses taken during their first semester in residence at the University of Utah (normally CHFEN 3353, 3453, 3853). 

Once admitted, to retain major status students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their required chemical engineering courses. Students are permitted to register no more than twice for any chemical engineering course; those receiving grades of W, V, or I, in addition to other grades, are considered as having been registered. 

To avoid unnecessary loss of time, the student should make sure the prerequisites indicated under course descriptions are satisfactorily completed prior to the time the courses are scheduled to be taken. Courses taken without the stated prerequisites may not meet graduation requirements. Factors to be considered are: 

  1. CHEM 1220, 1240, CHFEN 2853, and PHYCS 2210 are prerequisite to CHFEN 2803. MATH 2250 and CHFEN 1703 are prerequisite or corequisite to CHFEN 2803. 
  2. MATH 1210 is prerequisite to PHYCS 2210 and MATH 1220 is prerequisite to PHYCS 2220. 
  3. CHEM 3060, 3070, and 5720 are prerequisite or corequisite to junior-year chemical engineering course work. 
  4. All fourth-year chemical engineering courses are offered only once each year and are restricted to students with adequate preparation. 
  5. Students who do not achieve a grade of C or better in prerequisite courses seldom develop satisfactorily in the subsequent courses. 
Graduation Requirements Specific to Chemical Engineering

Residency. Chemical engineering graduates are required to take CHFEN 4903, 4905, and 5253 in residence at the University of Utah. These courses may also be used, if necessary, to help satisfy the University residency requirement. 

Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Science. The University Intellectual Exploration requirements require two foundation or integrative courses from the approved lists in each of the three areas: humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. (The physical and life science requirement is filled by the basic chemical engineering curriculum.) In addition, the Department of Chemical Engineering has adopted the following special requirements for Intellectual Exploration courses in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. 

Of the six required course,

EITHER     1.  One must be 3000 level or higher and four must be in 2-course

OR             2.  Two must be 3000 level or higher and two must be in a sequence.

A 2-sequence course is defined such that the second course builds on ideas, not skills, developed in the first course.

By careful planning and proper selection of Intellectual Exploration courses, students can simultaneously satisfy the College of Engineering requirement and the University requirement without taking extra courses. Students should also take care to select at least one Intellectual Exploration course that will satisfy the University Diversity requirement. 

Students who satisfy the University Intellectual Exploration Requirements by examination, with an associate degree from a two-year institution, with courses transferred from another institution, with high school AP or concurrent enrollment courses, or by any combination of the above must insure that they also meet these special Chemical and Fuels Engineering requirements. 

Diversity. It is expected that students will select one course used in filling the Intellectual Exploration Requirement that will simultaneously satisfy the University Diversity Requirement. 

Communication/Writing: The University communication/writing requirement is fulfilled by WRTG 2010 and CHFEN 4903, 4905. 

Quantitative Reasoning and Quantitative Intensive. The Quantitative Reasoning and Quantitative Intensive requirements are filled by the basic chemical engineering curriculum. 

American Institutions. No time is allocated in the basic program described below for a course to satisfy the American Institutions Requirement, and students are urged to satisfy the requirement by examination. Students wishing to do so should consult the Testing Center. Alternately, HIST 1700, ECON 2740, or POL S 1100 will fill this requirement. 

Financial Assistance. One-year to four-year scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic performance, and some scholarships are available to outstanding seniors in connection with their thesis research. Some employment as readers, research assistants, or laboratory assistants is available, with preference given to students who qualify under the Work-Study Program. 

Basic Program

Model Program of Study (for students working 20 hours or less) 

First Year
Fall Semester
MATH 1210 Calculus I1 (4)
CHEM 1210 General Chemistry I5 (4)
CHEM 1230 General Chemistry Laboratory I (1) 
CHFEN 1703 Topics in Chemical and Fuels Engineering (2) 
WRTG 2010 Introductory Writing2 (3)
General Education Intellectual Exploration - Foundation3 (3)
Total Hours: 17

Spring Semester
MATH 1220 Calculus II1 (4)
CHEM 1220 General Chemistry II5 (4)
CHEM 1240 General Chemistry Laboratory II (1) 
CHFEN 4755 Undergraduate Seminar (0.5)
PHYCS 2210 Physics for Scientists and Engineers (4) 
Gen. Ed.: Intellectual Exploration-Foundation (3) 
Total Hours: 16.5

Second Year 
Fall Semester
MATH 2250 Ordinary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra (3) 
PHYCS 2220 Physics for Scientists and Engineers (4) 
PHYCS 1809 General Physics Laboratory II (1) 
CHFEN 2853 Engineering Thermodynamics (2) 
ME EN 1300 Statics and Strength of Materials (4) 
General Education Intellectual Exploration - Foundation3 (3)
Total Hours: 17 

Spring Semester
MATH Technical Elective (Mathematics)4 (4)
CHFEN 2703 Numerical Methods Applications in Chemical and Fuels Engineering (2) 
CHEM 2310 Organic Chemistry I6 (4)
CHEM 2330 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I6 (1)
CHFEN 2803 Fundamentals of Process Engineering (3) 
Gen. Ed.: Intellectual Exploration-Integrative (3) 
Total Hours: 17 

Third Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 3070 Physical Chemistry I (4) 
CHFEN 3353 Fluid Mechanics (3) 
CHFEN 3453 Heat Transfer (3) 
CHFEN 3853 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (3) 
CHFEN 4753 Undergraduate Seminar (0.5) 
Technical Elective4 (3)
Total Hours: 16.5 

Spring Semester
CHEM 3060 Physical Chemistry II (4) 
CHEM 5720 Advanced Physical Chemistry Laboratory (2) or CHFEN 5503 Instrumental Analysis (2)
CHFEN 3603 Mass Transfer and Separations (5) 
CHFEN 3553 Chemical Reaction Engineering (3) 
CHFEN 4755 Undergraduate Seminar (0.5) 
Elective Technical Elective4 (3)
Total Hours: 17.5 

Fourth Year 
Fall Semester
CHFEN 4903 Projects Laboratory I2 (3)
CHFEN 4253 Process Design I (3) 
CHFEN 4203 Process Control (3) 
CHFEN 4753 Undergraduate Seminar (0.5) 
Elective Technical Elective4 (3)
General Education Intellectual Exploration - Integrative3 (3)
Total Hours: 15.5 

Spring Semester
CHFEN 4905 Projects Laboratory II2 (2)
CHFEN 5653 Engineering Materials (2) 
CHFEN 5253 Process Design II (3) 
Elective Technical Elective4 (3)
General Education Intellectual Exploration - Integrative3 (3)
Total Hours: 13 
Total Hours: 130 

1Students with adequate AP scores are encouraged to take the MATH 1250 and 1260 AP Calculus series in place of MATH 1210 and 1220. 

2WRTG 2010 and CHFEN 4903 and 4905 fill the communication/writing requirements. 

3The Intellectual Exploration requirements requires two foundation or integrative course from the approved lists in each of the areas of fine arts, humanities, and social sciences. The physical and life science requirement is filled by this curriculum. The Department of Chemical and Fuels Engineering has special accreditation requirements for Intellectual Exploration courses. See the Department for details of these requirements. One Intellectual Exploration course should be selected from the approved list of courses for the Diversity requirement. 

4A total of 16 credit hours of technical elective courses are required, including the Mathematics and Advanced Science Electives. 

5Students who qualify should take CHEM 1221, Honors General Chemistry II, and CHEM 1241, Honors General Chemistry Laboratory II, instead of CHEM 1220, General Chemistry II, and CHEM 1240, General Chemistry Laboratory II. 

6Students who qualify should take CHEM 2311, Honors Organic Chemistry I, instead of CHEM 2310, Organic Chemistry I. 

Technical Electives. Bachelor degree candidates must complete 16 semester hours of approved technical electives. At least two of the 16 hours must be an upper-division math class taught by the Mathematics Department (3000 level or above), and at least six of the 16 hours must be upper-division chemical and fuels engineering classes (3000 level or above). Although not required, students may choose to take most of their electives in one particular emphasis area. Emphasis areas are applied math and physical sciences, biochemical engineering and living systems, environmental and waste engineering, fuels, management, materials and nuclear, and process control. A list of approved courses listed by emphasis areas is available from the department. A student needs to petition the faculty, through the undergraduate committee, if she/he wants to use a course not listed in the approved courses as a technical elective. 

Cooperative Education Program. A Cooperative Education Program is available for undergraduates in Chemical Engineering to provide periods of practical chemical engineering employment experience as a complement to the on-campus academic program. The chemical engineering employment portion of the Cooperative Education Program is, in most cases, at locations remote from the campus with employers who have agreed to participate with the University in this program. 

Participants in the COOP are selected in concert with participating employers from applicants who are enrolled in or who have completed their sophomore course work. Employers typically use the on-campus organization, Career Services, SSB-350, (801)-581-6186,, to recruit the participating students.  Once employed in a COOP, the student requests admittance into ChFEN 4977.  Contact the department office (801)-581-6915 or Professor Terry Ring, (801)-585-5705,, for admittance procedures and deadlines.

Students who enter the COOP alternate between engineering employment and on-campus study in order to complete the two semesters of junior-level courses.  Students who enter the COOP must make a commitment to their employer and the the Chemical and Fuels Engineering Department to complete their employment and to spend full time, without outside employment, on their academic program while on campus.  All students return to the University campus full time for their senior-level courses.  To get credit for ChFEN 4977 the student is required to write a 10-15 page report, submitted to the department, that describes in detail the engineering activities and work performed for the employer.  ChFEN 4977 may be used as a technical elective in the student's curriculum of study.

Students working part time for an engineering employer during a semester may also apply for admittance to ChFEN 4977 and receive credit from 1 to 3 hours for their work experience.

Requirements for the Major

MATH 1210, 1220, 2250 
CHEM 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240, 2310, 2330, 3060, 3070, 5720 
WRTG 2010 or ESL 1060 
PHYCS 2210, 2220, 1809 
ME EN 1300 
CHFEN 3353, 3453, 3553, 3603, 3853, 2703, 2853, 4203, 4903, 4905, 4253, 5253, 5653, 1703, 2803 
Four semesters of CHFEN 4753 and/or 4755 

Graduate Program

Degrees. M.E., M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering; M.E., M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D. in Chemical and Fuels Engineering; M.E., M.S., Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. 

For additional information, see the Graduate  Information section of this catalog. See also the booklet, Information for Graduate Students in Chemical and Fuels Engineering at the University of Utah, available through the department office or on our Web site. 

Admission and degree requirements for the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program are specific to that program. Entry into the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program may be gained through the Department of Chemical and Fuels Engineering or one of the four other participating departments. Please contact the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program administrator for details. 

Director of Graduate Studies, Bonnie Tyler, Ph.D. 

Director of Graduate Admissions, Jules J. Magda, Ph.D. 

Areas of Specialization. (1) Biotechnology, biomaterials and the role of interfaces in biological processes; acid rock drainage.  (2) Liquid crystals, polymer structure and dynamics, ceramic powder synthesis and processing, rheology.  (3) Fossil fuel and petroleum characterization, production, transportation, and processing; heterogeneous catalysis; hydrocarbon chemistry and high-pressure thermodynamics; advanced jet and aerospace fuels; conversion of biomass to liquid fuels, including biogasoline; hydroprocessing; process control and optimization.  (4) Combustion, fires, pollutant emissions; physical and chemical characterization of fine particles; utilization of coal, biomass, and opportunity fuels; simulation of turbulent reacting flows, multi-phase flows, and fires. 

Fellowships and Assistantships. Contact the department office or our Web site for specific financial aid information. 

Admission to Candidacy. Students must pass a written qualifying exam during their first year in order to become candidates for any of the graduate degrees. 

Degree Requirements. Approximately one to two years of course work, plus a research thesis (except for the M.E. degree). For more detailed information about departmental requirements, see the booklet, Information for Graduate Students in Chemical and Fuels Engineering at the University of Utah, or our Web site. For general requirements for graduate degrees, see the Graduate Information section of this catalog. 

The Graduate School requires that students maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses used to meet graduation requirements. In addition, the department requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all 5000-, 6000-, and 7000-level chemical-engineering courses used to satisfy degree requirements. 

CHFEN Course Descriptions

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