What made you choose your discipline?
I always had an intrinsic interest in chemistry and its applications. I thought that being able to meld this
with business and design aspects would be really appealing. It’s also a very broad discipline; outside
of traditional applications of chemical processing, chemical engineering can be applied to health care,
bioenegineering, financial planning, urban planning, manufacturing, energy systems research and
implementation, and anything relating to process design or analysis.
What do you think about your discipline now?
In all honesty, the teaching approach at U of T focuses on traditional chemical engineering (i.e. process
design centred around unit operations [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_operations]) so for those
expecting to be shown exactly how chemical engineering applies to all of the different modern fields
previously mentioned, be sure to keep an open mind and to push yourself to take the right electives.
As a field of study, it does set you up well (assuming you keep that open mind) for a very broad list of
fields and career paths and if you actually retain the core concepts, will also give you better appreciation
for the non-digital technical aspects of your everyday life (as any study in science should).
What are the various opportunities in your discipline after graduation?
What difficulties have you faced in your discipline so far?
Long labs, heavy class hours, abstract courses, and a constant stream of quizzes and evaluations.
Academically, CHEM is no walk in the park and it can be difficult to keep yourself afloat if you don’t
build a strong support system and learn to ask for help, and take things one step at a time. You’ll also
likely not see nearly as many employers at job fairs specifically for chemical processing, especially in
comparison to your ECE and INDY counter-parts.
If you were to choose a second discipline, what would it be?
Back in 1st year, my answer would most likely have been MECH as it provides a similar breadth in
technical topics, but coming out of CHEM now, I’m applying for an M.A.Sc in Industrial Engineering,
primarily focused on engineering education research but connecting my process analysis techniques
from CHEM over into the INDY space. I’m the kind of guy who can’t live without basic science, so as an
undergrad, INDY wasn’t as big of an option by the time I had to make my decision, but now that I have
those fundamentals, I’m more comfortable pivoting out.
Choose a discipline based on what you want to study (whether it’s in Engineering or not), it’s going to
be hard wherever you go and the job market is constantly changing so just make sure that you’re happy