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Does Engineering Rely Upon Chemistry?

  1. Feb 14, 2009 #1
    Title says the question. Apart from, let's say, chemical engineers, or specifically engineers using chemistry, how much does engineering rely upon chemistry? For example, if I were studying in aeronautical engineering, or electrical engineering, or yet nuclear engineering, would I have many chemistry classes in my first 2 years of my undergraduate studies?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2009 #2


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    I'm in aerospace eng. and I had 1 chem class. So the answer is not much at all. I guess if you wanted to get into the development of jet fuels (or even structural materials?) and such you could choose more chemistry based classes. Also I think the electrical eng. curriculum here is the same also (1 chem class). Although I don't know exactly what you would really need chem for in that field =(

    Oh and nuclear engineering, you take a guess...chemistry takes up quite a nice part of the curriculum.
  4. Feb 14, 2009 #3
    djeitnstine, may I ask, what was your chemistry class and at what point in your studies did you take it?

  5. Feb 14, 2009 #4
    As far as I have seen, you will need to take one chemistry class in first year engineering. This is the case for most universities.

    If you want to go into chem eng or biochem eng, then there will obviously be a lot of chemistry. For Biomedical eng, there will be a couple of organic chemistry courses, and there will be a few in materials eng, mostly related to inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry.

    Pretty much any other engineering discipline will have none passed first year, but will have this first year chemsitry course.

    As for what it covers, I assume from our first year chem, it should cover chemical bonding, structure and properties, electrochemistry, intro to quantum chemistry, equilibrium and reactions.
  6. Apr 6, 2009 #5
    I would imagine that Civil and MechE has some chemistry if you're dealing with structures but many times this is incorporated into a general Materials Science requirement. For the most part, the chemistry that you need to know is covered in your other courses. The requirement of one semester of Intro Chemistry is just to give you a general background.
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