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Material science v.s. chemical engineering?

  1. Oct 26, 2009 #1
    what's the difference? it looks like a chemical engineer and material scientist does the same thing
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2009 #2
    Chemical engineering is more about running large-scale chemical reactions while materials science is about studying specific properties of materials. A chemical engineer may be tasked with designing a reactor that runs continuously to produce some polymer while a materials scientist would be tasked with figuring out why the polymer, in its final form, acts the way it does.

    In modern curricula, it seems to me that chemical engineers are essentially applied organic chemists while materials scientists are essentially applied condensed matter physicists.

    Of course there are always exceptions and overlaps. Hope this helped.
  4. Oct 27, 2009 #3
    ah, I see. Thanks a lot!
  5. Oct 27, 2009 #4
    I would definitely say that chemical engineers are not close organic chemists. If anything, we are closer to physical chemists. Sure, we deal with many organic reactions but we don't come up with syntheses, we do the math to come up with the heat flow, fluid flow, work in and out of the system, etc.
  6. Oct 28, 2009 #5
    at the graduate level the differences become blurred. Many ChemE's do more materials research and many MatSci's do more ChemE research. They are very similar when it comes to research
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