When one thinks about engineering, it is generally in the large scale context.
We think of engineers as the people who build our bridges, erect residential
locations, and so on. In other words, the broad picture of an engineer is someone
who works, hands on, on large products.
This is not always the case. In fact, the field of engineering is not limited
to structural concerns. Rather, the term engineering refers to the application
of science with mathematics in any field at all. This means that engineering
careers include not only architectural type professionals, but also those who
design and build vacuum pump systems, keyboards, and any number of other items
that are kind of taken for granted in our society.
One branch of engineering about which people are least aware is chemical engineering.
We tend to think of the people who design the chemicals and chemical based products
we use every day as scientists or laboratory technicians. However, the development
of these products (which includes everything from drug screening kits to deodorant)
is actually partly the field of the chemical engineer.
Basically, it is the job of the chemical engineer to take raw materials and
convert them to a more usable, or valuable, form. They use the knowledge gained
through instruction in the field of chemistry to transform elements into the
products that we use every day. If you have fish, the aquarium test kits that
give you the information you need in order to keep your pets happy is the direct
result of the work of a chemical engineer. This individual likely underwent
a four year Bachelor of Science program at university and during that time specialized
in the study of the elements and their combinations. Putting that information
together in a useful form takes a lot of work, although we only see the end
result in a five dollar packaged product!
On the other hand, some chemical engineers have jobs that people don't
take for granted once they become involved with the process. The best examples
of these types of jobs are chemical engineers who work in large plants. These
individuals must monitor all the chemical processes involved in the production
of goods, from monitoring an individual effluent treatment chemical to overseeing
the end result of the purification process. They are an integral part of efforts
to keep the by-products of manufacturing (as well as the products!) as safe
In closing, we would also like to point out that chemical engineers have a
large role to play in the health field. Many of the gels and pharmaceuticals
that are used in medical applications from hospitals to those used by home health
care Toronto workers are the direct result of the developing efforts of chemical
With positions in both the public and private sectors in a wide range of different
industries, the future of those interested in a chemical engineering career
is bright indeed. If it is a future that is of interest to you, many Canadian
universities offer the training needed to enter the field.