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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical engineers are vital to the petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, consumer and paper products, ceramics, specialty chemicals and electronics industries, just to name a few. Chemical engineers are often intimately involved in research and development, process engineering and product development, as well as in developing ways to manufacture chemicals developed in the laboratory at larger scales.

What’s great about chemical engineering is the fascinating array of possibilities, from working for NASA, to engineering the world’s best cosmetics, to working on cutting-edge bio- and nanotechnology research.

Opportunities for Students

The William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has a long history of excellence in both undergraduate and graduate education. Our graduate program provides opportunities for intensive course work, research and teaching experience, and our 95 graduate students are in high demand in both industry and academia. In addition, with more than 40 different courses ranging from surface phenomenon to thermodynamics, our undergraduates are well prepared for a wide variety of career pathways.

Our research program offers a solid foundation in both the theoretical and applied aspects of chemical engineering. We offer outstanding research programs in many cutting-edge technology areas, and the department is home to several consortia and interdisciplinary research centers. The Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering occupies more than 60,000 square feet of space and houses state-of-the-art research facilities.

Our students enjoy the unique opportunity to interact and work with top scientists from leading edge research centers and institutes on campus and around Ohio, including the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Mathematical Biosciences Institute and Ohio State’s Heart and Lung Research Institute.


Research expenditures in the Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering exceed $12 million per year and continue to grow, allowing our students to choose their research projects from a wide range of topics. Our faculty and graduate students often collaborate with researchers in other departments, and many participate in multidisciplinary research teams to conduct cutting-edge research in bioinformatics, gene therapy, cardiovascular science, intelligent materials, microfabrication, nanotechnology, complex fluids and environmentally benign manufacturing. For example, some students are doing dissertation research in tissue engineering and cancer cell separation at the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University

New innovations in polymer-based nanotechnology are being developed by Ohio State and partner universities at the Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymer Biomedical Devices. These innovations in polymer forming, chemical/atomic deposition and fluid movement at the nanoscale are expected to yield inexpensive, mass-producible products for widespread societal benefit. By partnering the latest advances in nanoengineering and nanoscience with research at the frontiers of medicine and pharmaceutics, this National Science Foundation Center aims to revolutionize medical diagnosis and treatment. The center, led by L. James Lee and the chemical and biomolecular engineering department, also features an interdisciplinary program for undergraduate and graduate education and community outreach to area schools.

Our faculty and students are also actively involved in the Mathematical Biosciences Institute, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. MBI catalyzes interactions between the biological, medical and mathematical sciences through vigorous programs of research and education, and nurtures a nationwide community of scholars in this emerging new field. 

Several industrial consortia sponsor research in chemical engineering, demonstrating the strong corporate interest in our research programs. For example, the research carried out in the NSF-sponsored Center for Advanced Polymer and Composite Engineering (CAPCE) is supported by 20 industrial members. Many of our graduate students work on industry-sponsored research, and some complete internships at corporate research centers during their graduate studies. 

Our researchers are involved in many interdisciplinary programs and research centers on campus, including:

  • Biomedical Engineering Center
  • Catalysis, Membranes and Rheology Laboratories
  • Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymer Biomedical Devices
  • Institute for Materials Research
  • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Program
  • Ohio State Carbonation Ash Reactivation
  • (OSCAR) demonstration plant
  • Ohio State Mathematical Biosciences Institute
  • University Cell Analysis and Sorting Core

Research Priorities

  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Bioengineering/Biotechnology
  • Colloids/Aerosols/Particle Technology
  • Fluid Mechanics/Multiphase Flow
  • Molecular Thermodynamics
  • Polymer/Nanomaterials
  • Process Systems Engineering
  • Reaction Engineering/Catalysis