IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers)

More Students choosing a future in chemical engineering

The number of students applying to study chemical & process engineering continues to grow according to the latest UCAS figures. The 2007 intake has seen a 17% rise in applications and signals good news for chemical engineering departments across the UK.

Since 2002, there has been a 60% increase in students opting to study the subject, with consistent year-on-year growth. This latest increase more than doubles last year’s rise of 8%.

“It is great to see chemical engineering numbers on the rise for another consecutive year and I believe it can be strongly linked to our whynotchemeng campaign,” said IChemE’s (Institution of Chemical Engineers) CEO David Brown.

“This is an important step in making sure the talent pipeline is fixed and that we continue to secure a steady supply of chemical engineers for the future. However, the government must boost science teaching in schools to attract more bright young people into science and engineering and make sure this trend continues,' warned Brown.

IChemE’s whynotchemeng campaign promotes chemical engineering as an exciting, varied and worthwhile career-path to 14-17 year-olds in UK schools and further education colleges.

With over 8,600 students applying to study chemical engineering, the promising salary, career and personal development opportunities offered by the discipline are proving popular.

The contributions made by engineers and scientists tackling energy, waste and healthcare problems continue to hit the headlines. Developing alternative energy sources and designing more efficient processes are just two areas in which chemical engineers can often be found.

“Chemical engineers are delivering solutions to some of the big challenges facing humanity,” said Brown. “The more people we can recruit into the discipline, the better for our society as a whole.”

Whilst the class of 2007 won’t graduate until at least 2010, Ian Corbidge, Director at the British Chemical Engineering Contractors Association, says these are welcome signs for the future: “The engineering and construction fields are desperately short of qualified practitioners and the increased interest is welcome.

“This has to be of long-term benefit for the science and engineering discipline,” added Corbidge.

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