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Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Civil Engineering Building, which houses the department of chemical and environmental engineering

We offer BS, MS and PhD degrees in both chemical and environmental engineering. Our programs are large enough to attract recruiters from a variety of industries, including consulting firms, government, manufacturing, petroleum, semiconductors and utilities – but small enough for individual attention. We encourage our undergraduates to become involved in research projects funded by industry, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and other organizations.

 Left to right: Dixie and George Shirley, Derek Swartzendruber and his wife, Mandy Schlabach.Derek Swartzendruber, a master's degree student in environmental engineering, was named the 2017 recipient of the George and Dixie Shirley Graduate Fellowship.

"It was a real pleasure to meet George and Dixie in person," said Swartzendruber, who is conducting research into biological wastewater treatment. "They were very gracious and offered a lot of wisdom in our conversations. I feel honored to have been selected for this award."

The award recognizes an outstanding first-year graduate student pursuing a degree in sanitary or environmental engineering.

"With the education I am receiving at the University of Arizona, I hope to work in the development of water sustainability in Arizona and other water-scarce areas," Swartzendruber said.

The CHEE ambassadors stand outside of the Civil Engineering Building, which houses the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.CHEE Ambassadors do more than simply give tours to interested students. They are an inspiration to those they show around campus and an insightful eye for the faculty and staff.

Department chair Anthony Muscat and program manager Holly Altman recently sat down with nine of these students to learn more about why they chose to take on this role and what they get out of it.

CHEE student Kevin Snyder described his participation in one of the campus tours when he was in high school.

"I sat in on the 326 class and Dr. Blowers wanted to give me advice on how to be successful in college," Snyder said. "He told me to get involved … and he was so willing to talk to me."

That interaction made Snyder want to pay it forward and make sure other incoming students had a similar experience.

Unfortunately, Alejandra Fraijo Arce's drive to be a great CHEE Amb...

Camila Madeira is in the foreground, testing soil samples, while Warren Kadoya stands beside her and prepares the next sample for testingGraduate students Warren Kadoya and Camila Madeira have made strides in finding out how to reduce the toxicity of remnants from insensitive munitions compounds, or IMCs, as part of a project Jim Field and Reyes Sierra have been working on for the past five years.

Kadoya and Madeira -- along with Field, Sierra and a few undergraduate students -- are working to identify specific microbes that break down toxic compounds in IMCs, and to determine the optimal conditions under which these compounds become irreversibly bound to soil.

"The idea is to remove the compounds from the environment by degrading them or by having them b...

Namrah Habib stands next to NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson while guests mingle in the background at the 2018 Aviation Week Annual Laureates Awards.Namrah Habib, a senior who majors in both chemical engineering and aerospace engineering, has been recognized as one of the American Institute Aeronautics and Astronautics "20 Twenties," a group of 20 students from across three continents who are recognized for their outstanding scholarship, research or design projects, and civic contributions.

She and the other awardees were honored during Aviation Week's 61st Annual Laureates Awards in Washington, D.C., on March 1.

Habib is currently an image processing intern on the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission, and in addition to earning the AIAA honor, has been awarded numerous prestigious awards, such as the...

A hand pushes aside foliage to reveal a line of windmills across a river.

Recently, chemical and environmental engineering student Zach Westman travelled to Europe as part of an Advanced Honors Trip, and spoke about his experiences in the first UA Travel Abroad Student Spotlight.

"I've never traveled abroad before, so the opportunity to do so while exploring STEM topics was really appealing to me," said Westman, who visited both London and Leiden, the Netherlands, during his travels.

Westman said the program gave him a global perspective on his life goals, exposing him to worldwide issues to which he could apply his UA education.

As of Jan. 21, Westman has taken over the UA Study Abroad Instagram page, and his photos and those of other study abroad students are available there.

The next UA Study Abroad program will run summer 2019.

CHEE professor Kim Ogden has made headlines recently for being named head of the UA’s new Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions Center and 2019 president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

The new UA center, which will research the efficient growth of plants and algae to use as biofuels, is funded by a five-year grant of up to $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Research will focus on guar, a legume that can be used to recover gas and oil in fracking operations, and guayule, a flowering shrub that produces organic resins and natural rubber. Both plants grow well in the Southwest, and researchers hope their work will serve as an example of how to produce biofuels in dry climates.

Ogden was first elected to the AIChE board of directors in 2014. Her appointment to AIChE makes...


University of Arizona College of Engineering