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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering


Richard A. Register

Departmental Representative

Yueh-Lin Loo

Director of Graduate Studies

Stanislav Y. Shvartsman


Ilhan A. Aksay

Jay B. Benziger

Pablo G. Debenedetti

Christodoulos A. Floudas

Yannis G. Kevrekidis

Morton D. Kostin

Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos

Robert K. Prud'homme

Richard A. Register

William B. Russel

Sankaran Sundaresan

Associate Professor

Yueh-Lin Loo

Stanislav Y. Shvartsman, also Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

Assistant Professor

Clifford P. Brangwynne

Mark P. Brynildsen

A. James Link

Celeste M. Nelson

Rodney D. Priestley

Associated Faculty

Emily A. Carter, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Applied and Computational Mathematics

George W. Scherer, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Howard A. Stone, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Information and Departmental Plan of Study


The freshman program in engineering or its equivalent.

General Requirements

In order to qualify for the B.S.E. degree in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, a student must satisfy the requirements of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and must choose courses during the sophomore, junior, and senior years to provide a core knowledge of chemical engineering and advanced knowledge in an area of concentration. The advanced science and core chemical engineering courses in the sophomore and junior years provide the fundamental tools of thermodynamics, transport processes, and reactor analysis.  In the spring semester of the junior year students take a laboratory base course that utilizes core chemical engineering knowledge.  In the senior year, students undertake an in-depth design analysis with state-of-the-art design and optimization tools in CBE 442 Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Chemical Processes. Students can tailor their specific interests in chemical and biological engineering by pursuing an area of concentration that culminates with a senior thesis project. The areas of concentration, reflective of the practice of modern chemical engineering, include bioengineering, biotechnology, materials and product engineering, energy and environmental engineering, optimization dynamics and information technology, entrepreneurship and management, and science and engineering for new technologies. This program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone (410) 347-7700. Students with special interests should consult the section on special programs and options. Total courses: 36.

Departmental Requirements

Chemical and Biological Engineering Core

The nine courses listed below are required of all chemical and biological engineering majors:

245 Introduction to Chemical Engineering Principles
246 Thermodynamics
250 Separations in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
341 Mass, Momentum, and Energy Transport
346 Chemical Engineering Laboratory
441 Chemical Reaction Engineering
442 Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Chemical Processes
451, 452 Independent Work or 454 Senior Thesis

Most students carry out a two-term senior thesis. Students must complete a two-term thesis for departmental honors. Students who elect one term of independent work are required to take an additional chemical engineering elective.

Mathematics Requirement

MAT 303 Ordinary Differential Equations, or MAE 305 Mathematics in Engineering I

Chemistry Requirement

CHM 201 General Chemistry I, or CHM 203 Advanced General Chemistry I, or CHM 207 Advanced General Chemistry: Materials Chemistry
CHM 202 General Chemistry II, or CHM 204 Advanced General Chemistry II, or CHM 215 Advanced General Chemistry: Honors Course
CHM 301 Organic Chemistry I, or CHM 303 Organic Chemistry I: Biological Emphasis

Molecular Biology Requirement

MOL 214 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology, or MOL 215 Quantitative Principles in Cell and Molecular Biology

Advanced Science Requirements

Advanced Chemistry. The advanced chemistry course provides a greater depth in the underlying science of chemistry. The courses may be any 300 level or above chemistry course, including those cross-listed by the chemistry department. With the approval of the departmental representative, the advanced chemistry requirement may be selected from another science department.

Advanced Chemical Engineering. One advanced chemical engineering course is also required. This can be any 300 level or above course (excluding independent work) offered or cross-listed by the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Program of Study

Students are required to designate an area of concentration and take three courses from the approved lists below in that area of concentration. The senior independent work should also be undertaken within the area of concentration. In addition, students are required to take at least one course each from two of the advanced areas outside their area of concentration to provide technical diversity.  (Note: An asterisk indicates one-time-only courses.)

Bioengineering and Biotechnology

CBE 423 Biologically Inspired Materials
CBE 432 The Cell as a Chemical Reactor
CBE 438 Biomolecular Engineering
CBE 439 Quantitative Physiology and Tissue Design
CBE 440 The Physical Basis of Human Disease
CBE 443 Separations in Chemical and Biochemical Processes
CBE 447 Biochemical Engineering
*CHM 412 Applied Quantitative Analysis: Molecular Recognition
CHM 543 Advanced Topics in Structural Biology: Neurodevelopmental Disorders from a Molecular Point of View
MAE 344 Introduction to Bioengineering and Medical Devices
MOL 340 Molecular and Cellular Immunology
MOL 342 Genetics
MOL 345/CHM 345 Biochemistry
MOL 348 Cell and Developmental Biology
MOL 434 Macromolecular Structure and Mechanism in Disease
MOL 435 Pathogenesis and Bacterial Diversity
*MOL 436 Statistical Methods for Genomic Data
MOL 455/COS 455 Introduction to Genomics and Computational Molecular Biology
MOL 457 Computational Aspect of Molecular Biology
NEU 258/PSY 258 Fundamentals of Neuroscience
NEU 259a, 259b/PSY 259a, 259b Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
NEU 408/MOL 408/PSY 404 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience
NEU 437/MOL 437/PSY 437 Computational Neuroscience
PSY 406 Functional Neuroanatomy
PSY 407 Developmental Neuroscience
QCB 510/CBE 535 Modeling Tools for Cell and Developmental Biology

Entrepreneurship and Management

CBE 260/EGR 260 Ethics and Technology: Engineering in the Real World
CEE 460 Risk Assessment and Management
COS 432 Information Security
ECO 310 Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach
EGR 495 Special Topics in Entrepreneurship
ELE 491 High-Tech Entrepreneurship
GEO 297/ENV 399 Environmental Decision Making
GEO 366/ENV 339/WWS 335 Current and Future Climate
ORF 245 Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics
ORF 335 Introduction to Financial Engineering
ORF 435 Financial Risk Management
WWS 304 Science, Technology, and Public Policy
WWS 315 Bioethics and Public Policy
WWS 320 Human Genetics, Reproduction, and Public Policy
WWS 327/CHM 443 Pharmaceutical Research and Health Policy

Energy and Environmental Technology

CEE 303 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CEE 306 Hydrology
CEE 308 Environmental Engineering Laboratory
CEE 471 Introduction to Water Pollution Technology
CHM 333/ENV 333 Oil to Ozone: Chemistry of the Environment
*ECO 429 Issues in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
*ELE 431 Solar Energy Conversion
ENV 201a, 201b Fundamentals of Environmental Studies: Population, Land Use, Biodiversity, Energy
ENV 202a, 202b Fundamentals of Environmental Studies: Climate, Air Pollution, Toxics, and Water
ENV 204 Global Warming: Causes, Consequences, Policy Responses
ENV 531/GEO 531/CEE 583 Topics in Energy and the Environment: Intro to Petroleum Engineering
GEO 220a or 220b Weather and Climate
GEO 322 Biogeochemical Cycles and Global Change
GEO 363/CHM 331/ENV 331 Environmental Geochemistry: Chemistry of the Natural Systems
GEO 418/CHM 418 Environmental Aqueous Geochemistry
GEO 470/CHM 470 Environmental Chemistry of Soils
MAE 328/EGR 328/ENV 328 Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World
MAE 427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications

Materials and Product Engineering

CBE 415 Polymers
CBE 423 Biologically Inspired Materials
CEE 364 Materials in Civil Engineering
CHM 403 Advanced Organic Chemistry
ELE 441 Solid-State Physics I
ELE 442 Solid-State Physics II
ELE 449 Materials and Solid-State Device Laboratory
MAE 324 Structure and Properties of Materials
MAE 334 Materials Selection and Design
MSE 301 Materials Science and Engineering
MSE 302 Laboratory Techniques in Materials Science and Engineering
MSE 531/ELE 531 Introduction to Nano/Microfabrication

Optimization, Dynamics, and Information Technology

CBE 445 Process Control
CBE 448 Introduction to Nonlinear Dynamics
CBE 520 Molecular Simulation Methods
CBE 527 Nonlinear and Mixed-Integer Optimization
COS 217 Introduction to Programming Systems
COS 226 Algorithms and Data Structures
COS 323 Computing for the Physical and Social Sciences
COS 333 Advanced Programming Techniques
*EEB 355 Introduction to Statistics for Biology
ORF 245 Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics
ORF 307 Optimization
ORF 309/EGR 309/MAT 309 Probability and Stochastic Systems
ORF 311 Optimization Under Uncertainty
ORF 406 Statistical Design of Experiments
ORF 409 Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation
ORF 411 Operations and Information Engineering
ORF 417 Dynamic Programming

Science and Engineering for New Technologies

Transport Phenomena

CBE 342 Fluid Mechanics
MAE 306/MAT 302 Mathematics in Engineering II
MAE 336 Viscous Flows
MAE 423 Heat Transfer

Chemical Technology

CBE 421/CHM 421 Catalytic Chemistry
CHM 302 Organic Chemistry II, or CHM 304 Organic Chemistry II: Biological Emphasis
CHM 305 The Quantum World
CHM 306 Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHM 406 Advanced Physical Chemistry: Chemical Dynamics and Thermodynamics
CHM 407 Inorganic Chemistry: Structure and Bonding

Engineering Physics

PHY 203 Classical Mechanics A, or PHY 205 Classical Mechanics B
PHY 208 Principles of Quantum Mechanics
PHY 301 Thermal Physics
PHY 305 Introduction to Quantum Theory

Electronic Materials Processing

ELE 208 Integrated Circuits: Practice and Principles
ELE 341 Solid-State Devices
ELE 342 Physical Principles of Electronic Devices
ELE 441 Solid-State Physics I

The advanced chemistry course requirement and the advanced chemical engineering course requirement can both be satisfied by electives in the areas of concentration.

Special Programs and Options. The flexibility built into the chemical and biological engineering curriculum provides an opportunity for students to obtain a thorough education in the fundamentals of chemical engineering science and at the same time pursue a cognate field (a "track") such as biology, business, medicine, chemistry, or physics. Students simply elect as few or as many courses in the cognate field as they desire. While some students may concentrate all their electives in a single field, others may prefer to divide their time between two tracks, for example, chemistry and the biological sciences, or physics and mathematics. The following listing suggests the many tracks available.

Applied and Computational Mathematics: Elective courses in mathematics, modeling, and applications.

Applied Mathematics and Computer Technology: Elective courses in statistical studies, mathematics, electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and civil engineering and operations research.

Applied Physics: Elective courses in physics, mathematics, and chemical and biological engineering.

Biotechnology: Elective courses in chemical and biological engineering, molecular biology, and chemistry.

Business and Finance: Elective courses in decision theory, engineering administration, and economics.

Chemistry: Additional courses in chemistry and the biological sciences beyond those required in the regular program.

Energy Conversion and Resources: Elective courses with emphasis on conversion of energy as given by the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Physics.

Environmental Studies: Elective courses in ecology and evolutionary biology, molecular biology, chemistry, chemical and biological engineering, and civil and environmental engineering.

Materials Science: Elective courses in materials science and engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, chemical and biological engineering, and civil and environmental engineering.

Premedical: Elective courses in ecology and evolutionary biology, molecular biology, and chemistry.

Princeton University offers several special programs called certificate programs. Unlike the tracks described above, these certificate programs have formal requirements. They are described elsewhere in this announcement (for example, see the Programs in Engineering Physics, Engineering Biology, Materials Science and Engineering, Sustainable Energy, and Environmental Studies).


CBE 199 Great Inventions That Changed the World (also EGR 199)   Not offered this year QR

Examines a number of great inventions in 20th-century chemical technology. Focuses on scientists and engineers who tackled the urgent problems of their day. Using case studies, students learn about the methods and tools employed by scientists, examine their solutions, and discuss the consequences (both good and bad) of their inventions. Students develop their quantitative skills by using Excel to solve equations and do statistical analysis. Two lectures, one preceptorial. J. Wei

CBE 201 An Introduction to Scientific Computing   Not offered this year QR

An introduction to computer programming emphasizing numerical modeling and problem solving, including numerical integration, solution of systems of non-linear equations, and composition of high-level macros for numerical work within spreadsheets. The programming environment is Visual Basic.NET, an object-oriented programming language that is accessible to beginner programmers and permits the rapid development of applications with a graphical user interface. Utilizes MATLAB data analysis, visualization, programming, and symbolic mathematics systems. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: MAT 103. A. Panagiotopoulos

CBE 228 Energy Solutions for the Next Century (see MAE 228)

CBE 245 Introduction to Chemical Engineering Principles   Fall

Application of the principles of conservation of mass and energy to the design and analysis of chemical processes. Elementary treatment of single and multiphase systems. First law of thermodynamics for closed and open systems. Steady state and transient analysis of reacting and nonreacting systems. Prerequisite: general chemistry. R. Priestley

CBE 246 Thermodynamics   Spring

Basic concepts governing the equilibrium behavior of macroscopic fluid and solid systems of interest in modern chemical engineering. Applications of the first law (energy conservation) and second law (temperature, entropy, reversibility) to open and closed systems. Thermodynamic properties of pure substances and mixtures. Phase equilibrium and introduction to reaction equilibrium. Introduction to the molecular basis of thermodynamics. Applications include thermodynamics of protein stability, the Earth's energy balance, energy conversion schemes, and the binding of ligands to proteins. Prerequisite: 245 or instructor's permission. A. Panagiotopoulos

CBE 250 Separations in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology   Spring

Fundamental thermodynamic principles and transport processes that govern separations in biotechnology and chemical processing. Staged operations, such as distillation and chromatography, are developed based on coupling phase equilibrium with mass balances. Transport processes driven by electric fields, centrifugal fields, or hydrodynamics provide the basis for understanding ultracentrifugation, membrane process, and electrophoresis. Prerequisites: CBE 245, or MAT 104 with permission of instructor. Three classes. A. Link

CBE 260 Ethics and Technology: Engineering in the Real World (also EGR 260)   Fall EM

An examination of engineering as a profession and the professional responsibilities of engineers. The ethics of engineering will be considered through case studies (e.g., automobile safety, pollution control), and the social responsibilities of engineering will be distinguished from those of science and business. Quantitative decision-making concepts, including risk-benefit analysis, are introduced and weighed against ethical considerations to compare technology options. Ethical conflicts between utilitarian theories and duty theories will be debated. Two lectures, one preceptorial. J. Benziger

CBE 341 Mass, Momentum, and Energy Transport   Fall

Survey of modeling and solution methods for the transport of fluids, heat, and chemical species in response to differences in pressure, temperature, and concentration. Both steady state and transient behavior will be examined. Topics include fluid statics; conservation equations for mass, momentum and energy; dimensional analysis; viscous flow at high and low Reynolds number; thermal conduction; convective heat and mass transfer, correlations; diffusion and interphase mass transfer. Working knowledge of calculus, linear algebra and ordinary differential equations is assumed. Three lectures, one preceptorial. MAE 305 may be taken concurrently. M. Brynildsen

CBE 342 Fluid Mechanics   Not offered this year

Elements of fluid mechanics relevant to simple and complex fluids. Topics include macroscopic balances; derivation of differential balance equations and applications to unidirectional flows; treatment of nearly unidirectional flows through the lubrication approximation; introduction to turbulent flow; flow through porous media; capillary flows; dispersed two-phase flows; and hydrodynamic stability. Three lectures. Prerequisite: 341. S. Sundaresan

CBE 346 Chemical Engineering Laboratory   Spring

An intensive hands-on practice of engineering. Experimental work in the areas of separations, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, process dynamics and control, materials processing and characterization, chemical reactors. Development of written and oral technical communication skills. Prerequisites 246, 341 or equivalents. One 90-minute lecture, two three-hour laboratories. I. Aksay, R. Priestley, R. Prud'homme

CBE 351 Junior Independent Work   Fall

Subjects chosen by the student with the approval of the faculty for independent study. A written report, examination, or other evidence of accomplishment will be required. L. Loo

CBE 352 Junior Independent Work   Spring

Subjects chosen by the student with the approval of the faculty for independent study. A written report, examination, or other evidence of accomplishment will be required. L. Loo

CBE 410 Molecular Structure and Property: Product Engineering (also CHM 410)   Not offered this year QR

The value of chemical products, such as motor fuels and refrigerants, depends on such properties as heats of combustion, boiling points, and environmental impact. The introduction of new products and improvement of existing products depend on understanding and manipulation of molecular structure and intermolecular forces. Computers will be used in data access, structure visualization and manipulation, data analysis, and property estimation. Prerequisites: CHM 201 and CHM 202 and CHM 301. Two 90-minute lectures. J. Wei

CBE 415 Polymers (also CHM 415)   Spring

Broad introduction to polymer science and technology, including polymer chemistry (major synthetic routes to polymers), polymer physics (solution and melt behavior, solid-state morphology and properties), and polymer engineering (overview of reaction engineering and melt processing methods). Two 90-minute lectures. R. Register

CBE 421 Catalytic Chemistry (also CHM 421)   Not offered this year

Concepts of heterogeneous catalysis applied to chemical processes. Major industrial processes based on heterogeneous catalysis, including ammonia synthesis, catalytic cracking, partial oxidation, and desulfurization. The major classes of heterogeneous catalysts, such as solid acids and transition metals, and the classes of chemical reactions catalyzed by these materials. Processing conditions and reactor design are also considered. Three lectures. Prerequisite: organic chemistry. J. Benziger

CBE 423 Biologically Inspired Materials   Not offered this year

Focuses on the pathways utilized by biological systems to produce hierarchically structured inorganic/organic nanocomposites such as bone, teeth, diatoms, and sea-shells. These structures form through template-assisted self-assembly, in which self-assembled organic materials (proteins, lipids, or both) serve as the structural scaffolding. The outcome is multifunctional composites with self-healing, sensing, and actuating properties. The course will critically evaluate the potential of biologically inspired materials in future applications. Two 90-minute lectures, one class. I. Aksay

CBE 432 The Cell as a Chemical Reactor   Not offered this year

Presents a framework for the analysis of cellular responses, such as proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Emphasis on mechanistic models of biotransformation, signal transduction, and cell-cell communication in tissues. Focuses first on unit operations of cell physiology transcription, translation, and signal transduction. Models of these processes will rely on tools of reaction engineering and transport. Process dynamics and control will then be used to analyze the regulatory structure of networks of interacting genes and proteins. Prerequisites: MOL 214 and MAT 303 or their equivalents. One three-hour lecture. S. Shvartsman

CBE 441 Chemical Reaction Engineering   Spring

Stoichiometry and mechanisms of chemical reaction rates, both homogeneous and catalytic; adsorption, batch, continuous flow, and staged reactors; coupling between chemical reaction rates and mass, momentum, and energy transport; stability; optimization of reactor design. Application to environmental and industrial problems. Two lectures, one class. Prerequisites: thermodynamics, 341. C. Nelson

CBE 442 Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Chemical Processes   Fall

Introduction to chemical process flow-sheeting; process simulation design, sizing and cost estimation of total processes; process economics; introduction to optimization, linear programming, integer programming, and nonlinear programming; heat integration methods, minimum utility cost, minimum number of units, network optimization. Three lectures. Prerequisite: 441. C. Floudas

CBE 443 Separations in Chemical and Biochemical Processes   Not offered this year

Separations of importance in biochemical and chemical processes emphasizing physical and chemical mechanisms. Topics include: membrane separations, chromatographic separations, crystallization, centrifugation, filtration, extraction, and adsorption. Three lectures. R. Prud'homme

CBE 445 Process Control   Not offered this year

A quantitative study of the principles of process dynamics and control. Dynamic behavior of chemical process elements; analysis and synthesis of linear feedback control systems with special emphasis on frequency response techniques and scalar systems. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: differential equations, which may be taken concurrently. C. Floudas

CBE 447 Biochemical Engineering   Not offered this year

Introduction to engineering analysis of biological systems and the use of microorganisms in biotechnology. Specific topics will include: introduction to microbial biochemistry and genetics; enzyme kinetics; kinetics and energetics of microbial growth; heat and mass transfer in biological systems; microbial bioreactors; immobilized cells and enzymes; genetic engineering. Three lectures, optional review sessions. Staff

CBE 448 Introduction to Nonlinear Dynamics (also MAT 448)   Not offered this year

An introduction to the phenomenology of nonlinear dynamic behavior with emphasis on models of actual physical, chemical, and biological systems, involving an interdisciplinary approach to ideas from mathematics, computing, and modeling. The common features of the development of chaotic behavior in both mathematical models and experimental studies are stressed, as is the use of interactive graphics to explore and analyze this behavior. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisites: knowledge of linear algebra and ordinary differential equations (for example, MAT 203, 303, or MAE 305). Y. Kevrekidis

CBE 451 Senior Independent Work   Fall

A one semester study of an important problem or topic in chemical and biological engineering. Projects may be experimental, computational, or theoretical. Topics selected by the students from suggestions by the faculty. Written report required. L. Loo

CBE 452 Senior Independent Work   Spring

A one semester study of an important problem or topic in chemical and biological engineering. Projects may be experimental, computational, or theoretical. Topics selected by the students from suggestions by the faculty. Written report required. L. Loo

CBE 454 Senior Thesis   Spring

A full year study of an important problem or topic in chemical and biological engineering culminating in a senior thesis. Projects may be experimental, computational, or theoretical. Topics selected by the students from suggestions by the faculty. Written thesis, poster presentation, and oral defense required. The senior thesis is recorded as a double course in the spring. Enrollment by application or interview. Departmental permission required. J. Benziger, L. Loo