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Chemical and Petroleum Engineering


Chemical Engineers design and develop processes that transform the physical and chemical state of a substance, suiting commercial applicability. It ranges from improving food processing to fertilizers to even the clothes we wear. Modern day chemical engineers also work on pioneering concepts like nanotechnology. A specialization in chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, deals with optimizing extraction of oil and gas from the surface of earth. Petroleum engineers implement methods that maximize the extraction of hydrocarbons efficiently with least environmental repercussions.

Career Opportunities in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

  • Drilling engineers
    Drilling engineers determine the best way to drill an oil or gas well, taking into account a number of factors, including cost. They also ensure that the drilling process is safe, efficient, and minimally disruptive to the environment.
  • Production engineers
    Production engineers take over after a well is drilled. They typically monitor the well's oil and gas production. If a well is not producing as much as it was expected to, production engineers figure out ways to increase the amount being extracted.
  • Completions engineers
    Completion engineers decides the optimal way to finish building a well so that the oil or gas will flow up from underground. They oversee well-completions work, which might involve the use of tubing, hydraulic fracturing, or pressure-control techniques.
  • Reservoir engineers
    Reservoir engineers estimate how much oil or gas can be recovered from underground deposits, known as reservoirs. They study a reservoir's characteristic and determine which methods will get the most oil or gas out of the reservoir. They also monitor operations to ensure that the optimal levels of these resources are being recovered.
  • Manufacturing Goods
    Chemical Engineers help in manufacturing consumer goods like plastics, clothing, paper, toothpaste etc. They develop new products and aim to improve their existing quality. They even find work in pharmaceutical manufacturing divisions.

How to Pursue a Career in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
Path 1
Clear Class XII with Science Stream with MathsPursue B.Tech in Chemical Engg./ Petroleum Engg. for 4 yearsPursue M.Tech for 2-3 yearsPursue Ph.D for 2-3 years
Path 2
Clear Class XII with Science Stream with MathsPursue B.Tech + M.Tech (Dual Degree)in Chemical Engineering for 5 years-Pursue Ph.D for 2-3 years

Important Facts

  • Most colleges have eligibility criteria of minimum 50% aggregate marks in Class XII / and some of minimum 60%.
  • Must have passed class 12thor senior secondary examination with at least 50% marks including English.
  • Some exams require JEE score as minimum eligibility.
  • Some colleges/ universities also have an age limit.

Leading Institutes

Top Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Institutes in India
College Location Website
Indian Institute of Technology Multiple Locations
Birla Institute of Technology Pilani, Mesra
National Institute of Technology, Calicut Calicut
National Institute of Technology, Silchar Silchar
National Institute of Technology, Surathkal Surathkal
National Institute of Technology, Bhopal Bhopal
Vellore Institute of Technology Chennai
Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad Dhanbad
Sri Ramaswamy Memorial University (SRM) Multiple Locations
Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University Gandhinagar
St. Andrews Institute of Technology & Management Gurugram
International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad
PSG College of Technology Coimbatore
Maharashtra Institute of Technology Pune
Anna University Chennai
Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology Uttar Pradesh
Madras Institute of Technology Chennai
Motilal Nehru Institute of Technology Uttar Pradesh
PEC University of Technology Punjab
University of Petroleum & Energy Studies Uttarakhand
Top Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Institutes in the World
Institution Location Website
University of Manchester Manchester, United Kingdom
The University of New South Wales Australia
University of California, Berkeley United States
University College London London, United Kingdom
Imperial College London London, United Kingdom
Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
Delft University of Technology Netherlanads
Harvard University United States
National University of Singapore Singapore
Carlifornia Institute of Technology United States
University of Michigan United States
University of Toronto Canada
Purdue University United States

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Entrance Exams

College Tentative Date Important Elements Website
Joint Entrance Examination Main (JEE Main) April Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
Joint Entrance Examination Advanced (JEE Advanced) May/June Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
National Engineering Aptitute Test (NEAT/NAT) June Mathematics/Biology Physics, Chemistry,
Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission (BITSAT) May Mathematics/Biology Physics, Chemistry, Logical Reasoning English
Education Promotion Society of India National Admission Test (ENAT) April/May Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, English
Vellore Institute of Technology Engineering Entrance Exam (VITEEE) April Mathematics/Biology Physics, Chemistry, English
University of Delhi Combined Entrance Exam (DU-CET) June Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
Consortium Medical, Engineering & Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) May Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
Admission Test for ICFAI Science & Technology (ATIT) May Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, English
Indian Institute of Space & Technology Admission Test (ISAT) June Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
Combined Written Admission Test (CWAT) May/June Botany Zoology Physics, Chemistry,
SRM University Engineering Exam (SRMUEE) April Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology
Manipal University Online Entrance Exam (MU-OEE) March/April Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology
Indraprastha University Common EntranceTest (IPUCET) May Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
Institution Tentative Date Important Elements Website
Graduate Aptitute Test in Engineering (GATE) (Postgraduate) Jan/Feb All Branches of engineering

Work Description

  • Evaluate chemical equipments and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.
  • Perform tests and monitor processes in various stages of production.
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes.
  • Perform laboratory studies of various steps in manufacture of new product and test proposed process in small scale operation such as a pilot plant.
  • Work closely with chemists and control engineers to ensure that the process plant is set-up to provide maximum output levels to ensure efficient running of the production facility.

Pros & Cons of a Career in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

  • The career is highly rewarding in terms of monetary benefits.
  • Chemical engineers can work in a variety of settings- manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, research, product testing etc.
  • Petroleum engineers are high in demand and are expected to stay so in the future.
  • Much of the time may be spent in lab, for chemical engineers.
  • Petroleum engineers may find office hours unstructured, work may find them in remote locations.
  • Working conditions may be hazardous sometimes, in both the branches.
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