Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Dr. Sohail Murad

Chemical and biological engineering is at the forefront of finding solutions to society’s most pressing problems. The biggest challenges of the next few decades will be water, energy, the environment, and a graying population worldwide. Chemical and biological engineers are best positioned to address water shortages through new technologies such as water desalination, water absorption/desorption, electrode-ionization, energy shortages with nonfood-based biofuels, and nanotechnology-based solutions to many diseases with targeted drug delivery to minimize drug side effects.

The origin of Illinois Tech's Department of Chemical Engineering can be traced back to 1901 when a chemical engineering curriculum was first started at the Armour Institute of Technology. In its nearly 120-year history, Illinois Tech students, alumni, and faculty have contributed significantly to the profession within one of the oldest, most distinguished departments in the country.

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering currently boasts two faculty members in the National Academy of Engineering and one member from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences—among the highest number from chemical and biological engineering departments across the United States. Our department also has an ambitious plan for the next five years, which includes increasing the number of endowed and chaired professorships in the department.

The research interests of our department encompass emerging areas of chemical and biological engineering. It has exceptional strengths in fields such as energy research, including the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research; complex systems and advanced materials research; theoretical and experimental fluid mechanics/dynamics and interfacial rheology; diabetes and other metabolic diseases; and computational modeling from sub-atomistic to continuum.

Recently we have hired additional faculty members to further broaden our research areas. Our recent hires are working in cross-cutting research areas such as advanced batteries and in understanding bio-films better so that the human body is more accepting of organ implants.

We have also added a new master’s degree program in pharmaceutical engineering—the only program of its kind in the Chicago area. This new program offers a curriculum designed to prepare students to address the changing needs of the pharmaceutical industry, including research on state-of-the art manufacturing practices and protocols.

We believe these endeavors will result in our continued reputation as one of the most outstanding departments in the country. Please consider joining us to help achieve these exciting goals.

Sohail Murad
Chair, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering