Chemical Engineering

The graduate school is organised within the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
Director of Graduate Studies: Claes Niklasson
 

Syllabus

Established by the Vice President on 2005-05-17, reference number C 2005/604 
Latest revised on 2021-06-24, reference number K 2021-0126 
This syllabus applies to doctoral students admitted as of 2021-08-01 
Regarding older syllabus, please contact the first vice/vice head of department.

Transitional regulations: 
A doctoral student admitted to an older syllabus may earn a degree in accordance with this, provided that the current Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes and current Local Qualifications Framework – third cycle qualifications are followed. 

Doctoral students admitted to an older syllabus of graduate school Chemistry can, however, change to the current syllabus by an application to the Vice Head of Department. The change must be documented in the individual study plan. 

The graduate school is regulated by the Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes and the Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology - third cycle qualifications and is described in the syllabus for the graduate school. In the event of any conflict between the documents, the Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes and the Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology - third cycle qualifications are governing. For the most recent version of all regulatory documents referenced in this syllabus, see Chalmers’s internal website. 

1. Subject description

Description of subject 

The research area Chemical Engineering deals with the interaction between chemical and physical features in industrial chemical processes and products. The research covers both intrascientific basic research and applied research. The aim is to master industrial chemical processes and products so that they can be designed optimally, both from an environmental and financial point of view.

Description of specializations 

Chemical Engineering 
Design Chemical engineering design covers chemical production processes where impulse, heat and material transfer are of key significance. Research is, in general, focused on the design, upscaling, dimensioning and development of equipment as well as mathematical modelling for analysis and calculation of these operations. Research at the division involves mathematical modeling, at multi-scales, supported by experiments, and applications are found in chemical-, pharmaceutical-, food-, pulp and paper, and automobile industries. The processes are often multiphase including particles and fibres, and we study both separation and mixing processes. Examples of research projects include: coating in fluidized beds, granulation (wet/dry), spray- and pneumatic drying, suspension/flocculation, microwave and freeze drying, flow of pulp fibres (wet/dry), steam explosion of wood material, and large scale chromatography. 

Chemical Reaction Engineering 
In the modern chemical and fuel refining industries the aim is to achieve high-quality products, minimize unwanted by-products and an on-going replacement of fossil-derived feedstocks with sustainable alternatives. Selectivity in the reactor is particularly important in processes in which by-products cause environmental problems (e.g. N2O from exhaust gas aftertreatment) and it can be decisive for the economic viability of newly developed/planned process (e.g. by-products from valorization of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals). In processes where very high purity is required for legislative reasons, such as in the pharmaceutical industry, the cost of purification becomes important and reactor performance is of vital significance. Heterogeneous catalysts are common in industrial chemical reactors and research concerning their design and stability is often vital for improving the performance of reaction processes. Knowledge of the advantages and drawbacks of chemical reactor properties is therefore essential for all chemical and biochemical processes. Research in chemical reaction engineering includes the kinetics and dynamics of chemical and biochemical processes coupled with molecular mass transport phenomena. Other important research fields are turbulence modelling linked to chemical reactions, fermentation processes, catalyst deactivation, process control, stability and optimization. Research areas are: Catalytic multiphase reactor system, deactivation of catalysts, new design of catalysts, chemical reaction and multiphase flow, exhaust gas catalysis, CO2 capture, biorefining catalysis, CO2 utilization catalysis, bio ethanol, chemicals and biogas production from renewable resources, chemical process design. 

Food Science
The food industry is very much a process-oriented industry. As food is a biological material characterised by considerable instability, special consideration must be given when in industrial processes the physical and/or chemical environment of the food changes. The research is focused on the application of mild process conditions to preserve the freshness and microbial safety of the food and also to apply supercritical processes to improving product quality and process economy. Forest Products and Chemical Engineering The aim of Forest products and chemical engineering is to provide knowledge in order to facilitate efficient and sustainable utilization of wood material. The research covers the development of processes for separation and further valorisation of wood components with focus on the Kraft process and its combinations with various biorefinery concepts. More precisely: pre-treatment strategies to recover sensitive structures prior to kraft cooking and kinetics of heterogeneous reactions (e.g. kraft cooking, production of CNC, precipitation of lignin and disintegration of lignin); downstream separation and fractionation (e.g. filtration, membrane separation and evaporation) and further processing of wood components (e.g. chemical modification as well as dissolving and spinning of wood polymers).

Applied Surface Chemistry 
Applied Surface Chemistry covers technical applications of surface chemistry. Surface chemistry has its theoretical basis in physical chemistry and can be divided into 1) surface and colloid chemistry, mainly comprising solutions, and 2) solid surface chemistry. Surface chemistry can be found as part of technical solutions within many industries, from the food industry and pharmaceuticals to paper and mining industries, as well as in industries where the nature and reactivity of solid surfaces is crucial, such as in large parts of materials technology, where superabsorbents, catalysts, fuel cells, batteries and biomaterials are examples with extensive research in this field. The term surface and colloid chemistry includes the physicochemical properties and applications of surfactants and suspensions. The area is a central part of nanomaterials chemistry including the production of nanomaterials where the size and structure is controlled at the nanometer scale. In this area, the research pace is very high, and many high-tech materials are based on practices in this field. A further field concerns supramolecular chemistry and special investigations of structure as well as structure dynamics of such systems. Biopolymergels and cellulose fibers are examples of supramolecular systems studied. Transport of both water and substances dissolved in water in these systems are investigated with the help of, among other things, NMR diffusometry and various microscopy methods. 

Environmental Inorganic Chemistry
The overall research strategy within Environmental inorganic chemistry is to contribute with chemical and material-chemical aspects for the sustainable development of society. Within combustion and gasification chemistry we study methods for flue gas purification and the environmentally friendly use of residual products. The soluble component and heavy metal content of the ash limits possible areas of use, and consequently we study different processes in order to stabilize or separate these components, e.g. in biofuel or waste combustion ash. Atmospheric corrosion is studied in the laboratory and includes foundry metals, light metal alloys, stone materials and paper. The durability of different types of modern and traditional construction materials is an important area and we are working closely with the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, GMV, on the preservation of buildings and historic monuments. An important application for theoretical calculations in oxide chemistry is improved properties of concrete. 

2. Objectives of the doctoral program 

Objectives 

The national objectives for third cycle degrees (licentiate and doctoral degree) and local requirements are stated in the Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications. 

3. Entry requirements 

General entry requirements 

To be qualified for admission in the Chemical Engineering graduate school the student must have earned a degree at the second-cycle level. The orientation of the student’s degree shall also have a sufficiently close connection to the subject of the doctoral programme. Equivalent requirements apply to individuals who have taken their first degree in a country other than Sweden. The examiner, in consultation with the principal supervisor, shall assess whether the applicant has the requisite capacity to successfully complete the doctoral programme. Other requirements for general entry are regulated in Appointment regulation for doctoral programmes. 

Admission 

Regulations regarding admission are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral Programmes. 

4. Curriculum 

The study programme towards a doctoral degree encompasses 240 higher education credits. The study programme towards a licentiate degree encompasses 120 higher education credits. One year of full-time studies equals 60 credits. 

For the licentiate degree programme the credits are distributed between courses and thesis work as follows: courses 30 credits and thesis 90 credits.

For the doctoral degree programme the credits are distributed between course work and thesis work as follows: courses at least 60 credits and thesis at least 180 credits. 

Courses 

Courses within the graduate school include general courses that cover all doctoral programmes at Chalmers as well as courses specific for the graduate school. 

General courses in Chalmers’s doctoral programmes 
The general course requirements for doctoral programmes at Chalmers are regulated in Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications.

Licentiate thesis 

A licenciate thesis shall be written in English. In exceptional cases it can be written in Swedish; in such cases it shall contain a summary in English. 

The purpose of the licentiate thesis is to account for the relevant scientific results that have been attained during the thesis work and describe these in a way that is accessible outside of the scientific inner circle of researchers. A licentiate thesis can either be written as a compilation thesis or as a monograph. If the licentiate thesis is a compilation thesis it should begin with an introduction, a summarizing text, followed by the included scientific articles. The purpose of the summarizing text is to put the studies in context, and to present relevant results that for various reasons are not described within the articles.

The preferred format is a compilation thesis. 

Alternative 1: The compilation of articles in the thesis includes at least two articles where at least one is accepted/published in an international peer-reviewed scientific journal. The licentiate thesis is examined by the Director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry before printing. 

Alternative 2: None of the compiled articles are accepted/published; or the number of compiled articles is less than two; or the licentiate thesis is a monography. Referee review takes place according to the department’s routines. Other regulations concerning the licentiate thesis are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral Programmes. 

Doctoral thesis 

A doctoral thesis shall be written in English. In exceptional cases it can be written in Swedish; in such cases it shall contain a summary in English. 

The purpose of the doctoral thesis is to account for the relevant scientific results that have been attained during the thesis work and describe these in a way that is accessible outside of the scientific inner circle of researchers. A doctoral thesis can either be written as a compilation thesis or as a monograph. If the doctoral thesis is a compilation thesis it should begin with an introduction, a summarizing text, followed by the included scientific articles. The purpose of the summarizing text is to put the studies in context, and to present relevant results that for various reasons are not described within the articles.

The preferred format is a compilation thesis. 

Other regulations concerning the dissertation are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral Programmes. 

Supervision 

The Appointment regulation for doctoral Programmes states that for each doctoral student at least two supervisors and one examiner shall be appointed. One of the supervisors shall be appointed principal supervisor. The doctoral student has the right to supervision during the studies unless the Head of Department decides otherwise. Other regulations concerning supervision are stated in Appointment regulation for doctoral Programmes. 

5. Examination 

After completion of a doctoral programme a doctoral degree is awarded. A licentiate degree can be an intermediate stage in a doctoral degree. If a licentiate degree is not a part of the individual study plan, an interim seminar shall be held to denote that licentiate level has been reached. For PhD-students at the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, a licentiate degree is strongly recommended. 

Examination, licentiate degree 

For a licentiate degree to be awarded, the doctoral student must have received a grade of pass for the licentiate thesis and its presentation and must also have received a grade of pass for the other elements that are included in the programme. 

Examination, doctoral degree 

For a doctoral degree to be awarded, the doctoral student must have had a dissertation and its defence approved and must also have passed the other elements that are included in the programme. 

Other regulations regarding examination are stated in:
  • Appointment regulation for doctoral Programmes
  • Local Qualifications Framework for Chalmers University of Technology – third cycle qualifications 

6. Title of degree 

The title of qualification is Teknologie doktorsexamen i Kemiteknik or Filosofie doktorsexamen i Kemiteknik. The English translation of the title of the qualification is Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Chemical Engineering. 

For a licentiate degree the title of the qualification is Teknologie licentiatexamen i Kemiteknik or Filosofie licentiatexamen i Kemiteknik. The English translation of the title of qualification is Degree of Licentiate of Engineering in Chemical Engineering or Degree of Licentiate of Philosophy in Chemical Enginering.

The degree is given a title corresponding to the name of the faculty within which the undergraduate degree was earned. The title is determined by the Head of Department in connection with admission.

Any decision regarding exemption from use of the defined title is made by the Head of Department. In some individual cases, it is possible to use a title that does not correspond to the name of the faculty within which the undergraduate degree was earned.

Page manager Published: Sun 01 Aug 2021.