LUMS to Introduce Chemical Engineering Programme

LUMS has always been at the forefront of imparting quality education and positively impacting the society. Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE) has been able to bring a huge paradigm shift in the quality of science and engineering education and research in Pakistan. The recent plan to add the BS Chemical Engineering Programme in the current offerings at the SBASSE banks on the success of the School, which is reflected by the high quality of graduates and their placements in top-notch organisations and graduate programmes in some of the world’s best universities as well as the quality of research output in terms of high quality publications in prominent journals by its faculty.

The new programme will take up its first cohort of students in 2018. The programme will evolve to include graduate level education through a rigorous curriculum at the MS and PhD levels and high quality research in the key areas of local and global relevance.

Chemical engineers have played crucial role in some of the inventions that truly changed the world around us and continue to have positive impact on our lives, for instances: lithium ion batteries, liquid crystal displays, large-scale production polyethylene plastic that is used for bags, plastic parts of hip or knee prosthetics, industrial scale production of penicillin, and the Haber-Bosch process to produce ammonia at industrial scale that made the production of the synthetic fertilizers a reality. It is also worth noting that the road to the aforementioned inventions was not the sole work of chemical engineers. In majority of the cases, the working principles and products were demonstrated and invented by the scientists in the laboratories before the engineers could translate them from the laboratory bench to the real-life application.

All the major discoveries have a substantial contribution from scientists and engineers and there is no better arrangement than bringing them under the same roof. This is the vision of SBASSE. Since much of the research within the Department of Chemistry at SBASSE is of an applied nature, the Chemical Engineering programme will be included within this department. Thus, the department has been upgraded from the Department of Chemistry to the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

The Chemical Engineering programme at SBASSE will equip students with the much needed knowledge of inventing and designing processes and equipment for the transformation and production of materials (chemical and biotechnological), for energy production and for minimizing the environmental impact with an additional skill of conceiving laboratory bench to real-life translation of scientific inventions happening at SBASSE.

This new science-based Chemical Engineering programme, currently almost non-existent in Pakistan, will provide students with basic and applied knowledge in the underlying Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology, as well as cover the traditional basics with an emphasis on engineering science and modern Chemical Engineering. “It is distinguished in several ways and focused on creating enhanced synergism between science and engineering that resonates with the SBASSE interdisciplinary and no-boundaries concept,” said Dr. Basit Yameen, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, SBASSE.

Chemical engineering is one of the fundamental engineering disciplines along with Electrical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering. The plan to launch the chemical engineering programme is a step towards including all the fundamental engineering disciplines in the SBASSE and offering the students a more comprehensive learning experience.