Message from HoD

Greetings from the Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Tirupati!

Dr. Thamida Sunil KumarChemical Engineering is a versatile branch of Engineering since the courses of this branch provide an exposure to Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering disciplines also. If we consider the design of an automated & controlled Biochemical reactor like the one used for Fermentation – the process of converting glucose to ethanol, it requires the knowledge of: Mechanical Engineering to select material of the tank, thickness to be used, diameter of supporting stands, mechanical air tight seal for rotating impeller, Civil Engineering to design the foundation depth and bolts to be used for supporting the reactor tank to keep it vibration free, Electrical Engineering is required for selecting a suitable motor for the agitator, variable frequency drive for it to run at various RPM and a knowledge of 3-phase electrical supply especially which two wires to be interchanged to change the direction of rotation of the agitator, Electronics is needed to understand how a pH sensor works and how the analog signal is converted to digital signal, Computer knowledge is required to understand and utilize process control software to maintain the pH constant in the reactor. Finally, the exclusive role of Chemical Engineering is about understanding the reaction kinetics, obtaining the samples from reactor in frequent intervals and analyzing for product concentration and interpreting it to evaluate the reaction conversion of glucose to ethanol.

Overall, it may not be an exaggeration if I say that Chemistry & Mathematics have significant role in Chemical Engineer’s life. Ofcourse Physics is important too since if you throw a stone at Chemical Equipment, we can easily estimate its projectile trajectory and intervene it on its midway and capture it. In a nutshell Chemical Engineering is equivalent to rocket science! Believe it or not if God was an Engineer, it must have been Chemical Engineer because we Chemical Engineers have appetite for understanding and analyzing Physiological Flows, Time series of ECG, Heartbeat etc also. I wish all the students of Chemical Engineering Department a happy bon-voyage through the landscape of various courses and projects in programs of B.Tech/M.Tech/MS/PhD to appreciate this Universe around us and develop equipment and gadgets which can substitute human labor and reduce life risk working with hazardous Chemicals.

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