Career in Chemical Engineering – Separating Myths from Reality

– By Anum Shafique

The ‘Chemistry’ behind Chemical Engineering” was the opening session in brand new “Special Lecture Series” organized by NUST Science Society, aimed at improving subject knowledge of students enrolled in various disciplines around NUST. The session was conducted by Mr. Osama Hasan, a General Trainee Engineer from Engro Fertilizer Company, Daharki, and an alumnus of NUST School of Chemical and Materials Engineering. He involved his audience by keeping the session light and interactive, providing chocolates as an incentive for participants to try and answer his questions correctly.

Mr. Osama Hasan, a Graduate Trainee engineer at Engro, speaking to his audience.

The lecture was designed to introduce 1st year students to what Chemical Engineering is truly about. Among engineering and pre-engineering students, there is a misconception that Chemical Engineering is very closely related to Chemistry, which in fact is an absolute fallacy. It is not Chemistry but Reaction Engineering (a full-blooded Engineering course) that differentiates Chemical Engineering from other Engineering disciplines. Focus of the lecture remained on various core subjects involved in Chemical Engineering and the career opportunities available to a Chemical Engineer. It proved to be a very informative session for those present as indicated by Pre-Lecture and Post-Lecture results.

A second session “Firing the Furnace” was held by the same speaker for introducing 3rd and 4th year Undergraduate Students of Chemical Engineering to the basic scientific principles regarding furnaces. A furnace is a critical component of many industries including fertilizer plants and petroleum refineries. The session included a detailed overview of the types, components, working, operation and applications of a furnace. It proved to be an informative lecture for all students as the Pre-Lecture and Post-Lecture Test Results indicated. The session effeciveness, for determining the increase in knowledge of the participants, was evaluated by,

Effectiveness = (Average difference in Post- and Pre-Test scores/Average of Pre-Test scores)*100

The sessions concluded with a lot of positive feedback from the students! “The session was good. These kinds of seminars help students in understanding the industrial set up!” one student indicated. Another student said, “A very good effort, sessions like these should be conducted more frequently!”

NUST Science Society endeavors to conduct many more sessions of this kind in future. It hopes to actively take part in advancing subject knowledge of students at NUST, aiding them in approaching their disciplines in new and exciting ways!

 The author is Director Publication of NUST Science Society and a Senior at School of Chemical and Materials Engineering.

– Picture Credits: Khan Ume Salma Danish

Audience at first “Special Lecture Series”session, listening to the speaker.
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