The chemical engineering curriculum was first listed in the 1903 university catalog, and the first graduate was Robert F. Hyatt of Monticello, Arkansas, in 1907. Mr. Hyatt was also captain of the baseball team and left-half back of the football team. The first course to be labeled as Chemical Engineering appeared in the 1935 catalog; it was a chemistry course called "Elements of Chemical Engineering."
Like all programs in the U of A College of Engineering, our enrollment continues to rise. In the 2016-2017 academic year, we had about 345 students--305 undergraduates and 40 graduate students. We attract most of our undergraduate students from Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, but also have students from a number of other states and throughout the world. Nearly one-third of our undergraduates are female.
Our goal is to have every one of our students participate in research, co-ops or internships during their undergraduate study. Research opportunities are enhanced by funding of students through the Honors College. In 2016, Chemical Engineering had one-third of the Honors graduates in the College of Engineering. Although most of our students enter industry after graduation, an increasing number choose to attend graduate school or professional schools such as medical, dental, law or pharmacy school. Starting salaries averaged more than $71,000 for B.S. graduates in 2016. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Chemical Engineering students received more than $2 million in scholarships and awards.
Faculty and students are engaged in research programs funded by federal, state, and industrial sources. Membrane separations is the major focus for several faculty, and in 2014 our department became one of three sites (along with the University of Colorado Boulder and the New Jersey Institute of Technology) of the Membrane Science, Engineering, & Technology (MAST) Center, one of the longest-running university-industry research partnerships fostered by the National Science Foundation. The world-class work of our faculty in chemical process safety and life cycle assessment has saved lives and resulted in more sustainable approaches to food production. Our biochemical and bioprocess engineering programs have spun off companies producing new therapeutic drugs. In partnership with the Institute for Nanoscience & Engineering and the Arkansas High Performance Computing Center, our research teams are designing, fabricating, and testing the next generation of nanomaterials.
Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Arkansas
3202 Bell Engineering Center
800 West Dickson Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201