Chemical Engineering at IITK? How It is? Placement ? By Anushka Jha (CE IITK) - Personal Review - EXAMS FREAK : Btech Books Download pdf
Navigation

Chemical Engineering at IITK? How It is? Placement ? By Anushka Jha (CE IITK) - Personal Review

Chemical Engineering at IITK? How It is? Placement ? By Anushka Jha (CE IITK) - Personal Review
Hello!


                                          


I am Anushka Jha. I have completed three years as an undergraduate in the department of Chemical Engineering at IIT K.

If you haven't already, just click on #ThatsIITK to find relevant articles on how life at IITK has been for people from different departments and academic backgrounds and how awesome it is to be studying in one of the premier institutes of the country and all that. I am here to describe what my department is all about.

First things first, Chemical Engineering (henceforth ChE) is not Chemistry. There is a different department for Chemistry and their coursework is very different from ours. To put it succinctly, Chemical Engineers are interested in optimizing the process of conversion of raw materials into finished products using the knowledge of 

thermodynamics, kinetics and my favourite, fluid mechanics. The courses we're taught are a blend of applied mathematics and physics.

Over the four years of your stay here, you will be introduced to various aspects of these three fields as well as their applications. There are eight semesters in all and two semesters per year (in case the math was not clear. :P)

At IITK, you are not immediately introduced to departmental coursework. It begins with a year of common courses that comprise of introductions to matrix algebra, differential equations, electrodynamics, mechanics, a basic course in C (which is a very helpful introductory course in programming), mechanical drawing, very basic chemistry and biology. Read through any other #ThatsIITK article for a more detailed description. In my opinion, these courses help you prepare not only for your own department but also give you a feel for what everyone else around you is going to be doing the next four years. The math and physics courses are especially relevant to future coursework.



Next comes year two. In your third semester, you will be introduced to basic thermodynamics (heat engines and all, you JEE kids must've heard of Carnot cycle) , numerical methods (an important course to understand how computers treat and solve equations (yes, you don't have to solve them on your own all the time :P)), and one ChE course on mathematics of industrial processes.

The fourth semester is a crucial one. This is where the real deal begins. You will have two departmental courses- Chemical Thermodynamics (a bit more involved version of thermodynamics of semester three) and Fluid Mechanics. These courses, IMO, form the heart and soul of what is to follow, especially Fluid Mechanics which is basically about the physics of fluid flows. There is one course on process industries which is perhaps the only course where you'll need to learn reactions and reaction conditions. The aim of the course is to introduce you to different process industries and plants. You may, as we were, be taken for a field trip to a plant nearby to see with your own eyes what goes on in it.

Third year has more courses on heat and mass transfer and an introductory course in MATLAB (a computing language which I suggest you start exploring right when you're taught Numerical Methods). You will have options to take some courses of your own choice. These courses are called 'electives' and are either 'departmental' (i.e. specializations in your own department) or 'open' (i.e. in any department of your choice). They are offered on variable basis depending on things like course demand and time table constraints.

I will be joining the department for my fourth year this July and all I can tell is that from the sixth semester onwards, you can start doing departmental projects under a faculty whose work you appreciate/ are interested in and I shall be doing the same.

If you have made it to this point of the article, congratulations. You're a tough one. I shall not torture you with details any further. I'll just give you a background and a bit of my personal experience. (Oh boy, isn't she done already?)

I joined ChE based on my rank in JEE. A lot of my batch-mates did. Hell, most of us do. We choose departments based on ranks. While I really discourage the practice, I believe that most of us do so because we have no other starting point. We're all kids who love math, physics and chemistry. My stay here has made me realize that we always will be. In such a case, choosing one department over another becomes a little confusing.

But having been here for three years I can assure you that no matter which department you join, you will find your niche at the end of four years (or at least, find the courage to look for it). I have found mine in Chemical Engineering. A few of my branch-mates have found their calling elsewhere (in entrepreneurship, finance, programming and whatnot).
The prospects (of both jobs and higher studies) are crazy and can only be understood once you've spent a considerable amount of time in the department. This goes for every department in every institute. So I suggest you start by exploring your interests.

If the above description appeals to you, do consider joining my department. In case you have any queries, drop me a message. I shall try my best to help out.

For some good old tareef of IITK, watch this video:




Oh, almost forgot. Congrats kids. You made it! :D

Edit (11–06-16): Hi kids. I am done with four years as an undergraduate in the department and into my fifth year as a Dual Degree Student. This edit is mainly an update on whatever has happened between the time I wrote this article and now.
There are very few compulsory courses in the final year and a slew of departmental and extra-departmental electives to choose from. In the first semester of the final year (i.e. the 7th semester), there are two important departmental courses. One of them is the second part of a lab course which begins in the 6th semester. The second one (and a very involved one) is called Chemical Engineering Design. The aim of the course is to give the students a feel of how the different components, they have studied about so far, work and how to connect them on the industrial level through a simulation project.
The rest of your time will either go in doing departmental courses on a variety of interesting topics. These are post-graduate level courses that are more inclined towards research and are related to a 
Oh, almost forgot. Congrats kids. You made it! :D
Edit (11–06-16): Hi kids. I am done with four years as an undergraduate in the department and into my fifth year as a Dual Degree Student. This edit is mainly an update on whatever has happened between the time I wrote this article and now.
There are very few compulsory courses in the final year and a slew of departmental and extra-departmental electives to choose from. In the first semester of the final year (i.e. the 7th semester), there are two important departmental courses. One of them is the second part of a lab course which begins in the 6th semester. The second one (and a very involved one) is called Chemical Engineering Design. The aim of the course is to give the students a feel of how the different components, they have studied about so far, work and how to connect them on the industrial level through a simulation project.
The rest of your time will either go in doing departmental courses on a variety of interesting topics. These are post-graduate level courses that are more inclined towards research and are related to a variety of sub-fields in the department.
A student with specific interests can couple these with relevant extra-departmental courses to assist their research.
There is a decent amount of flexibility to choose courses of different kinds from different departments as electives depending on what your interests are.
A number of friends in the department have taken jobs in core/non-core companies and startups. A few are going to pursue their Master's/Ph.D. abroad. Some (like me) have gone on to pursue a Dual Degree in the Department. Some have gone for a second major in a different department.
All these are things you cannot have decided in your very first year. These are decisions that take one some time to make. So I will reiterate my suggestion, start out with an open mind and keep exploring your interests!

Share