Chemical engineers create products that are used by billions of people throughout the world. They develop the chemical processes that create plastics, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and even petroleum products in a way that is safe for both consumers and the environment. Students who are studying chemical engineering and want to expand their career opportunities or to specialize in a niche can choose to complete a minor program of study while in college.
Biomedical engineering focuses on the development of new medical devices and treatments for disease and on poor health conditions. Chemical engineering majors with a minor in biomedical engineering may be able to develop pharmaceutical treatments, including both oral medications and topical creams and ointments, such as steroid creams for skin conditions. A minor in biomedical engineering may include classes such as engineering analysis of physiological systems, biomaterials, biomimetic materials and musculoskeletal biomechanics. Students can choose many of their own electives to focus on the areas of biomedical engineering that interest them most.
Chemical engineering requires a lot of advanced-level math for calculating formulas and determining the outcome of experiments for new chemical processes. An applied mathematics minor can give chemical engineers the additional training they need for a strong mathematical skills base. Some courses for an applied mathematics minor might include mathematical physics, introduction to differential equations, engineering computation, uncertainty analysis in engineering and basic engineering probability and statistics. Applied mathematics is a common minor for all engineering majors, so many of the courses include information about how the mathematical principles are applicable to engineering practices.
Materials science combines the study of physics, chemistry and mechanics, which can provide a solid scientific and mathematical foundation for chemical engineering majors. Materials science includes the study of tissue engineering, electronics, biomaterials and inorganic chemistry. Chemical engineers can use the discipline to help them design consumer goods or medical products. Coursework in a materials science minor might include polymer chemistry and engineering, origins of mechanical behavior, nanoscale science and technology and materials science investigations.
Chemical engineers must work with all kinds of technology to create their products or conduct their research. A technology management minor can give students the skills they need to effectively manage these resources. Some courses in a technology management minor curriculum may include managing and using information technology, managing costs and quality and supply chain planning and management. A technology management minor can be especially useful for those who plan to run a lab or manage a project.
Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.