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Message from the Department Head

Cameron Abrams

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Drexel University. We are a dynamic group of students, support staff, faculty, and alumni who share a common passion for advancing our chosen field and providing our community, nation, and the larger world with technical expertise that it increasingly demands. Whether you are a prospective undergraduate or graduate student, a community member, or simply someone curious about Drexel and our programs, I encourage you to explore these pages and invite you to come by in person anytime.

What is it like to be an undergraduate student in CBE? Students progress through rigorous coursework that is orchestrated by dedicated, full-time faculty, providing modern analytical and computational skills and technical know-how. Drexel is distinctive in that we combine the classroom and laboratory experience with the co-op program: three six-month rotations where students work in national and international companies as entry-level engineers. So, a graduate from Drexel’s Chemical Engineering program is not just credentialed with a degree; she or he is an experienced engineer. Beyond the co-op, our department has a long and healthy tradition of involving qualified undergraduates in high-level, externally funded research programs run by our faculty. These experiences provide a glimpse at the leading edge of our discipline and prepare students for the challenges and fulfillment of advanced careers in research and development.

Research and graduate education are central to our department’s mission, and our faculty direct thriving research programs supporting PhD students and postdoctoral researchers at a variety of frontiers in chemical and biological engineering. Research in electrochemical systems (like batteries and fuel cells), polymeric materials, modeling and simulation, and renewable resources are particular strengths. Our faculty are continually recognized with national awards, federal grants, private foundation sponsorships, and industrial partnerships that further our research programs, but the students working in the labs are our most valuable assets. We recruit our PhD students from some of the best undergraduate programs in the world and provide them with full stipend and tuition remission during their studies. Not only do these students help us shape the world-wide chemical engineering research enterprise by publishing in peer-reviewed journals and presenting their research at conferences, but they also contribute to the education of our undergraduates as teaching assistants.

Proud as we are of the accomplishments of our graduate and undergraduate students while they are here with us, we are even more proud of what they accomplish after graduation. Our alumni, more than 3,000 in number and growing, go on to have successful and rewarding careers in the chemical industries and beyond. Many earn their way into leadership roles that require the technically informed decision-making skills that we strive to cultivate in every course we teach. Many of our most dedicated alumni continue to support and serve the Department in a variety of ways. Their enthusiasm for the well-being of the “younger versions of themselves” represented by our current students is a key indicator of our program’s value and continued upward trajectory.

Again, thank you for your interest in our Department. I hope this message inspires you to learn more about Drexel and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Cameron F. Abrams, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head