The Department of Chemical Engineering

The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation, ranking among the top ten of its kind in several key metrics and sixteenth overall. Award-winning faculty members are at the cutting edge in some of the today’s most exciting research areas including; nanostructured materials, renewable energy and fuels, and cellular and metabolic engineering.

Looking ahead, the department aspires to new heights of excellence, and doing so means successfully competing for faculty and students with the country’s most elite institutions. In such an environment, the quality of a department’s facilities—even their very appearance—can have a major impact on recruitment and retention.

The new chemical engineering and biomedical engineering facility, both modern and highly collaborative, will provide an ideal environment for our students, who will have more opportunities for innovative research that will challenge their thinking and broaden their skills.

Quick Facts

  • Year Established: 1948
  • Department Head: Dr. Phillip Savage, Walter L. Robb Family Endowed Chair of Chemical Engineering
  • Current Location: Fenske Laboratory
  • Undergraduate Student Enrollment (2015-2016): 408
  • Graduate Student Enrollment (2015-2016): 117
  • Total Research Expenditures (FY 2014-2015): $10,057,642 *Research expenditures include subcontracts and internally funded projects.
Visit Chemical Engineering Michael Janik

“I’m eager for the chemical engineering department to have a facility that matches our quality. Over the years, the department has grown in size and risen in the rankings, but there’s a limit to how far we can go within our current facility. Having a beautiful, state-of-the-art building will excite top people to come work in a top department, allow us to be more effective and showcase what we do, and help us to take the next step as we move further up the rankings and continue to grow.”
—Michael Janik, professor of chemical engineering

Additional Information



Designed to meet the needs of our students and faculty for decades to come, the new Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Building will reflect our deep commitment to excellence in engineering education and research, conveying to prospective students and faculty that Penn State is the best home for their work or study—the right place to bring their thirst for knowledge, their ideas and innovations, and their passion for teaching and learning engineering. That, in turn, will strengthen both departments and enhance their ability to have a positive impact on the world.

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-2574