Past, Present, and Future of Chemical Engineering

Essay by jehenryCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2009

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Jennifer Henry

11 September 2008

ChE 1121

Past, Present, and Future of Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers have contributed so many things that the world would not be able to survive without. In 1905, Richard K. Meade began to try and organize a society comprised of chemical engineers in order to help legitimize the idea of this new profession. Finally in 1908, the American Institute for Chemical Engineers, AIChE, was established. The organization developed the education that chemical engineering is based upon today. AIChE provided an academic accreditation system for chemical engineers and the organization's membership has been growing ever since.

The American Institute for Chemical Engineers compiled a list of what is to be believed as some of the greatest accomplishments of chemical engineers. This list includes the invention of the atomic bomb, advances in artificial organs, antibiotics and various other contributions of chemical engineers. The one contribution that I believe has had the most significant effect on humanity is chemical engineer's discoveries in polymer chemistry.

Plastic is something that the world would not be the same without. Plastic has become such an ordinary part of society that we hardly even notice it. Polymer chemistry deals with the development of plastics and has become such a vital part of chemistry. Many synthetic fibers such as nylon and man-made rubber are also polymers. The extent to which these polymers affect our lives is amazing. From the toothbrush we clean our teeth with to the keyboard I am typing on right now, without chemical engineer's contribution to polymer chemistry, our world would be a different place.

In 1939, the Nazis were alleged to be developing an atomic bomb. In June 1942, The United States decided to begin its own program in order to develop nuclear weapons. America needed to build an...