Apr 13, 2024  
2019-2020 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemical and Biological Engineering Department

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Contact Information

Dr. Robb Winter, Department Head
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
(605) 394-2421
E-mail: Robb.Winter@sdsmt.edu
Web: http://www.sdsmt.edu/cbe


Professors Dixon, Gilcrease, Menkhaus, Salem, Sani, Shende, and Winter; Associate Professors Benjamin and Groven; Assistant Professors Brenza, Carreon, and Walker.

Director and Emeritus Faculty

Professor and Composites and Polymer Engineering Laboratory Director Salem, Distinguished Emeritus Professor Puszynski and Emeritus Professors Bang, Bauer, and Munro.


Chemical and Biological Engineering Administrative Assistant, JoAnn Strommen. Research Project Coordinator, Kristine Starmer. Chemical and Instrumentation Specialist, Ivan Filipov.

Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE)

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) offers a BS degree in Chemical Engineering which is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone +1.410.347.7700. CBE also offers a M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering. Our department name, Chemical and Biological Engineering, reflects the forward-looking integration of chemical engineering, chemical sciences and biological sciences. With a specialization in biochemical engineering and emphases in advanced materials (nano materials, polymers, ceramics, materials processing, corrosion, or solid state/semi-conductors), biomedical engineering, energy technology, environmental engineering, and petroleum engineering you can personalize your education. An accelerated Master of Science (BS + MS) degree program is also available for qualified undergraduate students.

What is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical Engineering (ChE) is an optimal combination of the molecular sciences (chemistry and biology), the physical sciences (physical chemistry and physics), the analytical sciences (math and computer programming) and engineering. Chemical Engineering focuses on the description and design of processes that combine engineering principles of heat and fluid flow with chemical reactions and molecular separations to produce high-value products useful to humankind from multiple raw material sources. Chemical Engineers do this while always insuring that the processes they design, build and manage are safe, environmentally responsible and economical.

Examples of such processes include:


Alternative and renewable energy
Artificial organs and biomedicine
Bioenergy production
Biological fermentation
Ceramic manufacturing
Energetic materials production
Food processing

Microprocessor manufacturing
Mineral and ore refining
Oil and natural gas refining
Paper manufacturing
Pharmaceutical design and manufacturing.
Polymer production
Polymer composites production
Nanomaterials manufacturing

Designing and modeling such processes requires a strong fundamental understanding of the chemical and biological phenomena at work. ChE students develop a wide range of problem solving skills grounded in mathematics and computer analysis techniques. ChE graduates are recruited for their technical engineering knowledge as well as their problem solving, systems analysis, leadership skills, and communication skills.

What do chemical engineers do?

ChE graduates work in a wide variety of manufacturing, process design, and research fields. The unique combination of molecular sciences and engineering analysis make ChE professionals highly qualified for many career options in chemical, petroleum, mineral processing, pharmaceutical, food processing, biomedicine, biotechnology, semiconductor, defense, alternative energy industries, state and federal government and academia. Recent graduates from SDSM&T have gone to work in ChE positions at ADM, Baker Hughes, Dakota Gasification, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, Cargill, Caterpillar,Exxon-Mobil, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold, Halliburton, Lafarge, Lyondell-Basel, Michelin, POET, Quadra Mining, SD DENR, Solvay Chemicals and many others. CBE alumni also regularly pursue graduate education at many of the country’s top chemical engineering research institutions such as Stanford, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, and the University of Wisconsin.

To delve deeper into the board range of exciting careers available to you in chemical engineering go to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers website (www.aiche.org) and pull down Events & Resources/Career/Career FAQ’s then click on “What exactly does a chemical engineer do?” and click on “Chemical Engineers in Action: Innovation at Work” (http://www.chemicalengineering.org/). You will find that if you wish to be engaged in discovering answers to the World’s pressing engineering challenges, Chemical Engineering is the field for you.

Another attribute that sets Chemical Engineering apart from many other engineering career paths is that chemical engineering opens doors to other professions. The problem solving skills and process analysis tools developed in the Chemical Engineering curriculum make ChE graduates uniquely suited to pursue careers as doctors, patent lawyers, business managers, financial analysts, marketing directors, environmental stewards, policy makers, and philanthropy directors.

What will I learn as a ChE student?

ChE students take multiple courses in chemistry and biology to develop a fundamental understanding of the molecular sciences. The program includes physics, math, and computer courses to provide the analytical tools required for modeling and to design processes. Finally the core Chemical Engineering curriculum includes engineering courses in thermodynamics, heat and mass transport, fluid dynamics, chemical reaction kinetics and reactor design, molecular separations and unit operations, and process design and control. Elective courses are also available to provide emphasis or specialization in areas such as advanced materials (e.g. composites, nanomaterials and polymers), bioprocessing/biochemical engineering, biomedical engineering, energy technology, environmental engineering, and petroleum engineering.

Chemical Engineering at the School of Mines

The vision of the CBE Department is: To provide nationally and internationally recognized chemical and biological engineering education and research.

Through the baccalaureate degree, students are prepared to become practicing chemical engineers, ready to enter the workforce and make immediate contributions. As a graduate of the SDSM&T chemical engineering program you will be able to perform at a level that meets or exceeds industry, government lab, and graduate school expectations. Within a few years of your graduation, you will have the characteristics described by the following Chemical Engineering Program Educational Objectives:

  1. Graduates apply fundamental and practical knowledge of unit operations, thermodynamics, reaction engineering, process control and design of safe, economical and sustainable chemical/biological processes.
  2. Graduates are successfully employed and advancing in governmental and industrial positions requiring chemical engineering expertise.
  3. Graduates are prepared to succeed in graduate and professional programs.

At the time of your graduation, you will have the characteristics described by the following Chemical Engineering Student Outcomes.

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and conclusions
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with arrange of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgements, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.​

Where do I find more information on Chemical Engineering at SDSM&T?

Visit our webpage http://www.sdsmt.edu/CBE/ to learn more about chemical engineering at the SDSM&T. You will learn more about industries in which you can be employed, the AIChE Safety and Chemical Education Certificate Program, profession development opportunities, scholarship opportunities, CBE laboratories, and co-op, intern, and research employment opportunities while you pursue your degree as well as new initiatives within CBE.


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