I am a second-year student in the vocational higher secondary examination stream, and like chemistry very much. I would like to pursue an engineering course in a branch related to chemistry. Kindly advise me on the possible study options and the suitable institutions that offer such courses.

ZAHIN ALI AHMED, MALAPPURAM

Chemical engineering is the most suitable higher study option for those who wish to pursue a BE or B.Tech. level course related to chemistry.

Study facilities

There are several engineering colleges and institutions in India that offers BE or B.Tech. programmes in chemical engineering. Prominent among them are the Indian Institutes of Technology at Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Roorkee, and the Institute of Technology under the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The IITs at Kanpur, Kharagpur and Madras also offer five-year integrated M.Tech. dual degree programmes in chemical engineering. IIT Delhi offers five-year M.Tech. dual degree in chemical engineering along with M.Tech. degree in computer applications in chemical engineering.

IIT Roorkee offers M.Tech. dual degree in chemical engineering along with M.Tech. degree in process engineering and design.

IIT Bombay offers M.Tech. dual degree in chemical engineering along with M.Tech. degree in process systems design and engineering.

Admission to these courses is based on the marks obtained in the joint entrance examination conducted annually by the Indian Institutes of Technology across the country.

Those who have passed their Plus Two or equivalent examination with physics, chemitsry and mathematics as their subjects, and secured 60 per cent marks in aggregate are eligible to appear for the entrance test. Web site: http://jee.iitm.ac.in.

The Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Kanpur is endowed with a vibrant graduate programme. Every year nearly 45 students attend the B.Tech. degree course, and 40 students join the M.Tech. dual degree programme in the institute.

The integrated programme enables the students to earn two degrees in five years.

More information can be collected from the following web sites: IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in; IIT Delhi - www.iitd.ac.in; IIT Guwahati - www.iitg.ac.in; IIT Kanpur - www.iitk.ac.in; IIT Kharagpur - www.iitgp.ernet.in; IIT Madras - www.iitm.ac.in.

The Institute of Chemical Technology under the University of Mumbai, Matunga, is another prominent institute that offers an engineering degree course in chemical technology. The total intake is 63. For more details visit www.udct.org.

In Kerala

The Government Engineering College, Kozhikode (60 seats), Government Engineering College, Thrissur (50 seats), and TKM College of Engineering, Kollam (60 seats), offer B.Tech. programmes in chemical engineering in Kerala.

Students who have passed their Plus Two or equivalent examination with at least 50 per cent marks in mathematics, physics, and chemistry/ biotechnology/ computer science/ biology in aggregate or a three-year diploma in engineering with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible for admission. The selection is based on the State engineering entrance examination and the marks scored in the Plus Two examination.

The Amrita School of Engineering, Ettimadai, Coimbatore, offers B.Tech. course in chemical engineering. Those who have passed their Plus Two or equivalent examination with at least 60 per cent marks separately in mathematics, physics and chemistry or a three-year engineering diploma with at least 60 per cent marks are eligible for admission. The selection is based on the marks scored in the Amrita engineering entrance examination.

Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) offers BE(Hons.) programme in chemical engineering at its Pilani, Goa and Hyderbad campuses. Those who have passed Plus Two or equivalent examination with physics, chemistry and mathematics with at least 80 per cent marks in aggregate can apply. Applicants should have scored at least 60 per cent marks each in these three subjects too. Students should also have adequate proficiency in English language. The selection will be made on the basis of a computer-based online test (BITSAT) conducted by BITS, Pilani. Admission notification can be expected during December/ January every year. Web site: www.bits-pilani.ac.in; www.bitsadmission.com.

The School of Engineering and Technology, Centre of Excellence of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, offers a B.Tech. degree course in chemcial technology with specialisation in pulp and paper technology, fertilizer technology and petrochemcial technology. Web site: www.bdu.ac.in.

The following are some of the other universities and institutes that offer BE/ B.Tech. programmes in chemical engineering:

Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka. Web site: www.manipal.edu.

Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, Tamil Nadu.

AC College of Technology, Guindy, Chennai.

Amaravati University, Amaravati, Maharashtra offers BE/ B.Tech. in petrochemical technology.

Amaravathy's College of Engineering and Technology, Akola, Maharashtra, offers B.Tech. degree course in chemical technology.

Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab.

Department of Chemical Technology, North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, offers BE degree course in chemical engineering.

Dr. Babasahab Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, offers B.Tech. degree course in chemical technology.

The list is only indicative and more information about the institutes and engineering colleges that offer BE/ B.Tech. courses in chemical engineering/ related branches can be collected from the Handbook on Engineering published by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi, which will be available for reference in the University Employment Information and Guidance Bureaux functioning under the Universities in Kerala.

Higher studies

Chemical engineering graduates have several higher study options. A score in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is a pre-requisite for getting admission to ME/ M.Tech. programmes.

The IITs, NITs (National Institutes of Technology) and some other institutes/ colleges offers ME/ M.Tech. programmes in chemical engineering.

Some institutes offer Ph.D. programme with scholarships for meritorious students. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) Bangalore (www.iisc.ernet.in) offers M.Sc. degree course in engineering and Ph.D. programme in chemical engineering. Candidates having high GATE score are also eligible for admission.

Chemical engineering graduates with at least a second-class can join the ME programme conducted at IISc., Bangalore. The selection is based on the GATE score.

Chemical engineering/ technology graduates can do higher studies in polymer technology, bioinformatics, biotechnology, sugar technology, environmental engineering, computational engineering and networking, pharmaceutical technology, petrochemical engineering and so on.

To enter the management field, one can choose MBA programme with specialisation in pharma management, biotechnology, oil and gas management.

Job prospects

Chemical engineers are employed in petrochemical industries. They work in pharmaceuticals, health care, pulp and paper, food processing, polymers, biotechnology, environmental health and safety sectors. Fertilizer plants, petroleum refineries, plastic and yarn manufacturing companies, food and mineral processing industries also offer job opportunities.

Gopakumar Karakonam