Message from the Chair

Chemical engineering and life science engineering share a broad range of common foundational elements including the principals of mass and energy balances, thermodynamics and transport phenomena, as well as the other traditional elements of this discipline. A graduate without these competences cannot perform the tasks expected of a chemical engineer.

But there is also a growing need to develop additional capabilities; some are interrelated and all assume a level of competence which we strive to develop in all of our students. These include creativity, integrity, leadership, teamwork, initiative, global perspective and confidence.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering is uniquely positioned to provide our students with the opportunity to achieve these critically important skills at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels.

The undergraduate experience in CLSE includes the opportunity to select a traditional curriculum of chemical engineering course work as well as electives in the areas of life science engineering. VCU’s prominence in the field of health sciences provides the academic infrastructure to enhance the life science component of this program. Because of the close affiliation with and physical proximity to the VCU School of Business, students will also have the opportunity to grasp the ever important business perspective of this discipline. In addition, our life science engineering track (pre-med focus) affords students the opportunity to pursue an M.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D.

Graduate research interests in chemical and life science engineering currently range from the development of bio-materials and alternative energy sources to tissue engineering, stem cell research and pharmaceutical process development. In each of these areas of research, active collaborations have been established linking CLSE to the medical, life science and related disciplines within the VCU research community.

As department chair, I encourage you to explore this site to learn more about our offerings and groundbreaking research. We look forward to hearing from you.

B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D.
Floyd D. Gottwald, Jr. Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering
Chair, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering
CEO, Medicines for All Institute