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Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Civil Engineering Building, which houses the department of chemical and environmental engineering

We offer BS, MS and PhD degrees in both chemical and environmental engineering. Our programs are large enough to attract recruiters from a variety of industries, including consulting firms, government, manufacturing, petroleum, semiconductors and utilities – but small enough for individual attention. We encourage our undergraduates to become involved in research projects funded by industry, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and other organizations.

Graduates of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering gather on the steps of Old Main.

Nearly 700 family and friends packed the Student Union Memorial Center Ballroom on Saturday, May 12, to celebrate 26 graduate students and 69 undergraduates completing rigorous programs in chemical and environmental engineering.

Extraordinary Student Accomplishments

  • Carter Bakarich, Sara Slosky, Cherell Ward-Rucker and Sydney Wilson – College of Engineering Ambassadors
  • Patrick Loy and Bryce Royball – Don H. White Award for academic achievement
  • Namrah Habib, Matthew Kingzett and Sara Slosky - Dr. William Scott Bousman Memorial Award for excellence in the lab
  • Rachel Braun and Jaewook Choi – Outstanding TA
  • Karen Leon, Samantha Louzek, Jacob Rischar and Sara Slosky - Best CHEE senior design team for their project "Monoclonal Antibody Production for Cancer Immunotherapy"


Close-up of CHEE student Samuel PortilloSamuel Portillo has been part of the UA before, attending after high school, but between scheduling conflicts, transportation issues and not being sure what he wanted to study, he dropped out during the first semester.

He started over at Pima, worked hard, and was ready to transfer into the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering after one year.

"I think my transfer process only took about a month, and that was something I wasn't really expecting," Portillo said. "I felt like I was encouraged by the faculty to ask questions if I didn't understand anything. They were really accommodating on working with me through my nontraditional road to a four-year degree."

A close-up of research professor Vicky KaranikolaCHEE research professor Vicky Karanikola and the UA chapter of Engineers Without Borders, or EWB, are teaming up with the Nalwoodi Denzhone Community to revitalize 80 acres of reservation land into the Nnee Nalwoodi, or Strong Apache Life Center.

While EWB offers consulting on how to restore the property's two wells and develop an irrigation system, Karanikola is developing a system to purify and assess water quality.

Karanikola, who is also a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale University and vice president of the Mountain Regional Steering Committee for EWB, was part of a team of UA researchers who helped design and create a solar-powered water-purification bus for the Navajo Nation in 2017.

Close up picture of Leah Kaplan smiling. Kaplan has always been passionate about building things -- as a child, she loudly objected to her mom cleaning away a Lego project -- and that love has earned the chemical and environmental engineering major a 2018 Merrill P. Freeman Medal.

The medal -- given annually to two UA seniors for outstanding moral force of character and one of four university-level senior honors -- is one of many accomplishments Kaplan has attained in her time studying at the UA. She is also part of the Flinn Scholars program, treasurer of the Arizona Model United Nations and president of the UA branch of Tau Beta Pi.

Now, Kaplan plans to pursue a career in science diplomacy. She has made plenty of headway in that plan, as she was the only undergraduate selected to attend the...

Grad student Alex MacDonald checks air-sampling equipment mounted on the wing of a Navy Twin Otter before setting off on an airborne research mission.

Chemical and environmental engineering professor Armin Sorooshian spent his childhood running through the halls of the Harshbarger Building, where his father was a professor and head of the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources and his mother worked as a Department of Geosciences senior researcher.

Sorooshian went on to earn his bachelor's degree in chemical and environmental engineering at UA before returning a few years later as a professor.

Today, his research into aerosol particles in the atmosphere and the human body and his dedication to his students have earned him a College of Engineering Education Faculty Fellowship, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and now a da Vinci Fellowship.

"I feel like I've lived my life through th...

Erica Vanover stands before the poster that won her third place at the 2018 Student Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunity Conference on March 2.Erica T. Vanover, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, was awarded third prize in the 2018 Student Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunity Conference poster competition in Tempe, Arizona, March 2.

Vanover is an undergraduate research assistant working alongside professors Reyes Sierra and Jim Field. In her presentation, “Remediation of Insensitive Munitions Compound 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO),” she addressed bioremediation of soil contaminated by toxic munitions compounds.

Photo Courtesy of Photography by José L. Muñoz

University of Arizona College of Engineering