About Us

About the Department

Jim Pfaendtner with a student

Educating top-quality engineers is the department’s highest priority. Our students work with internationally-recognized faculty and participate in specialist Ph.D. training in molecular engineering, nanotechnology and clean energy. ChemE faculty and students play key roles in interdisciplinary centers on campus including the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute, the Clean Energy Institute, the eScience Institute and the Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales. Through continuous curriculum improvements, world-class research and startup creation, we are charting the future of chemical engineering.


The University of Washington Chemical Engineering community values diversity and inclusiveness, collegiality and respect. Quality and excellence are prized, together with multidisciplinary thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. The department strives for continuous improvement for creativity and innovation in both undergraduate and graduate research and education.


To educate the next generation of visionaries, prepare students for leadership in diverse careers, create knowledge, and provide multidisciplinary solutions to broad societal problems.


Knowledge and solutions for a changing world

Education and Research Excellence

  • #23 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Graduate School rankings
  • Undergraduate concentration in nanoscience and molecular engineering, along with seven other focus areas
  • Advanced data science option for graduate students
  • Intellectual property in the following areas
    • Electrochemical printing
    • Methane bioconversion
    • Nanocomposites incorporating
    • Nanocrystalline inks for electro optical devices
    • Non-fouling biomaterials
    • Non-linear electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (NLEIS)
    • Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs)
    • Porous biomaterials for tissue engineering


  • 26 core teaching and research faculty
  • 14 endowed positions
  • 16 joint or adjunct faculty with other UW engineering, medicine, and science departments
  • 19 affiliate faculty from industry and external research and educational institutions
  • 17 post-doctoral research associates


  • Three NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Honorable Mentions (2017)
  • Four named to the Husky 100 in 2017, two in 2018
  • UW Board of Regents Student Member 2016-17
  • UW Dean's Medal for Academic Excellence winner in 2016, 2014, 2012, and 2011
  • Three Mary Gates Award winners
  • Two NSF Graduate Research Fellows
  • Two NSF IGERT Big Data Fellows
  • Three UW Clean Energy Institute Fellows
2017-2018 Academic Year BS MS/Ph.D.
Enrollment 174 104
Degrees Awarded 64 50/9
Men 66% 71%
Women 34% 26%
Underrepresented Minorities* 3% 3%

*African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

FY17 Expenditures by Source of Income

  • Grants and contracts: $9.7M
  • State funds: $4.5M
  • Gifts and endowments: $1.3M