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Undergraduates

Focus Areas

Focus areas are designed as guidance for students who wish to deepen their knowledge in a specific subject. For each area, the department recommends a combination of engineering electives and VLPA/I&S or DIV courses. Students may follow the recommended curriculum in one area, or, with guidance from advisers and faculty, draw from multiple areas to create an individual learning experience.

Students who believe they have followed an educational plan which has involved significant depth in one or more of the focus areas may request departmental recognition in their final quarter by submitting a one-paragraph proposal to chemeadv@uw.edu. The proposal should identify the area for which the student wants to be recognized, and outline the combination of engineering electives, research, and experiential experiences that the student has pursued. The student should also reflect on why this combination of experiences has been meaningful.

Typically, students will take 6 credits of relevant engineering electives plus some combination of additional coursework and/or relevant experiences (i.e. research, study abroad, internships). Areas of Knowledge courses that may be of interest to students pursuing that area are also listed as guidance, but would not be enough to merit recognition without significant engineering related experience and coursework as well.

Students hoping to receive recognition for a focus area can talk with their faculty mentors and academic advisers about educational opportunities in and out of the classroom. If you want to learn more about undergraduate research and how to get involved, or assistance in planning to complete a meaningful focus area, contact chemeadv@uw.edu or visit drop-in undergraduate advising times

Bio & Biomedical Materials, Interfaces and Systems

Engineering Electives

  • CHEM E 355: Biological Frameworks for Engineers (3)
  • CHEM E 434: Physiological Transport Processes​
  • CHEM E 458: Surface Analysis (3)
  • CHEM E 490: Engineering Materials for Biomedical Applications (3)
  • CHEM E 491: Controlled-Release Systems (3)
  • CHEM E 493: Advanced Surface Analysis (3)
  • BIOEN 420: Medical Imaging (4)
  • BIOEN 440: Introduction to Biomechanics (4)

Capstone Options

Engineering in Medicine Sequence: Engineering Innovation in Medicine is a three-quarter design sequence focusing on developing engineering solutions to pressing challenges in medicine.  Students from across the engineering disciplines will work with doctors and engineering faculty to understand the clinical need as well as design, fabricate, and test a working prototype device. Students receive credit for both the capstone and engineering electives. (M E 414, M E 416, M E 495)

Study Abroad Opportunities:

  • Bioengineering Nepal: Technology Development for Global Health

Areas of Knowledge

  • ANTH 303 Technologies of Health (I&S or VLPA)
  • PHIL 242 Introduction to Medical Ethics (I&S or VLPA)
  • ANTH 474 Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (I&S and DIV)
  • BIOL 380 Biomedical Advances and Society (I&S)
  • ANTH 215 Intro to Medical Anthropology and Global Health (I&S and DIV)
  • ANTH 308 Anthropology of Gender, Women’s Health, and Reproduction (I&S and DIV)
  • B E 220 Cities, Health and Well-Being (I&S)
  • B H 456 Social Justice and Health (I&S)
  • HSERV 246 Using Economics to Solve Today’s Healthcare Problems (I&S)

Data Science

Engineering Electives

  • CHEM E 481: Process Optimization (3)
  • CSE 160: Data Programming (4)
  • CSE 163: Intermediate Data Programming (4)
  • CSE 414: Introduction to Database Systems (4)
  • CSE 416: Introduction to Machine Learning (4)

Data Science Courses

  • STAT 180/CSE 180/INFO 180: Introduction to Data Science (4)
  • INFO 370: Core Methods in Data Science (5)
  • CSE 412: Introduction to Data Visualization (4)

Areas of Knowledge

  • SOC 225: Data and Society (3 credits + 2 credits)
  • CHEM E 548: Current Topics in Data Science (1 credit)

More data science courses can be found on the eScience Institute site (http://escience.washington.edu/data-science-courses-at-the-university-of-washington/) To talk with a data scientist, visit data science office hours (http://escience.washington.edu/office-hours/)

Computation, Statistics and Modeling

Engineering Electives

  • CHEM E 375: Chemical Engineering Computing Skills (2)
  • ​CHEM E 481: Process Optimization (3)
  • CHEM E 498: Advanced Numerical Methods (3)
  • CHEM E 498: Molecular Simulation Modeling (3)
  • CSE 373: Data Structures and Algorithms (4)
  • CSE 410: Computer Systems (3)
  • CSE 413: Programming Languages and their Implementation (3)

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Courses

  • ENTRE 372: Grand Challenges for Entrepreneurs (4)
  • ENTRE 370: Intro to Entrepreneurship (4)
  • BIOEN 504:  Introduction to Technology Commercialization (4)
  • BIOEN 505:  The Landscape of Biomedical Technology Commercialization #)

Entrepreneurial Capstone Options

ChemE Special Design Sequence: This is a three-quarter design sequence in which small teams of ChemE students research, design, and develop a business plan for a new product. Teams participate in the NW Business Plan Competition. Students receive credit for both the capstone and engineering electives.  (CHEM E 499, CHEM E 497)

Engineering in Medicine Sequence: Engineering Innovation in Medicine is a three-quarter design sequence focusing on developing engineering solutions to pressing challenges in medicine.  Students from across the engineering disciplines will work with doctors and engineering faculty to understand the clinical need as well as design, fabricate, and test a working prototype device. Students receive credit for both the capstone and engineering electives. (M E 414, M E 416, M E 495)

Study Abroad Opportunities

  • Business India: "Half the Sky" - Women, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship
  • Global Business Case Competitions
  • Bioengineering Nepal: Technology Development for Global Health

Areas of Knowledge & Other Recommended Courses

  • ACCTG 219: Essentials of Accounting (4)
  • MKTG 301: Marketing Concepts (4)
  • ECON 200 Microeconomics (I&S)
  • PHIL 240 Introduction to Ethics (I&S)
  • MGMT 200 Introduction to Law (I&S)

Environmental Engineering

Engineering Electives

  • CEE 348: Hydrology and Environmental Fluid Mechanics (4)
  • CEE 349: Case Studies in Environmental Engineering (3)
  • CEE 352: Introduction to Microbial Principles in Environmental Engineering (4)
  • CEE 354: Introduction to Chemical Principles in Environmental Engineering (5)
  • CEE 356: Quantitative and Conceptual Tools for Sustainability (4)
  • CEE 357:  Environmental Engineering (5)
  • CEE 480: Air-quality Modeling (3)
  • CEE 490: Air Pollution Control (4)
  • CEE 495: Sustainability and Design for Environment (3)

Study Abroad Opportunities

  • Engineering Jordan: Water in an Arid Land
  • Engineering Pacific Northwest: Sustainable Water in a Wet Region
  • Engineering Italy: Water and Environment in Southern Italy

Areas of Knowledge

  • CEP 200 Introduction to Community and Environment (I&S)
  • ENV H 220 Global Environmental Change and Public Health (I&S)
  • GEOG 272 Geographies of Environmental Justice (I&S and DIV)
  • ENGL 265 Introduction to Environmental Humanities (I&S/VLPA, and DIV)
  • ENVIR 239 Sustainability: Personal Choices, Broad Impacts (I&S)
  • CEE 420: Engineering with Developing Communities (DIV)
  • ENVIR 211 Environmental Justice (I&S, DIV)
  • GEOG 123 Introduction to Globalization (I&S, DIV)
  • ENVIR 243 Environmental Ethics (VLPA/I&S)
  • JSIS B 391 Climate Change - An International Perspective: Science, Art, and Activism (VLPA or I&S)
  • ATM S 358 Fundamentals of Atmospheric Chemistry (NW)
  • ATM S 458 Air Pollution Chemistry (NW)
  • ATM S 480 Air-Quality Modeling (NW)​

Energy Systems

Engineering Electives

  • CHEM E 341: Energy and Environment (3)
  • CHEM E 440:  Energy Materials, Devices, and Systems (3)
  • CHEM E 442: Renewable Energy (4)
  • CHEM E 445: Fuel Cell Engineering (3)
  • CHEM E 461: Electrochemical Engineering (3)
  • CHEM E 484: Electronic and Optoelectronic Polymers (3)
  • CHEM E 498: Solar Energy Conversion and Solar Cells (3)
  • CHEM E 498: Battery Systems Engineering (3)
  • ME 430: Advanced Energy Conversion Systems (4)
  • MSE 560: Organic Electronic and Photonic Materials/Polymers (3)

Study Abroad Opportunities

  • SIT Iceland: Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics
  • CIEE Dublin: Summer Engineering, Technology, & Society

Areas of Knowledge

  • ENVIR 239 Sustainability: Personal Choices, Broad Impacts (I&S)
  • PHYS 217: Energy Future: The Technical and Social Barriers to Large-Scale Sustainable Energy (I&S)  (No Credit if Chem E 341 is taken)
  • JSIS B 357: The Geopolitics of Energy (I&S)
  • GEOG 472: Geographies of Energy & Sustainability (I&S)
  • CEE 420: Engineering with Developing Communities (DIV)​

Polymers, Composites, Colloids, and Interfaces

Engineering Electives

We recommend students interested in this area take both CHEM E 455: Colloids and CHEM E 460: Polymers, though only one is required to graduate. The additional course will count toward engineering electives.

  • CHEM E 556: Colloidal Systems (3)
  • CHEM E 554: Nanoscale Science I (3)
  • CHEM E 484: Electronic and Optoelectronic Polymers (3)
  • CHEM E 458: Surface Analysis (3)
  • CHEM E 490: Engineering Materials for Biomedical Applications (3)
  • CHEM E 491: Controlled-Release Systems (3)
  • CHEM E 493: Advanced Surface Analysis (3)
  • MSE 170: Fundamentals of Materials Science (4)
  • MSE 471: Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering (3)
  • MSE 475: Introduction to Composite Materials (3)
  • MSE 502: Sol-Gel Processing (3)

Study Abroad Opportunities

  • Aeronautics & Astronautics Australia: Design of novel materials and structures: a fusion of art, mathematics, and science