Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

  • Chair

    Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos

  • Departmental Representative

    A. James Link

  • Director of Graduate Studies

    Rodney D. Priestley

  • Professor

    Ilhan A. Aksay

    Jay B. Benziger

    Pablo G. Debenedetti

    Bruce E. Koel

    Lynn Loo

    Celeste M. Nelson

    Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos

    Robert K. Prud'homme

    Richard A. Register

    Stanislav Y. Shvartsman, also Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

    Sankaran Sundaresan

  • Visiting Professor

    Roseanne M. Ford, William R. Kenan, Jr., Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching

  • Associate Professor

    Clifford P. Brangwynne

    Mark P. Brynildsen

    A. James Link

    Rodney D. Priestley

  • Assistant Professor

    Pierre-Thomas Brun

    Sujit S. Datta

    José L. Avalos, also Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

  • Associated Faculty

    Ian C. Bourg, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton Environmental Institute

    Emily A. Carter, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Applied and Computational Mathematics

    Sabine Petry, Molecular Biology

    Daniel A. Steingart, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    Howard A. Stone, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

    Jared E. Toettcher, Molecular Biology

    Claire E. White, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Martin Wühr, Molecular Biology, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

Information and Departmental Plan of Study


The freshman program in engineering or its equivalent.

General Requirements

In order to qualify for the B.S.E. degree in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, a student must satisfy the requirements of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and must choose courses during the sophomore, junior, and senior years to provide a core knowledge of chemical engineering and advanced knowledge in an area of concentration. The advanced science and core chemical engineering courses in the sophomore and junior years provide the fundamental tools of thermodynamics, transport processes, and reactor analysis. In the spring semester of the junior year, students take a laboratory-based course that utilizes core chemical engineering knowledge. In the senior year, students undertake an in-depth design analysis with state-of-the-art design and optimization tools. Students can tailor their specific interests in chemical and biological engineering by pursuing an area of concentration that culminates with a senior thesis project. The areas of concentration, reflective of the practice of modern chemical engineering, include bioengineering and biotechnology; materials and product engineering; energy and environmental engineering; optimization, dynamics, and information technology; entrepreneurship and management; and science and engineering for new technologies. The chemical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Students with special interests should consult the section on special programs and options. Total courses: 36.

Departmental Requirements

Chemical and Biological Engineering Core

The nine courses listed below are required of all chemical and biological engineering majors:

245 Introduction to Chemical Engineering Principles
246 Thermodynamics
250 Separations in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
341 Mass, Momentum, and Energy Transport
346 Chemical Engineering Laboratory
441 Chemical Reaction Engineering
442 Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Chemical Processes
451, 452 Independent Work or 454 Senior Thesis

Most students carry out a two-term senior thesis. Students must complete a two-term thesis for departmental honors. Students who elect one term of independent work are required to take an additional chemical and biological engineering elective at the 300 level or above.

Mathematics Requirement

MAE 305 Mathematics in Engineering I

Chemistry Requirement

CHM 201 General Chemistry I, or CHM 207 Advanced General Chemistry: Materials Chemistry
CHM 202 General Chemistry II, or CHM 215 Advanced General Chemistry: Honors Course
CHM 303 Organic Chemistry I: Biological Emphasis

Molecular Biology Requirement

MOL 214 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology, or MOL 215 Quantitative Principles in Cell and Molecular Biology

Advanced Science Requirements

Advanced Chemistry. The advanced chemistry course provides a greater depth in the underlying science of chemistry. The course may be any 300-level-or-above chemistry course, including those cross-listed by the chemistry department. With the approval of the departmental representative, the advanced chemistry requirement may be selected from another science department.

Advanced Chemical Engineering. One advanced chemical engineering course is also required. This can be any 300-level-or-above course (excluding independent work) offered by the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Societal Impact Requirement

Of the seven required Humanities and Social Science electives, undergraduates in chemical and biological engineering must take at least one course in the Ethical Thought and Moral Values area (EM)

Program of Study

In addition to the requirements above, students are required to designate an area of concentration and take three courses from the approved lists below in that area of concentration. The senior independent work is usually undertaken within the area of concentration. In addition, students are required to take at least one course each from two of the advanced areas outside their area of concentration to provide technical diversity. (Note: An asterisk indicates one-time-only courses.)

ABET requires chemical engineering students to complete a minimum of 12 engineering topic courses. This is satisfied by completing the nine CBE core courses (including the double credit thesis), plus the following: the required advanced chemical engineering course, and at least two program electives chosen from CBE, CEE, COS, EGR*,ELE, MAE, MSE, or ORF that are on the approved list of courses in the areas of concentration.

*EGR courses that are non-credit do not count for this requirement.

Bioengineering and Biotechnology

CBE 419 Enzymes
CBE 423 Biologically Inspired Materials
CBE 432 The Cell as a Chemical Reactor
CBE 433 Introduction to the Mechanics and Dynamics of Soft Living Matter
CBE 438/MOL 438 Biomolecular Engineering
CBE 439 Quantitative Physiology and Tissue Design
CBE 440 The Physical Basis of Human Disease
CBE 443 Separations in Chemical and Biochemical Processes
CBE 447 Metabolic Engineering

CHM 412 Applied Quantitative Analysis: Molecular Recognition
CHM 440 Drug Discovery in the Genomics Era
CHM 538 Topics in Biological Chemistry - Chemistry Tools to Study Biological Systems
CHM 542 Principles of Macromolecular Structure: Protein Folding, Structure and Design
CHM 543 Advanced Topics in Structural Biology: Neurodevelopmental Disorders from a Molecular Point of View

CHM 544/ENV 544 Metals in Biology
EEB 320/MOL 330 Molecular Evolutionary Genetics
EEB 325 Mathematical Modeling in Biology and Medicine
EEB 327/MOL327 Immune Systems: From Molecules to Populations

ENE 418/ CBE 418 Fundamentals of Biofuels
GEO 428 Biological Oceanography

ISC 326/EEB 326/MOL 326 Human Genomics: The Past, Present, and Future of the Human Genome
MAE 344 Introduction to Bioengineering and Medical Devices
MOL 340 Molecular and Cellular Immunology
MOL 342 Genetics
MOL 345/CHM 345 Biochemistry
MOL 348 Cell and Developmental Biology
MOL 408 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience
MOL 410 Introduction to Biological Dynamics
MOL 433/CBE 434 Biotechnology
MOL 434 Macromolecular Structure and Mechanism in Disease
MOL 435 Pathogenesis and Bacterial Diversity
MOL 437 Computational Neurobiology
MOL 448/CHM 448 Chemistry, Structure and Structure-Function Relations of Nucleic Acids
MOL 455/COS 455 Introduction to Genomics and Computational Molecular Biology
MOL 457 Computational Aspect of Molecular Biology
MOL 459 Viruses: Strategy and Tactics
MOL 423 Molecular Basis of Cancer
NEU 201/PSY 258 Fundamentals of Neuroscience
NEU 202/PSY 259 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
NEU 408/MOL 408/PSY 404 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience
NEU 437/MOL 437/PSY 437 Computational Neuroscience
PSY 406 Functional Neuroanatomy
PSY 407 Developmental Neuroscience
QCB 511/CBE 511 Modeling Tools for Cell and Developmental Biology

Entrepreneurship and Management
CBE 260/EGR 260 Ethics and Technology: Engineering in the Real World
CEE 334/ WWS 452/ ENV 334/ ENE 334 Global Environmental Issues
CEE 460 Risk Assessment and Management
CHV 331/ WWS 372 Ethics and Public Health
COS 432 Information Security
ECO 310 Microeconomic Theory: A Mathematical Approach
ECO 311 Macroeconomics: A Mathematical Approach

EGR 437/MAE 437/ELE 437 Innovation Process Leadership
EGR 492 Radical Innovation in Global Markets
EGR 494 Leadership Development for Business
EGR 495 Special Topics in Entrepreneurship
EGR 497 Entrepreneurial Leadership
ELE 491 High-Tech Entrepreneurship
ENV 324 Environmental Entrepreneurship
GEO 366/ENV 339/WWS 451/ ENE 366 Climate Change: Scientific Basis, Policy Implications
ORF 245 Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics
ORF 335 Introduction to Financial Engineering
ORF 435 Financial Risk Management
WWS 327/CHM 443 Pharmaceutical Research and Health Policy

Energy and Environmental Technology
AST 309/MAE 309/PHY 309 Science and Technology of Nuclear Energy: Fission and Fusion
CBE 335 The Energy Water Nexus
CEE 207 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CEE 304/ ENE 304/ ENV 300 Environmental Implications of Energy Technology
CEE 305/ GEO 375/ ENE 305 Environmental Fluid Mechanics
CEE 306 Hydrology
CEE 308 Environmental Engineering Laboratory
CEE 311/CHM 311/GEO 311 Global Air Pollution
CEE 334/ WWS 452/ ENV 334/ ENE 334 Global Environmental Issues
CEE 471 Introduction to Water Pollution Technology
CEE 474/ENV 474 Special Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering - Design and Construction of Environmental Sensors
CEE 477/ ENE 477 Engineering Design for Sustainable Development
CHM 333/ENV 333 Oil to Ozone: Chemistry of the Environment
CHM 525/ENV 525 Production of Renewable Fuels and Energy
ECO 429 Issues in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
ELE 431 Solar Energy Conversion

ENE 414 Renewable Energy Systems

ENE 418/ CBE 418 Fundamentals of Biofuels
ENV 201a, 201b Fundamentals of Environmental Studies: Population, Land Use, Biodiversity, Energy
ENV 202a, 202b Fundamentals of Environmental Studies: Climate, Air Pollution, Toxics, and Water
ENV 204 Global Warming: Causes, Consequences, Policy Responses

ENV 305 Topics in Environmental Studies- Hormonally Active Pollutants
ENV 324 Environmental Entrepreneurship
ENV 531/GEO 531/CEE 583 Topics in Energy and the Environment: Intro to Petroleum Engineering

GEO 220a or 220b Weather and Climate
GEO 322 Biogeochemical Cycles and Global Change
GEO 363/CHM 331/ENV 331 Environmental Geochemistry: Chemistry of the Natural Systems
GEO 364/ CHM 364 Earth Chemistry: Majors Realms of the Planet
GEO 366/ENV 339/ WWS 451/ ENE 366 Climate Change: Scientific Basis, Policy Implications
GEO 418/CHM 418 Environmental Aqueous Geochemistry
GEO 423/CEE 423 Dynamic Meterology
GEO 424/CEE 424/ENE 425 Introductory Seismology
GEO 470/CHM 470 Environmental Chemistry of Soils
MAE 328/EGR 328/ENV 328 Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World
MAE 424/ ENE 424 Energy Storage Systems
MAE 427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications

WWS 306/ECO 329 Environmental Economics

Materials and Product Engineering
CBE 415/CHM 415 Polymers
CBE 422 Molecular Modeling Methods
CBE 423 Biologically Inspired Materials
CBE 433 Introduction to the Mechanics and Dynamics of Soft Living Matter
CBE 526/ CHM 527/ MSE 526 Surface Science: Processes and Probes
CEE 364 Materials in Civil Engineering
CHM 403 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHM 409 Structural Solid State Chemistry

ELE 341 Solid-State Devices

ELE 342 Principles of Quantum Engineering
ELE 441/ENE 441 Solid-State Physics I
ELE 442/ENE 442 Solid-State Physics II
ELE 449 Materials and Solid-State Device Laboratory
GEO 378 Mineralogy
MAE 324 Structure and Properties of Materials
MAE 334 Materials Selection and Design
MSE 301 Materials Science and Engineering
MSE 302 Laboratory Techniques in Materials Science and Engineering

MSE 504/CHM 560/PHY 512/CBE 520 Monte Carlo and Molecular Simulation in Statistical Physics & Material Science
MSE 531/ELE 531 Introduction to Nano/Microfabrication

Optimization, Dynamics, and Information Technology
CBE 422 Molecular Modeling Methods
CBE 448 Introduction to Nonlinear Dynamics
CBE 520 Molecular Simulation Methods
CBE 527 Nonlinear and Mixed-Integer Optimization
COS 217 Introduction to Programming Systems
COS 226 Algorithms and Data Structures
COS 323 Computing for the Physical and Social Sciences
COS 333 Advanced Programming Techniques

COS 340 Reasoning About Computation
COS 402 Artificial Intelligence
COS 424 Interacting with Data
EEB 355 Introduction to Statistics for Biology
ORF 245 Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics
ORF 307 Optimization
ORF 309/EGR 309/MAT 380 Probability and Stochastic Systems
ORF 311 Optimization Under Uncertainty

ORF 360 Decision Modeling in Business Analytics
ORF 406 Statistical Design of Experiments
ORF 409 Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation
ORF 411 Operations and Information Engineering
ORF 417 Dynamic Programming

Science and Engineering for New Technologies

Transport Phenomena
CBE 342/CBE 501 Fluid Mechanics
MAE 306/MAT 392 Mathematics in Engineering II
MAE 336 Viscous Flows
MAE 423 Heat Transfer

Chemical Technology
CBE 421/CHM 421 Catalytic Chemistry
CHM 304 Organic Chemistry II: Foundations of Chemical Reactivity and Synthesis, or CHM 304b Organic Chemistry II: Biological Emphasis
CHM 403 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHM 305 The Quantum World
CHM 306 Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHM 403 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHM 405 Advanced Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics
CHM 406 Advanced Physical Chemistry: Chemical Dynamics and Thermodynamics
CHM 407 Inorganic Chemistry: Structure and Bonding
CHM 408 Inorganic Chemistry: Reactions and Mechanisms

Engineering Physics
PHY 203 Classical Mechanics A, or PHY 205 Classical Mechanics B
PHY 208 Principles of Quantum Mechanics
PHY 301 Thermal Physics
PHY 304 Advanced Electromagnetism
PHY 305 Introduction to Quantum Theory

Electronic Materials Processing
ELE 206/COS 306 Introduction to Logic Design
ELE 208 Integrated Circuits: Practice and Principles
ELE 341 Solid-State Devices
ELE 342 Physical Principles of Electronic Devices
ELE 441/ENE 441 Solid-State Physics I

ELE 442/ENE 442 Solid-State Physics II

The advanced chemistry course requirement and the advanced chemical engineering course requirement can both be satisfied by electives in the areas of concentration.

Special Programs and Options. The flexibility built into the chemical and biological engineering curriculum provides an opportunity for students to obtain a thorough education in the fundamentals of chemical engineering science and at the same time pursue a cognate field (a track) such as biology, business, medicine, chemistry, or physics. Students simply elect as few or as many courses in the cognate field as they desire. While some students may concentrate all their electives in a single field, others may prefer to divide their time between two tracks--for example, chemistry and the biological sciences, or physics and mathematics. The following listing suggests the many tracks available.

Applied and Computational Mathematics: Elective courses in mathematics, modeling, and applications.

Applied Mathematics and Computer Technology: Elective courses in statistical studies, mathematics, electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and civil engineering and operations research.

Applied Physics: Elective courses in physics, mathematics, and chemical and biological engineering.

Biotechnology: Elective courses in chemical and biological engineering, molecular biology, and chemistry.

Business and Finance: Elective courses in decision theory, engineering administration, and economics.

Chemistry: Additional courses in chemistry and the biological sciences beyond those required in the regular program.

Energy Conversion and Resources: Elective courses with emphasis on conversion of energy as given by the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Physics.

Environmental Studies: Elective courses in ecology and evolutionary biology, molecular biology, chemistry, chemical and biological engineering, and civil and environmental engineering.

Materials Science: Elective courses in materials science and engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, chemical and biological engineering, and civil and environmental engineering.

Premedical: Elective courses in ecology and evolutionary biology, molecular biology, and chemistry.

Princeton University offers several special programs called certificate programs. Unlike the tracks described above, these certificate programs have formal requirements. They are described elsewhere in this announcement (for example, see the programs in engineering physics, engineering biology, materials science and engineering, sustainable energy, and environmental studies).