The Part IIB course goes on to give a deeper understanding of some fundamental subjects and to introduce the student to a range of specialist areas of Chemical Engineering knowledge. There are a few compulsory subjects taken by all students, and a wide range of options.
Compulsory Subjects: These lecture units cover topics which are essential for modern professional practice and a long term career in the discipline. The Sustainabilty in Chemical Engineering lectures cover environmental impact, life cycle analysis and consider how sustainability issues can be quantified. The unit entitled States of Matter discusses the fundamental properties of different groups of materials (e.g. polymers, granular solids, colloids) and their interdependence on processing. This unit requires students to read recent papers and reviews in the scientific literature, developing skills which are useful in any subsequent career based on research and/or development.
Research Project: Each Part IIB student undertakes a Research Project, often in collaboration with another student, during the fourth year. The project is an original piece of research that is closely supervised by a member of staff. The projects available reflect the various research activities in the Department. They might involve experimental, theoretical and/or computational work. Some projects support ongoing research activies while others are 'blue sky' investigations leading to new research programmes. Several projects are sponsored by interested companies, or are spin-offs of ongoing investigations. Successful projects sometimes lead to students becoming authors of publications in the scientific literature.
Optional Modules: These are courses of 16 lectures, and students are required to sit examinations in the Easter term on six of them. The courses are taught by lecturers who specialise in that particular field of research. The topics taught vary from year to year, but in 2011-12 are:
- Electrochemical Engineering
- Fluid Mechanics and the Environment
- Modern Metrology
- Particle Technology
- Rheology and Processing
Broadening Material: Students are required to do two broadening topics. In 2011-12, the following course is compulsory:
- Chemical Product Design
Students in 2011-12 choose one other course from the following:
- Computational Fluid Dynamics
- A Foreign Language