Undergraduate Program Ranked No. 4

Undergraduate students Darrious Betts and Julie Fogarty on the Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Building lawnThe McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering was recently ranked No. 4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s (USNWR) 2013 undergraduate rankings.

“The recent rankings recognize the excellence of our program and the high quality of our students as judged by industry and academia,” said Roger Bonnecaze, department chair, William and Bettye Nowlin Chair and Bill L. Stanley Endowed Leadership Chair.

USNWR’s rankings are based on peer judgments of deans and senior faculties from other institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET is a non-governmental organization that evaluates post-secondary education programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

“Being ranked No.4 is a wonderful recognition for the hard work from faculty, staff and students over many years,” said Jennifer Maynard, assistant professor and undergraduate advisor. “Fundamentally, I think it is because this department attracts very intelligent, creative and hard-working people who are driven primarily by a desire to improve the world – through research, inventions and by training the next generation of engineers.”

The undergraduate program currently hosts 705 students and graduates more than 100 chemical engineers annually. Students are instructed by world-class faculty, including nine members of the National Academy of Engineering, two Institute of Medicine members and two National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureates. Department faculty were issued 20 U.S. patents last year- the highest of any department at UT-Austin- and have founded more than six successful start-up companies.

The department’s $14 million in annual research funding allows students to conduct undergraduate research on ground-breaking projects such as drug delivery systems that improve chemotherapy, alternative fuel sources to create new sources of energy, and process development for CO2 capture to lower carbon emissions and curb global warming.

Students are also encouraged to participate in leadership development programs, like Ramshorn Retreats or nationally recognized LeaderShape Texas, and extracurricular activities. Organizations like the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) or Omega Chi Epsilon (OXE) offer extensive programs of professional activities, social events and participation in intramural sports.  Undergraduates can also be selected as student ambassadors to welcome guests for special events, guide prospective students and their families and assist with orientation and registration procedures.

“Students are not only provided excellent academic and research resources, but we ensure students have a well-rounded university experience and gain important life lessons to help them make the greatest impact throughout their careers,” said Kelly McQueary, undergraduate coordinator. “The mentoring culture and sense of community combined with academic excellence really make this department unique.”


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Undergraduate Program Ranked No.4

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