The Chemical Engineering program at Columbia University is committed to performing research that is engaging and impactful. We strive to provide the best resources for undertaking quality research in the following fields:

Biotechnology and Biological Engineering

Chemical engineers are central to the development and production of therapies, treatments, and diagnostics that maintain a healthy humanity. Researchers in our department apply chemical engineering principles to learn from and manipulate the living world, as well as create new biotechnologies for a range of critical applications. Activities in this area range from the molecular, to the cellular, and up to tissue scales. We develop new genomics technologies as well as engineer proteins and new biomimetic materials. We employ computational modeling to predict cellular behavior and use tissue engineering to reconstitute organ development in vitro.

Faculty: Scott Banta, Jingyue Ju, Aaron Moment, Allie Obermeyer, Ben O’Shaughnessy, Mijo Simunovic

Energy and the Environment

Chemical engineers play a critical role in developing new technologies to mitigate climate change and facilitate the transition to renewable energy. Researchers in our department use a highly interdisciplinary, multiscale approach to understand and control materials and devices to design systems for clean energy generation, storage, and conversion. Researchers also focus on clean technologies for producing chemicals and materials, as well as atmospheric science. Current research projects include electrochemical energy storage solutions, air quality, microbial environmental processes, and catalytic reaction engineering for carbon utilization and hydrogen production.

Faculty: Scott Banta, Jingguang Chen, Dan Esposito, Lauren Marbella, V. Faye McNeill, Alissa Park, Daniel Steingart, Alex Urban, Alan West

Soft Materials

Chemical engineers design and create new materials using synthetic and biopolymers, surfactants and liquid crystals, colloids and granular matter to achieve functional architectures spanning nano- to macroscopic dimensions. Researchers in our department are developing soft materials to enable existing and emerging applications from membrane separations and fluidized beds to photonic metamaterials and micro-robotics. Understanding the organization of these materials at thermodynamic equilibrium and beyond is also critical for engineering biological soft matter such as DNA, proteins, and their assemblies. We combine advances in synthesis, characterization, theory, and simulation to guide the design of new materials.

Faculty: Kyle Bishop, Chris Boyce, Chris Durning, Oleg Gang, Sanat Kumar, Allie Obermeyer, Ben O’Shaughnessy, Venkat Venkatsubramanian