Department of Chemistry and Life Science

Academic Majors

Chemistry

Cadet work in the chemistry laboratory

Chemistry is the branch of sciences that studies the composition, structure, properties, changes and interactions of matter. Therefore, it is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind.

Learn more:

Contact Dr. Eileen Kowalski: Eileen.kowalski@westpoint.edu


Life Science

Life Science is a branch of the sciences that study the structure and processes of living organisms. Four unifying principles form the foundation of Life Science: cell theory, evolution, genetics, and homeostasis.  The Life Science Major gives cadets a basic understanding of analytical and organic chemistry and biology. The major focuses on the broader understanding of biology and biotechnology.

 

Contact LTC Jason Barnhill:  Jason.barnhill@westpoint.edu

Cadet dissects a frog during a life science laboratory

Chemical Engineering

The mission of the chemical engineering program is to prepare commissioned leaders of character who are proficient in applying chemical and engineering principles to solve problems in a complex operational environment.

Learn more:

The Chemical Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Contact LTC Matthew Armstrong:  matthew.armstrong@westpoint.edu

 

Chemical Engineering Program Educational Objectives

Chemical engineering is perhaps the broadest and most diverse field in all of engineering. Any commercial process or product that uses or contains molecules probably involved a chemical engineer at some stage of development. This includes all materials used by the military, including such basic items as food, clothing, fuel, water, explosives, metals, polymers, ceramics, semiconductors, medicines, artificial organs, and prostheses, just to name a few. Chemical engineers design these materials at the molecular level, optimize the design for specific applications, and develop efficient methods for production, packaging, and distribution. Chemical engineers are also very concerned with the conversion between matter and energy, particularly since almost all chemical reactions require or produce energy. In terms of contemporary societal problems, chemical engineers are at the forefront of the effort to design new and more efficient fuels, and we are critical to efforts at environmental remediation, including waste recycling and remediation. Within the military, chemical engineers are uniquely qualified to address problems in fuel and water production and distribution, power generation, as well as detection, decontamination, and protection against chemical and biological agents.

 

During a career as commissioned officers in the United States Army and beyond, program graduates: 

  • Demonstrate effective leadership and chemical engineering expertise.
  • Contribute to the solution of infrastructure or operational problems in a complex operational environment.
  • Succeed in graduate school or other advanced study programs.
  • Advance their careers through clear and precise technical communication.
Chemical Engineering Student Outcomes

On completion of the chemical engineering program, our graduates demonstrate an ability to

  1. (IFSAESM) Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. (Design) Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. (Communicate) Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. (Prof Eth / Context) Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. (Experiments) Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. (Knowledge) Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  8. Understand the chemical engineering curriculum, including:
    • Chemistry,
    • Material and energy balances,
    • Safety and environmental factors,
    • Thermodynamics of physical and chemical equilibria,
    • Heat, mass, and momentum transfer,
    • Chemical reaction engineering,
    • Continuous and staged separation processes
    • Process dynamics and control,
    • Modern experimental and computing techniques, and
    • Process design.

A cadet majoring in Chemical Engineering must complete 24 core and 18 program courses for a total of 42 academic courses. The program includes 15 required and 3 elective courses.