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Values of the Department

A Commitment to Excellence and Diversity

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science is noted not only for its commitment to excellence—recruiting top-notch graduate students—but also for diversity, attracting traditionally underrepresented groups and those with backgrounds other than chemical engineering and materials science and engineering. CHMS faculty have received numerous national, local, and campus awards for teaching and research.

A Melting Pot of Intellectual Diversity

The Department houses two Ph.D. programs: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, with all faculty supervising students in either program, yielding a highly interdisciplinary environment. In addition to chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, our faculty hold degrees in chemistry, physics, biology, polymers, metallurgy, mechanics and biochemical engineering. Eight faculty have joint appointments with other departments, such as Molecular and Cell Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Food Science and Technology, Geology, Land, Air and Water Resources (LAWR), and Viticulture and Enology. Our faculty are also active in campus wide interdisciplinary programs, a fortunate environment for which UC Davis is known. Several are members of the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology that trains students for academic and industrial positions in biotechnology. Both Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Engineering students can earn the Designated Emphasis, and have it noted on their degree.

Program Diversity

Our programs include such diverse fields as nanotechnology, surface science, colloidal science, transport phenomena, biochemical engineering, systems analysis, processing and properties of advanced materials, modern characterization techniques, alternative energy research, computational materials science, catalysis and applications of chemical engineering and materials science to problems in human health.

The True Measure of Success

To truly assess the success of our programs, however, you need only look to the positions our alumni hold in the academic and industrial worlds. Our students have challenging and interesting jobs in research universities and community colleges. Biotechnology companies like Genentech and Alza, and electronics companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel recruit our graduates to work in their major facilities located less than an hour from UC Davis. Our department has strong ties to the National Laboratories, where our graduates regularly are recruited.

Rapid Growth and Achievement

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science has made rapid gains in both size and quality. From 2006 to 2009, we hired six new faculty, including two women and a Latino. Because of substantial increases in the size of research programs and the quality of our applicants, our graduate program has grown by 55 percent between the 2002/03 and 2008/ 09 academic years.