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Curtin University of Technology
Media Releases 2012

Producing chemical engineers geared for the future

Chemical Engineering covers the development, design and operation of chemical processes and plants for the extraction, conversion and recovery of materials that is based on both chemical and biological systems.

A great variety of process industries serve the needs of society. Among the more familiar are petroleum refining, gas processing, petrochemical and polymer production, bio-processing and bio-production, biopharmaceutics and food processing, fertiliser manufacture, cement and lime production, minerals and metals extraction and refining, paper and board manufacture, biomass and sugar refining, production of industrial and fine chemicals.

For those interested to pursue careers in Chemical Engineering, Curtin University is internationally recognised for its Chemical Engineering programme and, according to the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, currently ranks among the top 100 universities in the world for Chemical Engineering.

As Curtin’s largest international campus located in Miri, Malaysia, Curtin Sarawak offers students the same widely-recognised undergraduate and postgraduate coursework and research degrees in Chemical Engineering as Curtin in Australia.

That means they not only receive the same qualifications that are recognised by Engineers Australia (EAust) and the Institution of Chemical Engineers in Australia, but also experience the same exacting standards of teaching and learning that are highly prized by graduates and respected by professional engineers.

The qualifications are also endorsed by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Malaysian Public Services Department (JPA), and fully recognised by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK (IChemE, UK).

Incidentally, Curtin Sarawak was the first institution in Malaysia to be awarded the prestigious MacNab Medal for Excellence in Design Project (in 2006) by IChemE, UK, which was won the previous year by University of Cambridge.

Furthermore, students will gain valuable work experience interacting with industry professionals and learn from lecturers with real industry experience to ensure that they are equipped with the skills and experience to graduate job-ready.

Curtin’s Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) is a 4-year, full-time course with a common first year with all other engineering disciplines. On completion of the first year, students are then able to select from either chemical engineering or oil and gas streams.

The oil and gas stream looks at the development, design and operation of processes and plant specific to the extraction, conversion and recovery of oil and gas systems. Students will also explore the theory and application of various disciplines required to evaluate, develop and exploit oil and gas accumulations. Engineering companies design and build plant for oil and gas industries, and manufacturing companies manage, operate, maintain and develop processes and plant for the efficient production of oil and gas.

The course presents wide-ranging career opportunities for graduates, besides being chemical engineers. The majority of graduates are employed in international mineral or oil and gas processing industries. Some are employed directly by processing companies, others by the many consulting groups that serve the industry. Employers generally regard chemical engineers as the most versatile of engineers and they are in high demand within consulting engineering groups.

Advantages to students studying Chemical Engineering at Curtin Sarawak include Curtin Sarawak’s location in Miri, birthplace of the Malaysian petroleum industry and an oil and gas industry hub, which provides ample opportunities for students to interact with industry professionals, undergo practical training and be exposed to industry practices.

As Curtin encourages learning and development beyond the classroom, Chemical Engineering students are encouraged to participate in national and international chemical engineering competitions. Chemical Engineering students of Curtin Sarawak have emerged winners in national chemical engineering competitions, including the National Chemical Engineering Symposium (NACES) Technical Essay Writing Competition (in 2008 and 2009) - a testimony to the high quality of the course and of Curtin Sarawak’s teaching standards.

Curtin Sarawak was established in 1999 in partnership with the Sarawak State Government. It offers industry-focused learning with excellent teaching methods and state-of-the-art facilities, as well as a unique international and cross-cultural environment with students and staff from more than 40 countries on campus.

Curtin Sarawak offers admission pathways to suit a variety of needs, including bridging and foundation courses to help international students meet the prerequisite requirements.

Further information on Curtin Sarawak can be obtained from its website at Alternatively, one can contact its Student Recruitment Department at 085-443939 or via e-mail to for more details.