The Chemical Engineering Department at UC Santa Barbara has witnessed a meteoric rise in stature during the last 20 years and is now firmly established as one of the top 10 departments of chemical engineering in the United States.
The Department is now poised to deliver world-changing breakthroughs in many fields, including energy, new materials and medicine.
We are seeking to establish 20 Doctoral Fellowships and 20 Undergraduate Fellowships. These permanent fellowships are designed to enable pioneering, high-risk, high-reward research by top students from around the globe. We seek to create the opportunity for aggressive and innovative research in fields critical to solving world problems. We are in a unique position to leverage our strengths in a way that never before existed.
Your investment in this effort will help invent the future.
A Legacy of Discovery
The department was started in 1965 by Dr. Robert Rinker, graduated its first B.S. in 1968 and its first Ph.D. in 1971. Today, the Chemical Engineering Department at UC Santa Barbara has 20 full-time ladder faculty, plus one non-ladder faculty member who has day-to-day responsibility for the undergraduate laboratory. Five of these faculty are members of the NAE, and a sixth is a member of the NAE, NAS, and FRS.
In terms of research impact per faculty and citation per publication, the Chemical Engineering Department is ranked #1 in the nation.
Our faculty have been honored with many awards for research, including two who were recently honored by AIChE as being among the top 100 Chemical Engineering of the Modern Era (post WWII). Our five world-class junior faculty ensure that the future of our department is secure and in excellent hands. All five of these faculty have won NSF CAREER Awards for excellence in research as well as many other awards for excellence in teaching and research.
A New Approach is Needed Now
The future technological, economic, and strategic success of the United States will depend on continuing mastery to create and produce desirable new products that others cannot; products that are characterized by complex functionality such as photovoltaics, high-power fast-recharging batteries, pharmaceuticals, responsive materials, to name only a few.
The future of chemical engineering is in prediction, not correlation, and this is one of our department’s greatest strengths. Correlations were an important development relative to an earlier era, and remain an important aspect of the engineer’s repertoire. Predictions assist in making experiments more directed and faster, and are especially helpful for product and process invention and design. Predictions are based on a deep understanding of mechanism, experimental facts, and the fundamental underlying physical and biological properties of the system. To be successful requires close collaboration between science and engineering, between experiments and theory, between theory and simulation. This plays to our strengths and must happen on an even wider scale now.
UC Santa Barbara - The Right Place for the Times
UC Santa Barbara is renowned the world over for its unique atmosphere of callaborative research at the forefront of science and engineering. The fruit of this research informs our teaching and provides both undergraduate and graduates an evolving curriculum at the vanguard of chemical engineering. We produce knowledge that changes the way people think. But current funding models, which are schedule driven and mission-oriented, or in many cases, training oriented do not support true discovery. In fact, these models stifle discovery and invention.
Our goal is to become the leading concept-driven (in contrast to proposal-driven) department of chemical engineering in the nation. We will be the provider of novel solutions to problems that must be solved and we will achieve this by giving our students the freedom to perform their scholarship unhindered, in one of the world's leading collaborative research institutions.
Our metric of success will be impact.