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CHE 596 606 Core Chemical Engineering Concepts I

3 Credit Hours

Core ChE Concepts: I and II is a two-semester online chemical engineering sequence offered in Fall/Spring and Spring/Summer semesters through the Engineering Online program at NC State. These courses are designed only for students who do not have a previous chemical engineering degree. Students who have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering may still register for this course but resulting credit will not count towards their MS ChE.

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It is strongly recommended that students have completed math courses through calculus III and differential equations.

Course Overview

  • Designed to prepare students with backgrounds in chemistry, biology or other engineering degrees for successful graduate study in chemical engineering.
  • Individual modules feature short video lectures, worked examples, conceptual quizzes, and interactive features for student support.
  • Together with the following course (Core Chemical Engineering Concepts II), these online courses count as two electives (6 credit hours) towards NC State’s MS in Chemical Engineering.
  • Excellent continuing education option for engineers and scientists who want an overview of core chemical engineering concepts.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Solve steady state and transient material and energy balance problems for single and multiple unit processes, with and without reaction, involving components in both vapor and liquid phases.
  • Describe and analyze transport processes for flows of Newtonian fluids.
  • Perform thermodynamic analyses of closed and open systems based on first and second laws. Relate thermodynamic properties of interest to measurable physical parameters and calculate the thermodynamic properties for a specified change of state.

Course Topics

  • Fundamentals of Material Balances
  • Single Phase Systems and Volumetric Properties of Pure Fluids
  • Multi-Phase Systems
  • Energy and Energy Balances
  • Energy Balances on Non-Reactive Processes
  • Energy Balances on Reactive Processes
  • The Second Law of Thermodynamics
  • Thermodynamic Properties of Fluids
  • Application of Thermodynamics to Flow Processes
  • Fluid Mechanics and Shell Momentum Balances
  • Equations of Change for Isothermal Systems and Navier-Stokes Equations

Reference Textbooks


  • Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, 4th Edition – Richard M. Felder, Ronald W. Rousseau, Lisa G. Bullard


  • Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (8th Edition) – J.M. Smith, Hendrick Van Ness, Michael Abbott, and Mark Swihart (primary)


  • Transport Phenomena (revised 2nd Edition) – R. Bryon Bird, Warren E. Stewart, Edwin N. Lightfoot (primary)

Updated: 10/31/2022