what is the role of chemical engineers in pharmaceutical industry?

4 Answers

  • Dr W
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Chemical engineers usually take on 1 of 4 different roles in industry. Pharmaceutical included.

    1). Process engineering. In this role ChE's are responsible for the daily operations and long term planning of a production line or plant. They monitor process variables and when something goes out of control, they respond. They update process control systems. They work with quality and management to ensure on quality products. They plan maintenance activities and they manage the hourly employees.

    2). Project engineering. ChE's are almost always responsible for the management of capital projects in chemical plants. Anytime a new process is built from production lines to entire plants, ChE's are usually managing the project. This includes scoping out the project (What, where, when, how much $, and why), selling the concept to management to obtain funding, designing the systems perhaps with outside consultants, bidding out sections of the project, bringing in contractors as needed, designing process controls systems, and starting up the finished production lines.

    3). Product/Process development. BsChE's are treated equivalently to Ms Chemists in industry and are often given roles developing new processes (reactors, mixing, packaging, cooling systems, raw material handling, etc) and new products. They often manage a team of lab technicians. Hourly employees with some experience or perhaps with Bs Chemistry degrees. The are usually given quite a bit of latittude in the direction of their work. They decide which way to proceed and design experiments and have manage the research.

    4). Middle to upper management. ChE's are very often found managing suppliers, customers, accounts, engineering groups and teams, global operations, overall R&D departments, and even entire corporations. Especially those with MBA's.


    so.. let's think about a typical pharmaceutical company. Abbott labs.

    CEO Miles D White. BsME (mechanical engineer) MBA Stanford. He could very easily have been a BsChE + MBA.

    And overall the senior management found here.


    9/20 have MBA's

    5/20 have a bachelors degree in an engineering field with an MBA. Any of which could have been ChE's

    1/20 is Robert Hance. BsChE + MBA. Sr VP.

    1/20 has a PhD in engineering + an MBA

    the rest are lawyers, biologists, 1 doctor, 1 nurse and a couple of poly sci guys.

    All of those people are doing job #4 above. Upper management.


    And you can bet, there are plenty of ChE's in middle management, design, project engineering, and process engineering.


    I have a PhD in ChE and I manage an R&D group at a company that does NOT make pharmaceuticals. Although we sell to the pharmaceutical manufacturers. My boss, the CEO has a PhD in ChE. Of the other senior management, we have a Bs Nuclear Engineer with an MBA, and BsChE with an MBA, a BsME (working on an MBA) and a Bs business. I have a couple of ChE's working for me in process and product design. I've management process engineering groups and capital projects teams.

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  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/axLF7

    A process engineer creates and develops industrial processes to make the products on which modern society depends. These products include foods and drinks, fuels, artificial fibres, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, toiletries, energy and clean water. The work is about large-scale chemical and biochemical processes in which raw materials undergo change. This involves scaling up the manufacture of products and processes from the laboratory bench to full production plants. Designing equipment, understanding the reactions taking place, installing control systems, starting, running and upgrading the processes are all part of the job. Protecting the environment and safety are also significant concerns for the process engineer. Typical Work Activities These include: • applying the principles of mass, momentum and heat transfer to process and equipment design; • designing, installing/constructing and commissioning new production units, monitoring development, (ie modifications and upgrades), and troubleshooting existing processes, all within tight financial control; • preparing flow diagrams and charts; • evaluating processes and operating systems for the manufacture of products; • assessing the availability of raw materials and the safety and environmental impact of the plant; • managing cost and time constraints of projects; • supporting the conversion of small-scale processes into commercially viable large-scale operations; • assuming responsibility for risk assessment, necessitating hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies, for health and safety of both company staff and the wider community, and for environmental monitoring; • monitoring and improving the efficiency, output and safety of a plant, the process engineer will make observations and measurements directly as well as collecting and interpreting data from the other technical and operating staff involved; • assuming responsibility for environmental issues and ongoing performance of processes and process plant; • liaising with other process engineers, perhaps working on associated plants; • working closely with other specialists including scientists responsible for quality control of raw materials, intermediates and finished products, commercial colleagues on product specifications and production schedules, and the operating crew.

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  • Dzhon
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    *m w seems to know a lot about self promotion, but is there an answer to the specific question within that jungle of rhetoric?

    Chemical engineers / pharmaceutical engineer's start with a small scale drug formulation process, economically improve the drug's delivery, then upscale the manufacturing to industrial production without loosing the drug's effectiveness.

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  • Shahri
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    First of all, your degree--a Pharmacist has a degree in pharmacy, and a pharmaceutical-chemical engineer has a degree in chemical engineering. A chemical engineer can have a few different levels of education--bachelor's, master's, PhD. A pharmacist can only work if they have a PharmD, a six-year degree that earns a doctorate in pharmacy. A pharmacist works in a pharmacy, dealing with patients and pills. A pharmaceutical chemical engineer works in a lab, either for a private company or for a university. Both pay well. If you like a lot of math, an engineer is better (you have to take at least four levels of calculus for any engineering degree). An engineer works on inventing and developing new drugs, so it's a good career path for people who are very science-minded but also a little bit creative. If you prefer learning about drugs that have already been created, and their effects on human physiology, a pharmacist is better.

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