Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering

The myriad strengths of this Ph.D. program have won international recognition—and provide an exceptional environment for doctoral candidates. Here, students may collaborate with a global thought leader in microchemical systems, conduct research in one of the nation’s best-funded academic research centers, or work with the creator of landmark FEM codes for the U.S. military. The department has drawn funding from such diverse sources as the U.S. Department of Energy and International Flavors & Fragrances, while exploring a wealth of intellectual property—from microfluidic biochips to microreactors for fuel cell systems.

Faculty Distinctions

  • Professor Ronald Besser is a recognized thought leader in microchemical systems, having founded one of the few international groups that pursue the technology. His experience in Silicon Valley industry focused on semiconductor materials and device development.
  • Professor George DeLancey has served the National Bureau of Standards (NTIS) as a postdoctoral fellow. His interests range from yeast-mediated bioreduction to optimal catalyst formulation and reactor loading for bioreactors.  
  • Institute Professor Dilhan Kalyon founded Stevens’ Highly Filled Materials Institute, which ranks among the top-funded academic research programs in the United States. A Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, he has trained and collaborated with over 150 students, postdocs, and visiting scientists.
  • Reaction engineering, catalysis, and crystallization are the focus of Professor Suphan Kovenklioglu’s research. With numerous papers and reports to his credit, he applies his core interests to microchemical systems, crystallization from solution, and emulsion crystallization for nanoparticle formation.
  • The program’s director, Professor Adeniyi Lawal, conducts cutting-edge, well-funded research in chemical synthesis in microreactors, and explores such advanced topics as modeling and simulation of transport processes in complex geometries. The U.S. Army and Navy have used his finite element method (FEM) codes to design processing equipment for composite energetic materials. 

Research Areas

  • Microchemical systems and reactors
  • Process design & simulation
  • Reaction engineering
  • Highly filled materials
  • Biochemical engineering
  • Polymer processing and characterization
  • Chemical vapor deposition
  • Crystallization
  • Bioreactors 

Research Centers

  • The Highly Filled Materials Institute (HFMI), one of the nation’s best-funded academic research programs, explores all aspects of suspensions and dispersions and their application to solid rocket fuels, explosives, detergents, food products, batteries, polymeric master batches and compounds, and ceramics. With a wealth of proprietary techniques and state-of-the-art equipment (including its own minisupercomputer), HFMI maintains close collaboration with industry to ensure the pursuit of highly relevant research.
  • The New Jersey Center for Microchemical Systems (NJCMS) aims to design and control chemical reactions and separations processes that occur in microvolume environments. Its researchers explore such new and emerging technologies as microfluidic biochips, combinatorial catalyst evaluation, microreactor systems for on-demand chemical production, and portable fuel cell systems, to name a few.

Alumni Accomplishments

Zehev Tadmor, the president emeritus of the internationally renowned Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stevens. In 2005, he received the Israel Prime Minister’s distinguished EMET Prize for excellence in the exact sciences category.


Before starting the doctoral program, the candidates must first complete the masters program in chemical engineering. Hence the application to the PhD program is recommended one semester prior to the completion of the masters program. GRE is required of all applicants.

Degree Requirements

You must earn 84 graduate credits to complete the doctoral program. Of these credits, 30 must be earned through course work, and at least 30 via dissertation work. You may apply up to 30 credits from a relevant master’s program toward your doctoral degree.

Students are strongly encouraged to take the Ph.D. qualifying exam (oral only) within two semesters of enrollment in the doctoral program. A minimum of 3.3 GPA must be satisfied to take the exam. Upon satisfactory completion of the exam, you become a doctoral candidate and start your dissertation research.

Doctoral research must be based on an original investigation, and the results must make a significant, state-of-the-art contribution to the field, worthy of publication in current professional literature. At the completion of the research, you must defend your thesis in a public presentation.