• Home of ChBE

    Learn more about our world-class research and teaching facilities in beautiful Boulder, Colorado!
  • Kristi Anseth

    Award-Winning Faculty

    Professor Kristi Anseth is one of only a select few nationally to be elected to all three branches of the National Academies. Learn about more faculty, student and staff awards.
  • ChBE Assistant Professor Joel Kaar in his lab

    Research with Impact

    Assistant Professor Joel Kaar's enzyme research can lead to greener chemistries, improved tissue scaffolds, and biopolymers that sense and destroy toxic agents. Learn more about the research being done in ChBE.
  • Learn ChemE Website

    Innovative Teaching

    Our faculty are pioneering active learning tools like screencasts, interactive simulations and ConcepTests.
  • ChBE graduate students
  • ChBE Start-Ups

    ChBE is fueling the economy with start-ups!
  • AIChE students at Rentech, Inc.

    Active Student Groups

    Find out how you can get involved with student groups such as AIChE, OXE and SWE.

Welcome to Chemical and Biological Engineering at CU-Boulder

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Research with Impact

What makes ChBE one of the top research departments in the country?

Compare us to other depts nationwide

 • Highly-cited
     9 faculty with h-index > 40*
     6 faculty with h-index > 50*
 • 14th among all graduate programs**
 • 8th among public graduate
 • 2nd in new grants per faculty***
 • 5th in total value of new grants
   per faculty***
 • 8th in Faculty Scholarly
   Productivity Index***
 • 10th in publications per faculty***
 • 10th in citations per faculty***
 • 10th in citations per paper***
 • 2013 research expenditures
   per faculty = $572K
 • Read about recent notable papers

Research Centers

 • Biorefining and biofuels (C2B2)
 • Renewable and sustainable
   energy (RASEI)
 • Pharmaceutical biotechnology
 • Membrane separations (MAST)
 • Photopolymerization
 • BioFrontiers Institute

Translation of research to industry

 • 13 successful start-up companies
   based on ChBE research
 • Read about recent notable patents

Award-winning faculty

 • 18/22 TTT faculty have won ≥1
   national research awards

Student excellence

 • Average incoming grad student
   for 2014-15:
     Quant GRE=163/170
 • 14 NSF Graduate Fellows
 • 6 NIH Fellows
 • 24 alumni who are university

World-class facilities

 • ChBE's facilities built in 2012:
   Jennie Smoly Caruthers
   Biotechnology Building

* Based on Google Scholar data
** U.S. News & World Report (2015)
*** Chronicle of Higher Education (2011)

Teaching with Impact

ChBE teaching

How does ChBE provide a first-rate education?

Innovative teaching

 • Screencasts (over 2 million views)
 • ConcepTests and peer instruction
 • Interactive simulations
 • Thinking aloud pair problem solving
 • Flipped classrooms
 • Interactions with industry
 • In-class worksheets + recitations

Strong emphasis on undergrad research

 • 70% of ChBE undergrads
 • Indep Study, Senior Thesis,
   Discovery Learn, UROP

Special programs

 • Study Abroad
 • Honors Program
 • BS/MS program
 • Earn-Learn

Award-winning educators

 • 15/28 faculty have won ≥1
   teaching awards

Variety of options

 • 2 degrees
     • Chem Eng
     • Chem & Bio Eng
 • 4 options
     • Bioengineering
     • Energy
     • Materials
     • Environmental
 • Pre-med curriculum

Active student groups


Outreach opportunities

 • Engineers Without Borders
 • Earth Explorers
 • AP Prep Tutoring Program
 • Many other high school
    outreach efforts

In the 110 years that a chemical engineering (CHEN) curriculum has been offered at CU-Boulder, a lot has changed.

Mixer at Fate - Andrew Adrienne Rich Ryon and Joe

ChBE students and alumni mentors met in February at Fate Brewery in Boulder. From left, Andrew Darress (CBEN senior), Adrienne Blum (ChemEngr ‘11), Richard Noack (CHEN junior), Ryon Tracy (ChemEngr ‘12), and Joe Poshusta (ChemEngr PhD‘99).

Vern Norviel

When the founders of OPX Biotechnologies were formulating the company, they turned to Vern Norviel for help.

Earth Explorers zeolite video with Hans Funke and Brennan Coffey

Associate Professor Adjunct Hans Funke and CHEN senior Brennan Coffey volunteered to teach middle school students about zeolite membranes and their use in separating gases. The media? Video. The organization?

  • Tues, Mar 3 - ChBE Patten Seminar Series - 2:30 p.m. in JSCBB A115
    Albert Keung, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
  • Tues, Mar 10 - ChBE Patten Seminar Series - 2:30 p.m. in JSCBB A115
    Xiaogjun (Lance) Lian, Department of Medicine, Harvard University/Karolinska Institutet- Sweden
  • Tues, Mar 17- ChBE Patten Seminar Series - 2:30 p.m. in JSCBB A115
    Rob Messinger, LEPMI Laboratory, CNRS-INPGrenoble
  • Mar 19 - Energy Frontiers 2015
    10am-5pminUMC Ballroom

  • Apr 17-19 - 2015 Rocky Mountain Student Regional Conference
    Hosted by CU-Boulder

  • May 9 - CU Commencement Ceremony
    8:30amatFolsom Stadium

More alumni events >

NSF Logo

Assistant Joel Kaar received a prestigious NSF CAREER Award for his proposal, Rational Engineering of an Ionic Liquid Compatible Cellulase Cocktail.

Professor Al Weimer

The research group of Professor Al Weimer was among the recipients of nearly $1.8M from the latest round of Colorado’s Advanced Industry Accelerator Grant Program.

Kristi Anseth

Distinguished Professor Kristi Anseth was recently elected to the 3-year president line of the Materials Research Society (MRS) by its 16,000 global members.

Dan Schwartz

Department Chair and Alfred T. and Betty E. Look Professor Dan Schwartz was the recipient of the Dean's Award for Research.

Rich Noble and student

The American Chemical Society has named Professor Richard Noble the

Dan Schwartz

The American Chemical Society has named ChBE Department Chair Dan Schwartz a 2014 ACS Fellow.

Kristi Anseth

The 2014 AIChE Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering (FPBE) Division Award will be presented to Distinguished Professor Kristi Anseth this coming Novemb

Will Medlin

Associate Professor Will Medlin was recently named a Denver Business Challenge Endowed Professor.

Prashant Nagpal

Assistant Professor Prashant Nagpal has received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for hi

Stacey Skaalure

Stacey Skaalure, who recently received her Ph.D. under the advisement of Associate Professor Stephanie Bryant, has been named a Whitaker Scholar.

Congratulations to all the honorees at this year's ChBE Awards Banquet!

Duncan Chadly

Undergraduate Duncan Chadly has received the 2014 Genentech Outstanding Student Award. This award includes both a scholarship and an optional summer internship.

Rachel Viger

Chemical engineering student and varsity Cross Country Team member Rachel Viger has been honored with a number of awards as she finishes up her undergraduate career.

Kayla Weston

Kayla Weston has been awarded the Colorado Engineering Council’s 2014 Silver Medal, the top honor given annually to a graduating senior.

Undergraduate students Elizabeth Horneber and Brandon Lin were both honored as exceptional graduates by the College of Engineering & Applied Science.

Ian Marozas Colleen Courtney and Keesha Erickson

ChBE graduate students Ian Marozas and Colleen Courtney have both been chosen to receive NSF Fellowship Awards, while Keesha Erickson is the recipient of an NSF Honorable Mention. Marozas has also been awarded a Ford Fellowship.

Brennan Coffey

Brennan Coffey, an undergraduate student double majoring in chemical engineering and applied mathematics, is one of only three CU students to be named a 20

Alan Aguirre

Graduate student Alan Aguirre was chosen as the AIChE Featured Young Professional (YP) for the month of November.  Read his interview

ChBE undergraduate student Jhenya Nahreini has been chosen as the College of Engineering's December 2013 Outstanding Graduate of the College.