The Department of Chemical Engineering is dedicated to achieving the highest standard of research and teaching. Our undergraduate programs are among the first Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry programs in North America. Both programs were established over 100 years ago, with our graduate programs following shortly after.

We provide our students with a broad, interactive, and diverse educational experience. We foster an innovative learning environment with outstanding faculty, state-of-the-art research labs, high-quality and well-maintained equipment, and ongoing technical support staff.


The Department of Chemical Engineering provides leadership in education and research at the interface of science and engineering. We anticipate the needs of our students and society and contribute to responsible solutions for future generations.

Engineering Chemistry, named initially 'Chemistry and Mineralogy', was first offered in 1895, with the first graduate earning their degree in 1898.

In 1902, The Kingston School of Mines (the precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science) created eight engineering courses. One of the courses was Chemical Engineering, which had the same format as today- a common first year and three years of specialized study.

The first graduate of the Chemical Engineering program was J.A. Kelso, awarded the first Queen's BSc in Chemical Engineering in 1909. Kelso would continue to earn his MSc with his thesis "Modern Portland Cement." The first PhD graduate was Thomas Clarence Burnett. He completed his thesis, "Fluid Dynamic Aspects of the Deceleration of Liquid Films," in 1966.

In 1922, the Department of Chemical Engineering was established as its own department.


Women in Chemical Engineering

Margaret Murtha Balance, one of only two women in her year, was the first female graduate from the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1957. Our first female master's graduate was Lucy Toro Todd, who completed her M.Sc. thesis, "Biological Denitrification in Packed Column Reactors," in 1972. Following this was our first female PhD graduate, Giselle Krista Larish, in 1981. Her thesis was titled "The Heterogeneous Catalytic Oxidation of N-Butane to Acetic Acid."

As with all Queen's Engineering programs, the Department of Chemical Engineering began with only male students. However, in recent years, as many as half of our chemical engineering undergraduate students have been female.

Historical information from "Queen's Chemical Engineering - Worth Celebrating" Centennial Booklet; 2005.