CBE 40

Course Number: CBE 40

Course Name: Introduction to Chemical Engineering Design

Units: 2


Requirement Satisfied: CORE


Past Professors: Marjorie, Went; Ciston, Shannon

Summary: CBE 40 is the first chemical engineering class that students ever take. It covers a broad overview of what the chemical engineering major and career entails and also basic concepts: process design and analysis. At the end of the semester, you will have the tools to design a process, analyze the process, and evaluate it from an economic perspective on a rudimentary level.

Official Prerequisites: MATH 1A

“Legit” Prerequisites: None

Topics Covered: Process Flow Diagrams and Process Design , Conservation of mass and material balances, Stoichiometry and Material balances with reaction, Economics, Capital & Operating Costs, ROI, Conservation of Energy, Phase Diagrams, Separations and graphical analysis, Heat transfer and dimensional analysis

Workload: Workload is significantly more than 2 unit course and is equivalent to a non-technical 4 unit course. Weekly problem sets are graded based on accuracy and problem solving approach. There is a group project that involves a write up and a presentation to GSIs and the professor. There is 1 midterm and a final. A large portion of the grade comes from homework, discussion, participation, and quizzes as opposed to many other technical classes.

When to take: Freshman Fall/Spring

"What’s next" Courses: CBE 140

Usefulness for research / internships: The concepts learned in this class will give you a basic understanding of what may be used in research and internships. However this class alone will not give you any real applicable skills - topics covered will be explored again in CBE 140 in even greater depth and and only then will application be evident.

Added Comments or Tips: Dr. Went's office hours are a big help for the problem sets and she is very welcoming. Most students will be unaccustomed to the Berkeley level problem sets so working with others and going to office hours is a great way to adapt. CBE 40 is meant to be lenient compared to all the upper division courses, so that students can discover if chemical engineering is for them. Use this as an opportunity to think carefully about if this is what you want to study, because the workload and commitment required from upper division courses are significantly greater.

AIChE Berkeley