In the first year of the Bachelor’s programme Chemical Science & Engineering (CSE), you will learn to look at chemistry and its technological applications from various angles. You will get familiar with basic concepts and theories in chemistry, process technology and materials science. This knowledge, combined with the necessary expertise mathematics, if course, will help you build the foundation you need to solve technological problems. Most of the lectures in the first year are only for CSE students, but you will also follow lectures together with students from other programmes.
The kick-off to your programme! In this first module, chemistry takes centre stage. You will work on your basic knowledge of atoms and the periodic table, the electronic structure of atoms and molecules, acids and bases, covalent bonds and different reactions. You will finish off this module with a practical and a team project, in which you tackle a challenging chemistry topic. These topics can range from energy drinks to rubbery materials, and from chemistry to sustainability.
In this module you will learn all about thermodynamics and thermodynamic cycles. For the team project, you will be challenged to design a suitable reactor for your own process, along with the first separation stage, including recycling. The size of the recycle stream is a design variable. Minimal use of raw materials and energy is an important design criterion. During the practical class you will come across reactor types and distillations again.
In order to be able to predict how materials and their properties will behave, you need to know more about the materials’ atoms and atom structures. In this module you will explore the relationship between material properties and atom structure: for example, the link between transparency and atom positioning. You will also get familiar with quantum mechanics and materials at a molecular level, with a special emphasis on organic materials and polymers. You will conduct experiments in our laboratory on campus. Your project is a case study on the role of materials in new energy applications.
During the last module of the first year you will learn all about chemical equilibrium reactions, phase transitions and electrochemical processes. These issues play a crucial role in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries, among others, where they are used in manufacturing and purification processes and for the analysis of material composition. The theoretical part of Analytical Chemistry will give you an overview of the modern spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques used in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of molecules and molecular mixtures. You get to put what you've learned into practice by carrying out various tests, using the aforementioned techniques as well as techniques related to equilibrium processes.
The Chemical Science & Engineering programme and the corresponding research groups value good grades and want to encourage talented students to complete their first year on schedule (i.e. with all 60 first-year credits achieved within one academic year). Our research groups do this by making a fixed sum available annually, which is then divided between students who have not fallen behind. An extra incentive for getting those credits!