flag small


C. Daniel Frisbie

"Welcome to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) at the University of Minnesota. CEMS' unique culture blends chemical and materials engineering to focus on a broad spectrum of problems central to economic growth, quality of life, sustainability, safety and security. We enjoy the thrill of discovery, and we pursue teaching and research in a collaborative environment that produces exciting synergies and an exceptional spirit of collegiality. The success of our students and alumni is a huge part of our proud tradition."

- C. Daniel Frisbie
Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Department Head

What are chemical engineering and materials science and engineering?

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering integrates knowledge and methods from chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics, to develop and optimize processing systems for the chemical, energy, materials, biotechnology and food industries. The curriculum builds on fundamental principles of thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and chemical rate processes, to address design of reaction and separation units, and ultimately, of entire processing plants using economic optimization. The discipline, deeply rooted in science, is intellectually rich and diverse, offering a unifying perspective on analyzing and designing physical, chemical and engineered systems, as disparate as the human body and a chemical plant. The field is at the forefront of scientific and technological advances towards solving energy, environment and health problems, and developing new and sustainable manufacturing processes.

Materials Science and Engineering

The central concept of materials science and engineering is that innovations in materials are at the core of every major advance in technology. For example, high strength steel paved the way for the industrial revolution, and glass optical fibers and high purity silicon currently enable high speed communications and miniaturized circuits in the information age. Materials science and engineering uncovers unifying principles connecting processing, structure, properties and performance in all classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, semiconductors, composites) and pursues the design of new forms of matter for the next wave of technology. The field necessarily integrates deep understanding of the connection between structure of matter over nanometer to millimeter length scales and overall performance in electrical, optical, magnetic, thermal, and structural applications.


The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) at the University of Minnesota recently celebrated the centennial of the chemical engineering program in 2019 and 50-year jubilee in materials science in 2020, which provided a historic opportunity not only to reflect on our past achievements, but also rededicate ourselves to continued success. Learn more about the history of the department by watching this video, filmed in 2019:


Contact Us

Phone: 612-625-1313

Fax: 612-626-7246

Mail: 151 Amundson Hall, 421 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0132


Graduate Programs: cemsgrad@umn.edu

Permission Numbers for Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Programs: kgregers@umn.edu

General Inquiries: cemsdept@umn.edu