Chemical Engineering Research

UCSB's Department of Chemical Engineering is consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the nation, and our researchers are among the most highly cited in the world.

Materials & Interfaces

Polymers, Nanostructured Materials, Complex Fluids & Colloids, Transport Phenomena, Complex Interfaces: Forces, Dynamics and Rheology, and Novel Characterization Tools. Complex materials and chemical interfaces serve as the basis for nearly all modern technologies. Our Chemical Engineering faculty and research groups study how the synthesis, processing and properties of these systems can be used to engineer products and devices with well-controlled or novel performance for a variety of applications.


Nanomedicine, Diagnostic Tools & Biodiscovery, Systems & Synthetic Biology, Biomolecular Interactions. Bioengineering unites experimentation with theory and modeling to decipher the complexity of biological systems. In the area of bioengineering, our researchers apply expertise in kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport to model biological interactions across multiple length scales (e.g. single cell to organism), with applications to human health, sustainability, and bioproduction.

Energy, Efficiency & Sustainability

Catalysis & Sustainable Reaction Engineering, Electronic & Optical Materials, Soft Materials, Engineered Biological & Bio-Inspired Systems

Modeling, Theory & Simulation

Molecular Thermodynamics, Kinetic Phenomena, Transport & Interfaces, Systems Engineering, Multiscale Simulations. Developing novel materials, devices, and processes to enable chemical transformations as well as capture, convert, and store energy in an efficient and sustainable manner are grand challenges facing the globe.

Academic Programs