Spotlight on Chemical Engineering at UWA

28/07/2021 | 2 MIN

A world of opportunities opens up for you when you become a chemical engineer, offering you the chance to work in sectors such as oil and gas, mineral processing, and renewable and sustainable energy.

But let’s dive deeper into what it is like to work as a chemical engineer and some of the motivations to study this field of engineering.

Get to know one of our academics and the impact they have on society…

Professor Hui Tong Chua 

For Professor Hui Tong Chua, Head of UWA’s Department of Chemical Engineering, it was a strong belief in clean energy that led him to follow an academic career path in chemical engineering. 

Professor Chua is dedicated to providing clean energy for future generations and his research finds new ways to make hydrogen.

One of his key research achievements is the successful spinning off of his catalytic methane cracking technology, now known as the Hazer Process, as Hazer Group Ltd.

The low emissions hydrogen produced is considered to be a key fuel in the transition to a low carbon economy and potentially offers a pathway to decarbonise transportation and produce zero-emission batteries.

“It is heartening that UWA technology is assisting with the Australian economy, especially in the clean energy sector, in terms of generating employment and building resilience toward a low-emission future,” Professor Chua said.

In an interview with Create, Engineers Australia’s monthly magazine, Professor Hui Tong Chua talks about how taking environmentally friendly hydrogen production to market was not easy, but how as an engineer he wanted to make a difference.

“Part of the reason why I really stuck with academia was because I believe more spiritually in clean energy, in doing things [that are] clean for the environment,” he said.

In the interview, Professor Chua’s first ‘top tip’ for success was, “be true to your heart and not your head. I would not have taken this career path if I’d followed my head.”

Chemical engineering pathway 

Chemical engineering students

Career options within chemical engineering are extensive and some of the highest paid in the industry. With UWA’s Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) program you can chose to specialise in chemical engineering and become an industry-ready engineer in just four years.

Still not sure which engineering career path is right for you? Read our Which engineering specialisation should I study? story for details on all of UWA’s engineering specialisations and the career paths they can lead to.

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