Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that uses principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and economics to efficiently use, produce, design, transport and transform energy and materials. The work of chemical engineers can range from the utilisation of nano-technology and nano-materials in the laboratory to large-scale industrial processes that convert chemicals, raw materials, living cells, microorganisms, and energy into useful forms and products.
Chemical engineers typically hold a degree in Chemical Engineering or Process Engineering. Practising engineers may have professional certification and be accredited members of a professional body. Such bodies include the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) or the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).A degree in chemical engineering is directly linked with all of the other engineering disciplines, to various extents.
A 1996 British Journal for the History of Science article cites James F. Donnelly for mentioning an 1839 reference to chemical engineering in relation to the production of sulfuric acid. In the same paper however, George E. Davis, an English consultant, was credited for having coined the term. Davis also tried to found a Society of Chemical Engineering, but instead it was named the Society of Chemical Industry (1881), with Davis as its first Secretary. The History of Science in United States: An Encyclopedia puts the use of the term around 1890. "Chemical engineering", describing the use of mechanical equipment in the chemical industry, became common vocabulary in England after 1850. By 1910, the profession, "chemical engineer," was already in common use in Britain and the United States.