Chemical and Biological Engineering

The Chemical and Biological Engineering programme at the University of Waikato combines the traditional discipline of chemical engineering with new and emerging specialisations in engineering to produce graduates who are better equipped to solve the world’s sustainability challenges.

Elizabeth Geddes

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
Elizabeth Geddes made her mark on campus, as president of the University of Waikato's Young Engineers Society.

Chemical and Biological Engineering uses process engineering, science and maths principles to transform chemical and biological materials into high value products and services, in a safe and cost-effective way.

Chemical and biological engineers are ‘think big’ professionals who work in cooperation with others to bring about the large-scale benefits of advances in chemistry, biotechnology, materials and environmental sustainability to the real world.

As a chemical or biological engineer, you could play a vital role in the creation and production of new medicines, nutritious foods, novel materials, new energy sources, better waste treatment methods and a sustainable global future.

Research into bioprocess engineering is a major part of the wider Chemical and Biological Engineering programme at the University of Waikato.  Current research being carried out by the University's bioprocess engineering research group includes fermentation of functional foods, production of high value pharmaceuticals, and bioconversion of food waste into value-added chemicals. This research work involves strong industrial collaborations across a wide range of sectors, especially in food, agriculture and energy.

An important part of the Chemical and Biological Engineering programme at the University of Waikato is supported work placements into relevant industries. This gives you the opportunity for paid work experience while exploring the field of Chemical and Biological Engineering you could choose for your career.

You'll work on major research design projects, creating products with commercial applications, which are then showcased at our annual Oji Fibre Solutions Engineering Design Show.   Importantly, there is also a focus on developing well-honed communication skills that are such a vital part of the profession.

At Waikato the Chemical and Biological Engineering programme is fully accredited by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ); meaning your degree is internationally recognised and you can work just about anywhere in the world.


Students can work in specialised laboratories including the Large Scale Lab complex that features a suite of workshops and laboratories dedicated to engineering teaching and research, such as distillation columns, heat transfer equipment, 3D printing, a mechanical workshop, polymer and metal processing equipment as well as computer labs with engineering design software.

Build a successful career

The skills you will learn are highly transferable, making you employable across a huge range of sectors from food and beverage, materials, energy and water treatment to healthcare and petrochemical.

 Career opportunities

  • Biochemical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Food Processing Engineer
  • Process Design Engineer
  • Product Development Engineer
  • Quality Control Engineer
  • Research and Development Engineer


Study Chemical and Biological Engineering in any of these qualifications

Year 1

Students must take the following papers:

Chemical ReactivityCHEMY10215.0 Points
Engineering ComputingENGEN10315.0 Points
Materials Science and EngineeringENGEN11215.0 Points
Engineering and SocietyENGEN17015.0 Points
Foundations of EngineeringENGEN18015.0 Points
Linear Algebra and Statistics for EngineersENGEN18315.0 Points
Calculus for EngineersENGEN18415.0 Points

Plus 15 points of electives from their chosen elective path:

Introduction to Molecular and Cellular BiologyBIOMO10115.0 Points
Structure and SpectroscopyCHEMY10115.0 Points
Introduction to Earth System SciencesEARTH10115.0 Points
Discovering Planet EarthEARTH10215.0 Points
Engineering MechanicsENGEN11015.0 Points
Electricity and ElectronicsENGEN11115.0 Points

Year 2

Students must take the following papers:

Fluid MechanicsENGCB22315.0 Points
Heat and Mass TransferENGCB22415.0 Points
Process Engineering Design 1ENGCB28015.0 Points
Engineering Mathematics 2ENGEN20115.0 Points
Engineering Professional Practice 1ENGEN27015.0 Points
Industry Placement 1ENGEN2710.0 Points
Engineering ThermodynamicsENGME22115.0 Points
Materials 1ENGMP21115.0 Points

Plus 15 points of electives from their chosen elective path: Chosen from any 200 level CHEMY paper, 200 level EARTH paper, or BIOMO201, or ENGMP213.

BiochemistryBIOMO20115.0 Points
Mechanics of Materials 1ENGMP21315.0 Points

Year 3

Students must take the following papers and a further 40 points at 200 level or above in their chosen stream (see below).

Year 4

Students must take the following papers, a further 20 points at 400 level in their chosen stream (see below) and a further 20 points at 200 level or higher.

Biological Processing Stream

BiotechnologyENMP32220.0 Points
Engineering MicrobiologyENMP32520.0 Points
Biochemical EngineeringENMP42720.0 Points

Chemical Processing Stream

Materials 2ENMP31120.0 Points
BiotechnologyENMP32220.0 Points
Biochemical EngineeringENMP42720.0 Points

Materials Stream

Materials 2ENMP31120.0 Points
Mechanics of Materials 2ENMP31320.0 Points
Materials and Processing ElectiveENMP40710.0 Points
Advanced Materials EngineeringENMP41110.0 Points

Environmental Stream

Students must take the following papers and a further 20 points at 300 level in Chemistry and/or Earth Sciences

Environmental Technology 2ENMP34120.0 Points
Environmental Technology 3ENMP44220.0 Points

Work placements are a major feature of the Chemical and Biological Engineering programme and you will complete 800 hours of relevant work experience during your degree.

Our Cooperative Education Unit actively seeks and oversees your industrial work placement, ensuring a good fit for your area of study and career goals, and monitoring the quality of your work experience.  They are the leader in New Zealand for co-operative education programmes, with an average 250 students placed in industry every year.

By the time you graduate you will have the credibility of paid experience to take to your interviews.

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship

For students who are enrolled in the final year or have completed a Bachelors degree in Science, agricultural science, agricultural business or economics and are eligible to enrol in a masters degree at a New Zealand University. Up to three scholarships of $30,000 will be available each year + tuition fees.

Closing Date: 2016-08-08 23:59:00

Engineering Admission Fees Scholarship

For students who are intending to enrol full-time (120 pts) in the first year of a Bachelor of Engineering(Honours) degree in the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Waikato and are currently completing the final year of secondary school. The Scholarship has a value of up to $4,000

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 23:59:00


Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254