Chemical and Biological Engineering

Chemical, biological and process engineers design industrial processes to transform raw materials and energy into everyday products that society wants in a safe, sustainable and cost-effective way.
chemical and biological engineering

Why study Chemical and Biological Engineering?

By studying chemical and biological engineering, you will learn a holistic approach to problem solving and gain essential skills for tackling global sustainability challenges in food, energy, water and waste.

Chemical, biological and process engineers seek to harness fundamental chemical reactions and physical phenomena to develop, optimise and control large-scale production and manufacturing processes. We lead the way in a wide range of New Zealand’s largest and most essential industries, such as dairy and meat, food and beverage, pulp and paper, chemical and petrochemical, energy, bioproducts and bioenergy, and pharmaceutical.

Through our programme, you will learn how to manipulate driving-forces inherent with pressure, temperature and concentration differences, combined with the laws of thermodynamics, to create innovative and sustainable process design solutions. Our holistic focus on the molecular through to the macro scale equips you with highly transferable skills to work across many industries from banking to boardrooms, not just in processing factories and engineering consultancies.

The programme includes electives in the third and fourth years, giving you an opportunity to choose up to two areas of further specialisation. These areas cover the critical sustainability topics of:

  • renewable and sustainable energy engineering,
  • bioprocessing and food engineering,
  • water management and waste minimisation engineering, and
  • materials engineering.

The Chemical and Biological Engineering programme is fully accredited by Engineering New Zealand based on the widely accepted Washington Accord, meaning your degree is internationally recognised and you can work just about anywhere in the world. As a student, you can join the global Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) as a student member and progress towards chartership after graduation.

Watch the short video to learn about the role of chemical engineers in society.

chemical engineering

Career Opportunities

  • Chemical engineer
  • Process engineer
  • Bioprocess Engineer
  • Biochemical Engineer
  • Food Processing Engineer
  • Process Design Engineer
  • Process Control Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Production Engineer

Study Chemical and Biological Engineering in these qualifications


The Chemical and Biological Engineering programme is fully accredited under the Washington Accord.

Practical experience

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

Our Work-Integrated Learning team actively seeks and oversees your work placement, ensuring a good fit for your area of study and career goals, and supporting you throughout your work experience.

By the time you graduate you will have the credibility of paid experience to take with you as you start your career.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships.

Chemical and Biological Engineering papers