Welcome to Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo

As part of Canada's largest engineering school and most innovative university, the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo is home to approximately 1,000 students, faculty and staff, and has thousands of alumni worldwide.

Our Department consistently ranks among the top two universities in Canada and the number one university in Ontario in Chemical Engineering according to the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities.

In addition to offering undergraduate and graduate programs in chemical engineering, the Department provides academic expertise and support to Waterloo's collaborative nanotechnology and biomedical engineering programs.

The department's collaborative research culture, engaging teaching practices and state-of-the-art facilities create a vibrant learning environment where students are empowered to solve the problems our world faces.

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Capstone Design Projects

Participation in Capstone Design Projects synthesizes theory learned in class, lab work, and real-world experience from co-op programs. Students are able to create design projects in areas that interest them. Capstone Design projects often lead to the creation of a marketable product and entrepreneurial opportunities for the graduating students.

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Professor Hamed Shahsavan's micro-medical robotics research

Check out this video about Professor Hamed Shahsavan’s research into developing smart polymers for applications in biomedical robotics. Shahsavan’s research group utilizes shape change to produce movement in the micro-robots. The micro-medical robots have the potential to be used for biopsies, cell transport and drug delivery. He also discusses the critical role of graduate students in research labs.

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Chemical Engineering Lab Tour

Join us for a tour of the Chemical Engineering undergraduate labs in the Douglas Wright Engineering Building at the University of Waterloo.

Find out more by exploring the programs, research and news stories on this site.


The Chemical Institute of Canada has awarded Professor Luis Ricardez Sandoval the D. G. Fisher Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of systems and control engineering. This prestigious award celebrates the lifetime achievements of exceptional researchers in Canada.

Ricardez-Sandoval spearheads research initiatives focused on optimal integration of planning, scheduling, control, and process design decisions for chemical and manufacturing systems in the presence of uncertainty. His pioneering work on CO2 capture and conversion technologies aims to mitigate carbon emissions thus promoting sustainability and circular carbon economy and employing first-principles modelling couples with multiscale modelling techniques for the design of novel catalyst materials and valuable chemical products, e.g. thin films. This research is supported through the development of theoretical and computational tools aimed to predict the behaviour of complex and emerging systems.

Mohammad Farkhondeh, a University of Waterloo alumnus, embarked on a career journey dedicated to advancing electrification and sustainability.  Farkhondeh began his PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2011 and successfully completed it in 2016.

Inspired by the mentorship and academic excellence of his undergraduate professors in Iran, many of whom were alumni of the University of Waterloo, Farkhondeh was driven to pursue graduate studies here.

“I did my undergrad project on fuel cells under the supervision of Professor Khodadadi at the University of Tehran, who himself is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Although too brief, this was enough of an experience to spark my interest in electrochemical engineering and transport phenomena in porous media. This led to my PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo,” says Farkhondeh.

Professor Boxin Zhao is this year’s recipient of the Ontario Professional Engineering Association (OPEA) Research and Development Engineering Medal.

Administered by OPEA, the Research and Development Engineering Medal is awarded to individuals who have advanced engineering knowledge and have developed useful and novel applications. Zhao certainly fits the bill.

Zhao's research is at the frontier of surface science and engineering. His work focuses on innovative soft matter engineering and bionanomaterials research aimed at advancing sustainable manufacturing. This includes the development of smart polymers, advanced adhesives, and coating materials.