Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department

Chemical and biomolecular engineering programs at Clarkson are known for impactful hands-on experiences, research excellence and high salaries after graduation.

Our department helps develop students' strong technical skills and versatility. We will prepare you to have careers in multi-billion dollar companies and start-ups, or to be successful in government, or graduate school - the choice is yours. As thought leaders, you can change the world with new and more environmentally sound products and processes in a multitude of industries such as in microelectronics, fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and in the food and energy sectors. Chemical engineers are also uniquely positioned to solve climate change problems with the development and discovery of better ways to make chemical products that are needed for a sustainable and healthy planet.

Mission Statement: The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clarkson University is committed to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, in both teaching and research. Teaching and research are interrelated activities and the commitment to excellence in both is vital to the intellectual environment of the department and will attract highly talented and motivated students to the programs in the department. Recruitment of such students is an essential part of this mission.

Contact Us

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Dept. Chair: Elizabeth J. Podlaha-Murphy
Phone: 315-268-4167


99% Placement in 1st Six Months

Hidden Gem

with the 

Highest Paid Alumni

College Gazette

Clarkson University students are highly sought after and our placement rates and early career salaries (on average over $70K) prove it. Each year, our award-winning Parker Career Center hosts two career fairs, bringing in top employers from across the country to Potsdam to recruit our students for internships, co-ops and full time employment.  

According to PayScale, the average chemical engineer's salary is currently above $70,000 with the highest being $80,000. A bachelors degree in chemical engineering from Clarkson starts graduates out strong. 


of students decide to continue their education in various post secondary programs.


of our graduates seek alternative positions like the military.

Department Spotlights

Researcher using a pipette in a lab representing Science Studies at Clarkson Univeristy

Professor Selma Mededovic Thagard, Bethany Almeida and Ian McCrum

  • New Research awards from the National Science Foundation in 2022-2023 to
    investigate plasma engineering, examine stem cells to treat disease and
    enhance electrocatalysis
Chemistry at Clarkson

Professor Simona Liguori and Taeyoung Kim

  • Department of Energy awards, one for the study of hydrogen membrane
    separation to aid renewable hydrogen and the other for nutrient capture
    from waste waters
Chemistry-MS at Clarkson

Professor Elizabeth Podlaha-Murphy

  • Fellow of The Electrochemical Society
Materials-Science Engineering at Clarkson

Professor Jihoon Seo, Ross Taylor, Sita Krishnan and Elizabeth Podlaha-Murphy

  • Industrially supported research projects
Ross Taylor

Professor Ross Taylor

  • Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Faculty Award Spotlight

Dr. Simona Liguori 

Dr. Liguori’s new DOE award investigates a new avenue to produce clean and renewable hydrogen from biomass gasification, as well as hydrogen separation, through use of novel membranes. 

Dr. Taeyoung Kim

Dr. Kim’s new US Bureau of Reclamation award investigates a unique water desalination approach to use less energy  to produce clean, fresh water. 

Dr. Jihoon Seo

With the support of several other industrial grants, Dr. Seo is leading the way in development of CMP slurries and post-CMP cleaning solutions through a fundamental understanding of colloid and surface chemistry, liquid–solid interface chemistry, and the electrochemistry of various metallic and dielectric thin films and heterogeneous structures containing them. Recent slurry research for copper, tungsten, cobalt, and the dielectric in semiconductors are underway with collaborations with other chemical engineering faculty including Dr. Krishnan and Dr. Podlaha-Murphy.

Student Awards

Arash Bahrololoomi

Arash Bahrololoomi

Travel award by The Electrochemical Society to attend their annual meeting 
(Advisor: E. Podlaha-Murphy)

Faith Isowamwen

Faith Isowamwen

Best Poster award, SPIE AL 23 Advanced Etch Technology and Process Integration for Nanopatterning XII conference 
(Advisor: S. Mededovic Thagard)

Chemistry-MS at Clarkson

Mohammad Hasibul Hasan

Kokes Travel Award to attend the North American Catalysis Society 
(Advisor: Ian McCrum)

Research & Facilities

Our research and lab facilities are state-of-the art and unique. Our undergraduate education is supported by a 9-inch diameter glass-walled continuous distillation column, equipped with twelve stainless steel sieve trays, a steam-heated partial reboiler, and a vented total condenser, a 20-liter batch distillation column, a packed bed column, a forced circulator double effect evaporator system,  a pilot-scale mixing unit, a reverse osmosis water desalination system, and a supercritical fluid extractor. In addition to research resources at the Clarkson Centers, the faculty maintain an x-ray fluorescence system, direct-in-liquid plasma reactors, reactors with specialized catalytic metallic membranes, an analytical differential electrochemical mass spectroscopy (DEMS), potentiostats/galvanostats, bioreactors, an atomic force microscope (AFM), a chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) tool and more.

Undergraduate Highlights

Undergraduate and graduate students visit IBM in Albany

Student Visits to Local Industry

Dr. Jihoon Seo lead a group visit to IBM where undergraduate and graduate students were able to see actual work environments for chemical engineers.

Our 2022 Chem-E-Car team places in the regional American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) competition


Clarkson's 2022 team placed in the regional American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) competition and traveled to Arizona for nationals!   

Undergraduate student Lauren Olesky wins 3rd place best poster award at the 2023 NAMS conference

Lauren Olesky wins 3rd place Best Poster Award at the NAMS Conference

Undergraduate student Lauren Olesky won third place in the student poster awards at the 2023 North American Membrane Society (NAMS) conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She also won the Dreyfus-Baltus travel award and the NAMS Undergraduate Student Travel Award. (Poster title: "Synthesis of Zinc Chloride Membranes for Potential Ammonia Separation;" Authors: Lauren Oleksy, Moses Adejumo, and Simona Liguori)


Recent Faculty Publications

Professor Selma Mededovic Thagard and her team recently published a paper in the Chemical Engineering Journal entitled: “Caffeine degradation in a plasma-liquid reactor with the lateral liquid flow: Elucidating the effects of mass transport on contaminant removal.” The team identified phenomena to design, control and operate efficient plasma reactors for water treatment using caffeine degradation as a model contaminant. As caffeine is destroyed at the plasma-water interface a diffusional flux is created to drive the caffeine towards to the surface to be further destroyed. The implications to extend these results to other organic contaminants is immense.

Read the Paper

ABET (Accreditation)

ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission

Clarkson University's undergraduate aerospace, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, mechanical, and software engineering programs and undergraduate engineering and management program are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Read more on Engineering Program Objectives.

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