Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Steven R Little 2015As Chairman of the Department, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the e-home of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh! Our Department has a distinguished history, having been established in 1910. But despite our rich history, the future of the Department is even more exciting. As it stands today, we represent a host of renowned faculty, state-of-the art classrooms and laboratories, world-recognized educational programs, hard-working and courteous staff, and a tremendously bright and talented student population. With generous gifts from several distinguished alumni, we are in the process of moving into completely renovated and even more impressive offices, laboratories and classrooms.

We are also in the process of increasing the size of our undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and faculty. Our award winning undergraduate curriculum is of the most innovative in the entire world. We now host two (yes two!) NSF-sponsored research experiences for undergraduate (REU) programs each summer. We also provide a collaborative, graduate student program called “GAANN” that provides formal opportunities for our PhD students to be mentored by two (or even three) faculty with different research interests.

Our faculty have recently received extremely prestigious and awards in both research and also education. Our students are also winning awards and competitions like never before (just ask the members of the 2012 AIChE ChemE Car Team!). Now is indeed a very exciting time to be at Pitt!

In the area of research, the Department’s programs are growing rapidly and making quite an impact internationally and even on local regional economics! In regard to the latter, our Department has spun off two different start-up companies based on the technologies discovered in our laboratories. As just one example, Dr. Eric Beckman’s company Cohera (based on the North Side of Pittsburgh) is producing “tissue glue” and is rapidly advancing toward human translation.

With regard to international recognition, many of our faculty are known to be the best in the world at what they do, including Distinguished Professor Anna Balazs’ research program, which has produced a staggering number of the most highly prestigious scientific reports in the past few years while training the next generation of faculty that will go on to be future professors and leaders themselves. Overall, our highly diverse programs encompass programs in Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Catalysis, Energy and Environment (including Sustainability Research), Nanotechnology, Materials, and Multi-Scale Modeling (from the tiniest of atomic structures to prediction of macro-scale processes).

Our Assistant and Associate Professors, under the guidance of our Full Professors, have received a cadre of the most prestigious awards for young faculty today including (but not limited to) an impressive four NSF CAREER Awards in a row, an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation “Young Investigator Award”, a Camille Dreyfus “Teacher-Scholar” Award, a Society for Biomaterials “Young Investigator Award”, a Wallace H. Coulter Translational Research Award, a Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, a “K-Award” from the National Institutes of Health, a Career Development Award from the American Heart Association, and an Owen’s Corning Early Career Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. More over, we can now add to these awards an elite and prestigious NIH New Innovator Award given to Ipsita Banerjee for her novel methods for exploring the differentiation of stem cells.

I encourage you to explore our website and learn about how all of our exciting young faculty and impressive senior faculty are changing the world with their research discoveries and training the next generation of leaders along the way.


Steven R. Little 

Chair, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering


Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering

University of Pittsburgh
940 Benedum Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Email: che@pitt.edu
Fax: 412-624-9639

Contact Information:

Undergraduate Program Inquiries: Emily Kerr ( erk56@pitt.edu ) 412-383-4502

Graduate Program Inquiries: Rita Leccia ( ril3@pitt.edu ) 412-624-9646

General Department Inquiries: Adrian Starke ( astarke@pitt.edu ) 412-624-9631