About Our Students
Students who choose Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering come to Penn eager to tackle real-world problems. They relish the challenges posed by math, chemistry, physics, and the biological sciences.
A major in chemical and biomolecular engineering opens a wide range of opportunities. The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program teaches them to think across length scales that span from the molecular to the macroscopic. It enables them to move from studying chemical reactions at the nanoscale to designing industrial plants. Our graduates may move on to discover a unique molecular reaction in a cell, or they may develop a method to deliver a drug to that cell. Both our undergraduate and graduate students are uniquely positioned to influence the worlds of business, medicine, industry, and the environment and to advance to the highest levels of research and academia.
Andrew Parsons, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Class of 2017
CBE junior Andrew Parsons didn’t spend his summer in a typical internship with a local industry. Instead, he managed to combine his chemical engineering studies with one of his extracurricular interests: the Russian language. Parsons interned with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for the Environmental, Science, Technology, and Health Division.
"Russian was always a mysterious, beautiful language to me," Parsons says. Once he learned the Cyrillic alphabet in high school, he moved on to basic grammar and eventually mastered enough to read Russian-language news articles.
Last year, Parsons applied to the State Department in hopes of finding an opportunity that aligned his educational and personal pursuits and was offered the internship with the ESTH section in Moscow. His projects included following developments in Russia’s pharmaceutical industry and infectious disease treatments under import substitution, meeting with contacts and diplomats from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and helping to increase U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation.
Every day was “new, exciting. I am very grateful I got the chance to be part of such a great team,” he says.