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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Montana State University
Po Box 173920
Bozeman , MT 59717-3920
Tel: (406) 994-2221

Department Head
Ronald W. Larsen, Ph.D., P.E.


    • R.W. Larsen; modeling and transport phenomena, engineering education
    • J.F. Mandell; composite materials, materials behavior, fracture mechanics, wind energy
    • B.M. Peyton; extremophile bioprocessing, biofilms, bioremediation
    • P.S. Stewart; biofilm engineering.

Associate Professors

    • R. Gerlach; biofilm barriers, bioremediation, bacterial transport in porous media, extremophilic biofilms, biofuels
    • J.D. Seymour; magnetic resonance microscopy, membrane and separation science transport, transport in porous media, suspension, granular and colloidal rheology, materials characterization
    • D.L. Shaffer; hazardous waste.

Assitant Professors

    • R.P. Carlson; biochemical engr., systems biology, metabolic engr., biofilm physiology and control
    • A.M. Richards; microbial iron uptake under high salinity and/or pH, self assembly of iron-binding molecules, affect of microbial exudates on metal speciation and mobility

Research Professors

    • M.C. Deibert; fuel cells
    • G. Cokelet; suspension, granular and colloidal rheology

Degree Offered

M.S. in Chemical Engineering
M.S. in Environmental Engineering
Ph.D. in Engineering

The department offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering degree and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. The department participates in the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering through the College of Engineering, with options available in Chemical Engineering and Environmental.

Admission (M.S. and Ph.D.)

Students may enter the Master of Science or Doctoral programs with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or other engineering or science discipline. Non-chemical engineering students wishing to pursue a master’s program may require limited remedial coursework. Students may be admitted directly to the doctoral program without a master's degree. The Chemical and Biological Engineering department has an on-line Preliminary Application process, found on the CHBE website at For further information, refer to Admission Policies and Application Requirements sections.

Program Requirements
(M.S. and Ph.D.)

The Master of Science program requires 30 credits total (including a minimum of 10 credits of CHBE 590: Masters Thesis). One half of total credits required for the degree must be at the 500 level. The chemical engineering program for students from other disciplines requires appropriate background remedial coursework in addition to the previously listed requirements. Refer to the For Master's Students section.

CHBE 594 Graduate Seminar 1 credit (May be taken twice)
CHBE 503 Thermodynamics 3 credits
CHBE 510 Reaction Engineering 3 credits
CHBE 525 Numerical Analysis 3 credits
CHBE 530 Transport Phenomena 3 credits
CHBE 590 Masters Thesis 10 credits (min)

The Ph.D. program requires specific coursework, depending on the option, 60 total credits (18 thesis credits)

Doctoral candidates will register for dissertation research in one of the five departments offering the above options. Course requirements for the Engineering Ph.D. include completion of 2 credits of EGEN 694, ENGR 610, two courses in Mematical systems, a minimum of eighteen (18) credits of doctoral dissertation, and other courses chosen to support the proposed doctoral program that are approved by the candidate's committee. All doctoral candidates will be required to pass three examinations: a Ph.D. Qualifying Examination taken during the first year of the student's doctoral program, a Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination taken within two years of qualifying for the doctoral program, and a Ph.D. Dissertation Defense. Students are expected to be familiar with the individual program degree requirements as well as those of the Division of Graduate Education. For more information, see the For Doctoral Students section.


Coordinating Departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering. This degree involves research in transport phenomena in complex systems, materials, biofilms, biochemical transformation, biotechnology, remediation of hazardous wastes, and environmental engineering. Research topics include extremophilic bioprocessing, in situ biocatalyzed heavy metal biotransformations in natural and engineered biological systems, biomaterials, biorheology, colloidal system dynamics, durability of materials, surface interactions, membrane materials, composite materials, separations, metabolic engineering, metabolic systems analysis, biofuels processing .

Some departmental research is conducted in collaboration with the Center for Biofilm Engineering, the Thermal Biology Institute and MSU's Surface Science Program. Research also includes materials science and engineering for energy applications including: high temperature corrosion and corrosion protection, advanced physical vapor deposition (PVD) technologies, and sustainable energy.

Financial Assistance

Research and teaching assistantships and scholarships are available on either a 9-month or a 12-month basis; only MS and Ph.D. candidates are eligible. The research done under an assistantship may form the basis for the thesis. See the Graduate Assistantship section for detailed information on appointment criteria.


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