Master of Applied Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Applied Science

Program Description

Master of Applied Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Applied Science

Chemical and Chemical & Biological engineers create and develop processes to change raw materials into the products that society depends on; food, chemicals, fuels, energy, metals, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, and personal care products. Chemical and process engineers help to manage natural resources, protect the environment, control health and safety procedures and recycle materials while developing and managing the processes which make the products we use.

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering was established in 1999 at UBC and reflects the growing need for engineers in the fields of biotechnology, biomedical and bio-resource engineering. At present, there are 24 full-time faculty members in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, together with a support staff of 17.

We have established a world-class reputation in several areas of chemical engineering science including fluid-solids contacting, pulp and paper engineering, heat exchanger fouling and, more recently, biotechnology.

The Department is actively engaged in applied research, CHBE faculty-led research provides innovative and sustainable solutions to pressing local and global challenges to industry and society.

  • Energy and Fuels: Sustainable clean energy and fuels supply and use.
  • Natural Resources: Managing and maximizing the value of Canada’s forest and fossil carbon reserves.
  • Environment: Mitigating climate change/pollution; Clean water and biodiversity security.
  • Health: Rising medical costs in the face of the ageing population; Cancer and other deadly diseases.
  • Industry: Increasing pressure from emerging economies.

Solutions to the above challenges are inextricably linked to our understanding of complex chemical and biological systems.

Students with a background in Engineering will receive a Master of Applied Science degree whereas students without Engineering background will receive a Master of Science degree.

What makes the program unique?

Research funding per grant holder is amongst the highest for chemical engineering departments in Canada. Several faculty members have won national and international recognition for their research contributions and many former students have gone on to become leaders in industry and academia in Canada and abroad.

The Department facilities include a building with extensive custom research labs designed for quality world-class research activities.

Career Options

Chemical engineers have myriad career choices. Chemical engineers find employment globally in industry, government, research and medicine, the opportunities are endless. Many chemical engineers have gone on to become managers, company executives, entrepreneurs and leaders of government and non-government organizations.

Chemical engineers are highly employable and there continues to be a growing demand for chemical engineers.

Course Requirements

MASc students are required to complete CHBE 597 (thesis proposal preparation course - 2 credits), CHBE 598 (Seminar- 1 credit), CHBE 599 (MASc Thesis - 12 credits) as well as 15 credits of other courses. At least 9 out of these 15, credits must be for graduate courses (500 level) taken in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at UBC. A maximum of only 6 credits can come from 300- or 400-level undergraduate courses, selection of which needs approval from the student's supervisory committee. All MASc students must successfully complete at least four of the seven fundamental courses.

Potential MASc candidates with Bachelor's degrees from other engineering or science programs and provisional candidates may be asked to take appropriate undergraduate courses to improve their background knowledge, in the case of the former, or to qualify for full standing, in the case of the latter. Such courses will be selected by the Graduate Advisor in consultation with the Candidate and his/her supervisor(s), and will not normally be credited as part of the student's graduate program.

Note that MASc students must achieve a minimum of 60% in any course taken for credit in order to be granted, Pass Standing. However, only 6 credits of Pass Standing may be counted towards a Master's program; for all other courses credited to the program, at least 68% must be obtained.

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Baldwin, Susan (Bioprocess engineering, bioremediation, biomedical reaction modelling).
  • Berlinguette, Curtis (CO2 conversion and utilization, clean energy, advanced solar cells, electrochromic windows, dynamic windows, hydrogen fuels production, catalysis).
  • Bi, Xiaotao (Biomass and Bioenergy, Multiphase Chemical Reactors, Fluidization, Particle technology, Electrostatics of Powders, Life Cycle Analysis, Green Engineering, Industrial Symbiosis, Fuel Cells Water Management).
  • Ellis, Naoko (CO2 capture and utilization, thermochemical conversion of biomass, multiphase systems).
  • Englezos, Peter (Clathrate (gas) hydrate science, engineering and novel applications, Clathrates-applications: natural gas storage & transport, CO2 capture & storage, water treatment), Thermodynamics of fluids and super-hydrophobic surfaces, Novel materials from forest bio-resources, High-value papermaking).
  • Feng, James Jingtao (Complex fluids, Biophysics, Mathematical biology).
  • Frostad, John (Emulsions, Foams, Functional Foods, Interfacial Rheology, Interfacial Phenomena, Human Health).
  • Gopaluni, Bhushan (Modelling and experiment design, identification for control).
  • Gyenge, Elod Lajos (Electrochemical engineering, fuel cells, batteries, electrodes).
  • Hatzikiriakos, Savvas (Polymer melt and suspension rheology, food rheology, polymer melt processing, superhydrophobicity, surface science, winter sports expert, ski/skate performance and snow/ice friction).
  • Haynes, Charles (Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers).
  • Lau, Anthony K (Environmental engineering, waste-to-resource recycling, composting, odour control, biohydrogen energy).
  • Lim, Choon Jim (Biomass and fossil fuels, Spouted bed, Gas-particle system hydrodynamics, heat transfer, Hydrogen production).
  • Martinez, Mark (Fluid mechanics, Complex fluids, Flow visualization).
  • Mohseni, Madjid (Water treatment; Ultraviolet (UV), ozone, and Advanced oxidation technologies; Environmental pollution control; bioenergy from waste, Environmental bioprocesses engineering, biofiltration, biological wastewater treatment, advanced oxidation).
  • Piret, James (Biomedical engineering, regenerative medicine Cell-based therapies have the potential to provide improved treatments for major diseases such as cancer and diabetes).
  • Smith, Kevin (Catalysis, biofuels).
  • Taghipour, Fariborz (Solar Fuels, Artificial Photosynthetic Systems, UV Photoreactors, UV-LED Reactors, UV Microplasma, Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Reactors, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)).
  • Trajano, Heather (Biorefining, Biochemicals, Biomass extractives recovery and utilization, Catalysis, Hemicellulose, Pretreatment, Kinetics).
  • Wachs, Anthony (Fluid mechanics, Particle-laden flows, Non-Newtonian flows, Heat and mass transfer, Numerical simulation, High-performance computing, Multi-scale modelling).
  • Wilkinson, David (Electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, electrochemical power sources, advanced electrolysis, hydrogen production and storage, wastewater and drinking water treatment, solar fuels, carbon dioxide conversion, clean and sustainable energy and water).
  • Yadav, Vikramaditya (Biocatalysis, Bioremediation, Bioprocess engineering, Drug delivery, Infectious disease pathogenesis & drug discovery, Green chemistry, Medical biotechnology, Metabolic engineering, Synthetic biology, Tissue engineering; sustainable manufacturing technologies for the production of cleaner fuels and more efficacious pharmaceuticals).

Sample Thesis Submissions

  • Anion exchange resins for the removal of microcystins from surface water.
  • Degradation of cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR using UV/vacuum-UV advanced oxidation for drinking water treatment.
  • Methods for reducing the capital costs of electrolyzers for hydrogen generation.
  • Flow visualization in 3D printed PEM fuel cell bipolar plates.
  • Hydrodynamics and solids mixing behaviour of fluidized beds with inclined-hole distributor.
  • Sheet profile estimation and machine direction adaptive control.
  • Pilot capacity iron electrocoagulation scale-up for natural organic matter removal for drinking water treatment.
  • Quantifying and modelling the melting thermodynamics of chemically modified duplex DNA.
  • Partial oxidation of pyrolysis oil by model compounds.
  • Measurement of the changes to the liquid transport properties of wood due to compression.
  • Red mud as an iron-based catalyst for catalytic cracking of naphthalene.
  • Reconstruction of process topology using historical data and process models.
  • Xylan removal by xylanase for the production of dissolving pulp from bamboo.
  • Nano-sized carbon-supported molybdenum disulphide particles for hydrodesulfurization.
  • Effect of UV-LED fluence rate and reflection on inactivation of microorganisms.




  • ibT Reading 22
  • ibT Writing 21
  • ibT Listening 22
  • ibT Speaking 21



  • IELTS Reading 6.0
  • IELTS Writing 6.0
  • IELTS Listening 6.0
  • IELTS Speaking 6.0

Cost & Fees

  • International students: CAD $8,435.94 per year
  • Canadian students: CAD $4,801.80 per year

Funding Sources

Applicants who are interested in catalysis research with a focus on programs addressing waste generation, environmental compatibility, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources may consider the SusSyn program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities.

Quick Facts

  • Degree: Master of Applied Science
  • Subject: Specialty
  • Mode of delivery: On campus
  • Specialization: Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Program Components: Coursework + Thesis required
  • Faculty: Faculty of Applied Science
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 11, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Full time
4,802 CAD
$4,801.80 Tuition per year for Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, Refugee, Diplomat; $8,435.94 Tuition per year for International students
Canada - Vancouver, British Columbia
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Canada - Vancouver, British Columbia
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info