Bahir Dar University was established with the combination of two former higher Institutions, Bahir Dar Polytechnic and Bahir Dar Teachers College. The former was established in 1963 under the technical cooperation between the Government of USSR and the Imperial Government of Ethiopia. The objective of the Polytechnic institute was to train skilled technicians in the fields of Agro-Mechanics, Industrial Chemistry, Metal, Textile, Electrical and Wood Technologies at diploma level. Letter it was upgraded to Engineering. The other institution of higher education center was Bahir Dar Teachers College which was one of the colleges of Addis Ababa University. Its original name was the Academy of Pedagogy, and was established in 1972. The two institutions were then merged following the Council of Ministers regulation no.60/1999 and inaugurated on May 6, 2000 to be called Bahir Dar University.
The Poly technique Institute had undergone a number of program changes within the area of technology until the commencement of the Engineering degree program of Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical and Textile Engineering in 1996 aiming at training of undergraduate students. Following the country’s demand new programs including Food and Water Resource Engineering were launched under Chemical and Civil Engineering departments respectively. Then the Engineering Faculty was transformed to Institute of Technology under four different schools: Civil and Water, Chemical and Food, Electrical and Computer, Industrial and Mechanical in 2010. In addition to the ongoing undergraduate program, the institute has nine ongoing postgraduate programs with different upcoming graduate studies. Table 1 shows the distribution of master program in Bahir Dar University Institute of Technology.
Among other disciplines the Chemical Engineering field is becoming an emerging field of specialization for sustainable development of world economy. Because a rapid development in consumer demand and constraints stemming from skilled man power to public concern such as questions of environment and safety is becoming a challenge of the emerging process and manufacturing industries.
Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that is concerned with the design, construction, operation of the plants and machinery used in industrial chemical processes and production of new materials to satisfy consumer needs. The emphasis of chemical engineering on process industries provides chemical engineers with the skills necessary to tackle problems from the very small scale at atomic and molecular level to the very large scale in industry and the environment.
In our country’s context, the current Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) of the country clearly puts the objective of the government to transfer the agricultural led economy to industry led economy through capacity building of human resources in the higher education. Moreover, as of recent years, the academic and industrial community has expressed the requirement of graduates of different specializations in Chemical Engineering with innovative skills to take part in the country’s academic, economic, industrial development. Moreover chemical engineering education has been launched at undergraduate level in some newly opened universities such as Kombolcha University, Adama University, Jimma University, University, Debretabor University and Diredewa University which have a shortage of academic stuff at MSc. and PhD level. Therefore, it is believed that opening these new graduate programs (Master of science in chemical engineering with specialization of Process, Environmental and Energy engineering, Sugar Technology, and Post Harvest Technology) will address the acute shortage of higher level academic staff as well as the demands of process and manufacturing industries in terms of design, innovation and research staff and higher level engineering administrative staff.
Chemical engineering graduate Programs Objectives
The multidisciplinary courses of chemical engineering will develop students’ understanding of the science behind a range of problems arising in the field of chemical engineering and other related applied science fields. This allows students to engage with a range of modern process intensification and integration strategies, green product development and efficient utilization of energy and raw materials. In particular, the process and environmental engineering graduate programs offered by the School of Chemical and Food Engineering at Bahir Dar University institute of technology (IOT) has a goal of creating and preparing students to become multidisciplinary professionals who promote the emerging industrialization of the country to the higher level. Its specific objectives are summarized as follows:
I. To be able to integrate basic science of engineering and applied science, to solve complicated and multi-criterion optimization problems in the field of chemical engineering.
II. To be able to design a system component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
III. To have a profound insight into current research and development of chemical engineering fields, and its application to sustainable energy and new product development.
IV. To be able to analyze and solve problems given in the field of chemical engineering using the suitable computation techniques and application of different simulation software’s.
V. To demonstrate the ability to identify, formulate and manage current and real problems drawn from process industries, society and research centers, taking into account the potential risk and limitations.
VI. To be able to establish strategies that create a clean atmosphere in society through the application of green chemistry, which includes understanding of safety, economic and environmental impacts of the cluster of process industries.
VII. An appreciation of the importance of professional and ethical responsibility and of learning and applying further scientific and engineering principles throughout their career.
VIII. To prepare for a career in chemical engineering and related fields by developing communication skills and coming to understand the importance of lifelong learning, professionalism, and ethical responsibility.
IX. To generate skilled manpower that is capable of innovating cleaner production technologies, environmental impact assessments, environmental audits, systems for the treatment of solid & hazardous waste, waste water treatment technologies to alleviate the problems of the industries.
X. To have a profound insight into current research and development of environmental engineering fields, and its application to sustainable energy and new product development.
XI. To be able to establish strategies that create a clean atmosphere in society through the application of green chemistry, which includes understanding of safety, economic and environmental impacts of the cluster of process industries