A Short History of the Department of Chemical Engineering

The Department of Chemical Engineering was birthed out of a rich Caribbean history.
The University of the West Indies was founded in 1948 at Mona, Jamaica as a College in special relationship with the University of London, to serve the British territories in the Caribbean area. On August 25, 1959, a Plan of Operation was signed which provided for a United Nations Special Fund allocation and a Government counterpart contribution for the establishment of a Faculty of Engineering. The then Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University College, Nobel Laureate Sir Arthur Lewis had the overall responsibility of securing funding for the financing of the Engineering buildings and for expediting the final decision to locate the Faculty of Engineering at St. Augustine, Trinidad after a preceding decision of incoporation of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) at St.Augustine into the University College in 1960.
The construction of the Faculty of Engineering commenced in 1961 and was completed by the end of 1962. The initial layout comprised five (5) blocks with a total of 5,400 square metres of floor space of which the laboratories occupied 3,030 square metres. The UWI went on to achieve full University status by Royal Charter in 1962, thereby becoming a degree-granting institution in its own right.
The Department of Chemical Engineering was one of three branches in engineering for which undergraduate and graduate research degrees were initially offered by the newly established Faculty of Engineering at St. Augustine, Trinidad. From a modest beginning of 28 students in the Academic Year 1961/62, the Faculty has produced, up to Semester 2 of the 2017/2018 Academic Year, over 9000 graduates in various engineering disciplines of which the Department of Chemical Engineering accounts for over 1000 graduates.
Historical Nugget: The 4th President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the late His Excellency George Maxwell Richards (In presidential office: 17 March 2003 – 18 March 2013) joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of the West Indies in 1965. He attained the post of Professor of Chemical Engineering in October 1970 and served two terms as Head of Department (1967-1974). From August 1980 to May 1985, he served as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Deputy Principal. He also served as Principal of the St. Augustine Campus from 1985 to 1996.



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Mission of the Department of Chemical Engineering:
“To produce competent, innovative, entrepreneurial, and civic-minded graduates that undertake relevant research and advance the Chemical, Food and Energy sectors in the Caribbean and the wider world.”


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The aim of the Department of Chemical Engineering:
“The advancement of Chemical, Food and Petroleum sectors across the wider Caribbean through the development of a strong academic foundation, based on a culture grounded in integrity, respect, commitment, and community.”


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The objectives of the Department of Chemical Engineering:
To promote critical thinking and innovation through the on-going development and improvement of academic programmes.
To create a strong commitment to quality assurance through the development of teaching strategies, course management, and research incentives.
To create a department-wide culture that promotes learning and growth through unique approaches as well as mutual respect and community awareness.



Department of Chemical Engineering programme accreditors:

In line with our objectives we have secured international accreditation with world recognized accreditation institutions for our Chemical, Petroleum Geoscience and Petroleum Engineering programmes. We are currently seeking international accreditation of the Food Science and Technology programme. The Department's programmes have produced exceptional graduates that have made and continue to make significant contributions to the development of our Region and the wider world.

Verification of accreditation status can be viewed by clicking on the organization brand marks below.


Department of Chemical Engineering — Programme Accreditors

Verification of accreditation status can be viewed by clicking on the organization brand marks below.

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