Chemical engineering and soils. How do they fit together? Well, Aaron Daigh is the assistant professor of soil physics at North Dakota State University and is living proof that an engineering degree can take you wild and wonderful places.

"In chemical engineering, a lot of the classes deal with the movement of fluids through a series of pipes and converting those fluids into useful and marketable products," Daigh said, in a report by FarmAndRanchGuide. "The goal of chemical engineering is to make and optimize a system for producing that product."

With that in mind, Daigh pursued a degree in Soil and Water Science. He had been studying his engineering degree in plastics manufacturing and oil refineries but he found himself yearning to work in the office of nature. 

"While studying water science, that also introduced me to soil science, and with my chemical engineering background, I naturally gravitated to soil physics," Daigh said matter-of-factly. "In a chemical plant, you optimize the system of pipes and fluid movement to produce a product, while in agricultural systems, we manage soil pores and nutrient flows to optimize the system for producing food and for maintaining a healthy ecosystem," 

Daigh says he works with the movement of water, gas, heat and chemicals. He has his bachelor's and master's engineering degrees and then did his doctorate in the Soil Science Department at Iowa State University. Living proof that if you have the knack to be an engineer, it could take you to places where your expertise could be utilized to its full potential.

Elsewhere in the Chemical Engineering world, The University of Alabama will be hosting a conference for the American Insitute of Chemical Engineers which will be holding a competition for who could build small-scale cars "fueled by chemical reactions".

"The University of Alabama College of Engineering is one to be on the lookout for because we're growing exponentially, and so is the quality of our students," said Elizabeth Cook, a senior in chemical engineering from Houston, Texas.

It is being called the Chem E Car Competitionfollow the link for the rules and regulations of the car competition, but it is an exciting opportunity for students to integrate their studies with practical experimentation and fun. Perhaps other universities could set up their own competition of the same kind. Biofuel research is an important body of work in the engineering world lately. 


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