Case School: The Evolving History

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Historical Names



In 1885, Charles F. Mabery becomes the Head of the department. His research specialty was petroleum research and he remained active in research until 1927.

After the fire, a separate wooden building was opened in 1887 for the Chemistry lab. The building was replaced by a new brick building that opened in 1892.

In 1897, Albert W. Smith became Professor of Metallurgy and Analytical Chemistry. He became Head of Mining Engineering department in 1907. 

In 1900, the department had three graduate students, seven seniors, seven juniors, and nine sophomore as chemistry majors.


In 1904, chemical engineering appeared as an emphasis and the department changed its name to Department of Chemistry including Engineering Chemistry. In 1907, the department change its name again to become Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. However, the granting of separate degree did not start until 1926. 

The first degree in Chemical Engineering was awarded in 1909, then in 1915, the first B.S. in Chemical Engineering was awarded. The first M.S. was awarded much later in 1922. 

In 1911, there were thirty-two sophomores, juniors and seniors declared as chemistry majors, and by 1915, the number of undergraduate chemistry majors increased to forty-nine.


An additional new building was built for the department and completed in 1939. The building was named after alumnus and faculty member  Albert W. Smith

In 1942, the department graduated the first Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering.