Dorothy Skaf, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, works with a student in the lab.

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is a dynamic community of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

Our professors excel in both the classroom and the laboratory, with many possessing decades of experience in traditional chemical engineering industries such as fuels, alternative energy, bulk chemicals and polymers. Other faculty are leading the way in the rapidly growing fields of biotechnology, biomedical engineering, cell therapy, bio-inspired materials, pharmaceuticals and more.

Regardless of your area of interest, at Villanova, you will be taught to creatively solve relevant technical problems with solutions that respond to economic constraints as well as social, ethical, environmental and safety implications.

At a Glance

  • 15 Full-time faculty members
  • 224 Chemical Engineering undergraduates (50% female)
  • 29 Master's students (Chemical)
  • 30 Master's students (Biochemical)
  • 15 PhD students

The size of our department allows for a variety of hands-on research opportunities and the ability for focused faculty mentorship.



The department is associated with the College of Engineering’s research center:

NovaCell, the Center for Cellular Engineering

NovaCell’s mission is to lead efforts to improve cell and gene therapy products, and the bioprocesses used to make them.


Students at all levels are encouraged to pursue research opportunities with Chemical and Biological Engineering faculty in the areas of:

  • Biopharmaceutical processing
  • Biomaterials for drug delivery
  • Cell and gene therapy
  • Computational chemistry models to improve catalyst design
  • Decontamination of wastewater
  • Systems biology approaches to understanding antibiotic resistance
  • Utilizing biomass for energy and bio-sourced materials
  • Zeolite and catalyst design for increased process efficiency



Lauren Iskander (L) and Sophia Pellechia (R) have been selected for Fulbright-MITACS Globalink awards.

Chemical Engineering Student Chosen for Fulbright-MITACS Globalink Canada

Lauren Iskander (left in photo) of West Orange, N.J., will be conducting research at Polytechnique Montréal, where she will develop implantable neuromodulation interventions to improve hand movements after paralysis. 

Villanova Engineering Launches Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering

Villanova Engineering Launches Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering

The interdisciplinary program, which will be available to students starting in Fall 2024, involves the application of engineering to address challenges in medicine and health care for societal needs.  

Research suggests that moringa oleifera seeds have potential for the removal of copper from water.

Students Investigate the Use of Natural Materials to Treat Drinking Water Sources

A highlight of Villanova’s Chemical and Biological Engineering program is the department’s two-semester Senior Project Studio through which undergraduates can participate in an industry-sponsored or faculty-advised design or research project. This year, three teams are working with professors Dorothy Skaf and Vito Punzi to explore the use of natural materials to treat water for colloidal suspended solids removal.