Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Meet Garret Munch, PhD candidate in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

“I came to Western for my graduate degree because the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering program is very well regarded, as well as the specific work being done at the university.”

Supervisor: Lars Rehmann

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
The Chemical and Biochemical Engineering program allows for a great deal of flexibility, and access to a wide range of available resources. Also, the ability to choose from courses that can complement my work and my interests.

Where is “home” for you?
Winnipeg, Manitoba!

Describe your research.
My research is in biofuel production from renewable sources. Specifically, the production of butanol, which is a gasoline additive/replacement. My research will investigate using bacteria that are capable of fermenting sugars from cellulose sources into butanol. However, this process generally has low yields. Using a co-culturing strategy (two different bacteria species grown together), the yields could be improved due to complimentary products being formed. One species will produce necessary precursors to allow the second species to produce high yields of butanol. Ultimately, this process will have high butanol yields from renewable cellulosic sources.

Do you serve on any department, faculty, or university committees?
I am the Chair of the Society of Graduate Studies (SOGS) Orientation and Social Committee, which oversees new graduate student orientation events, as well as monthly social events that are open to all SOGS members. I was also the Director of Professional Outreach for the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Graduate Students Society this past academic year.

Have you worked as a TA or RA?
I have worked as a TA for ENGSCI – 1050. Being a TA for this course helped me develop my teaching and marking skills, as well as how to interact and engage with students that are sometimes struggling with course material or group projects.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Marina Omelchenko (
Graduate Program Coordinator

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Western University
Thompson Engineering Building Rm 477
London, Ontario N6A 5B9

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 88352
f. 519-661-3498

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is a thesis based research degree. This program is offered to applicants who hold a Master’s Degree. It is expected that graduate students will complete all program requirements within four years.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit

Program Length

  • 12 Terms (Full-time studies)
  • 18-24 Terms (Flex-time studies)

Program Design

  • Full-time study and flex-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 78% average in a four-year honours degree or equivalent from an accredited university (average based on last two years of the degree).

Additional Requirements

  • Work experience is not mandatory, but applicants with work experience are given special consideration.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score is 86, with no individual score below 20 for the internet based version; 213 for the standard electronic version; or 550 for the paper and pencil version, although some programs require a higher minimum score. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic). The minimum acceptable score is 6.5 out of 9, with no individual score below 6. The IELTS is offered in 6 test centres in the US and 3 in Canada.
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment). The minimum acceptable score is 60. The CAEL Assessment is offered in several countries throughout the world as well as Canada.
  • Western's English Language Centre allows academically eligible students interested in pursuing a graduate degree at Western the opportunity to receive a conditional offer of admission to graduate studies without successful completion of an English language proficiency test. The condition is that the student must, in lieu of such a test, successfully complete Western English Language Centre's program. For more information, please visit
  • Fanshawe College’s ESL Program. The requirement is graduation from Level 10, English for Academic Purposes, with a minimum 80% in all components.

Application Deadline

Domestic Applicants:

  • August 1 - Fall Term
  • November 1 - Winter Term
  • May 1 - Summer Term

International Applicants:

  • March 1 - Fall Term
  • July 1 - Winter Term
  • November 1 - Summer Term
Acceptance notification begins as soon as your application is completed and reviewed.

Fields of Research

  • Biomaterials and Biochemical Engineering
  • Environmental and Green Engineering
  • Macromolecular and Materials Engineering
  • Particle Technology and Fluidization
  • Reaction and Process Systems Engineering
  • Water and Energy