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Dr. Anasse Bouhlal, Program Director

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In its mission toward providing higher education in the Sultanate of Oman, the Ministry of Higher Education established the Colleges of Applied Sciences (CAS) officially in 2007 by a Royal Decree.  Six Colleges of   Applied Sciences located in Salalah, Sur, Sohar, Nizwa, Ibri and Al-Rustaq started in 2005 to offer programs in different disciplines of Information Technology, Communication Studies, International Business Administration and Design. The curricula for these programs were supplied by a consortium of New Zealand universities. The Engineering program in Sohar is designed by Sultan Qaboos University (SQU).

With the rapid industrial development occurring in Sultanate of Oman generally and in the city of Sohar especially, and the need for more human resources trained in different engineering fields, the Ministry of Higher Education decided to open engineering programs in the College of Applied Sciences in Sohar.  It was decided to start with three specializations: Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. The first batch of engineering students was admitted in 2009-2010 academic year. 

In Spring 2010, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) was requested by the Ministry of Higher Education to assist in devising and developing the three engineering programs for the College of Applied Sciences in Sohar. A committee comprising faculty members from the College of Engineering and the College of Science at Sultan Qaboos University was assigned the following tasks:

·           develop detailed curricula for three new engineering programs that incorporates the local needs and comply with ABET criteria.

·           determine all required resources to implement the programs such as laboratory facilities, textbooks, human resources

·            develop a continuous quality system for the programs and its monitoring

·            Assist in training of the laboratory technicians.

The proposed curricula are very similar to those in programs offered by Sultan Qaboos University and are based on international standards to facilitate national and international recognition through accreditation in the future. For each degree program, program objectives, program educational outcomes, program curricula structure, program courses and study plan are established.

In accordance with the directives of the Ministry of Higher Education all students accepted in institutions of higher education have to go through a non-credit General Foundation Program in their institution, in which  they have to demonstrate proficiency in four areas, namely, English, study skills, computing and mathematics.   The proposed program thus starts with the General Foundation Program followed by the credit program that has two components: a technical component and a general component. The technical component consists of college level mathematics, basic sciences, engineering sciences and design, and a general education component that complements the technical content such as professional practice, communication, engineering management and entrepreneurship.

A semester-based system is adopted for the program. A minimum of 135 credit hours have to be earned in the specified components for award of a Bachelor of Engineering in the respective discipline. These 135 credit hours are expected to be completed in eight semesters after the General Foundation Program.

One requirement of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is that faculty must be of sufficient number such that their combined expertise covers all the areas of the curricula. A PhD in an engineering discipline or equivalent is a requirement.

To expose the students to hands-on practical experience, a number of laboratories in the various disciplines have been identified. These have to be run and managed by suitably qualified technical staff whose minimum requirement is a technician diploma in a relevant engineering field.

The report also identifies the faculty and technical staff requirements for each program during the early stages of the programs until 2014. A complete list of required textbooks and software for each program is also proposed.


The B.S. degree in chemical engineering takes normally four years and requires 135 credits to complete. The chemical engineering program is designed to give graduates a broad background in chemical engineering processes and to prepare them to become practicing chemical engineers. Graduates are prepared to work as engineers in different process industries. Examples are petroleum refining, materials processing, petrochemical, ceramics, cements, pharmaceuticals, paints, food, materials recycling, plastics, fertilizers, etc. They can work in the operation, development, design, construction, and management of these industrial processes. The chemical engineering graduates can also work in research institutions and government. They are also well-prepared to continue with postgraduate education.




The program aims to provide quality educational experience to produce graduates that will:

1.      be able to apply principles of mathematics, chemistry, and chemical engineering to the design and operation of safe, economically feasible, and environmentally responsible chemical and petroleum processing

2.      be successful in their professional careers and/or post-graduate training

3.      be able to provide service to the society

4.      be able to work in different professional environments




Graduating students should have:

a.       an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering

b.      an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

c.       an ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.

d.      an ability to be a team player working in multi-disciplinary fields.

e.       an ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems

f.       an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

g.      an ability to communicate effectively

h.      the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global economical, environmental, and societal context

i.        a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

j.        a knowledge of relevant contemporary issues

k.      an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for chemical and process engineering practice.




To obtain a bachelor degree in chemical engineering, students are required to successfully complete 135 credits in four years after completing 1 year of General Foundation Program (GFP). The contents, outcomes and suggested methods of delivery and assessment of the GFP program have been developed by the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (formerly Oman Accreditation Council). Before proceeding to the credit program, a student has to demonstrate proficiency in:

·          English Language (IELTS3 Band 5)

·          Study Skills

·          Computing

·          Mathematics (Basic and Pure Mathematics)


The courses and other events of the program are sequenced so that the students will be ready by the time of graduation to assume an entry level professional position. The chemical engineering curriculum starts in 1st and 2nd years with fundamentals in chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering sciences. Calculus I and II, Linear Algebra and Multivariate Calculus, Differential Equations for Engineering, Probability and statistics and Numerical Methods (20 credits), two Physics courses (8 credits) and Chemistry I (4 credits) are science courses that should be taken by all engineering students in the College of Applied Science (Sohar). Advance chemistry courses (Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry and Applied Physical Chemistry) are required by the program to build the foundation for chemical students especially in chemistry. Some of these courses have experimental experience appropriate for chemical engineering. Engineering sciences are covered in different courses such as Thermodynamics I, Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer. 


Other engineering courses which build on the foundation and represent the core of chemical engineering are taken mainly in 3rd and 4th years of the program. These are Thermodynamics II, Mass Transfer and Separation Processes, Chemical Reaction Engineering and Process Dynamic and Control. The students can select two technical electives from a basket of several courses. This helps to strength their background in some subjects that are needed for future work.

The sequence of courses leads to a comprehensive capstone design project which will be offered in the fourth year. The project is split into two parts in semester 7 and 8. In addition to Project I and II, a strong design experience incorporating realistic constraints is provided through the course of Plant Design and Economics. Design experience can also be obtained from a number of courses such as Computer Aided Design, Separation Processes, Process Heat Transfer, Chemical Process Safety, Chemical Reaction Engineering, etc.   The students are also exposed to industrial experience through one non-credit Industrial Training Course taken at the end of 3rd year. In addition to science and engineering, students are required to take courses in humanities and general education.


In summary, chemical engineering students are required to take 25 credits of college requirements in humanities and general education and 32 credits in science. The remaining 78 credits are the chemical program requirements. The table below shows a summary of the curriculum which includes both the college and program requirements. 



Table 1. Summary of credit hours allocated to curriculum components

Summary of Credits

General Foundation Program


College Requirements (General Education Courses)


Computer Programming

Introduction to Communications


Foreign Language



Science Courses





Program Requirements

Program Core

Technical Electives

Industrial Training





















Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 January 2013 08:56

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