Chemical Engineering

MATLAB and Simulink for Chemical Engineering

Educators can use MATLAB and Simulink to enhance teaching and learning experiences in courses and labs. You can: 

  • Develop interactive learning modules using live scripts, apps, and virtual labs 
  • Provide instant feedback to coding assignments (with MATLAB Grader) in courses like numerical methods, process control, and introduction to computing
  • Use self-paced online courses and curriculum material for process control and numerical methods
  • Design and test control systems for chemical engineering equipment 
  • Integrate MATLAB and Simulink with hardware and other computational tools (process simulators, multi-physics tools) and programming languages  

Mathematical Modeling

You can develop first-principles, hybrid, or data-driven models in MATLAB and Simulink using built-in functionality or your own algorithms. You can use these models in process design, control, and optimization.

Symbolic Calculations

Symbolic Math Toolbox lets you symbolically derive and solve algebraic and differential equations commonly encountered in transport phenomena, thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and control theory. You can perform unit conversions, evaluate and visualize symbolic expressions, and transition between symbolic and numeric computations.

Featured Offerings

“MATLAB can be used to automate complex math calculations, which allows more time for students to learn engineering problem-solving skills and extrapolate those skills to more complex, real-world applications beyond just heat and mass transfer.”

Donald Sebastian, professor of chemicals and materials engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Numerical Methods

You can use the built-in functions in MATLAB to solve algebraic, differential, and partial differential equations. Partial Differential Equation Toolbox lets you solve domain-specific (heat transfer) partial differential equations via finite element analysis. You can explore and analyze results using built-in postprocessing and visualization capabilities. You can also implement your own numerical solution algorithms using MATLAB.

Featured Offerings


Optimization Toolbox and Global Optimization Toolbox enable you to define and solve process optimization and parameter estimation problems. Live Editor Task lets you get started quickly using a visual interface. You can call the built-in solvers directly or use a problem-based modeling approach. Additionally, you can interface with GAMS. For larger problems, you can enable parallel computations with Parallel Computing Toolbox.

Featured Offerings

Learn how pharmaceutical companies are modeling and optimizing batch production processes with MATLAB.

Statistics, Machine Learning, and AI

Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox, Deep Learning Toolbox, and Reinforcement Learning Toolbox offer low-code apps for designing, tuning, assessing, and optimizing statistics and AI models for various applications, including statistical process control, visual inspection for quality control, prediction of chemical properties or process parameters, and predictive maintenance.

Featured Offerings


Interactive MATLAB simulations and visualizations can enrich your thermodynamics courses and demonstrate the impact of thermodynamics in process simulations. Simscape Fluids helps you teach applications of thermodynamics concepts integrated with heat transfer and fluid mechanics.


Featured Offerings

Transport Phenomena

Using MATLAB, Symbolic Math Toolbox, and Partial Differential Equation Toolbox, you can solve transport phenomena problems analytically and numerically and then visually analyze the results. Simscape Fluids lets you graphically represent and dynamically simulate fluid flow and heat transfer systems.

Featured Offerings

Mass Transfer and Separation Processes

Reaction Kinetics

MATLAB and Curve Fitting Toolbox let you visualize, analyze, and fit models to reaction kinetics data. You can design, optimize, and control chemical reactors using MATLAB, Simulink, Simscape, Optimization Toolbox, and Control System Toolbox. You can also develop pharmacokinetic models using SimBiology.

Process Control

You can design, test, and implement control systems using MATLAB and Simulink. You can teach process control concepts ranging from PID control to model predictive control with interactive lecture material, videos, and self-paced online courses such as Control Design Onramp with Simulink.

Chemical Engineering Labs

You can acquire data from hardware such as thermocouples and control lab equipment such as reactors and heat exchangers. MATLAB lets you analyze, visualize, and build models from experimental data, and you can document your lab work using Live Editor. You can interactively design graphical user interfaces using App Designer to share your analysis or create virtual labs to teach chemical engineering concepts like process control, transport phenomena, or reaction kinetics. With low-cost hardware and ThingSpeak (Internet of Things platform with MATLAB analytics), you can give your students the opportunity to work with real-world data, such as process data.

Process Design and Capstone

You can design chemical unit operations from scratch to master the process design methods. MATLAB and Simulink let you interface process simulators to incorporate your custom designs with flowsheets, design control strategies, and optimize processes. You can challenge your students with industry-relevant projects, such as monitoring and controlling bioreactors for pharmaceutical production.

30-Day Free Trial

Get started

Have Questions?

Contact a chemical engineering expert.