Sem 1 Sum Up 🌈

Hey all, welcome back!

SO when I was in first year and trying to decide on a specialisation, all I wanted to know was exactly what second-year holds, in terms of the types of courses and the content that is involved. If that is also you, I have answered your prayers in this post …

Here is a detailed run-down on the three courses we took in semester one:

CHEMMAT 206 – Applied Chemistry

The first part of this course is basically a revision of year 13 chemistry (bonus points if you’ve done that, but they teach it all again anyway so it isn’t exactly necessary). Thank goodness there was only a tiny bit of organic and electro-chemistry, but the best was saved for last when Ashton comes in and talks (a lot) about conducting polymers, biosensors and polymer roofing – he’s super passionate which actually made going to these lectures really enjoyable!

CHEMMAT 204 – Materials

Very similar topics covered than in CHEMMAT 121, but just a lot more in depth, with some added extras such as X-ray diffraction and Non-Destructive Testing. And yes don’t worry, good ol’ Steve Matthews is back to give his heinously exciting lectures on failure and fracture mechanics.

*Note: There were three, 3-hour labs for this course… DO NOT leave your report writing until the last minute because your results are probably all over the place and nothing makes sense, so trust me because it was a very stressful time 😅

CHEMMAT 201 – Process Engineering: Introduction

Hopefully you still remember how to draw a block diagram from 140, because almost every question they ask you will require one. In brief, it involves things like mass balances on reactive systems, psychrometric charts (see image), and a lot of energy balances and tabulated data. It was all pretty interesting and crucial in industry applications, but it’s very crucial to stay on top of the content and tutorial questions for this one, because things move real fast.

Psychrometric Chart … also known as the psycho chart for obvious reasons


There was also ENGSCI 211, which is the core course for all specialisations. You can probably guess what that one entails.

From comparing to most other specialisations, first-semester Chemmat is basically solely content based (tests/assignments/exam), rather than group projects and presentations – but there are a fair few introduced in the second semester.



Just to give a rough idea of how much content is involved, here are my notes from the three CHEMMAT papers in first sem:

Good idea to make sure that reading textbooks and learning derivations are your thing, before you choose Chemmat 🙂

There’s a pretty small group of us in Chemmat (around 75) so our lecture rooms are pretty small and close-knit, and the lecturers will often encourage group discussions and in-class tutorials. They are also super helpful and will completely go out of their way to help you, and answer any questions.

In class and through labs especially, you get to know most of your peers pretty well, and its a really positive and encouraging environment 💙

As always, you can always message me if you have any questions, and I will (hopefully) see you all later x

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