Updated for the new July 2020 FE Exam Topics

Effective July 1st, 2020, these are the categories and subcategories specified by the NCEES that this discipline covers. It includes an estimate of the number of questions you will see on the official exam for each category. We've covered the specification changes in this blog post. PrepFE provides hundreds of questions in proportional amounts to the official exam.

*For the prior categories and topics that were discontinued at the end of June, 2020, please see the categories here. *

Mathematics

6 to 9 questions

Analytic geometry, logarithms, and trigonometry

Calculus (e.g., single-variable, integral, differential)

Differential equations (e.g., ordinary, partial, Laplace)

Numerical methods (e.g., error propagation, Taylorâ€™s series, curve fitting, Newton-Raphson, Fourier series)

Algebra (e.g., fundamentals, matrix algebra, systems of equations)

Accuracy, precision, and significant figures

Probability and Statistics

4 to 6 questions

Probability distributions (e.g., discrete, continuous, normal, binomial)

Expected value (weighted average) in decision making

Hypothesis testing and design of experiments (e.g., t-test, outlier testing, analysis of the variance)

Measures of central tendencies and dispersions (e.g., mean, mode, standard deviation, confidence intervals)

Regression and curve fitting

Statistical control (e.g., control limits)

Engineering Sciences

4 to 6 questions

Basic dynamics (e.g., friction, force, mass, acceleration, momentum)

Work, energy, and power (as applied to particles or rigid bodies)

Electricity, current, and voltage laws (e.g., charge, energy, current, voltage, power, Kirchhoff's law, Ohm's law)

Materials Science

4 to 6 questions

Chemical, electrical, mechanical, and physical properties (e.g., effect of temperature, pressure, stress, strain, failure)

Material types and compatibilities (e.g., engineered materials, ferrous and nonferrous metals)

Corrosion mechanisms and control

Polymers, ceramics, and composites

Chemistry and Biology

7 to 11 questions

Inorganic chemistry (e.g., molarity, normality, molality, acids, bases, redox reactions, valence, solubility product, pH, pK, electrochemistry, periodic table)

Organic chemistry (e.g., nomenclature, structure, balanced equations, reactions, synthesis)

Analytical chemistry (e.g., wet chemistry and instrumental chemistry)

Biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology (e.g., organization and function of the cell; Krebs, glycolysis, Calvin cycles; enzymes and protein chemistry; genetics; protein synthesis, translation, transcription)

Bioprocessing (e.g., fermentation, biological treatment systems, aerobic, anaerobic process, nutrient removal)

Fluid Mechanics/Dynamics

8 to 12 questions

Fluid properties

Dimensionless numbers (e.g., Reynolds number)

Mechanical energy balance (e.g., pipes, valves, fittings, pressure losses across packed beds, pipe networks)

Bernoulli equation (hydrostatic pressure, velocity head)

Laminar and turbulent flow

Flow measurement (e.g., orifices, Venturi meters)

Pumps, turbines, compressors, and vacuum systems

Compressible flow and non-Newtonian fluids

Thermodynamics

8 to 12 questions

Thermodynamic properties of pure components and mixtures (e.g., specific volume, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, free energy, ideal gas law)

Properties data and phase diagrams of pure components and mixtures (e.g., steam tables, psychrometric charts, T-s, P-h, x-y, T-x-y)

Thermodynamic laws (e.g., first law, second law)

Thermodynamic processes (e.g., isothermal, adiabatic, isentropic, phase changes)

Cyclic processes and efficiencies (e.g., power, refrigeration, heat pump)

Phase equilibrium (e.g., fugacity, activity coefficient, Raoult's law)

Chemical equilibrium

Heats of reaction and mixing

Material/Energy Balances

10 to 15 questions

Steady-state mass balance

Unsteady-state mass balance

Steady-state energy balance

Unsteady-state energy balance

Recycle/bypass processes

Reactive systems (e.g., combustion)

Heat Transfer

8 to 12 questions

Conductive heat transfer

Convective heat transfer (natural and forced)

Radiation heat transfer

Heat-transfer coefficients (e.g., overall, local, fouling)

Heat-transfer equipment, operation, and design (e.g., double pipe, shell and tube, fouling, number of transfer units, log-mean temperature difference, flow configuration)

Mass Transfer and Separation

8 to 12 questions

Molecular diffusion (e.g., steady and unsteady state, physical property estimation)

Convective mass transfer (e.g., mass-transfer coefficient, eddy diffusion)

Separation systems (e.g., distillation, absorption, extraction, membrane processes, adsorption)

Equilibrium stage methods (e.g., graphical methods, McCabe-Thiele, efficiency)

Continuous contact methods (e.g., number of transfer units, height equivalent to a theoretical plate, height of transfer unit, number of theoretical plates)

Humidification, drying, and evaporation

Solids Handling

3 to 5 questions

Particle properties (e.g., surface and bulk forces, particle size distribution)

Processing (e.g., crushing, grinding, crystallization)

Transportation and storage (e.g., belts, pneumatic, slurries, tanks, hoppers)

Chemical Reaction Engineering

7 to 11 questions

Reaction rates and order

Rate constant (e.g., Arrhenius function)

Conversion, yield, and selectivity

Type of reactions (e.g., series, parallel, forward, reverse, homogeneous, heterogeneous, biological)

Reactor types (e.g., batch, semibatch, continuous stirred tank, plug flow, gas phase, liquid phase)

Catalysis (e.g., mechanisms, biocatalysis, physical properties)

Economics

4 to 6 questions

Time value of money (e.g., present worth, annual worth, future worth, rate of return)

Economic analyses (e.g., break-even, benefit-cost, optimal economic life)

Uncertainty (e.g., expected value and risk)

Project selection (e.g., comparison of projects with unequal lives, lease/buy/make, depreciation, discounted cash flow)

Process Design

7 to 11 questions

Process flow diagrams and piping and instrumentation diagrams

Equipment selection (e.g., sizing and scale-up)

Equipment and facilities cost estimation (e.g., cost indices, equipment costing)

Process design and optimization (e.g., sustainability, efficiency, green engineering, inherently safer design, evaluation of specifications, product design)

Design standards (e.g., regulatory, ASTM, ISO, OSHA)

Process Control

4 to 6 questions

Dynamics (e.g., first- and second-order processes, gains and time constants, stability, damping, and transfer functions)

Control strategies (e.g., feedback, feedforward, cascade, ratio, PID controller tuning, alarms, other safety equipment)

Control loop design and hardware (e.g., matching measured and manipulated variables, sensors, control valves, conceptual process control, distributed control system [DCS] programming, programmable logic controller [PLC] programming, interlocks)

Safety, Health, and Environment

5 to 8 questions

Hazardous properties of materials, including SDS (e.g., corrosivity, flammability, toxicity, reactivity, handling, storage, transportation)

Industrial hygiene (e.g., toxicity, noise, PPE, ergonomics)

Process safety, risk assessment, and hazard analysis (e.g., layer of protection analysis, hazard and operability [HAZOP] studies, fault and event tree analysis, dispersion modeling)

Overpressure and underpressure protection (e.g., relief, redundant control, inherently safe)

Waste minimization, waste treatment, and regulation (e.g., air, water, solids, RCRA, CWA, other EPA, OSHA)

Reactivity hazards (e.g., inerting, runaway reactions, compatibility)

Ethics and Professional Practice

3 to 5 questions

Codes of ethics (professional and technical societies)

Agreements, contracts, and contract law (e.g., noncompete, nondisclosure, memorandum of understanding)

Public health, safety, and welfare (e.g., public protection issues, licensing, professional liability, regulatory issues)

Intellectual property (e.g., copyright, trade secrets, patents, trademarks)

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