AIChE Professional Engineering Licensure

NCEES Chemical Engineering Reference Handbook: Requesting Your Input!

About the handbook

In January 2017, NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) published the PE Chemical Handbook to provide reference information for engineers taking the Chemical Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam. NCEES is the organization that develops and administers the examinations for Professional Engineering licensure.

What is in the handbook?

The topics included in the handbook are based on the specifications for the exam content and cover the major areas of chemical engineering.

  • As a reference book, it contains only equations, tables and conversions that chemical engineers may need in their professional practice and for the exam.
  • Note that handbook omits concepts, theory and examples. Some fundamental conversions, formulas, and definitions that engineers are expected to know have not been included.

How will it help for the PE Exam?

The handbook will be the only reference available in the upcoming computer-based (CBT) version of the Chemical PE exam. It will be online and searchable. The handbook can be brought to pencil-and-paper exams as one of many resources, provided it is bound according to the policies in the NCEES Examinee Guide. It should not be used as a single-source reference for the pencil-and-paper exam administration in April 2017.

Download a copy for free and provide input!

Candidates preparing for the Chemical PE exam are encouraged to download a copy to study for the exam. But even engineers not preparing for the exam as well as chemical engineering students may find this a useful reference. It is available as a free download from the NCEES website. This handbook was written by the same people who write the questions for the Chemical PE Exam. This is the first release of the handbook.

Follow these steps to access the handbook and offer feedback:

1. Create a “MyNCEES” account

To download a copy of the handbook, log into or create a “MyNCEES” account at

2. Download a copy of the handbook

Once you log into your account, you can download your copy of the PE Chemical Reference Handbook.

3.   Submit corrections by April 30, 2017

NCEES welcomes comments and corrections to improve the quality and value of the handbook.

All comments will be reviewed, though individual responses to comments will not be provided. Updated versions of the handbook will become available on the NCEES website.

  • To submit comments and corrections, use the chat feature on the NCEES website.
  • Submit comments by April 30, 2017 to ensure that they can be reviewed and incorporated prior to the transition to computer based testing.
  • And share the information on the handbook with your chemical engineering friends and colleagues!