1. Yes, you will find this in the oil department mostly, combustion. Shell, Petronas, Esso, Mobil, and so on. Engineering to find ways to improve fuel to make it more efficient, or more stable when igniting/combusting.
offcourse chemical engineering itself can go a variety of ways and is not confined to combustibles. Fluids in other mechanical parts are interesting, too, cooling aswell.
Hybrid technology offcourse recently was 're-invented' (its actually really old) so the market here is expanding and open for advancements. The electric parts have moving parts
too and then you'll end up at lubrificants and ways to make these improve reliability, efficiency and lower wear and fatigue on materials.
in basic, 'materials' get 'invented' due to constant research on several materials, carbonfiber one to be applied in F1 for several decades now. I dont know how long it will take, but carbon fibre itself has been opened up to be even stronger when combined with other materials (plastics), and there is a wealth of technological engineering there, though that probably means your 'study' is in another devision.
i'm personally inclined to advice looking into relavitely unknown or unused materials that are cheap and workable by tools which allow it to be constructed in a certain way, which today is difficult or not yet possible because proper tooling isnt yet 'developed'. for example, there was a time when cars were handbuilt from relatively thick metal; it was the only 'workable' material around that also was 'affordable'. years of research and technological advancement lead to use plastics and fiberglass and computers/robots.
carbon fibre is around for rather a while now, and it actually was around for rather a while before it got 'introduced' into F1. today, Carbon fibre is relatively 'easy' to work with, but in the late 70's that definately wasn't the case.
in other words, there are materials out there that can be used for several purposes, but to be able to apply it depends on the tools which it requires. lower tool costs, lower construct costs, raise interest in these materials.
that is just from the top of my head , you never know if it may help. good luck with your study and may you find yourself into the magnificient world of F1 one day, if that is your desire.
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.