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CEP Editorial: Help Grow AIChE’s Apprentice Program


If you are a young professional under the age of 35 and are willing to assume a leadership role in AIChE (on a project of your choice), the AIChE Foundation, through its Young Professionals Apprentice program (CEP, Sept. 2012, p. 72), will subsidize your dues for 2.75 years. The subsidy is 100% in the first two years and 75% in the third year — a value of more than $500 if you’ve been out of school for a few years. (But how can one put a dollar value on AIChE involvement?) Currently, 29 Apprentices are working individually and in teams on an amazing array of projects. For instance:

Nemoy Rau, a product commercialization manager for Sackett Solutions and Innovations, is developing a series of management case studies, similar to those used by business schools, for the AIChE blog, ChEnected. His objective is to acquaint young engineers with the business side of engineering, i.e., the decisions that they will face as managers and the know-how to think through the reasons behind a company’s actions. You can find his first two cases at

Sarah Widder, a research engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, calls her project “Greening the AIChE Annual Meeting.” Using data gathered at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh — including energy use, paper in program books, waste generated, and CO2 emissions associated with attendee travel — she is calculating sustainability metrics for the event. She hopes to implement lessons learned from this effort to help reduce the environmental footprints of future AIChE meetings.

Debalina Sengupta, a post-doctoral research fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Alessandra Carreon, Green School Coordinator at WARM Training Center, are examining green economy indicators developed by the United Nations and how chemical engineering relates to the indicators. Their goal is to publish a database of these indicators along with methods to help engineers use them in a quantifiable way. They also plan to create case studies based on engineers who are using these indicators to improve the green economy.

Zhenyu Huang (Jason), a senior consultant with Multiphase Solutions Kenny Inc., is working on high school outreach, and recently gave a well-received presentation on chemical engineering to students in the Science National Honor Society at a local school. Wanting to learn more, some of the students invited him back for another conversation about the study of chemical engineering at the college level.

Zach Tyrrell, a technology development specialist at Bayer Technology Services, is focusing on public outreach about nanotechnology. To help dispel some of the myths surrounding this important field, he plans to provide information to non-engineers about what nanotechnology is and its potential.

If you are beyond the age cutoff, consider recommending an employee or colleague. For example, if you are a manager and want to help an engineer on your team develop leadership and other people skills, you can nominate that person by sending his or her name and contact information to Arjun Gopalratnam at

If you are a young professional and this program appeals to you, contact Arjun to apply directly. The program goal is 75 Apprentices, and applications will be accepted until the available funds have been committed.


Author Bios: 

Cynthia Mascone

Cindy Mascone is Editor-in-Chief of Chemical Engineering Progress, AIChE’s member magazine. She has more than 25 years of experience as a technical editor and writer, including four years as the head of her own freelance consulting business, Engineered Writing. Previously, she worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.

She holds a BS in chemical engineering and engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon Univ., and has been an active member of AIChE and Society of Women Engineers.Read more

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