A little creativity during preparation — developing checklists, grouping similar processes, pre-populating worksheets, and considering possible deviations and safeguards before meeting face to face — goes a long way toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your PHA efforts.
A discussion among graduating seniors and AIChE young professionals at the recent 2013 Southern Regional Student Conference turned to questions about negotiating job offers. The compensation you ﬁrst receive often dictates your future growth at a...
It is beyond cliché to say that most New Year’s resolutions are forgotten by the second week of January. Similarly, I’ve noticed that spring cleaning rarely has the impact it was intended to have. The best time to work on self-improvement is during...
From gloves, goggles, and safety shoes, to total encapsulating ensembles, protective clothing provides a barrier to chemical exposure. Follow these guidelines to determine the most-effective protection for your work environment and task.
Arpan Bandyopadhyay, Daniel Blashki, Rachel M. Buchanan, Abigail Engelberth, Hsu-Yuan Fu, Wei-Shou Hu, Michael Ladisch, Nathan Mosier, Matthew B. Murphy, Gauri Nabar, Kimberly Ogden, Gregory Stephanopoulos, Nandita Vishwanathan, Jessica Winter, June Wispelwey, Eduardo Ximenes
Celebrating a Decade of Progress in Biological Engineering; Genomics and Systems Biotechnology in Biopharmaceutical Processing; Block-Copolymer Nanocomposites for Biomedical Applications; Stem Cell Therapy for Regenerative Medicine; Biological Engineering and the Emerging Cellulose Ethanol Industry; Algae as a Bio-Feedstock.
The week before we send an issue to the printer can be both exhilarating and exhausting. So, I was intrigued by an article on scientificamerican.com, “Overworking Your Brain Can Spark Ideas,” which reported on research that found people generate the most creative ideas when they’re mentally exhausted. It never occurred to me that this might be an especially fruitful time for coming up with good ideas. I wondered how that research might apply to me, and whether it might suggest new ways to push the CEP staff even harder.
A patent is intended to expand the public’s knowledge in a particular area of technology, and it must clearly convey exactly what the patent covers and what it does not. An individual learns that information by reading the patent’s claims, a...
Turn Our Hindsight into Your Foresight This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, May 2014. Reflecting on the first year of her chemical engineering career, Samantha Schmidt...
Beth Beloff, Botond Bertok, Heriberto Cabezas, Kevin Chin, Calvin B. Cobb, Ferenc Friedler, István Heckl, Reed M. Izatt , Darlene Schuster, Dicksen Tanzil
Sustainability: What We Measure We Can Improve; Sustainability Trends in the Chemical Industry; Use the P-graph Framework to Design Supply Chains for Sustainability; Recovering Metals from Electronic Wastes
In the article “Recognize Hazards to Recognize Change” (pp. 40–44), Donald Lorenzo, Della Wong, and Mark Suyama liken managing change in the chemical process industries (CPI) to the challenge of piloting a ship on a voyage. Subtle changes in winds, waves, currents, and tides are difficult to discern, but each small change becomes the new normal, and the next change seems to be only a small difference. Only after the ship hits an obstruction does the captain realize how severely the ship has veered off course. That was the inspiration for this issue’s cover.
Improbable does not mean impossible. As engineers, we tend to consider improbable things that have happened, and discard or minimize the improbable things that (to our knowledge) have not happened. Many times when the question "can this occur?" has...
Engineers in a wide range of bio-related specialties — biofuels, biomaterials, genomics, stem cell engineering, regenerative medicine, biopharmaceuticals, bionanotechnology, metabolic engineering, systems biology, bioprocessing, and more — can find a home in SBE.
Whether the feedstock is sugarcane, corn, or lignocellulose, the fermentation and ethanol recovery operations are similar. The differences arise in the way the sugars are released and the co-products produced.
Have you had to deliver a difficult message to someone lately? Perhaps it was to an individual whose performance was below expectations. Or maybe it was to a group of employees about upcoming layoffs or cancelled bonuses. It wasn’t fun, was it? As a past corporate manager and now as a business owner, I have been on both sides of these difficult conversations and know it can be just as stressful to deliver bad news as it is to receive it.
Environmental management strategies have evolved from end-of-pipe treatment to waste minimization and pollution prevention to sustainable development. An important tool in managing for sustainability is life cycle assessment (LCA). In the article...
Perfusion technology offers many benefits over fed-batch processing, such as reducing the size of the bioreactor, which reduces capital costs and enables the use of single-use bioreactor technology. Despite these advantages, a shift to continuous perfusion will likely be gradual.
Dr. Wei-Shou Hu, Nitya M. Jacob, Wei-Shou Hu, Bernard Liat Wen Loo, and Miranda Yap
Recombinant DNA technology transforms mammalian cells into factories for protein-based therapeutics. New techniques provide chemical engineers with a better understanding of the process as well as the cells themselves.
Although you might not associate drug delivery with chemical engineering, the principles of chemical engineering — such as mass and energy balances, transport phenomena, reaction kinetics, and particle technology — are intimately involved in drug...
Nigeria is a nation endowed with abundant natural resources and engineering talent. Current policy and reforms in the downstream and natural gas sectors are expected to boost Nigeria’s economy and restore growth and vibrancy to its chemical process industries.
Managing chemical reactivity hazards is more complex than other major hazards. Learn how to use process hazard analysis (PHA) to identify such hazard scenarios and determine whether additional risk-reduction measures are needed for your process.
Despite the progress made in project management theory, these advances are just starting to make their way into the chemical process industries. Use this step-by-step framework to implement some key best practices.
Biochemical engineering demonstrates the versatility of the living cell as a miniature reactor. Living cells can be genetically engineered to produce specific proteins, tuned to manufacture novel enzymes, and optimized to guarantee genetic stability and consistent production of desired products.
Tracing audit ﬁndings back to the management system that allowed the failure to occur is an effective way to uncover deﬁciencies in an organization’s process safety management system. Follow the guidance provided in this article to apply root-cause-based auditing to your facility.
Some difficult mixing problems cannot be solved, but their impacts can be lessened. Here’s how you can deal with difficult processes or products, misunderstandings about good mixing, and obstacles to improvements.
Railroad crossings that are not protected by gates or warning lights typically include signs to alert you of the potential for danger. Versions of the sign all have one thing in common — the reminder to stop, look, and listen. Only after stopping...
I was really excited that this year’s Annual Meeting was being held in Pittsburgh. Having grown up in southwestern Pennsylvania and gone to school at Carnegie Mellon, I was eager to get back to my roots and share my hometown with my coworkers — the excitement of a home Steelers game, a ride up the incline to gaze down at the city from Mount Washington, and maybe a cruise on the three rivers on the Gateway Clipper. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy forced me to rethink some of my plans, especially those that involved being outdoors. Although we were physically out of the storm’s direct path, we did feel some of its effects. (The nearly constant, cold, windy rain was hard to ignore.) Outwardly, we did what we normally do to orchestrate an annual meeting — which was a great success (pp. 54–55) in spite of the weather.
Sooner or later during our professional careers, most of us will change jobs, get promoted, move into a different line of work, or even get laid off. My experience is a good example. I moved from an entry-level R&D engineer to a commercial...
Ulku Oktem, Ankur Pariyani, Dr. Warren Seider, Masoud Soroush
Valuable information about unsafe conditions resides in the large alarm databases of distributed control systems and emergency shutdown systems. This overlooked and underutilized information can be analyzed to identify process near-misses and determine the probability of serious accidents.
If your New Year’s resolution is to find a new job or career, consider adding a career fair or two to your job search strategy. Although usually associated with entry-level positions, career fairs can put more-experienced chemical engineers face to face with hiring managers or human resource representatives, a critical step to landing a new position in today’s competitive job market.
The electric-power grid is being transformed into a smarter network — one that could bring significant benefits to the chemical process industries. Learn what a smart grid is and how you can participate.
When reporting on events, writers and editors always need to be mindful of when the reader will receive the publication. This is especially critical for a monthly magazine like CEP. An event that is considered breaking news when we experience it or...
Push valves, multiple downcomers, and truncated downcomers boost tray capacities, but they also present troubleshooting challenges. Use quantitative gamma-scan analysis to measure froth heights, froth densities, and blowby in order to solve...
What Will You Do on Your Summer Vacation? In this month’s YPOV column (p. 20), Arjun Gopalratnam points out that the summertime is a great time for self-improvement, and he urges us to expand, in particular, our computer programming experience. He...
In 2011, I took a position with Mack Trucks, Inc., a manufacturer of American-assembled Class 8 heavy trucks with more than 100 years of history. Since then, I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question “What is a chemical engineer...
The Boiler MACT regulation provides compliance options that include pollution-abatement equipment, work practices, and energy efficiency improvements. An energy management and reporting system (EMRS) can be a part of a plant’s compliance strategy.
Programming for an AIChE conference — i.e., developing the technical program — takes a lot more than the work put in by the meeting chairs; the details and ideas that go into every session and its roster of speakers take a whole force of volunteers. As a co-chair for the upcoming 2014 Spring Meeting in New Orleans who also happens to be a young professional (YP), I’ve realized that the best way to prepare for programming a large-scale conference is to build relationships across all levels of the organization.
Production capacity is a vital statistic for describing the performance of a chemical plant, but there is no universally accepted definition or means to evaluate it. This article provides a comprehensive definition of capacity and details the options for deriving it.
One thing I’ve realized while writing the Career Corner column is that there is always more to learn about topics such as networking, leadership, personal branding, and career success. This trio of books expands on several topics I have explored in...
The key to maximizing the useful life of heat-transfer fluids in liquid-phase systems is proper fluid selection. This article discusses the most common methods of deterioration and suggests potential solutions.
Plentiful, low-cost natural gas will invigorate the chemicals industry over the next decade, as producers look to increase the role of natural gas as a feedstock in established processes, as well as develop new processes to convert methane into chemicals currently derived from petroleum.
Denmark’s chemicals industry is characterized by a variety of innovative companies, especially in the life sciences. To remain competitive, these companies must continue to invest in innovation, and the country’s universities must fill a growing need for highly educated engineering professionals.
Embedding a rigorous heat exchanger model within an established simulation environment can help engineers increase process yields, while minimizing heat exchanger energy consumption and capital expenditures.
Filtration technology has advanced to meet the demand to remove small particles at low concentrations. When designed correctly, a candle filter or a pressure plate filter may be a more-efficient replacement for a traditional filtration scheme.
In the current job market, people rarely stay employed with the same company that hired them after college for their entire career. If you want to take control of your career and make a job change that is consistent with your professional and personal goals, allow enough time to weigh the pros and cons instead of making the decision on a whim. The most critical step in this process is not updating your resumé, but making sure that the new position will be a good fit and not just a quick fix. I like to think of changing jobs as a process with four key steps: recognizing that it is time to move on, deciding where you want to go, determining what you need to get there, and then networking your way in.