Chemical engineers continue to earn more than the average U.S. worker. The median salary of survey respondents is $127,000 — a 5.8% increase over the median reported in 2013. This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the June 2015 issue of Chemical Engineering Progress.
Aug 5, 2015
Performance appraisals are an essential part of any supervisor’s position whether they have one or many direct reports. However, most managers dread...
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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.
Engineering ethics frequently has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with communication, thought and decision-making patterns, and conflicts around time and money.
As exciting as an international assignment may seem, relocating overseas is more complicated than getting your shots, passport, and airline tickets, packing a few boxes, and hopping on the next flight. A typical relocation involves almost 50...
AIChE’s Initial Placement Survey: Where is the Class of 2014?; Producing More Ethanol with Less-Sensitive Microbes; Stretchable Patch Provides First-Class Health Monitoring; New Drug Capsule Takes the Ouch Out of Injections; Hybrid Device Combines a Solar Cell and a Battery.
The chemical engineering curriculum has changed over the years and will continue to change in the future. In the November AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Evolving Trends in Chemical Engineering Education,” Arvind Varma of Purdue Univ. and Ignacio Grossmann of Carnegie Mellon Univ. examine this evolution and illuminate the impacts of shifts in academic research and industry needs. Taking a close look at the history and likely course of chemical engineering education provides a basis for discussing whether this trajectory is heading in the right direction to meet the needs of industry and to address societal issues.
If you want to expand your consulting practice, you must be ready to change how you do things. “As your company matures, you need to start working on the business, rather than in the business. Become the owner, not the doer,” says Stephen Fauer,...
Electricity generated by fossil fuels is a relatively stable and low-cost commodity, and fossil fuels will continue to be an important source of energy for the forseeable future. The environmental impact of electricity generation is minimized...
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.
From Apple to Coca Cola to Nike, we are surrounded by corporate branding. But did you know that branding is important to you and your career as well?
One year ago, I was putting the finishing touches on my senior design project, taking my last round of undergraduate final exams, and preparing to move to Cincinnati to start my new job in an engineering and operations rotational program at General...
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.
When talking with college students at local section meetings, I’m often asked about my responsibilities within AIChE with a simple question: “So, what do you do?” The answer, however, is not so simple. As a leader in the Chicago Local Section, Chicago Young Professionals Committee (YPC), national YPC, and President’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Local Sections, I could answer this question in several ways.
AIChE is pleased to announce publication of the third edition of the trusted guide, “Equipment Testing Procedure for Trayed and Packed Columns: A Guide to Performance Evaluation.”
When was the last time you learned something new for your job? A generation ago, chemical engineers could expect to settle into a well-defined position at one company and remain there for an entire career. Today, things could not be more different. Many engineers change jobs at least once, or take on additional responsibilities that require new knowledge and skills.
Schmoozing. Glad-handing. Kibitzing. Networking — the art of cultivating productive relationships — often gets a bad rap. Yet without some form of networking, it may be difficult for you to get a promotion, make a career change, or land a six-figure...
L. P. Driskill
Engineers routinely optimize process designs; poster designs need optimization too. Use these techniques and strategies to create a poster that captures and holds the viewer's attention.
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...
What do Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon Products, the late Robert Goizueta, former Chairman and Chief Executive of Coca-Cola, and Andrew Grove, former Chairman and CEO of Intel, have in common? They all started their careers as chemical engineers and later...
One of the proudest moments of my early career was when I received a promotion from senior engineer to ﬁrst-line manager. It took about a week for the elation to wear off, as I began to realize how much responsibility I had for producing results...
Work-life balance is a challenge for many of us, but how do we get there from here? First, it helps to adjust our thinking. “It’s not about balance, like weights on a scale,” says Mary T. Scott, a certified professional coach. “It’s more about...
William Parrish, Cory Jensen
Licensure as a professional engineer is an investment in your future, and can be a beneficial — and even necessary — credential.
To surpass the merely adequate, and to accomplish something noteworthy, requires one to take on tasks that are unstated and to solve problems that others may not have even noticed. Depending on the structure of your work environment, there may be...
In 2005, the reported median salary of $92,150 is up 3.9% from last year. Chemical engineering salaries are also slightly ahead of their collective engineering peers, and furthermore, starting-salary offers are at an all-time high of $54,256. This...
Chemical engineering salaries have remained stable over the last two years at a median of $110,000. Average starting salaries are nearly $66,900. This expanded version of the article that appeared in print provides the detailed survey results.
Chemical engineering salaries continue to move on an upward trend. In 2007, chemical engineers broke the $100K barrier — reporting a median salary of $103,730, up 12.6% from two years ago.
Chemical engineering salaries are up 7% from two years ago, to a median of $110,950. Furthermore, average starting salaries have risen to over $65,000.
M. Henry Heines
Patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights are an important part of any company's business strategy.
I was taught that the word hopefully means “in a hopeful manner” or “full of hope.” Authors who start a sentence with the word hopefully usually mean “I (we) hope” or “it is hoped” — which is an incorrect usage of the word.
Blogs have come a long way since their first appearance in the late 1990s, when they were little more than online diaries. Today, people are just as likely to turn to blogs (Internet shorthand for “Web log”) as to newspapers or magazines for information and news.
Understand how you and others solve problems, and use that knowledge to cultivate organizational relationships and improve individual and team efforts.
The TRIZ methodology encourages you to approach problems from a different angle. Here’s a primer on the basics of the technique and the tools available to implement it.
Freeman Self, Freeman Self
An analysis of past employment data can help identify future trends in chemical engineering. FreemanSelf-EdEkholm-
Asking “how could I make this fail?” can help you to identify potential problems that you might not otherwise have considered.
Edward Cussler, Edward L. Cussler
To adapt to changes in the industry, chemical engineers will require a change in mindset, as well as an enhanced skillset.
The TRIZ principles and techniques used to solve technical problems inventively can be adapted to run a business more effectively and more profitably.
Meeting FDA regulations is not optional. The costs are high for any company that does not act responsibly to ensure that all additives are meet the required regulations.
Regardless of their current employment status and personal outlook, the new class of chemical engineering graduates is con?dent that they possess a unique versatility and capacity to make good and do good.
Margaret Clarke Hunt
These profiles of a dozen engineers in different stages of their careers offer snapshots of where chemical engineers are employed.
Internet-based applications are changing the way chemical engineers collaborate. These virtual tools can help project teams make decisions more quickly, reduce costs, and increase productivity.
Between March and April 2010, a powerful but seemingly limited computer worm, now referred to as Stuxnet, infected computers around the world, beginning in Iran and spreading to Indonesia and India. A recently published book uncovers ﬁndings on the origin of the worm and raises concerns that are relevant to chemical engineers everywhere.
Calvin B. Cobb
The U.S. industrial landscape is changing dramatically. This has significant implications for our profession and individual chemical engineers.
R. Russell Rhinehart
By understanding the normal enrollment swings, employers and students can capitalize during the boom times and rideout the busts, while universities can allocate resources more effectively.
A short, simple and concise message can be an effective way to let others know about your accomplishments and your worth.
In a multiproduct chemical complex, determining production costs is no simple matter. Here's a logical method that can help.
Glen Rosentrater -
Contractors' quotes often differ significantly -- by up to 30% is not uncommon, and may be legitimate. Here's how to analyze bids to be able to award a fairly priced contract.
Reinhard Schomacker, Gregory J. McRae, Konrad Hungerbuhler, Gerald Bode
This article describes state-of-the-art investment analysis techniques, shows how and why even reasonably good analyses can lead to bad decisions, and gives guidance on how to avoid mistakes when making investment decisions regarding chemical...
Savvy employers are learning to value experienced engineers. Here's how you can take advantage of this trend.
Susan Morey, Lionel F. Laroche
Eastern Europe is a significant potential market for Western corporations. There are plenty of opportunities for success if you learn to do business in a way that meshes with Eastern European expectations of how business should be done.
Convincing your boss to send you to a trade show can be challenging. Here are five ways you and your employer will benefit, plus tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
Pursuing a wide variety of career options, chemical engineers continue to reinvent the profession.
Fabio Bravo, C. Delia Contreras
Consider the career- and family-related benefits and trade-offs of an overseas experience, as well as whether you have what it takes to be successful in such a position.
Yogesh B. Trivedi
By implementing Six Sigma at its ethylene unit, Sasol has been able to recover as much as 65% of the opportunities that could have been lost.
Denise Price Hosier, Margaret Clarke Hunt
Engineers play an important role in the marketing of products, processes and services. Here's a short course on the basics of marketing communications to help you be effective in that role.
George Buckbee, P.E.
Work-style and communication differences often result in a disconnect between managers and engineers. Bridging this culture gap will allow managers to make better business decisions and bring engineers the understanding and recognition they deserve.
Milena D. Kekich, Karen D. Smith, Brad A. Walker
Disrupting normal sleep/wake cycles causes fatigue and reduces alertness. Here are some preventive measures that can improve the performance of employees in 24-h operations.
Peter E. Friedes
Are you naturally a “relater” or a “requirer”? Understanding how you relate and require will help you make the changes you need to be a more effective manager.
Clare Marshall Wood
A coach can help you tap into your potential to achieve your goals and to live a more fulfilling and productive life.
When you see an expert testify in a legal case on TV and think I could do that, you may be right. Here's what you need to know to become a litigation support consultant.
Cynthia F. Mascone
It can be a jungle out there on the exhibit floor. Try these tips to help you make the most of your trade show visit.
Lisa L. Walker
The people you identify as references in your job search act as your ambassadors to a potential employer. Choosing references who can paint a clear picture of your strengths and potential can be a decisive advantage in your employment campaign.
Here's how to take stock of your career and identify and explore a wide range of opportunities so you can decide where you want to go and develop a career plan for getting there.
Whether the plan is to shut down an entire plant, or just a portion of it, a definitive plan must be in place. Here is a step-by-step procedure to guide you through the process.
Eldon R. Larsen
While Gantt charts, timelines, budgets, resource constraints, quality challenges, performance measures, and other tools are important, they are neither meaningful nor effective without people.
This alternative production approach can offer significant time and capital cost savings. The key is to choose a qualified toller.
Walking, listening, and learning are three easy steps that promote good communication and can yield high dividends.
Corrine L. Kupstas
Follow this engineer's career path as she shares her thoughts on the transitions she has made and how family considerations factored into her career decisions.
Nathan A. Kimmerle, Stephen H. Roberts , Mark E. Kilburn, Patrick T. Ragan
In light of the events of September 11, make sure your plant's safety plan accounts for acts of terrorism and sabotage.
A thorough crisis-management plan will enable your organization to respond to a crisis promptly and appropriately. Here's how to develop an effective plan.