Professional Development

Featured

2015 AIChE Salary Survey

June
2015
Salary Survey
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.

CEP: Career Corner - Becoming a Leader

August
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

CEP: Career Corner - Transitioning to Management

June
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

CEP: Career Corner - Creating Work-Life Harmony

April
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

CEP: YPOV Your Career as a Volunteer

March
2013
YPOV
Arjun Gopalratnam
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...

2011 AIChE Salary Survey

June
2011
Career Catalyst
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.

2009 AIChE Salary Survey

August
2009
Career Catalyst
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.

Hopefully, Change Won't Be Difficult

May
2012
Editorial
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.

Smart Blogging for Chemical Engineers

May
2012
Career Catalyst
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

Solve Problems Inventively

April
2005
Career Catalyst
Jack Hipple
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.

Employment of Chemical Engineers

January
2002
Special Section
Freeman Self, Freeman Self 
An analysis of past employment data can help identify future trends in chemical engineering. FreemanSelf-EdEkholm-

Use TRIZ in Reverse to Analyze Failures

May
2005
Career Catalyst
Jack Hipple
Asking “how could I make this fail?” can help you to identify potential problems that you might not otherwise have considered.

Refocusing Chemical Engineering

January
2002
Special Section
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.

How to do an Internal FDA Audit

October
2001
Management
Gavin Sinclair
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.

What's Your Problem Solving Style?

August
2004
Career Catalyst
Jack Hipple
Understand how you and others solve problems, and use that knowledge to cultivate organizational relationships and improve individual and team efforts.

Profiles

January
2002
Special Section
Margaret Clarke Hunt
These profiles of a dozen engineers in different stages of their careers offer snapshots of where chemical engineers are employed.

Use Cloud Tools to Collaborate

July
2012
Career Catalyst
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

CEP: YPOV - Engineering Cyber Security

July
2012
YPOV
Arjun Gopalratnam
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.

Prepare for a Different Future

February
2001
Opinion
Calvin B. Cobb
The U.S. industrial landscape is changing dramatically. This has significant implications for our profession and individual chemical engineers.

Tracking Trends in Undergraduate Enrollment

November
2008
Centennial
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.

Whatever Happened to the Class of 2009?

September
2009
News Feature
Gordon Ellis
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.

Advance Your Career in 8 Words or Less

August
2002
Special Section
Kate Wendleton
A short, simple and concise message can be an effective way to let others know about your accomplishments and your worth.

Expanding Horizons

August
2002
Special Section
Irene Kim
Pursuing a wide variety of career options, chemical engineers continue to reinvent the profession.

Get What's Coming to You

January
2002
Career Catalyst
Kate Wendleton
Here's how to negotiate the best possible severance package.

Should You Accept an International Assignment?

August
2003
Career Catalyst
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.

Applying Six Sigma

July
2002
Management
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.

Getting Your Message Across

May
2004
Career Catalyst
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.

Succeed in the Workplace

January
2007
Career Catalyst
Stan Sebastian
This top 10 list covers things you may never have been told about the real world.

Closing the Gap Between Engineers and Management

May
2010
Career Catalyst
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.

Limiting Shift-Work Fatigue in Process Control

April
2003
Management
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.

Understanding Management Styles

February
2005
Career Catalyst
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.

Marketing Your Professional Expertise to Attorneys

December
2003
Career Catalyst
Rosalie  Hamilton
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.

A ChE's Tradeshow Survival Guide

February
2006
Career Catalyst
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.

The Reference Process Demystified

January
2010
Career Catalyst
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.

Success Strategies for the Mid-Career Engineer

August
2001
Career Catalyst
Elizabeth  Feehan
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.

Decommissioning Process Plant Facilities

December
2002
Management
Lou Phillips
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.

People - The Key to Successful Project Management

September
2004
Career Catalyst
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.

Evaluating Toll Manufacturers

September
2008
Management
Osman Aboul-Nasr
This alternative production approach can offer significant time and capital cost savings. The key is to choose a qualified toller.

Learn by Wandering Around

November
2011
Career Catalyst
Ross Topliff
Walking, listening, and learning are three easy steps that promote good communication and can yield high dividends.

The Evolution of a Chemical Engineering Career

August
2002
Special Section
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.

Develop an Effective Crisis Management Strategy

September
2003
Management
Steve Wilson
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.

To Engineer or Not? That is the Question

August
2005
Career Catalyst
Edward Yannul
The more important question is “how much to engineer?” Use this technique to evaluate the level of engineering effort required, and justified, for a project.

Now Hear This

May
2001
Career Catalyst
Robert W. Bly
Understand the listening process and follow these guidelines to become a better listener.

Be a Better Bargainer

July
2002
Career Catalyst
Robert W. Bly 
Follow these pointers to succeed in win-win negotiations.

Modular Mini-Plants: A New Paradigm

March
2007
Management
Shashank Shah
Modular design principles are well known, but have found only niche applications in the Chemical industry. This article outlines an innovative methodology, whereby plant and process design may be conducted in parallel using components with pre-...

Making the Team: Teams, Teamwork, and Teambuilding

June
2010
Career Catalyst
Eldon R. Larsen
A project team is more than a group of talented professionals. It is an interdependent unit, empowered with understanding, accountabilities and mutual support that permit it to achieve goals — both organizational and personal — more efficiently and...

A Rich and Diverse History

January
2002
Special Section
Irene Kim
This look at the continuing evolution of chemical engineering starts with reflections on the past.

Work Effectively with Your Patent Attorney

April
2003
Career Catalyst
Steven J. Helmer
By understanding the basics of patent law and by establishing a close working relationship with your attorneys, you can ensure that you receive the broadest possible patent protection.

Sparking Creativity

March
2005
Career Catalyst
James D. Weith
Try some of these strategies to light your creative fires and to fan their flames.

Driving Profitability with Swaps and Exchanges

June
2009
Management
Frank Erzinger
Swap and exchange programs can significantly reduce logistics costs, as well as an organization’s carbon footprint. Despite its potential, the technique is often constrained by commercial, technical and operational concerns.

Succeed in Business in the Far East

January
2001
Career Catalyst
Susan Morey, Lionel F. Laroche
Understand what is expected of you when traveling to this burgeioning part of the world.

What's Your Decision Style?

January
2004
Career Catalyst
James D. Weith
Understanding how you and those around you make decisions is a first step in improving interpersonal relationships and team efficiencies.

Optimizing the Asset Management of Pumps

May
2006
Asset Management
Mark Granger, Deane Horn
Integrating new advances in smart online pump monitoring and flexible communication technologies can improve pump reliability and performance while reducingcosts.

Successfully Navigate the Negotiation Process

February
2010
Career Catalyst
Lisa L. Walker
Employment negotiations begin even before a job offer is extended. Having a clear plan of action, and an understanding of your objectives and those of your employer, will help you make the most of this important process. <br>

Checking Out the Competition

August
2001
Management
Gary  Street
Develop a winning game plan by following these logical steps to competitive assessment.

Use E-mail Effectively

December
2002
Career Catalyst
Gary Blake
These tips will help improve your e-mail style and make sure that your e-mail is effective intrinsically, as well as fitting the new electronic expectations of a wide range of cyber colleagues.

Getting to Win-Win

September
2008
Career Catalyst
Ryland W. Musick Jr., Eldon R. Larsen
Conflict is an almost unavoidable part of life and work, and it can lead to surprisingly constructive opportunities. Here is a discussion of how to manage conflicts— and how to make the most of them when they occur.

Great Companies for Women Engineers

September
2003
Career Catalyst
Cynthia F. Mascone
The keys to building a talented workforce: benefits that enable employees to balance their work and personal lives; stimulating and challenging assignments; and a culture that allows all employees to reach their full potential.

Boost Your Group’s Performance

September
2005
Career Catalyst
Charles Gillard
Working with employees to define “doing a good job” can improve organizational performance as well as employee satisfaction.

Working with Job Search Consultants and Recruiters

October
2009
Career Catalyst
Lisa L. Walker
Search firms and executive recruiters can be powerful allies in a competitive employment environment.This article puts their role in context and provides guidelines on how to work effectively with them.
Subscribe to Professional Development