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Professional Development

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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.

Job Hunting Strategies

Archived Webinar
Sep 10, 2008
Searching for a job can be frustrating and time consuming. Finding the ideal job depends on your situation, geographical preferences, personality,...

How to Find Your Inner Inventor

Archived Webinar
Jul 16, 2008
Learn about your “Inner Inventor”, and find ways to recognize, tune in, and enliven your creative genius. Discover how, when you are working at your...

How to Write Reports for Management

Archived Webinar
Jun 11, 2008
Your project is finished and you are ready to draft your report. Your mind is full of topics to cover and details to include. As you start the...

Networking: A Lifetime Exercise

Archived Webinar
Dec 10, 2007
Networking is defined as a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” This...

Advancing from the Cubicle

Archived Webinar
Oct 9, 2007
Learn how you can advance from the cubicle to executive through communication, positive perception, and embracing diversity and change. You will be...

YPOV: What to Ask During an Interview — and What Questions to Avoid

March
2016
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
Interviews are a great way for an employer to get to know more about you and determine whether or not you are right for an open position. However, all too often, young professionals overlook the fact that interviews are also a time to gauge whether...

Leadership Q&A: Taking a Leading Role in Process Safety

January
2016
Leadership Q&A
This is the inaugural article of CEP ’s new column, Leadership Q&A. Here, C-suite executives will discuss how they have overcome challenges, strategies for successful leadership, and tools and skills that they have found effective during their...

Career Corner: Volunteering is Good for Your Career

February
2016
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
“Give and you shall receive.” This powerful proverb can help you build a fulfilling career when your giving takes the form of volunteering. I learned the value of volunteering early in my first year as a management consultant, when I joined the...

5 Reasons You Need to Attend Trade Shows

August
2011
Career Catalyst
Joe Bevacqua
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.

YPOV: Consider a Career in the Water Industry

January
2016
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
The American water market is on the brink of change, and the push for greater water security and sustainability has increased over the past decade. Industrial water users are realizing that sustainable water use is not only good for the environment...

YPOV: A New Norm for the PhD Workforce?

November
2015
YPOV
Chris Lowe
Historically, PhD students in fields such as humanities and social sciences were likely to seek a tenure-track faculty position at a research university. But, the increasing number of young professionals pursuing PhDs far outstrips the number of...

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...

Refocusing Chemical Engineering

January
2002
Special Section
Edward L. 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.

CEP: Career Corner - How to Communicate Difficult Messages

April
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

CEP: YPOV - What Is a Chemical Engineer Doing Here?

September
2013
YPOV
Elizabeth Guenther
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...

Career Corner: Ace Your Skype or Phone Interview

December
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
If you are interviewing for a new job, there is a good chance that at least your first interview will be conducted by phone or using online videoconferencing software, such as Skype. These methods are both convenient and cost-effective for the...

CEP: YPOV - Preparing for Chairing? Build Some Relationships!

March
2014
YPOV
Meagan Lewis
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.

CEP: YPOV - Successfully Navigating in a New Career

May
2015
YPOV
Kyle Kramer
Congratulations to those of you who are graduating this month! This is a monumental time in your life. If you already have a job lined up, you are ready to walk across the graduation stage and into your future career. However, being the new person...

CEP: Career Corner - Career Success through Networking

October
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

Career Corner - Surviving an International Relocation

December
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

Profile: Emily Leproust: Revolutionizing DNA Syntheses

December
2015
Profile
Emily Leproust, CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience, is reinventing the wheel when it comes to DNA synthesis. “I have one goal with respect to DNA synthesis — that’s to make cloning obsolete,” she says. Synthetic DNA can be used to modify the...

CEP: YPOV - Engineering Your Job Change through Networking

January
2015
YPOV
Sarah Ewing
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.

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...

YPOV: Is a Nontraditional ChemE Career for You?

September
2015
YPOV
Victor Manrique
The rapid growth of technology, globalization, the changing demographics of the workforce — all of these factors have eliminated the former notion of a linear career path. Modern-day employment requires workers to be adaptable to any and every...

CEP: Career Corner - Don’t Stop Learning

December
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

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 - Electricity and the Environment

July
2014
YPOV
Noah Meeks
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...

Career Corner: Boost Your Career through Mentorship

October
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Are you successful in your professional career? If so, then it may be time to think about giving back by becoming a mentor. As a mentor to a less-experienced professional, you can make a difference in that person’s career by offering guidance and...

CEP: Career Corner - Add Career Fairs to Your Job Search Strategy

February
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

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 - Growing Your Engineering Consulting Practice

August
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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,...

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.

CEP: YPOV - Building a Leadership Portfolio

February
2014
YPOV
Janet Werner
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 Journal Highlight: A Sustainable Approach to Process Safety

November
2015
Journal Highlight
Process safety engineering involves the use of fundamental engineering knowledge (e.g., thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and kinetics) to develop and apply measures to prevent, mitigate, and respond to catastrophic incidents. The objective of this...

CEP: News Update

November
2014
News Update
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.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - ChE Education: How Times Are Changing

November
2014
Journal Highlight
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.

CEP: YPOV - A New Graduate’s Lessons Learned

May
2014
YPOV
Samantha Schmidt
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...

Optimize Your Conference Poster's Impact

August
2010
Career Catalyst
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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