What Is ETPC?

By: Becky Starkweather, PE Edited By: Elizabeth Horahan


The Equipment Testing Procedures Committee (ETPC) was established in 1944 as a "committee to develop testing techniques and equipment performance standards." In 1951, the committee was renamed and given the purpose of "developing procedures for testing chemical engineering process equipment under actual operating conditions" and published its first procedure on heat exchangers. Over the past 61 years, the ETPC has published over 30 procedures. Now, the ETPC's primary goal is to publish one procedure per calendar year, which includes updated versions of previously published procedures. In order to meet this goal, the committee does the following:

  • ETPC meets every 2-3 months via teleconference and face-to-face every 12-18 months
  • Subcommittee chairs are prodded by ETPC contacts to provide updates via email or phone
  • Leadership continuity is maintained by chair and vice chair serving three-year terms, with past chair generally staying on three additional years
  • Many members serve for at least a decade (Robert McHarg has served for decades)

In 2002-2012 the ETPC reworked the content and wording of procedures to address the needs of engineering grads who are 2-5 years out of college, who may or may not necessarily have a chemical engineering degree. Recent procedures contain more detailed illustrations with parts identifiers and include practical examples with sample calculations. These newer procedures better support AIChE global initiatives: SI units are included and newly published procedures eliminate non-technical verbs and slang to ease comprehension by those for which English is not a primary language. ETPC's mission is to support AIChE and its initiatives. The committee develops procedures to address the needs of members and new equipment technologies, and updates procedures as the needs of the industry evolve.

How Is an Equipment Testing Procedure Identified?

  • Existing equipment testing procedures may need updating due to new technology or designs
  • Equipment may be identified by AIChE members or industry as requiring a procedure if no other organization has addressed this need.
  • New equipment in new technology areas has been introduced ( e.g., bio-reactors)

Wiley currently sells seven of the procedures that the ETPC has published:

  • Particle Size Classifiers 2nd ed. (pub 1993)
  • Tray Distillation Columns 2nd ed. (pub 1987)
  • Mixing Equipment-Impeller Type 3rd ed. (pub 2001)
  • Centrifugal Pumps-Newtonian Liquids 3rd ed. (pub 2002)
  • Spray Dryers 2nd ed. (pub 2004)
  • Continuous Direct Heat Rotary Dryers 3rd ed. (pub 2005)
  • Positive Displacement Pumps 1st ed. (pub 2007)

In 2012, Wiley will publish the Tray & Packed Tower Procedure and the Procedure on Centrifugal Compressors.

Who Are the ETPC Members?

We are a team of volunteer AIChE members who identify and create Equipment Testing Procedures. For many of us, this is our career contribution to the continued vitality and safety of chemical engineering and the chemical industry. Active members include:


  • Chair: Rebecca M. W. Starkweather, PE - Scientex LC
  • Vice Chair: Prashant D. Agrawal, PE - Consulting Engineer
  • Past Chair: James D. Fisher, PE - Amgen
  • Staff Liaison: Stephen R. Smith - AIChE
  • CTOC Liaison: Shrikant Dhodapkar, PhD - The Dow Chemical Company
  • David Dickey, PhD - MixTech Inc.
  • Robert E. McHarg, PE - Retired but active AIChE Fellow
  • S. Dennis Fegan, PE - Hermetic Pumps
  • Neil Yeoman, PE - Retired but active AIChE Fellow
  • P. C. Gopalratnam, PhD, PE - Invista