What’s Trending at AIChE: Highlights from September & October 2020

Welcome to AIChE’s What’s Trending feature, where you'll discover some of our most viewed and read content from prior months. Want to be featured in our next AIChE trend report? Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube and use hashtag #AIChEtrends when you share.

Readers' Top Pick: Meet the 2020 AIChE 35 Under 35 Award Winners

The field of chemical engineering is ripe with innovation and imagination. Chemical engineers around the globe strive to better our society — they are active in manufacturing, food science, energy, government, aerospace, education, and many more arenas. To honor these contributions, AIChE and the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) choose 35 engineers under the age of 35 every two years for their work with the Institute and in the chemical engineering profession. This year’s 35 under 35 Award winners are a group of driven, engaged, and socially active young professionals, representing the breadth and diversity that chemical engineering exemplifies.

Award winners were selected for their achievements in one of seven categories: bioengineering, chemicals and materials, education, energy and environment, innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership, and safety. The honorees have shown great success in both academia and industry.

At Stanford Univ., Danielle Mai teaches chemical engineering and works with biopolymers to develop artificial muscle-mimetic materials and advance understanding of soft matter physics. Entrepreneur Greg Newbloom runs Membrion, a start-up that manufactures membranes for water purification and has helped save 400,000 gallons of water over four years.

In academia, the award winners study a multitude of topics, including artificial intelligence, drug delivery, antibiotic resistance, materials science, and renewable energy. Honorees working for industry are employed at companies such as Shell, SC Johnson, Eastman Chemical Co., and Ambry Genetics. Whether in industry or academia, the 35 awardees demonstrate strong leadership and consistently inspire others. There is nothing these young engineers can’t do! Read more.

We Shared: Interpreting Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams-Symbology

Engineers love to draw. Not necessarily in an artistic sense of the word, although beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder. As for me, well, I've never been accused of having a particular gift in the arts, or photography for that matter (see bio mug shot taken in my natural habitat), but I have done a few process drawings in my 25? years as a process engineer. I guess that's earned me my vice, VP of Engineering and Technology Development to be precise.

Hi there. I'm Bob Cook and I'm glad to have you along for my premier entry here on ChEnected.com where we explore the interpretation of Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams, or P&IDs for those in the know. This is a topic that can benefit process, project and design engineers, business developers, operators, safety, maintenance and even management. Wow, that a lot of folks! However, consider this: all of the members listed above will either come across P&IDs intermittently or have to work with them as a core aspect of their job. And if I still have your attention then, yes, you too should have a solid understanding of how to read them! Read more.

Career Paths for Chemical Engineers

The mess on my desk is all because of chemical engineers; or, more specifically, the varied career paths chemical engineers have taken. From my teacup and takeout container, to the jumble of sticky notes and files, to my laptop, printer, and phone, chemical engineers have influenced every item.

Engineering career consultant and president of Quantum Success Solutions (Tucson, AZ) Alaina G. Levine says this is because “Chemical engineers’ skill sets are widely applicable, which makes ChEs incredibly valuable across industries.” Levine notes that chemical engineers approach problems in a unique way: “They are trained to see pain points. They have the ability to figure out what the barriers are and create innovations to overcome them.”

Chemical engineers on a traditional career path may work in the oil and gas, basic or specialty chemicals, or pharmaceutical industries. They may start as research, process development, or production engineers, and have job responsibilities that might include scaling up processes, designing processes and equipment, planning and testing production methods and byproduct treatment, or directing facility operations. Read more.

We Recognized: Ronald Larson to Receive AIChE’s William H. Walker Award

This fall, ChEnected introduced readers to the recipients of AIChE’s 2020 Institute and Board of Directors’ Awards,  AIChE’s highest annual honors. Each recipient is nominated by the chemical engineering community and voted on by the members of AIChE’s volunteer-led Awards Committee. The awards recognize eminent achievements and world-class contributions across a spectrum of chemical engineering endeavors. 

The oldest of AIChE's continuously presented awards, the William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature was first presented in 1935 and is named in honor of William Hultz Walker (1869–1934), a founder of the chemical engineering discipline who established the School of Chemical Engineering Practice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1916. The Walker Award is presented to a member of AIChE who has made outstanding contributions to the field’s literature. The award is sponsored by John Wiley & Sons.

The recipient of the 2020 William H. Walker Award is Ronald G. Larson, the A. H. White Distinguished University Professor and G. G. Brown Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Read more. 

Elizabeth Haughton: Featured LGBTQ+ ChemE Professional

In an ongoing series featuring LGBTQ+ engineers and their allies, ChEnected interviewed Elizabeth Haughton, who shared her story as an LGBTQ+ professional working as a system engineer at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. Read more.

We Discussed on AIChE Engage

Your top engage discussion was about Chemical Safety Board Videos.

Join the conversation. Other popular discussions on Engage include:

We Networked 

The 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting and Annual Student Conference featured numerous networking opportunities. Given the uncertainties related to planning physical conferences, AIChE continues to review  upcoming conferences and events to determine their timing and if they will be held in-person or virtually. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to submit abstracts or register for upcoming AIChE events, because in person or not, there will be many opportunities to learn from and network with others in your field. (Please note that we have relaxed our cancellation policy. This means that you can continue to submit abstracts and register for our conferences and events without having to worry about registration fees should you not be able to attend.)

Conference recommendations:

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