Chemical engineers in management have a whole different set of skills to master beyond technical skills. Learn what skills these managers need today and how demands are changing.
Management and Supervisory
Hoping to step up to a management position? A management position can be very rewarding for a chemical engineer, but be prepared to develop new skills. These articles can get you started.
Google's Austin Lin takes us inside AIChE's Management Division, sharing details about its highly varied membership, goals, and plans.
Team members with different backgrounds can provide new perspectives and ideas that help fuel innovation and create more engaged employees.
Aretha Franklin famously sang “R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me,” as a demand for equal treatment for women and minorities during a period of immense societal change.
Have a team effort ahead? Use these tips to collaborate effectively, even when you're in different locations and with different levels of technical skills and expertise.
Change brings a dichotomy of emotions: we are either excited for, or absolutely dread, change. Learn to handle change better and manage positive change as a leader within your organization.
A motivated team is a productive team. Read on for more insights on how to build strong motivation that will help your team reach its goals.
Motivation can be nebulous, appearing and then simply disappearing. In a team environment, it is vital that you ensure it stays put to drive results and reach goals.
This month, CEP features a look at business planning, as well as pump sizing, reducing process safety risks with the bow-tie diagram, and much more.
Open innovation may be the latest buzzword, but it's value to chemical engineers goes well beyond a shiny new expression to toss about. Check out this review of one of the latest books dedicated to the subject.
Adrienne Minerick is the associate dean for research and innovation at Michigan Tech. She also serves as chair of the American Society for Engineering Education's (ASEE's) National Divers
Business Model Innovation: Concepts, Analysis, and Cases by Allan Afuah. Routledge, 2014. 358 + xvi pages. US$73.95 (soft cover).
It's been common advice many times during my studies to reduce technical detail in presentations, as management personnel do not understand them.
What type of leader are you, and what are your strongest abilities? Learning to lead means understanding where your strengths as a leader lie so you can also learn to manage your weaknesses.
If you are considering or have been offered a management position, how are things going to change for you? What is that first year going to be like? Dr. Jonathan Worstell outlined some answers to these questions and a framework for the transition of the new manager.
Loraine Kasprzak, CMC, of CEP magazine talks to senior executive coach Mike Martorella to learn how engineers can become successful leaders.
Good problem-solver? Huey Duck, your client, has inherited an oil tanker from his great uncle, Scrooge McDuck. Can you help Huey understand the market value of his inheritance?
Loraine Kasprzak, CMC, of CEP magazine interviews senior executive coach Mike Martorella for advice on making the transition from engineer to manager.
How good are you at solving problems? One of the world's leading auto manufacturers has a tricky distribution problem for you!
If you are like most engineers, you didn’t have much time for electives in college – and when you did, economics may not have been your cup of tea. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if AIChE had some business-related programming at the Annual Meeting for Young Professionals to learn more and add to their skill sets? Your wait is over!
The ChE discipline would benefit by putting just as much focus on developing the next generation of Jack Welchs as well as Linus Paulings. What is the business case for doing so? This series has shed light on how these other skills directly affect our careers and ability to get work accomplished and even the potential impact on the financial viability of our engineering departments.
We are always selling. Vendors sell goods, consultants sell advice, politicians sell themselves, demonstrators who occupy Wall Street sell their cause, entrepreneurs sell new concepts, artists sell designs, and even parents sell their standards. Regardless of the way you describe it, teaching, pitching, proposing, convincing – sales is about getting another person to do something and we all need to know how to do sales well to get things done.
Trying to figure out your career path? One option: be a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-many—broaden your skill set to make yourself more valuable to small businesses.
Having a PhD does not mean you have to spend your whole career working in research. Experienced attendees discussed how they overcame the stereotype that PhDs are research workers and moved into leadership roles in industry. A Q&A session addressed career planning issues that new PhDs should consider when starting out in industry.
I captured some highlights of this session in the following videos:
Given that human behavior can mean the difference between project success and failure, it is important to ask why the study of motivation is not part of our core training. Perhaps it’s in how it’s sold.
Many tasks are solved by teams, but they can either work together harmoniously with great results, or cause real headaches and produce very little. By keeping seven key tips in mind, you can keep your team on track to success.
Attributes we learn through our training as ChEs are: confidence (being able to think on your feet), professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.
ChE training provides the analytical skills that makes ChE's the ideal “get-it-done” corporate mechanics: Need to solve a ambiguous problem using an analytical framework while staying within resource constraints to maximize NPV? No problem.
The strategy behind marketing can be tied to the ChE Material & Energy balance: who do I go after, with what, and how, in order to maximize profit.
Most engineers I knew in my MBA program went into finance. It’s not too surprising: you need to be analytical and highly skilled in Excel. Our academic cousins in Physics were applying differential equations at Long Term Capital Management (the case study for “math gone wrong”) and prior to the housing crisis Wall Street was even hiring engineers without their MBAs (article). But there is a difference between finance for the Street and the finance used to drive operations. We’ll focus on the latter and how it ties into our fundamental building block for ChE: The Material & Energy Balance.
An experience all chemical engineers (ChE) share is the variety of reactions they get at parties: “You’re a chemist? You destroy the environment? You have a life outside of crunching numbers? Or perhaps the reaction is the inevitable eye-glazing and quick transition to the weather. Occasionally, one meets a person who knows a ChE and their reaction is something more along the lines of, “So, you’re a smarty pants.”