This Stuff Really Works! by Ted Calverly

Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 6:00pm-7:30pm EST
Event format: 
In-Person / Local

This Stuff Really Works!:

Unravelling Apparently Complex Systems using Chemical Engineering Tools

By: Ted Calverley

(Fellow at Dow and recipient of MMAIChE's 2018 Chemical Engineer of the Year Award)

When: Tuesday, January 14, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Where: Michigan State University St. Andrews

Address: 1910 W St Andrews Rd, Midland, MI 48640

Complimentary sandwiches will be available, first come, first serve at 6 with Ted’s talk starting around 6:30.


This talk is intended to be a celebration of the power of chemical engineering tools and approaches to help us understand and manage the remarkably complex systems we use to produce the materials that enable our modern standard of living. Even among technical professionals, the use of superficial heuristics to deal with day to day concerns is commonplace.  But when we have production problems, those superficial concepts are often not adequate to understand and fix the problems. This talk presents some vignettes of chemical reaction systems that were performing poorly and in ways that seemed baffling at first.  But careful application of chemical engineering tools and concepts led, rather quickly, to an understanding of and potential solutions for the problems at hand. The creation of a quantitative framework for the analysis and control of rate processes within the constraints of thermodynamics – i.e. chemical engineering – is a remarkably powerful toolkit.


Ted Calverley is currently a Fellow at Dow in Chemical Science of Core R&D. Ted joined The Dow Chemical Company in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in 1990 where he worked in Vinyl Chloride R&D for 6 years. He joined Dow’s Reaction Engineering group in Midland, MI in 1996 and the Heterogeneous Catalysis group in 2009.  His work has focused on catalytic kinetics and reaction engineering analysis for the purpose of reactor design, scale up, catalyst development and process optimization. More recently he has led large research teams developing new high throughput tools and new reaction processes for a wide range of products including refrigerant precursors, electronic materials, and specialty ceramics.

Within Dow, his work has been recognized with numerous awards, most notably, the “Doug Leng Award for Excellence in Engineering Research” (2006) and several awards from Dow business units (1991, 2004, 2010) for hard dollar value creation.  He has co-authored sections of Dow’s Best practices manuals for both commercial and laboratory reactor systems.  He has more than 150 Dow research reports, 15 publications in refereed journals, 6 issued US patents and has given numerous invited lectures at universities, conferences and national labs. Ted obtained his B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University under R.B. Anderson and K.J. Smith.

The lecture qualifies for one continuing education hour. CEH certificates are needed for licensed Professional Engineers to maintain their license and certificates will be provided to interested attendees.