(23f) The Changing Nature of Industrial Chemical Engineering RESEARCH and DEVELOPMENT

Keller II, G. - Presenter, Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC)

It's easy to generalize about industrial R&D in the chemical industry and assume that its nature and perceived importance has always been the same. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Since its frenzied, in-earnest beginnings early in the last century, chemical R&D in the US went through its heyday of activity around and soon after World War II, and then began to decline in size and impact for the rest of the century and into this century. Today almost no companies which have been around for over 50 years have the number of chemical engineering R&D people that they had earlier, and the research they are carrying out is in general much less far-reaching. There are a few ? but only a few ? signs of new models for chemical engineering R&D activities, and this paper will discuss one organization which could be a harbinger of good things to come.