AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

YPOV: The 35 Under 35 Award Winners: A Sneak Peek

July
2017
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
A CEO. An attorney. Two company co-founders. Two senior process engineers. Twelve professors. They work for large organizations, public and private universities, and small startup companies. They hail from all over the globe, but they all have one thing in common: They are among the winners of AIChE’s inaugural 35 Under 35 Award.

AIChE Journal Highlight: The Importance of Teaching Engineers Professional Skills

July
2017
Journal Highlight
Although technical ability is typically the primary focus of chemical engineering education, professional skills — such as communication, teamwork, ethical behavior, and time management — are often more important in an engineer’s career, Phil Wankat of Purdue Univ. says in the July AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Teaching Professional Skills.”

Consider Modular Plant Design

May
2017
Process Development
Sulogna Roy, P.Eng.
Modular plants offer many benefits over a conventional stick-built facility. Read about the pros and cons of the modular approach to help you decide if it makes sense for your project.

A Bright Spot for Energy Production

July
2017
Special Section
Elizabeth Pavone
Recently, I had the opportunity to view a great swath of the U.S. in less than six hours. Flying west from New York to California, I spotted major cities and snow-capped mountain ranges, but what stood out to me the most was an enormous circular arrangement of mirrors all facing one central point. From my aerial vantage, I recognized it as a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, and later learned it was likely the Crescent Dunes CSP plant in Nevada.

Books: July 2017

July
2017
Books
Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies Geoffrey West, Penguin, New York, NY, $30, 496 pages, May 2017, ISBN: 978-1-594-20558-3 The author, physicist...

Adsorption Basics: Part 1

July
2017
Back To Basics
Alan Gabelman, P.E.
Adsorption can be used to treat waste streams or purify valuable components of a feed. This article describes both equilibrium and mass-transfer considerations, and reviews the fundamentals of adsorption system design.

Catalyzing Commercialization: A Graphene-Based Sensor Monitors Water Quality in Real Time

July
2017
Catalyzing Commercialization
The devastating water crisis in Flint, MI, brought into focus the widespread issues plaguing U.S. water supply systems. As the water infrastructure continues to age, distribution pipes are deteriorating, potentially leaching toxic heavy metals and other contaminants into drinking water. Upgrading U.S. water systems will take years and trillions of dollars. In the meantime, to safeguard public health, it is crucial to monitor heavy metals and other contaminants throughout the water supply — particularly at the point of use.

Concentrating Solar Thermal Overview

July
2017
Special Section
Jeff Cumpston, Alexander Mitsos
Concentrating solar thermal (CST) technology can be used to generate electricity, desalinate water, and more. Find out how CST works and the role chemical engineers can play.

Technical Entity Trends: Engineering a Sustainable World

June
2017
Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Alexander
The United Nations (UN) led a global effort to develop 17 ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs) that tackle some of the greatest challenges facing people and the planet. These goals (see box) were adopted by a majority of countries around the world in 2015, including the U.S.

2017 AIChE Salary Survey: Overview

June
2017
Salary Survey
Are you working in the right industry to make the most out of your chemical engineering degree? Ever wonder if other chemical engineers with the same experience level get paid more than you? Check out the results of AIChE’s biennial salary survey to find out which industry pays the most, how your salary stacks up to those of your peers, and the difference in salary between genders. Other factors explored in this year’s survey results include age, job function, supervisory responsibilities, and geographical location. Also, check out the benefits and health insurance packages being offered to chemical engineers.

AIChE Journal Highlight: A Bright Future for RO Water Desalination

June
2017
Journal Highlight
Water scarcity and groundwater contamination have sparked major efforts to preserve and diversify regional water portfolios through water desalination and water reuse. While various approaches exist, reverse osmosis (RO) membrane desalination has...

Editorial: Keeping Industrial Control Systems Secure

June
2017
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Although I would like to take credit for displaying stellar planning skills, it’s actually through serendipity that this issue features two articles on cybersecurity. The articles, which focus specifically on the security of industrial control...

Process Safety Beacon: Investigating a Steam Pipe Failure

June
2017
Process Safety Beacon
A 36-in. (~1-m) section of a 12-in.-dia. (30.5-cm), 600-psig (~41-barg) steam pipe in a large chemical plant suddenly ruptured, causing major damage in November 1998. The pipe was located upstream of a decommissioned venturi flowmeter. Steam supply...

New Products: June 2017

June
2017
New Products
Fluids and Solids Handling Bulk Bag Filler Is Equipped with a Pallet Dispenser This bulk bag filler automatically places an empty pallet under a bulk bag prior to filling. Between 14 and 16 pallets can be loaded into the pallet dispenser. The filler...

Incorporate Cybersecurity into Your PSM Program

June
2017
Safety
Ursula Malczewski, Amy E. Theis, P.E.
Here are some prevention and mitigation strategies for three common types of industrial incidents — a network breach, an insider attack, and infection via a portable device — and recommendations for incorporating industrial cybersecurity into an existing process safety management (PSM) program.

Patent Update: Challenging Your Own Patent — Know the Limitations

June
2017
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
Employees typically sign over their inventions to their employers, but this does not prevent employees from later moving on to work for a new employer or starting their own companies. When the business of the new employer or company conflicts with...

Industrial Cybersecurity: How Much Is Enough?

June
2017
Safety
Michael Firstenberg
To answer that question, first summarize potential attack scenarios in a matrix. Then identify which combinations of attacks, consequences, and risks require mitigation and which you are willing to accept.

Books: June 2017

June
2017
Books
Process Plant Layout, 2nd Ed. Seán Moran, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, U.K., $150, 756 pages, Nov. 2016, ISBN: 978-0-12-803355-5 This book explains the methods used by professional designers to lay out process equipment, piping, plots, plants,...

Improve Your Spreadsheet Productivity with VBA

June
2017
Computational Methods
David E. Clough
Excel includes a programming language that can improve your productivity, as well as the reliability of your spreadsheets. Simple programs in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) can have a big impact on your work for little effort.

Profile: Developing Novel Solutions to Improve Patient Care

June
2017
Profile
Lonnie Shea, a professor and chair in the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at the Univ. of Michigan, is an internationally recognized researcher whose work spans the fields of regenerative medicine, biomaterials, and gene and drug delivery. His research seeks to advance technologies and solutions at the interface of engineering and medicine.

Career Corner: Cultivate Habits that Boost Your Productivity

June
2017
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
We are surrounded by technology that is intended to help us boost our productivity. Email, cellphone apps, and video conferencing are just a few of the many technological improvements that should be helping us get more done in our workday.

Spotlight on Safety: Process Safety - Start Them Young

May
2017
Spotlight on Safety
Shakeel Kadri
The concept of process safety has been around for over 200 years, although awareness of process safety was limited to nearly nonexistent for most of this time. Two catastrophic incidents — at Flixborough, U.K., in 1974 and Bhopal, India, in 1984 —...

AIChE Journal Highlight: Non-Viral Gene Delivery for Cancer Therapy

May
2017
Journal Highlight
As researchers gain more insight into the molecular basis of cancer cell genesis, proliferation, and metastasis, gene therapy has emerged as a promising strategy for cancer treatment. In particular, the non-viral delivery of therapeutic nucleic acid...

Technical Entity Trends: A World Transitioning to Translational Medicine

May
2017
Technical Entity Trends
Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay
The failure rate for new drugs and therapies under development exceeds 95%. For the other 5%, it takes at least 14 years and more than $1 billion to develop a successful candidate into a product that can be delivered to patients. The field of...

Books: May 2017

May
2017
Books
Expensive Sentences: Debunking the Common Myths that Derail Decision and Sabotage Success Jack Quarles, Ideapress Publishing, Washington, DC, $24.95, 292 pages, Feb. 2017, ISBN: 978-1-940-85825-8 We often employ proverbs, conventional wisdom, and...

YPOV: Skills They Don’t Teach You in School

May
2017
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
It’s impossible to learn everything you need to know for your career in a four-year undergraduate program. A proper education should prepare you with the tools and skills you need to problem-solve in the “real world.” However, the typical chemical...

Compressed Air Basics

May
2017
Back To Basics
Michael L. Stowe, P.E.
Compressing air is an inefficient and expensive process. This article offers some tactics to optimize your compressed air system, which can help reduce energy costs at your plant.

Process Safety Beacon: Corroded Tanks Are Dangerous

May
2017
Process Safety Beacon
A tank containing spent sulfuric acid (and some hydrocarbon) from a refinery alkylation process exploded in 2001 (Photo 1), injuring eight and killing one person. Some of the spilled sulfuric acid flowed into a nearby river, causing environmental...

Leadership Q&A: A CEO’s Role in Corporate Culture

May
2017
Leadership Q&A
Trinseo, a global chemical materials producer with 2016 revenues of $3.7 billion, was formed in 2010 from the sale of four business units of Dow Chemical. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo has combined the assets and technologies of those businesses...

Editorial: Budgeting for A Safer Future

May
2017
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, May 2017. What could you do with $11 million? If you were Vanessa Sutherland, chairperson and CEO of the U.S. Chemical Safety and...

Letters: May 2017

May
2017
Letters
Bypassing Safety Systems Louisa Nara’s Spotlight on Safety article on the dangers of bypassing safety systems in CEP’s Feb. 2017 issue (p. 19) is an excellent reminder of the potential pitfalls of this sometimes necessary practice. It underscores...

Leveraging Smart Valve Positioners

May
2017
Instrumentation
Janine McCormick, Steve Hagen
Smart valve positioners offer a range of diagnostics, but the volume of information they can provide can be daunting. Establish a program to deal with alerts and analyze data to help you benefit from the information without getting overwhelmed.

New Products: May 2017

May
2017
New Products
Instrumentation Miniature Multichannel Detectors Withstand Harsh Environmental Stressors The cap of conventional multichannel detectors usually includes sensitive narrow-bandpass channel filters. Instead, these sensors include a central window — a...

Understand Produce Contamination

May
2017
Critical Issues
Deepti Salvi
Foodborne pathogen outbreaks can be prevented by limiting the number of microbes that attach to produce surfaces. This article explains the interactions between bacterial cells and produce surfaces and the mechanisms of pathogen attachment and detachment.

The ChE in Context: PAIC: The ChE’s Voice In and About Government

April
2017
The ChE in Context
Phillip R. Westmoreland
AIChE’s Public Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC) helps the Institute and its members to communicate effectively with public officials, the public, and each other about technical and professional issues relevant to public policy. AIChE is...

Soft Skills for Chemical Engineers

April
2017
Career Catalyst
The term soft skills refers to nontechnical proficiencies. As the name implies, soft skills are not rigidly defined but often include communication (verbal and written), teamwork and collaboration, leadership, creativity, and adaptability.

Get Creative with Process Safety Management

April
2017
Safety
Paul Baybutt
Creative thinking is a necessary skill in process safety. While most people are born with the capacity for creative thinking, this skill can be lost through formal education and societal pressures that discourage it. Luckily, creative thinking can be learned.

Editorial: Conquering Fatigue

April
2017
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, April 2017. I scan a daily digest of press releases that I receive to get ideas for my editorials. One recent headline caught my...

Become a Better Writer

April
2017
Career Catalyst
Robert W. Bly
You may call yourself an engineer, but you’re also a writer. Follow these 10 tips to improve your writing.

Offshore Technology Conference Expo Preview

April
2017
New Products
The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is an annual event where more than 90,000 energy professionals meet to advance their scientific and technical knowledge related to offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and...

SBE Supplement: Plant Synthetic Biology (Full 28-Page Supplement)

April
2017
SBE Special Section
SBE Update: The Blossoming Field of Plant Synthetic Biology; A Brief History and Outlook on Plant Engineering; Synthetic Promoters for Precise Control of Gene Expression in Plants; Delivering Genes to Plants; Solar-Driven Synthesis of Bioactive Natural Products

Process Safety Visions: Intentional Competency Development

April
2017
Process Safety Visions
The Process Safety Visions (PSV) column takes an in-depth look at the Center for Chemical Process Safety’s (CCPS) Vision 20/20 industry tenets and societal themes. This month we discuss the tenet of intentional competency development. Competency...

Process Safety Beacon: Is Your Vessel Really Empty?

April
2017
Process Safety Beacon
An explosion and fire occurred in a 50,000-bbl/day fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) that was being brought online after a seven-week maintenance shutdown. This accident was not caused by a runaway reaction, leak of flammable material, or static...

Delivering Genes to Plants

April
2017
SBE Special Section
Gozde S. Demirer, Markita P. Landry
Traditional methods of gene delivery to plants are labor- and time-intensive, are suitable for only a small number of hosts, and have high toxicity and limited practical applicability. This article discusses how nanoparticle-based approaches could enable efficient gene transfer into plants.

Profile: Innovating Plant-Based Vaccines and Therapeutics

April
2017
Profile
“Bringing a new product to market is never an easy task,” says Marc-André D’Aoust, Vice President, Research and Innovation, of Medicago. “At Medicago, we’re developing new products, such as influenza virus-like particles (VLPs), manufactured in a...

SBE Update: The Blossoming Field of Plant Synthetic Biology

April
2017
SBE Special Section
Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, Darlene Schuster
Synthetic biology can be broadly defined as technologies that accelerate the process of genetically engineering biological systems. Although the field encompasses both plant and mammalian cells, in recent years, research has targeted mainly mammalian cells.

Career Corner: Tests Than Can Help You Reinvent Your Career

April
2017
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
If you wake up most mornings thinking that you would rather be doing anything other than your current job, then it may be time to do something about it. Your skills and expertise as a chemical engineer are applicable to numerous engineering and STEM...

Chemical Engineering for Non-Chemical Engineers

March, 2017
This book covers the basic concepts of chemical engineering in an easy-to-understand way, enabling non-chemical engineers to better interface with and understand chemical engineers and the fundamental concepts of chemical processing, design, and operation. Coverage includes differences between...

Letters: March 2017

March
2017
Letters
Introverts Giving Back I am responding to your editorial in the November 2016 issue, “The Introverted Leader — An Oxymoron?” I appreciated your comments regarding the introverted leader. I, too, am an introvert. Because of that, it has taken me this...

New Products: March 2017

March
2017
New Products
Measurement Equipment Level Transmitters Provide Accurate Measurements in Challenging Applications The Model 2290 unguidedwave radar transmitters and Model 2291 guided-radar transmitters incorporate advanced radar-sensing technology designed for...

O Beacon : Uma Ferramenta Gratuita que Salva Vidas

November
2016
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
This is a non-official document translation although based on the original article, "The Beacon: A Free Tool That Saves Lives. Please, refer to the original language version of the article at www.aiche.org/resources/publications/cep/2016/november/...

Process Safety Visions: Disciplined Adherence to Standards

March
2017
Process Safety Visions
The Process Safety Visions (PSV) column takes an in-depth look at the Center for Chemical Process Safety’s (CCPS) Vision 20/20 industry tenets and societal themes. The first two installments introduced committed culture and vibrant management...

AIChE Journal Highlight: Microreaction Technology Comes of Age

March
2017
Journal Highlight
Microreaction technology has matured over the past two decades, from simple devices and concepts to diverse commercial equipment and applications. This evolution has occurred in parallel with process intensification efforts aimed at using...

Safely Service Your Relief Devices

March
2017
Safety
Aubry Shackelford, P.E., P.Eng., Jeffrey Heil, P.E., Ian Sergo
Safety risks and economic costs make shutting down a process when a pressure relief device needs to be isolated or removed less than ideal. Several alternative methods are available that will enable you to isolate these devices while continuing to run your process.

Leadership Q&A: Control What You Can Control

July
2016
Leadership Q&A
Craig Rogerson, chairman, president, and CEO of Chemtura, talks to CEP about leading a global specialty chemicals company out of bankruptcy to profitability by pruning first — i.e. , divesting nonstrategic businesses — to stimulate new growth...

Process Safety Visions: Committed Culture

November
2016
Process Safety Visions
What does great process safety look like? The Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) offers a common vision of excellent process safety performance — Vision 20/20. In this vision, companies follow five industry tenets enabled by four societal...

Achieve Work-Life Balance

March
2017
Career Catalyst
Giselle Schlegel
Finding a balance between work and your personal life is critical to your happiness and well-being, as well as the success of your company.

YPOV: Should You Pursue PE Licensure?

March
2017
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
Becoming licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE) takes dedication. Having a PE after your name signals to employers and clients that you have competence in your field and helps set you apart from your competitors. Although the requirements to...

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