Chemical engineers continue to earn more than the average U.S. worker. The median salary of survey respondents is $127,000 — a 5.8% increase over the median reported in 2013. This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the June 2015 issue of Chemical Engineering Progress.
Aug 5, 2015
Performance appraisals are an essential part of any supervisor’s position whether they have one or many direct reports. However, most managers dread...
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When talking with college students at local section meetings, I’m often asked about my responsibilities within AIChE with a simple question: “So, what do you do?” The answer, however, is not so simple. As a leader in the Chicago Local Section, Chicago Young Professionals Committee (YPC), national YPC, and President’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Local Sections, I could answer this question in several ways.
What do Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon Products, the late Robert Goizueta, former Chairman and Chief Executive of Coca-Cola, and Andrew Grove, former Chairman and CEO of Intel, have in common? They all started their careers as chemical engineers and later...
Edward L. Cussler, Edward L. Cussler
To adapt to changes in the industry, chemical engineers will require a change in mindset, as well as an enhanced skillset.
The TRIZ principles and techniques used to solve technical problems inventively can be adapted to run a business more effectively and more profitably.
Have you had to deliver a difficult message to someone lately? Perhaps it was to an individual whose performance was below expectations. Or maybe it was to a group of employees about upcoming layoffs or cancelled bonuses. It wasn’t fun, was it? As a past corporate manager and now as a business owner, I have been on both sides of these difficult conversations and know it can be just as stressful to deliver bad news as it is to receive it.
In 2011, I took a position with Mack Trucks, Inc., a manufacturer of American-assembled Class 8 heavy trucks with more than 100 years of history. Since then, I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question “What is a chemical engineer...
If you are interviewing for a new job, there is a good chance that at least your first interview will be conducted by phone or using online videoconferencing software, such as Skype. These methods are both convenient and cost-effective for the...
Programming for an AIChE conference — i.e., developing the technical program — takes a lot more than the work put in by the meeting chairs; the details and ideas that go into every session and its roster of speakers take a whole force of volunteers. As a co-chair for the upcoming 2014 Spring Meeting in New Orleans who also happens to be a young professional (YP), I’ve realized that the best way to prepare for programming a large-scale conference is to build relationships across all levels of the organization.
Congratulations to those of you who are graduating this month! This is a monumental time in your life. If you already have a job lined up, you are ready to walk across the graduation stage and into your future career. However, being the new person...
Schmoozing. Glad-handing. Kibitzing. Networking — the art of cultivating productive relationships — often gets a bad rap. Yet without some form of networking, it may be difficult for you to get a promotion, make a career change, or land a six-figure...
As exciting as an international assignment may seem, relocating overseas is more complicated than getting your shots, passport, and airline tickets, packing a few boxes, and hopping on the next flight. A typical relocation involves almost 50...
Cory Jensen, William Parrish
Licensure as a professional engineer is an investment in your future, and can be a beneficial — and even necessary — credential.
Emily Leproust, CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience, is reinventing the wheel when it comes to DNA synthesis. “I have one goal with respect to DNA synthesis — that’s to make cloning obsolete,” she says. Synthetic DNA can be used to modify the...
From Apple to Coca Cola to Nike, we are surrounded by corporate branding. But did you know that branding is important to you and your career as well?
In the current job market, people rarely stay employed with the same company that hired them after college for their entire career. If you want to take control of your career and make a job change that is consistent with your professional and personal goals, allow enough time to weigh the pros and cons instead of making the decision on a whim. The most critical step in this process is not updating your resumé, but making sure that the new position will be a good fit and not just a quick fix. I like to think of changing jobs as a process with four key steps: recognizing that it is time to move on, deciding where you want to go, determining what you need to get there, and then networking your way in.
Process safety engineering involves the use of fundamental engineering knowledge (e.g., thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and kinetics) to develop and apply measures to prevent, mitigate, and respond to catastrophic incidents. The objective of this...
AIChE’s Initial Placement Survey: Where is the Class of 2014?; Producing More Ethanol with Less-Sensitive Microbes; Stretchable Patch Provides First-Class Health Monitoring; New Drug Capsule Takes the Ouch Out of Injections; Hybrid Device Combines a Solar Cell and a Battery.
The chemical engineering curriculum has changed over the years and will continue to change in the future. In the November AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Evolving Trends in Chemical Engineering Education,” Arvind Varma of Purdue Univ. and Ignacio Grossmann of Carnegie Mellon Univ. examine this evolution and illuminate the impacts of shifts in academic research and industry needs. Taking a close look at the history and likely course of chemical engineering education provides a basis for discussing whether this trajectory is heading in the right direction to meet the needs of industry and to address societal issues.
One year ago, I was putting the finishing touches on my senior design project, taking my last round of undergraduate final exams, and preparing to move to Cincinnati to start my new job in an engineering and operations rotational program at General...
AIChE is pleased to announce publication of the third edition of the trusted guide, “Equipment Testing Procedure for Trayed and Packed Columns: A Guide to Performance Evaluation.”
L. P. Driskill
Engineers routinely optimize process designs; poster designs need optimization too. Use these techniques and strategies to create a poster that captures and holds the viewer's attention.
Chemical engineering salaries continue to move on an upward trend. In 2007, chemical engineers broke the $100K barrier — reporting a median salary of $103,730, up 12.6% from two years ago.
Chemical engineering salaries are up 7% from two years ago, to a median of $110,950. Furthermore, average starting salaries have risen to over $65,000.
In 2005, the reported median salary of $92,150 is up 3.9% from last year. Chemical engineering salaries are also slightly ahead of their collective engineering peers, and furthermore, starting-salary offers are at an all-time high of $54,256. This...
Chemical engineering salaries have remained stable over the last two years at a median of $110,000. Average starting salaries are nearly $66,900. This expanded version of the article that appeared in print provides the detailed survey results.
Blogs have come a long way since their first appearance in the late 1990s, when they were little more than online diaries. Today, people are just as likely to turn to blogs (Internet shorthand for “Web log”) as to newspapers or magazines for information and news.
M. Henry Heines
Patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights are an important part of any company's business strategy.
I was taught that the word hopefully means “in a hopeful manner” or “full of hope.” Authors who start a sentence with the word hopefully usually mean “I (we) hope” or “it is hoped” — which is an incorrect usage of the word.
Meeting FDA regulations is not optional. The costs are high for any company that does not act responsibly to ensure that all additives are meet the required regulations.
Margaret Clarke Hunt
These profiles of a dozen engineers in different stages of their careers offer snapshots of where chemical engineers are employed.
Calvin B. Cobb
The U.S. industrial landscape is changing dramatically. This has significant implications for our profession and individual chemical engineers.
R. Russell Rhinehart
By understanding the normal enrollment swings, employers and students can capitalize during the boom times and rideout the busts, while universities can allocate resources more effectively.
Internet-based applications are changing the way chemical engineers collaborate. These virtual tools can help project teams make decisions more quickly, reduce costs, and increase productivity.
Between March and April 2010, a powerful but seemingly limited computer worm, now referred to as Stuxnet, infected computers around the world, beginning in Iran and spreading to Indonesia and India. A recently published book uncovers ﬁndings on the origin of the worm and raises concerns that are relevant to chemical engineers everywhere.
Regardless of their current employment status and personal outlook, the new class of chemical engineering graduates is con?dent that they possess a unique versatility and capacity to make good and do good.
A short, simple and concise message can be an effective way to let others know about your accomplishments and your worth.
Corrine L. Kupstas
Follow this engineer's career path as she shares her thoughts on the transitions she has made and how family considerations factored into her career decisions.
Mark E. Kilburn, Nathan A. Kimmerle, Patrick T. Ragan, Stephen H. Roberts
In light of the events of September 11, make sure your plant's safety plan accounts for acts of terrorism and sabotage.
A thorough crisis-management plan will enable your organization to respond to a crisis promptly and appropriately. Here's how to develop an effective plan.
The more important question is “how much to engineer?” Use this technique to evaluate the level of engineering effort required, and justified, for a project.
Robert W. Bly
Understand the listening process and follow these guidelines to become a better listener.
Modular design principles are well known, but have found only niche applications in the Chemical industry. This article outlines an innovative methodology, whereby plant and process design may be conducted in parallel using components with pre-...
George Buckbee, P.E.
Work-style and communication differences often result in a disconnect between managers and engineers. Bridging this culture gap will allow managers to make better business decisions and bring engineers the understanding and recognition they deserve.
Steven J. Helmer
By understanding the basics of patent law and by establishing a close working relationship with your attorneys, you can ensure that you receive the broadest possible patent protection.
Swap and exchange programs can significantly reduce logistics costs, as well as an organization’s carbon footprint. Despite its potential, the technique is often constrained by commercial, technical and operational concerns.
Lionel F. Laroche, Susan Morey
Understand what is expected of you when traveling to this burgeioning part of the world.
I. A. Karimi, Por Leng Han, Rajagopalan Srinivasan
Often an overlooked component of the chemical business, an examination of logistics practices can result in substantial savings.
James D. Weith
Understanding how you and those around you make decisions is a first step in improving interpersonal relationships and team efficiencies.
Mark Granger, Deane Horn
Integrating new advances in smart online pump monitoring and flexible communication technologies can improve pump reliability and performance while reducingcosts.
Lisa L. Walker
The people you identify as references in your job search act as your ambassadors to a potential employer. Choosing references who can paint a clear picture of your strengths and potential can be a decisive advantage in your employment campaign.
These tips will help improve your e-mail style and make sure that your e-mail is effective intrinsically, as well as fitting the new electronic expectations of a wide range of cyber colleagues.
Charles M. Mitchell, David T. Moyle, Abraham Shamir
This simple reliability analysis technique can differentiate among design options and guide engineers to a preferred alternative.
Ryland W. Musick Jr., Eldon R. Larsen
Conflict is an almost unavoidable part of life and work, and it can lead to surprisingly constructive opportunities. Here is a discussion of how to manage conflicts— and how to make the most of them when they occur.
David J. Teumim
An understanding of security principles and terminology can help chemical and control engineers relate to the emerging threats of conventional and cyber terrorism.
Working with employees to define “doing a good job” can improve organizational performance as well as employee satisfaction.
Gavin Sinclair , Gary Blau
New product development projects can be risky business. Learn how to incorporate uncertainty and risk analysis into the new product development process.
The operator and maintenance technician can play key roles in ensuring equipment reliability and thus maximizing production while maintaining quality.
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A project team is more than a group of talented professionals. It is an interdependent unit, empowered with understanding, accountabilities and mutual support that permit it to achieve goals — both organizational and personal — more efficiently and...
Leonore Clauss, Lionel F. Laroche
Interactions with the Germans and the Swiss may seem easy, but it's important to understand their way of thinking and their approach to doing business.
Make the most of this important tool by practicing some common sense and good etiquette. RobertW.Bly-
Jonathan H. Worstell
Commercializing a new technology often means reaching accord between clashing groups. Here’s a road map to navigate these hurdles.
Richard P. Palluzi
Such projects require enormous planning, experienced staff, and substantial time and money to complete.
Learn ways to improve your interpersonal and communication skills so that you can work more effectively with others, and increase your own productivity and effectiveness.
Richard J. Kinsley
To become a leader people want to follow, focus on the team's objectives, avoid self-deception, build strong relationships, and enable others to achieve the team's goals.
Lisa L. Walker
Employment negotiations begin even before a job offer is extended. Having a clear plan of action, and an understanding of your objectives and those of your employer, will help you make the most of this important process. <br>
Maximize workplace efficiency via implementation of best practices using workflow modeling and automation.
The key to sparking and driving innovation is making it systemic throughout the organization's culture.
Peter R. Lantos
Here’s what you should know about the litigation process to serve as a successful technical witness.