Professional Development

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2015 AIChE Salary Survey

June
2015
Salary Survey
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.

Use TRIZ in Reverse to Analyze Failures

May
2005
Career Catalyst
Jack Hipple
Asking “how could I make this fail?” can help you to identify potential problems that you might not otherwise have considered.

CEP: YPOV - Building a Leadership Portfolio

February
2014
YPOV
Janet Werner
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.

CEP: Career Corner - Becoming a Leader

August
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

Refocusing Chemical Engineering

January
2002
Special Section
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.

CEP: Career Corner - How to Communicate Difficult Messages

April
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

CEP: YPOV - What Is a Chemical Engineer Doing Here?

September
2013
YPOV
Elizabeth Guenther
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...

Career Corner: Ace Your Skype or Phone Interview

December
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

CEP: YPOV - Preparing for Chairing? Build Some Relationships!

March
2014
YPOV
Meagan Lewis
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.

CEP: YPOV - Successfully Navigating in a New Career

May
2015
YPOV
Kyle Kramer
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...

CEP: Career Corner - Career Success through Networking

October
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

Career Corner - Surviving an International Relocation

December
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
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...

Profile: Emily Leproust: Revolutionizing DNA Syntheses

December
2015
Profile
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...

CEP: YPOV - Engineering Your Job Change through Networking

January
2015
YPOV
Sarah Ewing
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.

CEP: YPOV Your Career as a Volunteer

March
2013
YPOV
Arjun Gopalratnam
To surpass the merely adequate, and to accomplish something noteworthy, requires one to take on tasks that are unstated and to solve problems that others may not have even noticed. Depending on the structure of your work environment, there may be...

YPOV: Is a Nontraditional ChemE Career for You?

September
2015
YPOV
Victor Manrique
The rapid growth of technology, globalization, the changing demographics of the workforce — all of these factors have eliminated the former notion of a linear career path. Modern-day employment requires workers to be adaptable to any and every...

CEP: Career Corner - Don’t Stop Learning

December
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
When was the last time you learned something new for your job? A generation ago, chemical engineers could expect to settle into a well-defined position at one company and remain there for an entire career. Today, things could not be more different. Many engineers change jobs at least once, or take on additional responsibilities that require new knowledge and skills.

CEP: Career Corner - Creating Work-Life Harmony

April
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Work-life balance is a challenge for many of us, but how do we get there from here? First, it helps to adjust our thinking. “It’s not about balance, like weights on a scale,” says Mary T. Scott, a certified professional coach. “It’s more about...

CEP: YPOV - Electricity and the Environment

July
2014
YPOV
Noah Meeks
Electricity generated by fossil fuels is a relatively stable and low-cost commodity, and fossil fuels will continue to be an important source of energy for the forseeable future. The environmental impact of electricity generation is minimized...

Career Corner: Boost Your Career through Mentorship

October
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Are you successful in your professional career? If so, then it may be time to think about giving back by becoming a mentor. As a mentor to a less-experienced professional, you can make a difference in that person’s career by offering guidance and...

AIChE Journal Highlight: A Sustainable Approach to Process Safety

November
2015
Journal Highlight
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...

CEP: News Update

November
2014
News Update
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.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - ChE Education: How Times Are Changing

November
2014
Journal Highlight
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.

CEP: YPOV - A New Graduate’s Lessons Learned

May
2014
YPOV
Samantha Schmidt
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...

Optimize Your Conference Poster's Impact

August
2010
Career Catalyst
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.

2009 AIChE Salary Survey

August
2009
Career Catalyst
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.

2011 AIChE Salary Survey

June
2011
Career Catalyst
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.

Hopefully, Change Won't Be Difficult

May
2012
Editorial
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.

Smart Blogging for Chemical Engineers

May
2012
Career Catalyst
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

How to do an Internal FDA Audit

October
2001
Management
Gavin Sinclair
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.

Prepare for a Different Future

February
2001
Opinion
Calvin B. Cobb
The U.S. industrial landscape is changing dramatically. This has significant implications for our profession and individual chemical engineers.

Tracking Trends in Undergraduate Enrollment

November
2008
Centennial
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.

Use Cloud Tools to Collaborate

July
2012
Career Catalyst
Loraine Kasprzak
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.

CEP: YPOV - Engineering Cyber Security

July
2012
YPOV
Arjun Gopalratnam
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.

Whatever Happened to the Class of 2009?

September
2009
News Feature
Gordon Ellis
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.

Profiles

January
2002
Special Section
Margaret Clarke Hunt
These profiles of a dozen engineers in different stages of their careers offer snapshots of where chemical engineers are employed.

Advance Your Career in 8 Words or Less

August
2002
Special Section
Kate Wendleton
A short, simple and concise message can be an effective way to let others know about your accomplishments and your worth.

Relocating Research Operations

May
2002
Management
Richard P. Palluzi
Such projects require enormous planning, experienced staff, and substantial time and money to complete.

Work More Effectively With Others

February
2004
Career Catalyst
Doug  Hissong
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.

Fundamentals of Effective Leadership

June
2006
Career Catalyst
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.

Successfully Navigate the Negotiation Process

February
2010
Career Catalyst
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>

Increasing Employee Productivity

September
2001
Management
Charles  Gillard
Maximize workplace efficiency via implementation of best practices using workflow modeling and automation.

How To Be An Expert Witness

October
2004
Career Catalyst
Peter R. Lantos
Here’s what you should know about the litigation process to serve as a successful technical witness.

Learn by Wandering Around

November
2011
Career Catalyst
Ross Topliff
Walking, listening, and learning are three easy steps that promote good communication and can yield high dividends.

Keeping Global Teams Going

February
2002
Career Catalyst
Lionel F. Laroche
Global teams can maintain their effectiveness by using the right communication tools, following good communication practices, working at building and maintaining trust, and taking cultural differences into account.

Stay Ahead of Time

October
2003
Career Catalyst
Judi  Hampton
These tips will help you develop time management and delegation skills to make you more efficient and more effective in your job.

Prepare a Top-Notch Scope of Work

November
2005
Management
Stephen W. Maas
This comprehensive overview of what needs to go into a well-defined scope of work will be useful to chemical engineers who are new to project engineering and project management.

Working with Job Search Consultants and Recruiters

October
2009
Career Catalyst
Lisa L. Walker
Search firms and executive recruiters can be powerful allies in a competitive employment environment.This article puts their role in context and provides guidelines on how to work effectively with them.

Finding Your Career Path by Finding Yourself

June
2001
Career Catalyst
Eileen  Sharaga - 
Having an understanding of your skills and talents, particularly transferrable ones, will lead you to greater self-awareness, which will give you a greater capacity for achieving success.

Caught in the Act

September
2002
Career Catalyst
Jody Urquhart
To acknowledge people in a meaningful way, catch them doing good things and recognize their efforts.

Leadership: The Skill Most Needed

June
2004
Career Catalyst
Stanley I. Proctor
Do you have leadership potential? This article explores the differences between leadership and management, the qualities of a good leader, different leadership styles and where they are effective and not effective, and other issues.

Engineering a Healthy Body

September
2010
Career Catalyst
Nick Hallale
These basic chemical engineering principles expose common weight loss myths and show you how to get into better shape efficiently and sustainably.

Achieve Best-in-Class Reliability

June
2003
Asset Management
Richard  Beck
An integrated enterprise asset performance management system can help companies to eliminate failures, optimize strategies, and meet intended production targets.

Disarming the Firing Squad

July
2009
Career Catalyst
Kate Wendleton
If thoughts of a layoff keep you up at night, stop wringing your hands and start taking action. Follow this 11-step plan to position yourself for success in these uncertain economic times.

Play Your Cards Right ...

May
2002
Career Catalyst
Nathaniel A. Matlin
to make yourself stand out from the pack when you're seeking a new position.

Getting Your P.E. License

March
2004
Career Catalyst
Reginaldo A. Montague
This article explains the process of obtaining a P.E. license, offers suggestions for preparing and taking the exam, and discusses requirements for maintaining the license.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

November
2006
Career Catalyst
David Madison, Cynthia Strite
Spending time in front of a mirror may seem narcissistic. But scrutinizing and perfecting your image is an essential step in achieving your career goals.

Communicating the Cost of Product and Process Development

February
2010
Management
John Anderson
Decision-makers often require cost estimates for products and processes at the earliest stages of development — when many cost-determining factors remain uncertain. Identifying variables that impact cost estimates, and putting them in context, will...

Give Memorable Presentations

January
2003
Career Catalyst
Robert W. Bly
These guidelines will help you prepare and deliver a more exciting presentation.

Launching a Website for Your Small Business

November
2004
Career Catalyst
Cynthia F. Mascone, Joseph A. Roseti
Here’s how to develop a successful Internet presence without the dedicated web staff and financial resources of a large corporation.

Conduct Successful Team Meetings

November
2003
Career Catalyst
Barry M. Weinstein
Prepare effective agendas, minutes, status updates, and corrective action reports to make your meetings, as well as your projects, run more smoothly.

Forging Career Security

December
2005
Career Catalyst
David Madison
Eight things to do when you’re not job hunting.

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