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November 1, 2008
The past decade has been a volatile period for chemical engineers in the workforce. The late 1990s was a booming time in the chemical process industries (CPI), with salary increases greater than ever and an unprecedented demand for Ch.E. expertise. This prosperity quickly gave way to harder times in the early 2000s, when engineers struggled to keep their salary increases on par with inflation. Luck had...
November 1, 2008
NanoEthics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology. Edited by Fritz Allhoff, Patrick Lin, James Moor, John Weckert. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. 2007. 385 pages, $39.95, paperback. Reviewed by Christopher M. Kelty, Department of History of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. This book is a collection of essays covering a very wide range of issues...
September 15, 2008
Handbook of Chemical Technology and Pollution Control. Third Edition. By Martin B. Hocking. 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803. Web: wiley.com. 2006. 830 pages, $95.95. Reviewed by V. N. Lad, S. V. National Institute of Technology, Gujarat, India Sustainable development that incorporates energy efficient production practices and environmentally friendly process design are responsibilities...
July 15, 2008
Monitoring Our Atmosphere Please refer to the Editor’s Page, April 2008: Mr. Gerald Ondrey’s last sentence sums it up. "Ultimately, the only truly green solution is to reduce consumption — the second law of thermodynamics says so." Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R, Md.) speaks out plain and clear regarding energy policy, but colleagues respond politically and not...
July 15, 2008
Ludwig’s Applied Process Design for Chemical and Petrochemical Plants Volume 1, Fourth edition. By A. Kayode Coker. Elsevier, 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803. Web: elsevier.com. 1,024 pages, $150.00 Reviewed by Philip Leckner, Senior Process Engineer, CH2M Hill, Somerset, N.J. This fourth edition of Volume One in the late Ernest E. Ludwig’s series of books on applied process...
May 15, 2008
Machinery Failure Analysis Handbook: Sustain Your Operations and Maximize Uptime, by Luiz Otavio Amaral Affonso, Gulf Publishing Company, 2 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1020, Houston, TX 77046. Web: gulfpub.com. 2006. 300 pages. $155.00. Reviewed by Mike Safoniuk, British Colombia Institute of Technology, Power Engineering Group, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada Project Management Toolkit: The Basics for Project...
March 15, 2008
Project Management Toolkit: The Basics for Project Success. Second edition. By Dr. Trish Melton. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 30 Corporate Drive, Burlington, MA 01803. Web: books.elsevier.com. 2007. 286 pages, $49.95. Reviewed by Paul E. Shaltry, PMP, Catalyst Management Consulting LLC, Columbus, Ohio Dr. Melton covers the basics of project management well. One senses her years of experience in this...
January 15, 2008
Introduction to Process Engineering & Design. By S. B. Thakore and B. I. Bhatt. Tata McGraw Hill, B-4, Sector 63, Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, Noida, UP-201301. Web: tatamcgrawhill.com. 2007. 768 pages, Rs 500. Reviewed by Michael E. Ryan, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The State University of New York, Buffalo, N.Y. This book is intended as a textbook for an undergraduate process...
October 1, 2007
For the mainstream media, stories about persons guided by their pocketbooks or hormones instead of ethical principles make fodder for front-page news. Although chemical engineers are not exempt from scandals, a poor ethical decision in the chemical process industries (CPI) can be — and unfortunately, has been — more damaging than the loss of a job, career or self esteem. Damage to the...
September 1, 2007
The relationship between attorney and inventor is very important. A potentially valuable patent is involved, and the value of it is often dependent in large part on how well the inventor and attorney work together. It is very helpful if the chemical engineer as inventor has some basic knowledge of the patent system and what interacting with a patent attorney will be like, even before there is...
September 1, 2007
Fundamentals of Industrial Catalytic Processes, Second Edition. By C.H. Bartholomew and R.J. Farrauto. John Wiley & Sons, 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ. Web: wiley.com. 2006. 966 pages. $99.95 Reviewed by Richard D. Newman, Ph.D., CRI Catalyst Company, Houston, Tex. This second edition is an extensive update of the first edition published in 1995. The book consists of two parts. Part I is a...
August 1, 2007
Chemical engineers, whether directly engaged in R&D or not, routinely deal with situations that are new and different, not only to them, but to those in the chemical process industries (CPI) as a whole. Quite often, the way such situations are handled produces one or more patentable inventions. In the event that a patent is sought on the invention(s), the chemical engineer (inventor) will...
July 1, 2007
While statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS; Washington, D.C.; www.bls.gov) and trends reported by the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Arlington, Va.; www.americanchemistry.com) suggest chemical engineers seeking work may be singing the blues, chemical processors and chemical engineering professors are belting out a very different tune. According to BLS’s 2000 to...
July 1, 2007
Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers. Second edition. By James O. Wilkes. Prentice Hall PTR, 1 Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. Web: phptr.com. 2005. 784 pages. $120.80. Reviewed by Ron Darby, Texas A&M University, College Station, Tex. This is a revised and expanded edition (with some 150 additional pages) of the book first published in 1999. The book is divided into two parts: Part I —...
May 1, 2007
Compressors and Modern Process Applications. By Heinz P. Bloch. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. Web: wiley.com. 2006. 339 pages, $99.95. Reviewed by Stanley S. Grossel, Process Safety & Design, Inc., Clifton, N.J. This is the second book on compressors by the author that was published in 2006. The first book, “A Practical Guide on Compressor Technology” was...
January 1, 2007
What skills are required to effectively lead a project team? Leadership is different from management, requires different knowledge, a different skill set, and accomplishes a different purpose. Management deals with the present; leadership deals with the future. Management deals with resources; leadership deals with people and personalities. Management deals with facts; leadership deals with...
October 1, 2006
Everyone knows that engineers are good with numbers. We can measure, calculate, tabulate, and report results accurately. But after you take pains to get the numbers right in your reports, sales brochures, or capital expenditure requests, readers in many cases misread, misinterpret, or just plain miss the figures that you want them to understand. Fortunately, several techniques are available...
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