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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...
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...
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...
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...
September 1, 2006
Chemical engineering and, perhaps to a lesser degree, other kinds of engineering are topics of intense interest to contemporary ethicists and philosophers. In many cases, this scrutiny has been triggered by unfortunate safety or pollution incidents from the recent past in “our” process industries. In some circles, merely identifying oneself as a chemical engineer arouses negative...
June 1, 2006
During career coaching to hundreds of individuals, I’ve come to realize that the people who take longest to find meaningful employment tend to commit the same blunders. Singled out here are ten of the most egregious career-stalling maneuvers. If you are (or plan to be) looking for a job and you recognize a little of yourself in any of these ten areas, take immediate remedial action, along the lines...
April 1, 2006
For any of us who have kept up in recent years with the business news (happenings at Enron and some major Wall Street firms, say), it seems safe to assume that, nowadays at least, ethical behavior and personal honesty are not such overarching issues for the engineering community as they are for at least some segments of the business and financial community. Even so, issues of conscience clearly can arise...
June 1, 2005
For some chemical engineers, the tank is half full; for others, it is half empty. Technically, both are right, especially if the discussion pertains to what they were paid in 2004. Where optimists argue that overall salaries continued to rise, cynics remind us that today’s dollar, pound or yen does not put as much bread on the table as it did the previous year. Take the latest numbers...
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