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IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

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  • 1.  IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-08-2019 16:55
    Edited by Kirsten Rosselot 09-09-2019 15:47
    I'm suffering from a case of institute envy.  IChemE and a bunch of other engineering organizations have partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering with the ambition of becoming "a trusted partner for policymakers, enabling them to access excellent engineering expertise, for social and economic benefit."  See https://www.icheme.org/media/12251/engineering-priorities-for-our-future-economy-and-society_icheme.pdf

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    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    Posted 09-11-2019 08:04
    Kirsten, IChemE should be envying AIChE instead. They may have the ambition, but AIChE has been doing this very thing for a long time.
    • First, AIChE does direct interaction in the U.S. with agencies, lawmakers, and staffers. Our aide in these activities is Dr. Kristin A. Bennett of KBScience, who is our contracted representative in Washington. She helps disseminate AIChE-developed information and policies. She also helps keep us aware of breaking changes and needs. AIChE also arranges Congressional briefings and participates in collective activities like the United Engineering Foundation's Engineering Public Policy Symposium and the annual American Association of Engineering Societies' NAE Convocation of the Professional Engineering Societies, both held in Washington.
    • Second, AIChE is deeply involved already with the U.S. National Academies. The National Academies of Sciences (1863), Engineering (1964), and Medicine (1974) were established by Congress to be "a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology." That advice largely comes from NASEM's hundreds of study committees and their peer-reviewed reports. AIChE is well represented in NASEM by our participating members, including members of NAE's Section 3 (Chemical Engineering), headed by Ignacio Grossmann, and NAE's new president (2019-2025) is chemical engineer John Anderson.
    • Of particular note, NASEM's Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology has just begun a study on the future directions of chemical engineering. This activity was initiated in 2016 by AIChE's Research and New Technologies Committee under Alex Orlov with seed funding from the AIChE Foundation. Now that the study is underway, AIChE is a co-sponsor. All AIChE members will have chances to participate through Town Halls at our national meetings. As a first step, I encourage everyone to fill out the study's initial fact-finding survey on the needs of the chemical engineering community.


    ------------------------------
    Phillip Westmoreland FAIChE
    Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    North Carolina State University
    Raleigh NC
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  • 3.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-11-2019 12:46
    Hi, Phillip.  Has AIChE done anything to educate policymakers about the solid foundation that climate science is built on and about the perils of climate change?  This matters.

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    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-12-2019 09:45

    "Survey on the needs of the chemical engineering community"?  That's an odd way to announce it:  buried Phillip Westmoreland's reply to a post on a different subject in AIChE Engage.

    I do not recall hearing of this "future directions of chemical engineering" initiative or the survey until that reply, yet I like to think of myself as having a better-than-average connection with AIChE.   My definition of "better-than-average connection?"  I attend and present at local section events.  I attend and present at national meetings.  I've been an active participant (attendee, presenter, organizer) in our Process Development Symposium off-and-on since its inception in 2003.  I read CEP every month.  I read the emails from AIChE Engage almost every morning.  So, why have I not heard of this initiative?  And if I haven't heard of it, probably most other members have not heard of it either.  Until I saw your post, I certainly had not been asked to participate in the survey.

    Before sending this post, I thought I'd better check the AIChE website to see if I missed something.  A search on "survey" brings up many items, some with the not-too-compelling title of "webform," but nothing on a survey on the needs of the chemical engineering community.

    If AIChE wants members to take the survey, then I feel that AIChE should ask the members for it in a much more obvious way than in this reply to a post on AIChE Engage.

    Also, Phillip Westmoreland's post says that "All AIChE members will have chances to participate through Town Halls at our national meetings."  What fraction of our membership have the opportunity to attend our national meetings?  Is that fraction an appropriate representation of the needs and interests of all AIChE members?  And how is AIChE going to actively solicit input from members who cannot or do not attend our national meetings?  Is this an opportunity to engage the local sections and virtual section?

    I know that if I had known about this initiative and survey, I probably would have structured the Interactive Session that I ran at the 2019 Process Development Symposium to explore the initiative and get attendee input for AIChE.  Missed opportunity, especially since the 2019 PDS theme was "Developing Processes for Today and Tomorrow."

    Getting back to the original post, I have no personal information to compare IChemE and AIChE.  It may be interesting, though, to compare and contrast the experiences of both organizations on getting input from their membership.



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    Aaron Sarafinas
    Principal
    Sarafinas Process & Mixing Consulting LLC
    Warminster PA
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  • 5.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    Posted 09-12-2019 18:05
    Aaron, you haven't been left out of anything -- it's very new news. I got an email from my department head with the announcement.  
    Just yesterday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST) announced the launch and chair of a new consensus study, Chemical Engineering in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities. The chair is chemical engineer Dr. Eric Kaler, President Emeritus of the University of Minnesota.
    For the announcement itself, see <http://nas-sites.org/dels/studies/chemical-engineering-in-the-21st-century-challenges-and-opportunities/>.
    BTW, the study leaders have asked for volunteers to host Town Halls around the country, in addition to AIChE national meetings. I've been active in my local sections for 45 years, and I'm very conscious that many members are unable to participate in the AIChE national meetings. AIChE will no doubt disseminate the information widely.
    ---
    Phillip R. "Phil" Westmoreland, 2013 AIChE President
    Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NCSU
    2036 Engineering Building I, Box 7905; NCSU; Raleigh, NC 27695-7905
    All email in connection with State business is subject to the NC Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.






  • 6.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-14-2019 15:26
    Looking forward to AIChE's communication to the members on what input they want from us regarding the future directions of chemical engineering.  Thanks for letting us know that this is very new news, Phil.  Maybe at Town Meeting hosted by each local section would be appropriate.

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    Aaron Sarafinas
    Principal
    Sarafinas Process & Mixing Consulting LLC
    Warminster PA
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    Posted 09-16-2019 10:11
    Hi,

    You may be familiar with this; Just in case you were not familiar,


    You may be interested in the report titled "Chemical Engineering
    Academia-Industry Alignment:
    Expectations about New Graduates"
    An NSF-Sponsored Study
    led by the
    American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

    Regards,
    Pavan.

    ---------------------------------
    Pavan Kumar Naraharisetti
    Assistant Professor
    Newcastle University in Singapore
    Singapore
    ---------------------------------





  • 8.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-16-2019 10:19
    The report on Academia-Industry Alignment Expectations about New Graduates can be downloaded at https://www.aiche.org/sites/default/files/docs/conferences/2015che_academicindustryalignmentstudy.compressed.pdf
    Thanks for reminding us of it, Pavan.

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    Aaron Sarafinas
    Principal
    Sarafinas Process & Mixing Consulting LLC
    Warminster PA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-16-2019 12:44
    I hope everyone takes the survey that Phillip provided the link to:  https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5106532/Chemical-Engineering-Study-Survey

    It's only three questions long and it is the third question that is most important because it's about the future.
    1. The first question is about the impact of a 31-year-old report on chemical engineering in the 21st century.  If you aren't familiar with the contents of that report or its impact, it's fine to put "no idea" or something similar. 
    2. The second question is "how has the field of chemical engineering evolved over the last 30 years."  Obviously, many of us are not in a position to answer that question. 
    3. The third question is "What topics would be essential for the committee to consider [as they frame the needs for their upcoming study of the current state of the chemical engineering discipline and provide a compelling vision for the future of the field]?"


    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-23-2019 17:24
    Back to the future of chemical engineering:  Last week's AIChE SmartBrief had an announcement about seeking nominations for the committee of experts that will guide the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine upcoming 3-year study on Chemical Engineering in the 21st century.  This study is intended to guide the future of chemical engineering over the next three decades.   They are seeking experts on fields including
    • Process Design, Intensification, and Safety
    • Pharmacology
    • Materials
    • Nanomaterials and nanotechnology
    • Separations
    • Catalysis
    • Bioengineering
    • Modeling
    • Data/AI
    • Education
    • Agriculture
    • Energy (Fossil and non-fossil)
    • Environmental and green chemistry
    It caught my eye that half of one of these 13 fields is energy from fossil fuels and the other half of that field is non-fossil fuel energy.  I do not think fossil fuels are the future of chemical engineering.  On the other hand, there are many fields where chemical engineers could participate, if not lead, over the next three decades that are not on this list.

    I want to hear from some chemical engineers out there -- if you were to put together a group of experts to map out the direction of chemical engineering over the next 30 years, what expertise would you want that group to include?  I would want that committee to include experts in some of the items on the above list plus
    • systems for understanding/assessing the sustainability of processes and products
    • energy storage (batteries, hydrogen and hydrogen carriers, molten salt, etc.)
    • sustainable infrastructure
    • alternative energy (biofuels, photovoltaics manufacture, etc.)
    • energy efficiency across systems (opportunities for efficiency within plants and in localities)
    • carbon capture
    • carbon sequestration
    • climate change mitigation
    Looking forward to getting your comments on the list.


    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-24-2019 08:10
    My perception is that the National Academies list is trying to describe "disciplines" (or maybe sub-disciplines), whereas the second list describes particular applications or challenges. I think that the philosophy of the first approach is to have experts in materials, nanotechnology, catalysis, separations, modeling, education, and energy probing how chemical engineering will contribute to applications vital to our future, such as energy storage, system-wide sustainability, carbon capture and sequestration.

    ------------------------------
    Valerie Young
    Department Chair
    Ohio University
    Athens OH
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  • 12.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-24-2019 11:34
    Hi, Valerie. I tried looking at the expert committee nomination list the way you describe and it doesn't fit or fill the bill.  Pharmacology, agriculture, and energy are not disciplines, for example.  They are industrial sectors.  Separations is what you describe as a discipline, but there are separations experts out there who wouldn't have more than a lay person's expertise in carbon capture.  There is a lot of overlap between many of the items in the nomination list (materials, nanomaterials, process intensification, catalysis).

    If you're looking into a crystal ball, which is what this committee is supposed to do, it would be good to include folks who are at the forefront of advancing the solutions to climate change that enter the domain of chemical engineers.  Climate change is having a profound effect on the field of chemical engineering and this effect is going to be even more profound over the next 30 years.  We need a roadmap that explicitly recognizes this and positions us properly.

    The effect of climate change on our profession need not be negative.  Chemical engineers have a unique and important role to play in addressing and understanding climate change and we're not meeting our potential.  Our relevance to climate change solutions isn't properly recognized by society and how can it be?  It's not properly recognized within the Institute, and now there are signals from the Academy as well that we will stick to the endeavors of the past.  Their last roadmap was recent enough to at least mention the contributions chemical engineers could make to addressing and understanding climate change and it didn't.

    I don't want another roadmap like that.  I want the committee to figure out how chemical engineers can be the heroes of the future.  We are an essential piece of the climate change solutions puzzle and we're not optimally engaged.

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    Posted 09-24-2019 19:13
    Hi,

    Nice points.

    I would like to add that we have to emphasize 'Open Data' and 'Common Journal Format'.

    Raman or NMR data for example for common chemicals are also not available at a single source. The NIST database provides some data and it should be improved further so that enthusiasts can download and use it easily.

    Similarly, a standard format should be developed for Journals so that all data presented follows a structure and is amenable to running Algorithms.

    Data is the foundation of AI/ML and we should make this easily available. Data Curation / Journal Format is equally important too.

    Regards,
    Pavan

    ---------------------------------
    Pavan Kumar Naraharisetti
    Assistant Professor
    Newcastle University in Singapore
    Singapore
    ---------------------------------





  • 14.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    25 Year AIChE Fellow
    Posted 09-25-2019 01:52

    Although the lists seem to include everything in one way or another, I would like to suggest Reuse & Recycling as a stated class.

     

    There are several reasons for this.  In attempting to make a "cradle to grave" or "cradle to cradle" analysis, engineers generally understand and have access to information for for processes inside their fence but lack enough accurate knowledge of suppliers and users to put together a valid analysis.

     

    Another aspect is the lack of understanding of researchers on what is actually important to potential users.  For example, in developing medical applications, the researcher might be aiming at maximum detection of conditions but physicians may focus on problems related to false positives.  Developing improved road surfacing materials that might require new application machinery or techniques might not appeal to the companies who will get contracts with conventional methods and materials that do not require retraining or equipment purchases.  An offshore oil platform needs very expensive power generation for which any other improvement might have to carry part of the cost.

     

    It isn't that the people in each step don't have the information or ability they need in their particular area, but they don't know the right questions to ask to come up with a successful overall result.

     

    One example from many, many years ago:  DuPont developed reverse osmosis membranes and the researchers knew that many municipalities had water with arsenic in it.  They assumed that the towns would be happy to charge a small premium in order to remove the arsenic.  It turned out that to the municipalities, water was a revenue source and they wouldn't take a chance on reducing the profit from selling the water if the citizens balked at paying more.  Improvements in home construction materials would have to survive jurisdictional fights from unions and manufacturers of devices being replaced.

     

    So what I think would be helpful would be a way to improve communication along the proposed supply and recycle/reuse chain so that researchers on the front end would focus more clearly on how their technical success would be translated to a commercial success in the most overall sustainable and economically effective way.

     

    Tom Sciance

     

     






  • 15.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy
    Best Answer

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-26-2019 03:22

    NASEM's topics are incomplete.  I feel that the future of chemical engineering needs to go beyond the 13 proposed topics and reflect how our profession must adapt to meet future societal needs.

    Part of AIChE's Vision is to "Provide Value as The Foremost Catalyst in applying chemical engineering expertise in meeting societal needs."  The list of 13 topics from NASEM does not really reflect the societal needs that chemical engineers will need to meet in the future.  In fact, I find that the list of 13 topics is a hodge-podge of work processes, parts of unit operations, and some market segments.

    The additional areas that Kirsten lists in her post are relevant to the types of technological challenges we will need to meet in the future, but I'm wondering if there is another way to look at societal demands.

    Though I sometimes shudder at the cliché "megatrends," different groups have classified future societal needs under certain headings.  One example is from MIT Sloan (https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-world-in-2030-nine-megatrends-to-watch/) who list:

    • Demographics (population)
    • Urbanization
    • Transparency (information openness and loss of privacy)
    • Climate Crisis
    • Resource Patterns
    • Clean Tech (sustainable infrastructure)
    • Technology Shifts (looks like "Industry 4.0")
    • Global Policy
    • Populism (or not)

    There are other lists. 

    Maybe the study on the future of chemical engineering should be driven by how chemical engineering needs to adapt or refocus to be able to meet these needs.  Certainly, we have a role in the infrastructure, food, and health challenges related to Demographics, Urbanization, and what MIT Sloan calls Clean Tech.  Certainly, we have a role in Industry 4.0 (what they call Technology Shifts).  Certainly, we have a role in meeting challenges in Climate Crisis and Resource Patterns.  It seems to me that those megatrends are more closely aligned to the future demand for chemical engineers than what NASEM is proposing.



    ------------------------------
    Aaron Sarafinas
    Principal
    Sarafinas Process & Mixing Consulting LLC
    Warminster PA
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 09-28-2019 00:02
    Aaron's right.  Identifying upcoming societal challenges and figuring out the role of chemical engineers in addressing those challenges is a great way to frame a study of the future of chemical engineering.  We own a piece of almost everything on the MIT Sloan list.

    Here are some of my thoughts -- I only know my little corner of the universe and my intention is to seed the thread and for a bunch of you to pitch in.  Where do you see chemical engineers meeting these challenges over the next 30 years?

    Demographics:  Over the next 30 years the world's population is expected to grow and a much larger percentage of it will be over 65 than ever before.  Chemical engineers are already involved in medical advances like developing and manufacturing wearable sensors and robotic mobility aids that would allow people to maintain their independence later in life.  This is a growth area.

    Urbanization:  A larger percentage of the world's population is expected to live in cities in the future.  Chemical engineers have a role to play in creating materials that reduce the heat island effect, in energy efficiency, in developing sustainable building materials and repurposing end-of-life materials.  As cities get larger, the challenges of managing municipal solid waste, providing clean water, and treating sewage will get more intense and chemical engineers have a role to play there.  Even without climate change, greater urbanization will lead to a need for new sources of drinking water in many localities, such as reuse of treated water and desalination, areas that already involve chemical engineers.

    Resource pressures:  The increasing need to recover materials -- especially metals -- from end-of-life products so that that resource constraints don't limit economic growth, is in the domain of chemical engineering.

    Clean tech:  MIT Sloan is a business school and MBAs think tech is what coders do, so clean tech is code that makes systems operate more efficiently.  But we have a role to play here, too.  We are the experts in thermodynamics, in mass and material balances, and we will be leaders in systems that make buildings, transportation, etc. more sustainable,

    Technology shifts:  Artificial intelligence will redefine how goods and materials are manufactured.  The space here for chemical engineers is enormous.  These changes won't be incremental.  There are a lot of low yield, low efficiency commodity chemical processes out there.

    Global policy:  Chemical engineers have training that makes them particularly suited for looking at resources from a systems perspective, so that prosperity can be maximized and want can be minimized.




    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 10-01-2019 12:05
    Excellent elaboration how ChE's can fit with the megatrends, Kirsten.

    I received an email suggesting that I post some of the comments on the directions for the study using the feedback capability on the NASEM study webpage.  The author of the email suggested that "this is the time when they will be receptive to suggestions of direction" for the study.  I sent the feedback on the NASEM topics this morning.  I'll keep people posted regarding my experience on what happens with that feedback.

    I am very interested to see how people respond to Kirsten's question, "Where do you see chemical engineers meeting these challenges over the next 30 years?"

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    Aaron Sarafinas
    Principal
    Sarafinas Process & Mixing Consulting LLC
    Warminster PA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    2017 35 Under 35 Winner
    Posted 10-06-2019 15:23
    Without looking into detail the report from 30 years ago, I think a 30 year report is too long of a wait.  I would be curious if the report had anything related to APRANet or impact of mainframes upon their fields then?  It is extremely difficult to not include into the new report how machine learning and data analytics will change so many of those fields.


  • 19.  RE: IChemE and policy vs. AIChE and policy

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 10-06-2019 15:49
    Edited by Kirsten Rosselot 10-06-2019 16:03
    Sounds like you need to get involved in the process for drafting the new roadmap for the future of chemical engineering, Nemoy.  Fill out the survey and if you can, attend the town halls.  @Aaron Sarafinas posted some links here:  ​​https://engage.aiche.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=13&MessageKey=d3d4b1af-dcf7-45e2-a406-fd57945c3da2

    A free pdf of the 1988 roadmap can be downloaded here if anyone's interested in taking a look:  https://www.nap.edu/catalog/1095/frontiers-in-chemical-engineering-research-needs-and-opportunities

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    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------