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Dec 3, 2012 (4 years and 11 months ago)

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Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
1


Society has employed engineers since the first civilizations formed, to design roadways,
plan irrigation systems, and conceive more efficient means of production and
construction. Historically, engineering has focused on mechanical engineers, who
designed

everything from plows to automobiles, and civil engineers, who dealt mostly
with structural design. Engineering is further split into more specialized fields as
technology progresses. Today, there are many different disciplines of engineering, and
chemi
cal engineering is one of the youngest and most diversified.


History of the Discipline


In the Nineteenth Century, just after the industrial revolution sparked widespread
mechanization of Western societies, chemical engineering was born. British and
Am
erican industries flourished, fueling an insatiate need for chemicals, and by extension,
innovators to improve the efficiency of chemical production. In the beginning of the
discipline, chemical engineers were often mechanical engineers who had worked in t
he
chemical industry, or applied chemists who had experience with industrial
-
scale
reactors.
1

As the industrial revolution continued to expand across national borders and
into additional trades, industry leaders recognized the need for engineers who speci
alized
in chemical processes.


John Glover is widely considered the first chemical engineer. In 1859, Glover devised a
recovery tower to recycle expensive nitrates previously lost in exhaust gases. Chile was



1

Highlights of Chemical
Engineering

(Amherst: University of Massachussetts, accessed 16
October 2008); available from
http://www
-
unix.ecs.umass.edu/che/che110/che_general_history.html
;
Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
2


the only reliable source of nitrates, and impor
ting them into Britain was expensive;
2

Glover’s tower was a boon to the chemical industry, allowing the plants to recycle great
amounts of nitrate at a relatively low operating cost. Glover built a tower in 1868 for
£450, approximately $60,000 in 2007,
3

w
hich, by 1874, had recovered 73,000 tons of
ammonium,
4

worth nearly $34 billion in today’s market.
5

Chemical engineers have been
saving their employers large sums of money since the discipline first differentiated itself
from mechanical engineering.


Hist
orically, chemical engineers have worked in the chemical and fuels industries,
especially during the petroleum crisis of the mid
-
1970s. Today, however, the profession
is expanding into newer, less traditional industries, like biotechnology, environmental
engineering, and microelectronics.
6


Technological advances and societal pressure often
create demand for new disciplines of industry and profession, as evidenced by the
creation of chemical engineering in the 1800s, and the more recent genesis of the
synt
hetic fuels industry. Chemical engineers can enter an enormous number of career
fields, and the number is always increasing as industry continually spawns new
professional domains. Chemical engineering has come a long way since its’ origins,
moving from
working exclusively with chemical manufacturing into nearly all industries.





2

Ibid.

3

Lawrence H. Officer,

"Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a UK Pound

Amount, 1830
to Present
,
"

MeasuringWorth, 2008.


4

The Chemical News and Journal of Physical S
cience,
London: Griffin, Bohn and Co
, 1861
.

5

Ammonium acetate

(St. Louis: Sigma Aldrich, Accessed 25 September 2008); available from
http://www.sigmaaldrich.com
/catalog/search/ProductDetail/ALDRICH/431311
; Internet.

6

Joseph McCarthy,
So You Want to Become a Chemical Engineer

(Pittsburgh: 3 November 2008,
accessed 29 October 2008); available from
http://pillars.che.pitt.edu/student/slide.cgi?course_id=12&slide_id
=3.0
; Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
3


Present State of the Discipline


Chemical engineers work in diverse industries, and under a varied array of job titles. Of
all working chemical engineers in 1995, 52% were workin
g as chemical engineers and
engineering faculty,
7

inside their field of study, which is approximately equal to the
average of 55% for all majors.
8

However, an additional 8% work in other scientific
fields, and 23% work as managers for their employers. Th
erefore, 83% of all chemical
engineers are working as engineers, chemists, managers, or scientists, all within the well
-
rounded education provided to chemical engineers at university. Though many chemical
engineers are working as engineers inside traditio
nal fields, an additional 35% are
working in new, nontraditional fields,
9

and most are working inside the sciences. Many
industries are open to hiring chemical engineers, who are well qualified for these
positions.


Chemical Engineering Nationwide


Chem
ical Engineering comprises only a small fraction of employed engineers, even
though it is a major division of engineering. In 2006, chemical engineers held only



7

Chemical Engineering Process

(Philadelphia: January 2002, accessed 29 October 2008);
available from
http://www.aiche.org/CEP/Issues/2002
-
01/index.aspx
; Internet.


8

Arlene Dohm and Ian Wyatt,

College at Work: Outlook and earnings for col
lege graduates, 2000
-
10
(Washington: Bureau of Labor and Statistics
, 2002); available from

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2002/fall/art01.pdf
; Internet.

9

Joseph McCarthy,
So You Want to Become a Chemical Engineer

(Pittsburgh: 3 November 2008,
accessed 29 Oc
tober 2008); available from
http://pillars.che.pitt.edu/student/slide.cgi?course_id=12&slide_id=3.0
; Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
4


30,000, or approximately 2 percent, of 1.5 million engineering jobs.
10

Perhaps the low
percent
age of chemical engineers is due to the relative youth of the discipline compared
to the other major engineering disciplines. Furthermore, chemistry itself is a new science
compared to architecture and mechanics,
11

whose respective disciplines have the mos
t
employed engineers. The disciplines of engineering with fewer employed engineers than
chemical engineering were relatively new or extremely specialized subsets like
biomedical engineering or nuclear engineering, with about one percent each of all
employe
d engineers.
12

There are surprisingly few employed chemical engineers, despite
being a major subset of engineering, which contributes to the burgeoning employment
market for chemical engineers.


The job market for chemical engineers is expected to grow abo
ut as fast as the national
average for all careers, or about 8% growth,
13

consistent with the overall job growth
predicted for all disciplines of engineering.
14

This seems high, given how few chemical
engineers there are in relation to all engineering jobs,

and especially given that America
is entering a recession. Industry typically employs few chemical engineers, and with the
recent rise in unemployment,
15

such a minority market could be expected to lose a
significant number of jobs as employers attempt to

cut costs. However, “
Many engineers



10

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008
-
09 Edition: Employment

(Washington: Bureau of Labor
and Statistics, 2008); available from
http://www.bls.go
v/oco/ocos027.htm#emply
; Internet.

11

National Historical Chemical Landmarks

(Washington: American Chemical Society, 2007);
available from
http://center.acs.org/landmarks/
; Internet.

12

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008
-
09 Edition: Employment

(Washington:
Bureau of Labor
and Statistics, 2008); available from
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#emply
; Internet.

13

Key phrases in the
Handbook (Washington: Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2008); available
from
http://www.bls.gov/oco/oco20016.htm
; Internet.

14

Occ
upational Outlook Handbook, 2008
-
09 Edition: Outlook
(Washington: Bureau of Labor and
Statistics, 2008); available from
http://w
ww.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#outlook; Internet.

15

http://stats.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
5


work on long
-
term research and development projects or in other activities that continue

even during economic slowdowns,” and new, research
-
oriented fields increasingly
employ chemical engineers.
16

Though America’s eco
nomy is beginning to slow,
chemical engineers can expect continued, stable job growth.


Chemical Engineering Salaries


In addition to a healthy job market, chemical engineers command some of the highest
salaries for engineers. The mean yearly wage for che
mical engineers in 2007 was
$84,240
,
17

below only extremely specialized disciplines like nuclear engineering,
aerospace engineering, and the perennial zenith of engineering wages, petroleum
engineering.
18

Figure 1 displays the median earnings of chemical en
gineers by
percentile. As previously discussed, the job market for chemical engineers is growing
steadily, and the number of new graduates will approximately equal the number of new
positions. Furthermore, Chemical engineers are in demand, and possess un
ique skills,
leading to their substantial monetary rewards.


Figure 1:

Median Salary vs. Percentile
19




16

Occupational Outlook Handbook,
2008
-
09 Edition: Outlook

(Washington: Bureau of Labor and
Statistics, 2008); available from
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#
outlook; Internet.

17

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2007: 17
-
2041 Chemical Engineers

(Washington:
Bureau of Labor and Sta
tistics, 2008); available from

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes172041.htm
;
Internet.

18

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008
-
09 Edition: Employment

(Washington: Bureau of Labor
and Statistics, 2008); available from
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#emply
;

Internet.

19

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2007: 17
-
2041 Chemical Engineers

(Washington:
Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2008); available from

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes172041.htm
;
Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
6




Though they are generally well compensated, wages for chemical engineers varied by
industry of employment. Besides managerial positions, pharmaceutica
l manufacture and
other research
-
oriented careers held the highest wages for chemical engineers.
20

Managers have typically been promoted to their positions after years of experience in
their careers and time spent with their employer, justifying their elev
ated salaries.
Chemical engineers involved in research bring valuable skills to their careers, like being
able to both create industrial processes optimized for a particular laboratory
methodology, typically called process engineering, and being able to d
evise products
around a customer’s specific needs, called product engineering. Thus, these engineers
are paid better salaries than their industrially employed peers.


Chemical Engineering in Pennsylvania and Delaware




20

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008
-
09 Edition
: Employment

(Washington: Bureau of Labor
and Statistics, 2008); available from
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#emply
; Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
7



Sal
aries vary regionally, as well as
by discipline and by industry of employment. In
Pennsylvania, the median annual wage for chemical engineers is $74,230.
21

In contrast,
Delaware’s median salary is $94,580.
22

Delaware, whose population is approximately
11.5 million less than the larger sta
tes’,
23

employs only about 300 less chemical
engineers. This disparity in wages and employment could be due to the high
concentration of pharmaceutical companies in Delaware, who, as previously outlined,
offer the highest salaries for chemical engineers.


Inside of Pennsylvania and Delaware, chemical engineers are typically employed in
metropolitan areas, located near large centers of research. In the Philadelphia area, the
median wage for chemical engineers was $
67
,
730
, and in Pittsburgh, $
75
,
070
. In
Wi
lmington, however, the median was a substantially higher $
94
,
400
.
24

Despite the
expectation that standard of living and wages increase with city size, Pittsburgh engineers
are paid better than their Philadelphia equals, and both make less than chemical eng
ineers
in Wilmington. Using a salary of $75,070 in Pittsburgh as a basis, an equivalent salary in
Philadelphia is $100,784, a 34% increase, and in Wilmington, $86,644, a 15% increase.
25

Thus, the salaries for chemical engineers relative to metro area seem

entirely
desynchronized with calculated expectations.




21

Occupational Employment Statistics

(Washington: Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2008);
available from

http://data.bls.gov/
oes/search.jsp?data_tool=OES
; Internet.

22

Ibid.

23

State and County QuickFacts

(Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008); available from
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html
; Internet.

24

Occupational Employment Statistics

(Washington: Bureau of Labor a
nd Statistics, 2008);
available from

http://data.bls.gov/oes/search.jsp?data_tool=OES
; Internet.

25

Cost of Living Comparison Calculator
(
Florida: Bankrate.com, 2008); available from
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/movecalc.asp?
; Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
8



Perhaps Wilmington is attempting to attract recent graduates with high salaries, but such
a considerable difference between salaries in Wilmington and Philadelphia points to an
already
-
flourishing ind
ustry in Wilmington. Furthermore, returning to the industries that
pay the highest salaries for chemical engineers, bioengineering and pharmaceuticals
ranked atop the list. Pittsburgh’s top industries are alloys, energy, and health care,
26

all
of which ar
e research
-
centric, and fairly high paying. However, Wilmington is a
pharmaceutical hub, harboring many pharmaceutical companies, and especially research
divisions,
27

such as Astrazeneca, Merck, and Normaco.
28

As previously discussed,
pharmaceutical resear
ch pays the highest salary for chemical engineers; as a result,
chemical engineers can expect to earn the highest salaries in Wilmington.


Successful Chemical Engineers


Chemical engineers who flourish in their careers typically share many of the same
ch
aracteristics. Because of the rapidly advancing technological aspects of the career, it is
important for chemical engineers to maintain their technical knowledge. Many
successful chemical engineers return to school repeatedly, earning a wide variety of



26

In Depth: Best Citi
es for Young Professionals

(New York: Forbes, 2008); available from
http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/09/cities
-
professionals
-
young
-
forbeslife
-
cx_mw_0709youngprofessionals_slide_29.html?thisSpeed=30000
; Internet.

27

Pharmaceutical Companies in Delaware

(New Yor
k: Manta, 2008); available from
http://www.manta.com/mb_43_D2_08/pharmaceuticals/delaware
; Internet.

28

Google Search
(Mountain View: Google, Inc, 2008); available from
http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=pharmaceutical+companies+wilmington+
DE
;
Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
9


p
ostgraduate degrees,
29

while others rely on professional development courses and in
-
field conferences to bolster their technical knowledge.
30

Whatever the method, chemical
engineers must continue to update and expand their understanding of everything relate
d
to their careers in order to remain successful.


Furthermore, chemical engineers who succeed tend to be extremely flexible. Some move
into litigation or advance into management, and others leave traditional chemical
engineering positions behind and mix
unusual chemical technologies into a successful
career. Chemical engineers can still find employment as a process
-
oriented chemical
engineer in a traditional field, but the most successful chemical engineers are able to
move into other fields. Patent law

is not a long
-
established position for chemical
engineers, but Ron E. Perez, and others like him, have found a comfortable niche
working in this nontraditional field.
31

A healthy dose of postgraduate education and a lot
of adaptations have helped Mr. Pere
z find a rewarding career that continues to be
interesting.


Along with education and flexibility, well roundedness can help chemical engineers to
become successful. As previously mentioned, managerial positions pay some of the
highest salaries for chemic
al engineers. A traditional education in chemical engineering
does not involve the necessary skill to run a business or advise an executive within a



29

Chemical Engineering Process

(Philadelphia: January 2002, accessed 29 October 2008);
available from
http://www.aiche.org/CEP/Issues/2002
-
01/index.aspx
; Internet.
, pg. 10S


21S

30

Interview with Michael Matuszewski
, 10 September 2008.

31

Chem
ical Engineering Process

(Philadelphia: January 2002, accessed 29 October 2008);
available from
http://www.aiche.org/CEP/Issues/2002
-
01/index.aspx
; Internet.
,
http://www.aiche.org/CEP/Issues/2002
-
01/index.aspx, pg 17S

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
10


company, but still, many chemical engineers have moved into this position.
32

Whether
through years of expe
rience in the field, or a postgraduate degree in business, chemical
engineers can become well qualified for a managerial position, sometimes more so than a
recent business graduate, fresh out of a university education. Chemical engineers who
are promoted
into their positions are intimately acquainted with the business proceedings
of their company, and will usually require less training than someone hired to fill the
position from outside the organization. The well
-
roundedness afforded chemical
engineers t
hrough a postgraduate degree, conference attendance, or in
-
job experience can
allow chemical engineers to work in a variety of positions besides traditional chemical
engineering.


As a chemical engineer, I can expect to benefit from all of the aforementio
ned
experiences. I plan on earning at least a master’s degree, and probably completing
coursework in my field after that, which will expand and keep my expertise current. My
salary will increase accordingly, as documented in figure 2; after five years, I

expect to
have my Master’s degree.


Figure 2:

Salary vs. Years After Graduation
33




32

Joseph McCarthy,
So You Want to Beco
me a Chemical Engineer

(Pittsburgh: 3 November 2008,
accessed 29 October 2008); available from
http://pillars.che.pitt.edu/student/slide.cgi?course_id=12&slide_id=3.0
; Internet.

33

Chemical Engineering Salary by Degree

(New York: Payscale.com, 2008); availa
ble from
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Chemical_Engineer/Salary/by_Degree
; Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
11





Furthermore, as I plan on settling in the greater Philadelphia area, I will have many
opportunities to attend conferences in chemical engineering. A multitude of confere
nces
are held in Philadelphia and New York City, both of which will be close to my home.
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers is holding its’ annual meeting this year in
Philadelphia,
34

and holds regional meetings regularly in New York City, where
they are
headquartered.
35

I will be able to attend an abundance of seminars, further increasing my
knowledge, and also my value to my employer. Finally, I plan on staying flexible;
although my ideal career lies in researching alternative energy, I am also

open to a career
in pharmaceuticals and many types of engineering. Both process and product
engineering are fascinating to me, and seem like good career options. My commitment to
education and flexibility in career choice will help me to become a succes
sful chemical
engineer.





34

2008 AIChE Annual Meeting: Philadelphia, PA

(New York: AIChE, 2008); available from
http://www.aiche.org/Conferences/AnnualMeeting/index.aspx
; Internet.

35

htt
p://www.aiche.org/Contacts/index.aspx

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
12


Developing Trends in Chemical Engineering


The highest growth rates for careers in chemical engineering are in developing fields like
biotechnology, energy,
and nanotechnology

research
.
36

As America and the rest of the
world contin
ues to suffer from a worsening energy crisis, new, renewable forms of
energy will become increasingly important to the continued success of the global
economy. Additionally, advances in energy research will be aided by nanotechnology,
which promises to re
duce, by orders of magnitude, energy and material expenditures
required to produce products to perform specialized tasks.
37

Finally, as America
transitions to a service
-
based economy,
38

fields like biotechnology will bloom, as they
help individuals with dis
abilities succeed and generally enhance human life.
39

Chemical
engineers will benefit greatly from growth in these industries, as they are able to
contribute unique knowledge about chemical processes that is key to biotechnology,
energy, and nanotechnology
.


Company Profiles


In choosing an employer, students must take into account the financial stability of the
company and the company’s job market for people with the students’ degree, in addition



36

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008
-
09 Edition: Outlook

(Washington: Bureau of Labor and
Statistics, 2008); available from
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#
outlook; Internet.

37

Societal Implications of Nanoscience
and Nanotechnology

(New York: Springer, 2001);
available from
http://books.google.com/books?id=4S54FQKgeQUC&printsec=frontcover&lr=
; Internet.

38

USA Economy in Brief

(Washington: USINFO, 2008); available from
http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/economy
-
in
-
brief/page3.html
; Internet.

39

Biomedical Engineering

(Australia, 2008); available from
http://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/ieaust/index.cfm?3D888
141
-
E86F
-
AAF6
-
62C9
-
07E8A4A47334;
Internet.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
13


to their personal interests. During volatile financial time
s, a company’s future may be
doubtful, but some industries are usually relatively safe even as the rest of the economy
struggles. I have provided here profiles of three companies that would be good choices
for a chemical engineering student interested in
energy and pharmaceuticals. Amgen Inc.
is a biotechnology company involved in biopharmaceuticals, a typically recession
-
proof
sector of the American economy. The National Energy Technology Laboratory is a
government
-
run research center focused on develop
ing alternative energies and
enhancing current ones. Finally, Westinghouse Electric Company is a leader in the
nation’s nuclear power industry, with diversified investments in many other related
industries.


Amgen Incorporated


Amgen is one of the natio
n’s premier biotechnology companies, presently outperforming
all expectations. Though companies that perform continuous research, like
pharmaceutical manufacturers, typically survive recessions without much negative
impact, biotechnology seems to be an es
pecially safe division of the economy. Recently,
the biotechnology industry has outperformed their pharmaceutical rivals, in part due to
“stronger growth models and better fundamentals.”
40

Biotechnology is a relatively young
field, led by fresh ideas in a
n emerging market, whereas the pharmaceutical industry is
well established, with little room for growth. Pharmaceutical companies typically




40

Vance Cariaga, “Biotechs Brew Up Strong Profits, Sales In W
eak Economy,”

Investor’s
Business Daily
, 5 November 2008, national ed., A1, A9.

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
14


struggle to deal with patent expirations and competition from generic drug makers.
41

Biopharmaceuticals are not exp
osed to competition from generics, and as such, typically
perform well, and are currently being pursued by larger pharmaceutical companies as a
hedge against expiring patents.


Making use of advances in cellular and molecular biology, Amgen markets its’
th
erapeutic drugs that aid in oncology, nephrology, and inflammation directly to
healthcare providers and physicians.
42

Amgen
has increased their earnings per share
estimates after a healthy performance in the third quarter. This marks the fourth time the
c
ompany has surpassed estimates, by an average of 10.68%.
43

The companies’
continually strong performance is exceptional in an uncertain financial period, even to
market analysts. Over the past year, Amgen has reported $1.16 billion in profit, well
ahead
of all forecasts for the company.
44

Reuters recommends the stock as an
outperforming, strong buy stock, with no analysts rating it any worse than “hold.”
45
.
Amgen has posted a net income over the last year,
46

at a time when most companies lost a
significant

amount of money.






41

Ibid.

42

Amgen Inc. (AMGN.O) Company Profile

(NY: Reuters.com); available from
http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?rpc=66&symbol=AMGN.O
; Internet.

43

Bill
Wilton,
Zacks Releases Four Powerful ''Buy'' Stocks: G
-
III Apparel Group, Raytheon
Company, Matrix Service Company and Amgen

(New York: Zacks.com, 2008); available from
http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/energy/acks
-
releases
-
powerful
-
buy
-
s
tocks
-
g
-
iii
-
apparel
-
group
-
raytheon
-
company
-
matrix/
; Internet.

44

Amgen Earnings: Amgen Profit Easily Tops Forecasts; Shares Jump
(New York: Reuters.com,
2008); available from
http://www.cnbc.com/id/27321887
;
Internet.

45

Recommendations: Amgen Inc

(New York:

Reuters.com, 2008);
http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/recommendations?symbol=AMGN.O

46

http://www.foxbusiness.com/research.html?searchString=amgn&searchType=quotes&x=0&y=0

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
15


In fact, Amgen is in such a good fiscal position, it is able to pursue suffering
biotechnology firms at bargain prices with its’ excess liquidity. With the $9.76 billion in
cash that it has built up, Amgen is able to purchase ailing b
iotech companies that need to
rapidly raise funds. With such a large cash reserve, Amgen is able to compete with
larger, more mainstream companies that have recently pledged to increase their
acquisitions
47

for various smaller firms that can provide valuab
le expertise. Such a
rapidly expanding company will surely enjoy a positive outlook in the future, particularly
as biopharmaceuticals gain recognition and popularity as effective treatments for
debilitating ailments.


Amgen’s strong performance of late in
dicates that the company will continue to be
successful in years to come. If the company can continue its current trends, Amgen will
be able to secure its’ place as a biopharmaceutical leader. For a young chemical
engineer, such a growing company represe
nts a good employment opportunity. Amgen is
investing in new technologies and researching new chemicals, which require
corresponding industrial processes to produce on a profitable scale. On the company’s
website, chemical engineering is listed as a recr
uited major,
48

and a quick search of job
listing websites returned several results for a chemical engineering position at Amgen.
49

50

Though these listings required several years of experience, they are jobs the company
needs to fill rapidly. The companies’

university recruitment program grants recent



47

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&refer=conews&tkr=AMGN%3AUS&
sid=a2Ev8
DOaW2tM

48

http://www.amgen.com/careers/university_relations.html

49

http://www.simplyhired.com/job
-
id/xgnn47kxkw/engineer
-
chemical
-
jobs/

50

http://www.careerjet.com/jobs/a/amgen_inc.html

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
16


graduates a chance to gain experience in a career at Amgen. A chemical engineering
student interested in a career in pharmaceuticals would be wise to consider Amgen, both
for its’ internship and career opportu
nities.


National Energy Technology Laboratory


In the midst of a global energy crisis, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing heavily
in researching solutions. President elect Barack Obama has pledged many billions in
taxpayer dollars to experimentat
ion in energy.
51

As a large part of the nations’ energy
research takes place at National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) sites across the
country,
52

this government
-
supported laboratory represents an exciting opportunity for
chemical engineers intereste
d in energy research. NETL focuses on creating
commercially viable new energy technologies, from the molecular to the industrial scale,
and on improving existing industrial processes in order to minimize the environmental
impact of fossil fuels.
53



Prese
ntly endowed with about $560 million,
54

NETL has pioneered many energy
technologies related to hydrogen fuel cells and coal power systems.
55

With the increases
in funding likely under President
-
elect Obama, NETL and the Department of Energy will
have the op
portunity to hire many young scientists interested in improving America’s
energy situation. Chemical engineers can expect to be among those hired by NETL, as



51

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy

52

http://ww
w.netl.doe.gov/about/

53

http://www.netl.doe.gov/onsite_research/index.html

54

http://www.energycodes.gov/news/ecodes2007/presentations/Track3/PMC/Ferguson.pdf

55

http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/index.html

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
17


their expertise in dealing with chemical storage, transfer, and manipulation will become
crucial
to the field of energy.


The three most promising alternative energy sources are biofuels, battery
-
powered
vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells,
56

all of which require help from chemical engineers.
The biofuels industry is dependent upon new storage systems
to handle corrosive
potential fuels, which cannot be stored in traditional gasoline tanks. Also, if the biofuel is
similar enough to traditional fossil fuels, it can be stored in existing tanks, but these will
often need upgrades. For example, biodiesel
can be prepared so that it is remarkably
close in makeup to fossil fuel diesel, but some forms of biodiesel coagulate at a lower
temperature than regular diesel, so the biodiesel tanks need some kind of heating system
to keep the liquid biodiesel from beco
ming too viscous. NETL engineers, backed by
billions in government funding, are able to tackle all of these challenges for industry.


Battery technologies are continuously improving, but presently, no kind of battery is able
to store the same amount of
energy as a comparable amount of gasoline. Contemporary
batteries can store only about one twenty
-
fifth of the energy of the equivalent mass of
gasoline.
57

For a viable battery
-
powered car to be marketable, it must approach the
energy storage available in

gasoline. With improvements in battery technology, made
possible through the work of chemical engineers at NETL, plug
-
in cars may become a
viable source of energy.





56

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/resear
ch/4279508.html

57

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/4279508.html?page=2

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
18


Hydrogen is an attractive source of power, due to the extremely environmentally friendly
b
yproducts of its’ combustion. Burning hydrogen with oxygen produces only water as a
byproduct.
58

Compared to biofuels, which release carbon gases into the atmosphere, and
electric cars, which require continual energy input to their batteries generated thr
ough
fossil fuels, hydrogen powered cars are exceptionally neutral to the environment.
However, storing enough hydrogen to fuel hydrogen cars sufficiently requires a high
-
pressure tank or a method for obtaining hydrogen from air. Both of these processes
are
areas where chemical engineers specialize. In order for hydrogen to become a leader in
the alternative fuels industry, NETL engineers may help to develop new methods for
hydrogen storage and obtainment.


Westinghouse Electric Company


As America searc
hes for a solution to its’ energy woes, nuclear energy is another
potential savior. Nuclear energy is a remarkably clean fuel,
59

but due to controversy
regarding the storage of spent nuclear material,
60

no new nuclear power plants have been
built since 1973
.
61

Nuclear power plants are usually designed to operate for a limited
time, usually around 30 to 40 years,
62

before they must be shut down due to aging
equipment and safety controls. Without any promising replacements for nuclear energy,
the U.S. must mov
e quickly to replace its’ aging power plants in order to avoid an energy
shortage in the future.




58

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem99/chem99448.htm

59

http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/lstpart3
-
6.htm

60

http://www.srs.gov/general/outreach/srs
-
cab/fuelfrm/int
ro.htm

61

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/business/24nuke.html

62

http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2007/npp_extension.html

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
19



By 2050, over a fifth of the world’s energy is expected to come from nuclear sources,
63

and Westinghouse Electric Company, the leader in global nuclear energy,
64

is expanding
to fill the coming gap between power generation and consumption. In 2007,
Westinghouse began construction of a $200 million headquarters complex in
Pennsylvania,
65

and recently announced an agreement with Louisiana to build a nuclear
manufac
turing facility.
66

In the current financial environment, to be able to continue to
expand a business speaks volumes about the soundness of the company.


Westinghouse, owned by Toshiba Corporation,
67

leads the nuclear power industry in
many markets, from t
he construction of new power plants to the upkeep of existing ones.
Furthermore, Westinghouse also conducts extensive research into new nuclear
technologies.
68

Chemical engineers can expect to find a wealth of opportunities at
Westinghouse, which offers m
any internships and career possibilities.
69

The nuclear
power industry is poised for a renewal as the world searches for clean energy sources,
and Westinghouse will lead the way. Chemical engineers at Westinghouse can expect to
deal primarily with very fa
miliar tasks, such as steam generation and transmission,
essential to nuclear power production.


Conclusions




63

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=axLa1quuwt90

64

https://engineering.purdue.edu/NE/Academics/Colloquium/9
-
2
4
-
08.pdf

65

http://www.state.pa.us/papower/cwp/view.asp?A=11&Q=466392

66

http://led.louisiana.gov/view
-
release.aspx?id=3923

67

http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx/2006/01/22/afx2467454.html

68

https://engineering.purdue.edu/NE/Academics/Colloquium/9
-
24
-
08.pdf

69

http://www.aiche.org/Students/Career_Development/Internships/W.aspx

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
20



Chemical engineering is a thriving field. While chemical engineering is a new branch of
engineering, relative to other disciplines, many rapidl
y growing areas of the American
economy employ chemical engineers. As these industries develop, demand for chemical
engineers will continue to increase. Interest is burgeoning and demand is swelling for
renewable sources of energy, and biopharmaceuticals

are gaining merit as a profitable
means of treating many diseases. Manufacturing industries are always looking for new
ways to transfer reactants and ingredients from storage to reactors, and there is always
room for improvement in plastics. Despite an
economic slowdown, chemical engineers
still have as many exciting opportunities available as ever.


Recommendations for Prospective Chemical Engineers


Anyone considering a
career as a chemical engineer should enroll at a large university to
begin a degree

in chemical engineering. Unfortunately, approximately 50 percent of all
engineering students drop out of the major after 2 years.
70

If the student discovers that
engineering is too arduous a major or not sufficiently interesting, a large university will
provide many other choices of major to pursue in lieu of chemical engineering.
Furthermore, because large universities offer superior research opportunities to their
smaller counterparts,
71

the aspiring chemical engineer will have the chance to perform
ext
remely interesting research at a large university. For example, a professor at the



70

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/1990/03/03
-
28
-
90tdc/03
-
28
-
90dnews
-
06.asp

71

http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/1105/ijse/wagner.htm

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
21


University of Pittsburgh recently received a grant to study genome sequencing.
72

Undergraduates are able to participate in research at any university, but the diversity and

availability increase greatly with university size.


For a student interested in chemical engineering to be successful in the difficult chemical
engineering program, the student must find chemical engineering interesting. Students
who enjoy combining c
hemistry concepts with traditional components of engineering,
like math and physics, will find that they enjoy the program. However, students who are
motivated simply by the monetary aspect of engineering will find the program less
rewarding and more chal
lenging than their peers.
73

Enjoying chemical engineering can
make a major with a very high attrition rate much more palatable for the student.


A student has an unparalleled opportunity to gain experience during the years spent at
university. Students ar
e able to work with faculty on the cutting edge of their discipline,
find internships with potential employers, and take semesters off to co
-
op. A student is
able to graduate with an incredible amount of experience, and should take full advantage
of the o
pportunities available to them.


Finally, a student of chemical engineering should not worry about finding a job after
graduation. Careers in chemical engineering are plentiful, and chemical engineers are
extremely flexible. After graduation, a chemical
engineer has experience with many
different areas of engineering, and can apply for almost any engineering job. However,



72

http://www.nih.gov/news/health/aug2008/nhg
ri
-
20.htm

73

http://www.asee.org/acPapers/AC%202007Full2414.pdf

Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
22


because the graduation rate for chemical engineers is approximately equal to the rate of
new job openings, graduating chemical enginee
rs can expect to find a job inside their
major area.





Chemical Engineering

Rovensky
23


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