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Celebrating 100 Years of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Tim Nolen April 15, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Celebrating 100 Years of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Tim Nolen April 15, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Celebrating 100 Years of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Tim Nolen April 15, 2008

2 What Do I Know About 100 Years?  I know about the last 25 years of AIChE!  It doesn't seem that long ago…

3 Outline  Early Days and Founding—The first 25 years.  Rapid growth and broadening—The next 50 years.  Maturity, Change, and Challenge—the last 25 years.  Thoughts about the Future  Why Join AIChE Now?

4 Outline  Early Days and Founding—The first 25 years.  Rapid growth and broadening—The next 50 years.  Maturity, Change, and Challenge—the last 25 years.  Thoughts about the Future  Why Join AIChE Now?

5 Emergence of Chemical Engineering  Manufacturing containing elements of chemical engineering date back thousands of years.  But, unlike chemistry, mechanical or civil engineering, chemical engineering was not RECOGNIZED as a discipline until at least the late 19 th century.  Academic Courses called "chemical engineering emerged…

6 A syllabus from the Glascow and West of Scotland Technical College 1888-1889. 1888 – "Course X" at M.I.T. – Lewis Norton

7 Other Disciplines Predated Chemical Engineering  American Chemical Society (1876) members generally thought that chemists could cover manufacturing –Applied chemistry –Industrial chemistry  Plus Mechanical Engineering (ASME, 1880)  Plus Electrical Engineering (AIEE, 1884)  Plus Civil Engineering (ASCE, 1852)  Plus Mining / Metallurgical Eng. (AIME) Already recognized in the 19 th Century

8 Chemists were skeptical about "Chemical Engineering" "I am absolutely against the introduction of chemical engineering in the education of chemists." --Hugo Schweitzer, 1904 at ACS Meeting Instead, he argued that industrial companies should hire pure chemists and train them in technical aspects required for their plants.

9 Richard K. Meade – A Catalyst for AIChE Formation  Founded Journal "The Chemical Engineer" 1905.  Organized "Committee of Six" to investigate founding a chemical engineering society—met six times in 1907.  ACS leaders opposed Richard Meade and his committees –M.T. Bogert – ACS President and A.C. Langmuir both opposed having a separate chemical engineering group. –Bogert proposed ACS programs for chemical engineers plus a new Journal of Industrial Engineering Chemistry.

10 The "Committee of Six" organized a movement toward AIChE formation. The year was 1907…

11 AIChE Founding – June 22, 1908  Committee of Six Invited 100 prominent chemical engineers to organizational meeting in Philadelphia.  19 people attended and organized the American Institute of Chemical Engineers  Samuel Stadtler elected first President  John Olsen elected Secretary (held this office until 1927)

12 Two needs dominated the early AIChE… 1. Minimize conflict with ACS –ACS was formed in 1876, at 5000 members by 1908 –ACS immediately formed Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering to pre-empt AIChE 2. Define what "Chemical Engineering" meant.

13 AIChE early membership requirements kept it a small club.. …so as to minimize conflict with ACS  Minimum age of 30  Proficient in chemistry AND relevant engineering field  Minimum five years relevant experience  College degree (or ten years experience) These requirements precluded chemists and academics.

14 So the early AIChE was a special club of few members. "Recent Growth and Development of the Institute," Frederic J. LeMaistre, in Chemical Engineering in America, 1932, p. 33. Frederic J. LeMaistre was Executive Secretary, 1930 Secretary, 1931 Today, Eastman alone has >900 people with ChE degrees. Chemical Engineers in U.S. 1905: 500 1930: >10,000

15 Union Dye and Chemical – 1918 pre- dated Eastman

16 AIChE helped define "Chemical Engineer"  "Unit Operations" as the basis of chemical engineering – A.D. Little in letter to his Alma Mater, M.I.T. in 1915.  Little organized a review of 77 chemical engineering programs, and produced a report in 1922 that helped shape and change the chemical engineering curriculum forever: "Chemical engineering…is not a composite of chemistry and mechanical and civil engineering, but a science of itself, the basis of which is those unit operations which in their proper sequence and coordination constitute a chemical process as conducted on the industrial scale.

17 Defining "Chemical Engineer" – Part II  Not only unit operations, but describing and designing each unit using kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport phenomena.  1923: "Principles of Chemical Engineering" text by William Walker, W. K. Lewis, and W. H. McAdams of M.I.T.

18 Early Meetings/Publications  Spring and Summer Meetings each year for technical presentations.  Published "Transactions" of the meetings which were critical to early formation of chemical engineering literature.

19 AIChE shaped chemical engineering training.  Starting in 1922, AIChE was the first engineering society to evaluate and endorse college curricula and programs  1932: AIChE joined other societies in forming Engineers Council for Professional Development (now Accrediation Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET).  18 Departments were accredited by 1931.  Today, there are 154 accredited ChE Departments in the U.S. and AIChE continues to cooperate with ABET.

20 AIChE Accomplishments by 1930  Helped define ChE field and curricula  Established accreditation program  Instituted Spring and Fall Technical Meetings  Established "Transacations"  Established full-time executive secretary and headquarters in Philadelphia (1930).

21 "A Break with Elitism" finally carried the day in 1930  A.D. Little, 1919 President, and Henry Howard, 1922-3 Presidents, argued for broader membership, to no avail. "We should all agree that the Institute ought to be truly representative of American chemical engineers." Howard, 1920. It was not until 1930 that an amendment was able to pass with the 75% required majority to allow for more extensive membership.

22 Outline  Early Days and Founding—The first 25 years.  Rapid growth and broadening—The next 50 years.  Maturity, Change, and Challenge—the last 25 years.  Thoughts about the Future  Why Join AIChE Now?

23 ASME Challenge  By 1930, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers was proposing a "Process Division" which threatened to expand into the area occupied by AIChE.  This, along with the rapid growth and unique definition of "chemical engineer" spurred opinion toward loosening AIChE membership requirements.

24 Membership Requirements Before 1928: …proficient in chemistry and in some branch of engineering as applied to chemical problems 1928 modification: "…proficient in chemistry and the design, construction, or operation of a plant in which matter undergoes a change of state or composition" 1931: "…proficient in chemical engineering and experienced in the design, construction, maintenance, or operation of a plant…"

25 Broadening AIChE Membership Requirements 1930 – proficiency in "chemical engineering" replaces "chemistry" 1943 – Industrial researchers and teachers allowed as active members 1950 – Automatic transfer of Junior members to Associate members at age 35 1954 – Changed "Junior" to "Associate" and "Associate" to "Affiliate" and allowed Associate members full voting rights.

26 Chemical Engineering During the Depression Years – Growth! From 1929 to 1937:  Earnings of top 45 chemical companies increased 28%.  35 of 45 chemical companies paid larger dividends.  Production in 1937 surpassed the 1929 record high.  Chemical workers in research grew from 3451 to 9467 (in 1938).

27 Tennessee Eastman – 1938 (Photo: Eastman Photographic Services)

28 Tennessee Eastman Company – 1963 (Photo: "Wings Over Kingsport")

29 AIChE Membership Growth Followed Industry Growth "Scaling up—The Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Rise of a New Profession, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2000.

30 AIChE student chapters grew, too.  1921, Student chapters were authorized.  1922, University of Michigan  1929, 15 chapters  1932, Student Problem Contest Instituted  1938, 64 chapters, 4375 members  1958, 108 chapters, 7035 members  2007, 161 chapters "Student chapters provide opportunities for networking, mentoring, student conferences, programming, career guidance, scholarships, awards, competitions, information, news." East Tennessee Section is one of the few without a student chapter.

31 Local Sections have a history, too. Why have them?  Geographical coverage  Encourage closer professional/personal relationships  More opportunities for leadership  Provide programs with local relevance. History  AIChE Council passed rules establishing local sections in 1922. –Initially, local sections were limited to discussing "papers and informal fellowship" –Rules were broadened in 1932 to allow freedom in programming  Chicago Section formed in 1924.  Detroit Section formed in 1928.

32 Local Sections exploded with membership growth.

33 Our own National Presidents Two National AIChE Presidents have come from the East Tennessee Section: John H. Sanders, 1984 Jeff Siirola, 2005

34 AIChE Sponsored Research Institutes  DIPPR – Design Institute for Physical Properties Research – founded 1978 to fill industry need for better data as suggested by Bob Reid from M.I.T. in 1975. Is the longest running AIChE-sponsored research program.  CCPS – Center for Chemical Process Safety formed in 1985 in response to Bhopal disaster.

35 AIChE formed Technical Divisions Purpose:  Promote the exchange of technical information, and provide opportunities for affiliation in disciplines and emerging fields.  Provide programming, awards, recognition. Nuclear Engineering Transport & Energy Processes--TEP Food, Pharma, and Bio-Eng.-FP&BE Fuels & Petrochemicals-F&P Forest Products-FP Materials Eng. & Sci.--MESD Environmental-ENV Computing and Systems Tech-CAST Safety & Health--S&H Management-MGT Council of Division & Forum Officers Separations--SEP Catalysis and Reaction Eng.-CRE Process Development--PD

36 AIChE grew into prestigious national headquarters.  From 1937 to 1961, AIChE leased space in various buildings in New York City, expanding as needed.  In 1959, AIChE became one of the five "Founder Societies" buying into the "United Engineering Center" building across from the United Nations in NYC. The building was completed in 1961. –22 floors –283 ft tall –$10 million original construction cost of which $300K was paid by AIChE. –Architects: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates (also designed Empire State Building).

37 Outline  Early Days and Founding—The first 25 years.  Rapid growth and broadening—The next 50 years.  Maturity, Change, and Challenge—the last 25 years.  Thoughts about the Future  Why Join AIChE Now?

38 SOURCES: Tabulated by National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Statistics (NSF/SRS); data from Department of Education/National Center for Education Statistics: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System Completions Survey and NSF/SRS: Survey of Earned Doctorates. Change: No longer a Men's Club.

39 And in East Tennessee, too.

40 But AIChE's exponential growth has ended. "Scaling up—The Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Rise of a New Profession, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2000.

41 Chemical Industry maturity is changing AIChE

42 Trouble in Maturity  AIChE had a financial crisis 1998-2003 –Financial assets declined in value from +$20.9M to -$3.4M –Revenue decreased –Costs higher  Response—2003 Restructuring –Reducing staff –Outsourcing journals, continuing education –Assigning 3 Park Ave. lease –Reducing other non-essential activities.  Result—AIChE net assets increased to +$3.5M by Dec. 31, 2006. (Total Revenue: $16.6, Total expenses, 14.3 in 2006.)

43 AIChE now at 3 Park Avenue In 1997, the UEC was demolished to make way for the Trump World Tower. AIChE moved to leased space at 3 Park Avenue in New York and pocketed $6.2 million from its share of the sale of the UEC building.

44 Outline  Early Days and Founding—The first 25 years.  Rapid growth and broadening—The next 50 years.  Maturity, Change, and Challenge—the last 25 years.  Thoughts about the Future  Why Join AIChE Now?

45 But…Chemical Engineering has a Future!  Maturity is not the end, but a call for productivity and innovation in traditional industries. AIChE is addressing new challenges, e.g.  Society for Biological Engineering (2001)  Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum (2003)  Institute for Sustainability (2004) Demand for materials and energy will continue to grow.

46 Industry Strategies and Trends Chemicals Molecule Supplier Problem Solver Commodities Fine Chemicals Functional Chemicals Life Sciences Process technology Raw material basis Logistics "Verbund" Technical capabilities Customer orientation R&D competence Market understanding Application technologies "Magic Ingredients" R&D / patents Marketing / Sales U.S. E.U. Mid. East Asia U. H. Felcht, "The Future Shape of the Process Industries"

47 Chemical Engineering: A More Diverse Universe  29,000 people working as "Chemical Engineers" in 2005 (BLS)  Compare to: 210,000 people received B.S. degrees in chemical engineering in the U.S. since 1970. Probably 160,000 are still in the workforce. Chemical Engineering is a foundation for a broader set of careers than just the process industry.

48 Some March Articles: "What are Chemical Engineers Doing about Energy? "Conference Explores Developing Bioeconomy "Biofuels in the News" "How Might Biofuels Impact the Chemical Industry?" "The Future of Coal-Based Power Generation" "DOE Restructures FutureGen to Emphasize Carbon Capture" "Harnessing Natural Energy" "Electricity Storage: The Achilles' Heel of Renewable Energy" AIChE and Chemical Engineers have a lot more work to do!

49 Why Belong to AIChE Now?

50 What AIChE Has Already Given You  Shaped and Defined Your Profession for 100 Years  Accreditation for your ChE Dept. – founder of ABET  Center for Chemical Process Safety  Design Institute for Physical Properties  Publications / Meetings / Training  Divisions and Local Sections  Advocacy for Science and Technology

51 Other AIChE Member Benefits  Access to the AIChE eLibrary powered by Knovel The AIChE eLibrary delivers selections from the most relevant engineering and scientific references, handbooks and databases to your PC. You can then manipulate and search for content across the entire collection. Members enjoy free access to selections from Knovel's Life Sciences and Chemistry collections.  Technical publications and books Save up to 10% on books and publications. And up to 83% on magazines. Choose from eight journal subscriptions and over 300 publication titles. Technical conferences Save $200 on conferences, where you’ll learn from industry leaders and meet thousands of industry peers. There are six AIChE sponsored conferences—and over 30 specialty co-sponsored conferences.  Career advancement and support All Members have access to AIChE’s exclusive career and employment services, including CareerToolsPLUS! for broad career support services at every career stage, including job search support. Also sign onto AIChE’s premier Chemical Engineer resume database, CareerEngineer, AIChE's exclusive job search engine for chemical engineers. You can search by position, industry, city, state, country and company. If you're an employer, this is the best resource to fill a position-whether full-time, consultant or internship.  12-month subscription to CEP (Chemical Engineering Progress)  The AIChE Member Directory Use this online resource to locate and stay connected with friends, colleagues and peers worldwide.  Members-only insurance plans AIChE offers members portable insurance plans you can take with you when you change jobs or careers. You'll receive competitive group rates and flexible plans to fit your budget and your needs.  A diverse, far-reaching network As an AIChE member, you'll have many networking opportunities to build and maintain professional relationships.  Special financial products and services Explore AIChE's family of of financial products and services designed exclusively for AIChE members, including group insurance, small business and personal financial benefits.  UPS discounts AIChE members receive deep discounts – up to 26% – on UPS Express shipping, and 10% on business services at The UPS Store® like copying, binding, laminating, packaging and mailbox services.  Car rental discounts AIChE has made arrangements for members to save 5 to 15% off regular rates every time they rent a car from Hertz or Avis.

52 Support Your Profession!  Your paycheck – it's big!  Your future and those who follow depend on a strong AIChE And: “A recent survey of hiring managers and headhunters revealed that a whopping 79% see job applicants who are involved with professional associations as “higher quality candidates” than those who aren’t.” as quoted by Annie Fisher, Fortune Magazine, Feb. 22, 2005.

53 So, here's to the next 100 Years! Thanks for celebrating with me today. More celebrations! November 16-21, 2008. Also, see

54 Join Your Chemical Engineering Profession Join AIChE


56 Railroads matured too, but they are more important than ever today. Railroad route length in the U.S. ("The Transportation Experience: Policy, Planning, and Deployment. [William Louis Garrison, David M. Levinson], Oxford University, 2005.

57 Railroads (and chemicals) – China is a new driver "on the road." The Economist, Feb. 14, 2008

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