November 6th 2014 University of Pennsylvania Corporate Dinner

By Peter Schwalbenberg

The University of Pennsylvania hosted their annual AIChE Corporate Dinner at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology. Representatives from various companies such as Jacobs Engineering Inc, Inolex, GSK, AstraZeneca and Pfizer attended the event to give chemical engineering students industrial insight and career advice. Paul Tomlin (Penn BSE ’02) from Dow Chemical Co., was the keynote speaker and presented on the different steps he took to balance family and work while progressing through his engineering career. The event was catered by Stephen Starr and was welcomed by UPenn’s student chapter president, Dillion Weber. The event was spectacular and was well managed by the E-board. Thank you, UPenn, for another great corporate dinner!



November 4th, 2014 Rowan University Corporate Dinner

By Peter Schwalbenberg

Rowan University hosted their 3rd Annual Corporate Dinner this fall. With over 45 students attending, professionals from local companies including Merck, Inolex, PeroxyChem and ExxonMobile, were able to give academic and career advice. Students, ranging from Freshmen to Senior level, received insight into choosing the right career path, having a successful interview and improving networking skills. Rowan’s student chapter President, Tarynn Huitt, welcomed the professionals and managed the event very well with the help of the E-board. Everyone had a fantastic time and enjoyed Chipotle Catering. Looking forward to the next one!


October 21st, 2014 Oil Refining at Jacobs Engineering

By Lyndsay Fitzer

PDH Oil refining by Doug Kriebel at Jacobs Engineering. A great dinner was served with about 30 attendees. His discussion was educational and captivating. The different raw materials, processes and products made at refineries were discussed. Doug taught us about end results such as Octane rating, environmental regulations and chemical structures. Tank farms, hydrocracking, catalytic reforming, isomerization, sulfur recovery, coking, vacuum distillation and other processes were reviewed. Equipment such as, sulfur pumps, feed pumps and air compressors were visualized and importance explained. Overall the presentation had an abundance of information and Doug did a great job teaching and refreshing everyone’s knowledge.


November 13th, 2014 USDA Tour in Wyndmoor, PA

By: Lyndsay Fitzer

With growing interest in alternative energy a tour was organized for the DVS-AIChE section at the USDA site in Wyndmoor, PA. About 30 attendees gathered for a catered dinner first and then a well prepared tour with a focus on four main areas. Peggy Tomasula began with her research on Dairy and Functional Food research. Her group’s mission is to solve “critical problems in utilization of milk and of fruit and vegetable residues from specialty crops by creating new concepts in science and technology to develop high-quality, value-added functional foods and consumer products that help improve human health and well-being.” You can read more about Peggy Tomasula in this link.

Next Dr. Akwasi Boateng and Neil Goldenberg summarized their extensive efforts towards renewable fuel standards. 21 billion gallons of advanced bio-fuels will need to be produced by 2022. “The largest source of feedstock to produce these advanced biofuels is lignocellulosic biomass, including woody materials, herbaceous grasses and crop residues.” Fast pyrolysis has been researched to create pyrolysis oil (bio-oil). Currently pyrolysis oil is corrosive and unstable, creating processing problems. A catalyst was added in order to remove oxygen and results in hydrocarbons. A study was done on oak and oxygen was reduced from 40 wt% to about 17 wt%. Find more about there research by following this link.

Dr. John Nghiem has a project titled “Sorghum Biorefining: Integrated Processes for Converting All Sorghum Feedstock Components to Fuels and Co-Products.” The Objective is to “Develop technologies that … enable the commercial production of new co-products at sorghum-based biorefineries.” He also is developing technologies that enable the commercial production of marketable C5-rich and C6-rich sugar streams from sorghum lignocellulosic into fuels and chemicals. Lastly he currently researches to “develop technologies that enable the use of byproducts and wastes generated in ethanol and other fermentation processes in the sorghum biorefinery for production of energy and chemicals.” More about John’s research by following this

Lastly, Dr. Robert Moreau has been researching the project titled “Enable New Marketable, Value-Added Coproducts to Improve Biorefining Profitability.” His objective is to fractionate sorghum and grain-derived brans into new commercially-viable coproducts or energy/fuels. He also aims to develop commercially-viable, value-added carbohydrate, cellulose, hemicellulose based co-products. Finally he is enhancing biodiesel quality, low temperature operability, and reducing quality-related limitations of biodiesel produced from trap and float greases. Lastly, he is enabling the commercial production of alkyl-branched and aryl-branched fatty acids. Read more by clicking here.

K-12 Outreach at Esperanza College, Philadelphia, PA

By: Aswathi John

Esperanza College, a Christian College program started to enhance the knowledge, skills and outlook of Hispanic and local community students. AIChE was able to be a part their mission by organizing a K-12 outreach sponsored by INOLEX at Esperanza College.
In order to show the kids an application of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in real life we organized an activity in which we showed them how to make a lip gloss.

First we discussed with the students, the different characteristics a lip gloss should have and how one can use the principles of chemistry to combine different kinds of substances to make a lip gloss with the desired characteristics.

Once we showed them how to make and package it, we asked them to think about how thousands of similar lip gloss is being produced in a day. And hence we taught them the necessity of Chemical Engineers in the field of manufacturing to efficiently produce various products around them.

We made them understand that once a Chemist finds the best formulation to make a lip gloss with the desired characteristics, it is the job of the Chemical Engineer to design and engineer techniques and mechanisms that can be used for the large scale production of the product which then goes into the consumer market.

Overall we were glad to have successfully organized this workshop to show the importance and necessity of Chemical Engineers in our society.

For pictures click here