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 

Oktoberfest 2014 Success!

By: Peter Schwalbenberg, Vice Chair

“In recent years’ the DVS’s Oktoberfest has become a social hotspot for engineers, students and friends and this year was no exception. For this 8th edition of the event, AIChE-DVS and ISPE-DVC teamed up and hosted this annual autumn get-together at the one and only, Yards Brewery in Philadelphia.

Over 90 attendees came to enjoy the local brews and the good company. The Spruce, Pynk, and Pale ales proved to be an epic delight, specially accompanied with the beer themed appetizers/sandwiches provided by Tradestone Cafe. The night kicked off with a warm welcome given by the Daniel Sujo, the chair of AIChE-DVS and Alan Levy, the president of ISPE-DVC. The event followed with a fun and easy social bingo competition, with folks mingling to find out different fun facts about each other. 10 winners won 10 Wawa gift cards, but people kept on meeting and greeting to complete their bingo boards. Business cards were exchanged, fun gatherings were planned and student learned a great deal about industry and career advice. And let’s not forget the hilarious brewery tour given by Yards’ own Mike Hans! Great beer, great food and great people made this Fall season kick off to a great start!”

Check the photos from Oktoberfest 2014 HERE

AIChE New Fellows 2014

Please join me in congratulating Doug Kriebel, PE, Chuck Clerecuzio, PE and Dr. Zenaida Gephardt, PE for their appointment as Fellow Members of AIChE based on their demonstrated significant professional accomplishment and long-term service to the profession and our section.

I also want to congratulate as well the outstanding job of our Awards Committee for their hard work behind the scenes to ensure our members are recognized locally and nationally.

We are always looking for nominations! Please contact us if you want to nominate an outstanding member of our section.

Tour at NextFab -3D Manufacturing

NextFab is a 3D printing site located in South Philadelphia that offers a gym for innovation. The company was founded by Dr. Evan Malone, an alumnus of UPenn and Cornell. We had the pleasure to tour the facility last September. 

We were able to see lots and lots of equipment for manufacturing objects of many sizes. Laser engravers and 3-D printers/scanners of diverse technologies are the showcase piece. However, innovation cannot be only done with 3-D printers so there are also wood and metal shops, electronics, computer and wet chemistry laboratories, photography studio and spaces for collaboration.

Chemical engineers can benefit of 3-D printing in two major ways, from my personal point of view. The obvious one is to work on the development and improvement of 3D materials and methods. The other one may sound more futuristic. It is the miniaturization of chemical processes. Smaller control volumes behave closer to ideality if coupled with computational fluid dynamics and control systems. This may yield to process intensification but on the other hand, these designs typically involve intricate geometries which may be cumbersome to manufacture. Advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3-D printing could be a true game changer for the chemical industry. The large capital investment typical of our industry are taken down so many chemical start-ups could thrive. Other benefits could be the reduction of risk by reducing the amounts of dangerous raw materials, more sustainable processes by process intensification but manufacturing can happen closer to the customer, and instead of scaling up we could be numbering up the process. 

NextFab was a great host. We are very thankful for their hospitality. We had a light dinner was served by Breezy’s Cafe a recommendation by NextFab, which tasted very well indeed.

We are hopeful to have an expert in process intensification in our Professional Development Session soon so we can explore more about the future of chemical engineering. 


Phila Area EWB Wins Award

First NCEES-sponsored EWB-USA grants awarded

Each chapter will use $5,000 grant to improve lives of others through engineering

THE WINNERS OF THE FIRST NCEES- sponsored Engineers Without Borders-USA project grants have been announced, with the University of Colorado Boulder student chapter and the Philadelphia professional chapter each receiving $5,000 to support current projects.

The University of Colorado Boulder student chapter will apply the $5,000 award toward the overall funding necessary to implement its spring source protection project at Jhor Dhara this summer. Once complete, the project will provide a catchment tank to allow a more dependable water source during the dry season and a spring protection system to reduce water contamination. It’s estimated that the improvements will enhance the lives of over 34,000 people.

The Philadelphia professional chapter program will apply its $5,000 award toward the overall funding necessary to implement a water distribution system in Las Delicias, El Salvador. The system will provide a more evenly distributed water supply and help temper the current hoarding culture and its resulting illnesses. Once complete, it’s estimated that the improvement will enhance the lives of almost 5,000 people. To be eligible to receive an NCEES- sponsored grant, the project team mentor must be a P.E. or P.S. and the result and project must protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Preference is given to 2 | Licensure Exchange teams that represent multiple disciplines. Combined, the first two winning teams include several P.E.s and a P.S. and represent eight engineering disciplines.

EWB-USA is a fast-growing organization and ideal partner in our efforts to increase academia, student, corporate, and government understanding of the value of employing licensed engineers and surveyors. Founded in 2002 with eight engineering students and one engineering professor, today it boasts a membership of almost 14,000 students, faculty, and professionals who represent over 300 active chapters throughout the country.

Its program model is based on delivering practical engineering solutions that provide members the opportunity to apply the technical knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations, under the guidance of professional mentors.

For a mentor to serve as a project’s responsible engineer in charge (REIC), he or she must meet certain qualifications depending on the project’s potential impact of failure. A licensed engineer must serve as the REIC if failure of the project could result in death, severe illness, injury, or significant damage of property. Based on average EWB-USA participation numbers and project types, over 2,000 engineering students working are currently under the guidance of a licensed engineer.

To describe the outcomes associated with engineering students and professional mentors working together to complete a project, EWB-USA uses phrases like “moving from coursework to context,” “narrowing the knowledge gap through additional experience,” “transformational education,” and “networking across disciplines and across generations.” In other words, this project-based program model is better preparing engineering students to be successful in their careers while demonstrating the value that licensure brings to engineers, employers, and most importantly, the public.

The partnership with NCEES and EWB- USA is just beginning. In addition to the project grants that are awarded twice a year, EWB-USA has many other opportunities that will allow NCEES to promote the value of licensure to students, faculty, unlicensed engineers, engineer interns who may need extra encouragement to complete the path to licensure, and the public.

Learn more about EWB-USA at http://www.ewb-usa.org.