Section News

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.