Volume 8 Issue 1
The Pipeline D. Burts Compton, Co-Editor October 2001
NEWSLETTER OF THE EAST TENNESSEE SECTION OF AIChE
Local section website: http://www.geocities.com/aiche_etenn/aiche.html
October Program at ETSU Observatory
T he October program will feature a visit to the ETSU Observatory. On Saturday, October 20th, from 7:30 to
9:30 pm, Dr. Beverly Smith of the ETSU Dept. of Physics will present a short
program entitled "How to Measure the Size and Distance to the Sun", followed by
the opportunity to do some stargazing. The observatory has a large indoor
telescope linked to a big-screen TV for group viewing, as well as several outdoor
pads for portable telescopes. This is an event for the whole family and will
include dinner beforehand (5:30 pm) at the Sophisticated Otter in downtown
Johnson City (400 Ashe St.). Directions to the observatory can be found on the
web at http://www.etsu.edu/physics/etsuobs/jcmap.html. This event is weather
dependent and will be cancelled if skies are too cloudy to allow observation of the
stars. If the weather is questionable, please call 423 229 5405 for a voicemail
recording after 12:00 pm on October 20th. Also, please RSVP to
mailto:email@example.com or 423 229 5405 by Wednesday October 17th to give a
headcount for the dinner reservation and a phone number where you may be reached in the event of a late
cancellation of the program.
Date: Saturday, October 20th
Dinner Time: 5:30 pm
Dinner Location: Sophisticated Otter
400 Ashe Street, Johnson City
Program Time: 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Speaker: Dr. Beverly Smith, ETSU Dept. of Physics
Program Topic: “How to Measure the Size and Distance to the Sun”
Reservations are required.
Deadline for reservations is October 17th.
Message From the Chair
T hink back for a moment to the time when you were a chemical engineering student. (For
some of us, this was quite a while ago.) Do you feel you knew then what the profession of
Chemical Engineering was all about? If you were like me, you probably had some concept of
what you were getting into but there were undoubtedly a lot of things you had to learn "on the
job." Wouldn't it have been nice if someone had taken the time to prepare you better for your
career? Would it have changed your choice of starting job or influenced your career path if
you knew then what you know now about the nature of the profession and the various duties
chemical engineers perform? Would you have chosen to get an advanced degree?
2 The Pipeline
Some of us were lucky and had "built-in" mentors within our own families who knew something about the field of
engineering and could help guide us. Others, however, have no such resource to rely on. There are many
chemical engineering students today who would love to find answers to questions about their chosen profession
but they don't know whom to ask. Could you be a resource for them? AIChE has a program for matching up
students with prospective mentors. It's called the Student Gold Mentoring Program and is available to AIChE
student members. Please read the following excerpt from the AIChE website and consider whether you might be
the kind of person who can help pave the way for the next generation of chemical engineers.
What mentors gain
You have the opportunity to have a vital impact on the career of a chemical engineering student. By becoming a
mentor through AIChE’s Student Gold Mentoring Program, you can share your expertise and experience while
keeping abreast of new trends and the latest research. As an AIChE leader, students look to you for direction and
support. The knowledge you have to share is invaluable to students facing a variety of challenging choices. Your
support can help them make the most of their education and help ease the transition from student to practicing
chemical engineer. Becoming a mentor will take very little of your time. Contact is generally through email on a
bi-monthly basis. From there the relationship can include plant tours, local seminars, or monthly face-to-face
meetings. The extent of interaction is up to you and the student. We’re already seeing the tremendous benefits
for both students and mentors."
More information about the Student Gold Mentoring Program can be found at the following link:
Chair, East Tennessee Section
September Meeting Recap
Chemical Plant Accidents – Mr. Roy Sanders
he AIChE local section met at Amato’s on 9/27/01 for a lively social and a lecture on Risk, Accidents, and
T Process Safety. Several Northeast State pre-engineering students attended as guests of the local section,
along with their professor, Dr. Mark Pollock. Several retirees came, both chemists and engineers, for a total of 32
attendees. One hour PDH certificates were awarded for PE’s to help with their continuing education
The featured speaker was Roy E. Sanders of PPG
in Lake Charles, La. He is in town teaching the
AIChE course on Chemical Plant Accidents, and
delivered excerpts from the course. Roy Sanders,
a Chemical Engineer, has specialized in Process
Safety since 1974, and has been Superintendent
of Process Safety at PPG since 1982. After
graduating from Louisiana State University, in
1965, he held various operations and technical
positions at PPG involving chlor/alkali and
chlorinated hydrocarbons. Roy has been the
principal author of about ten practical articles and
two books published on chemical process safety
that offer a within-the-fence viewpoint. Roy is a
"Fellow" within the AIChE.
3 The Pipeline
The perceived risks of the chemical industry and its occupations are often misunderstood. Working in the
chemical industry is safer that most individuals realize. Roy’s talk provided a perspective of the risks of working
within the chemical industry. It compared the risk of working in the industry with actual statistical dangers
encountered with other well-understood occupations, commonplace activities, and life styles. For example,
worker risk in the fishing industry is more than 30 times higher than in the chemical industry.
U.S. World-Class Chemical Plants are focused on a mission of:
Not getting anyone hurt
Protecting the environment
Being a low cost producer
The talk reviewed many of the layers of process safety protection that world-class chemical plants utilize to be
pro-active in protecting people, property, the environment, and profit. The layers of protection include
Design and construction practices
Codes and standards
Hazard analyses and other process safety activities
Relief and vent systems
Maintenance and reliability
Engineering Doubles at Northeast State
T he Pre-Engineering Program at Northeast State Technical Community College (NSTCC) achieved record
enrollment this Fall Semester 2001. Overall college enrollment at NSTCC is up about 10%, and the Pre-
Engineering enrollment is up about 100%. Our young people are discovering that they can start their engineering
careers here at NSTCC, receiving about double the quality for about half the cost, and then transfer to their target
4-year institutions like Tennessee Technological University (TTU), the University of Tennessee (UT), Virginia
Tech (VT), etc. Transfers to TTU and VT are seamless (in accordance with a full articulation agreement), and
most other transfers involve little, if any, loss of academic credit.
During the Fall Semester 1998, Professors Mark A. Pollock and Randall L. Stephens teamed up to “build” our
Pre-Engineering Program to serve the entire northeast Tennessee region. We sought the help of the Upper East
Tennessee Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Engineers/National Society of Professional Engineers
(TSPE/NSPE) and created a Student Affiliate Chapter of TSPE/NSPE in January 1999. Since that time our
student chapter has grown to about 70 members. In January 2000 we held our first organizational meeting for the
formation of a Pre-Engineering Advisory Committee. By August 2000, Dr. William Locke, NSTCC’s President,
had sent out official appointment letters, and we held our 1st Official Pre-Engineering Advisory Committee
4 The Pipeline
At our 3rd meeting held this fall, we celebrated our success, elected Ron K. Dailey, P.E., Eastman Chemical
Company, as our first President, and made plans for the future. We have documented these activities in twenty 3-
ring binders, over 2000 digital images, videos clips, and 3 Annual Reports to NSPE.
Dr. M. A. Pollock
AIChE Hosts Career Fair at Reno
A IChE's next Career Fair will be held in Reno, Nevada on Sunday and Monday, November 4 and 5, 2001 in
conjunction with the Institute's Annual Meeting. Our career fairs feature onsite interviewing, informal
networking, and practical job search workshops.
If members of your section are exploring employment options at this time, they should consider attending the fair.
Also, they may place their credentials (at no cost) in AIChE's Career Fair Resume Book, an online database made
available to employers before the event and for several months after it. Many participating employers use the
database to pre-select engineers for onsite interviews.
Members unable to attend in person can introduce themselves to employers "virtually" by posting a resume
(again, at no cost) in the career fair resume book.
Details are located at http://www.aiche.org/careerservices/jobs/carfair.htm.
Members with questions can call me at 212-591-7670, or email me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
$100 bonus for your AIChE section: If you or a member of your section gets a company to register for AIChE's
54th Career Fair, your section can receive a $100 "finder's fee." Interested employers should contact me at
212.591.7670, or email me at mailto:email@example.com.
Senior Employment Services Associate
Professional Engineering Exam Review Course
T he Professional Engineering Exam for Chemical Engineers is offered twice annually: in the middle of April,
and at the end of October. In the past, the East Tennessee Section of AIChE has offered a review course for
those planning to sit for the exam. The winter months seem to be more conducive to studying for the exam, so the
course has traditionally been offered in February and March. Many who do not plan to sit for the exam until
October also attend the class, however, in order to refresh their memories about the topics they will be reviewing.
If you are interested in attending this course, please contact Joe Parker at 423-229-3850 (email
firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can determine if there is sufficient interest to hold the course next year.
The class would meet one night a week for six weeks; each week, a different subject would be reviewed. The
subjects that would be covered by the course are:
Mass and Energy Balances
5 The Pipeline
Each session would last two to three hours. The course would begin around the first week in February, and the
cost would be $25 per person.
EVEN IF YOU ALREADY HOLD AN ENGINEERING LICENSE, YOU MAY WISH TO ATTEND THIS
COURSE! The State of Tennessee requires each licensed engineer to obtain 24 Professional Development Hours
(PDHs) over a two-year period in order to retain his or her engineering license. The East Tennessee Section of
AIChE will award PDHs according to the number of class hours attended. Students who attended all sessions of
the course in 2001 received 14 PDHs, more than enough to satisfy the requirement for one year.
Call for AIChE Officer Nominations
T he time for AIChE section officer elections is drawing near. The section is soliciting nominations of
individuals to serve in the following offices: Director, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, or Treasurer. If you
know a qualified individual who would be willing to serve in one of these capacities in 2002, please send your
nomination to David Hitch <mailto:email@example.com> or to one of the other current officers listed below.
Elections will be held in November and the results announced at the December meeting.
Local Section Officers, Directors & Support Staff
Chair: David Hitch 229-5398
Program Committee Chair: Richard Colberg 229-3184
Secretary: Jennifer Mize 224-7018
Treasurer: Heather McNabb 229-8097
Directors: Joe Parker 229-3850
Mark Harrison 229-4861
Pete Lodal 229-2675
Local Section Webmaster: Tim Nolen 229-8287
AIChE Pipeline Newsletter Editors: Jennifer Mize 224-7018
Burts Compton 229-8526
ETEAC Representatives: Beth Alderson 229-8163
Vera Williams McGill 224-0959
Steve Humphrey 229-8027