The awards, named for John C. Vaaler, long-time editor in chief of this magazine, were established more than 40 years ago specifically to honor products and services that have markedly improved the operations and economics of plants.
This year’s ballots are in and three companies have won 2005 Vaaler Awards: Ashland Specialty Chemical Division of Ashland, Inc. for its Sonoxide Ultrasonic Water Treatment, Chemineer, Inc. for its Clean Sweep Mixer, and Honeywell Process Solutions for its Process Control Network Security Services suite.
Members of CP’s Editorial Board served as judges and evaluated each of this year’s nominees as to significance to plant operations, novelty or uniqueness, and breadth of application.
Ashland’s Sonoxide is a self-contained turnkey device that subjects cooling water to low-energy, high-frequency ultrasound. This enables system-wide control of bacteria and biofilm, obviating chemical microbiocides and thus avoiding the environmental and operational problems they may pose.
Chemineer’s Clean Sweep mixer features an impeller that swings instead of rotates. The design eliminates the need for a mechanical seal and, with it, particle shedding from the seal or in-tank bearings. The mixer requires no baffles and is center mounted. A unique impeller provides effective mixing throughout the vessel.
Honeywell’s PCN Security Services suite provides an organized, holistic approach to protecting process control systems from cyber-terrorism. It includes services to assess vulnerabilities and do detailed design of security infrastructure, as well as for on-site implementation and remote management.
Complete details on the winners will appear in next month’s issue.
Since I’m citing noteworthy developments, it’s also appropriate to call your attention to two new editors at CP.
Dirk Willard is joining us this month as senior editor. Dirk got his chemical engineering degree from Michigan State University and went to work for the U.S. government as a research scientist and engineer. He then held a variety of technical positions in industry. He has handled process, project, maintenance and other engineering duties and been responsible for production. He has been involved with bioproducts, pharmaceuticals, bulk inorganics, foods and other materials.
Dirk will be handling the “Making it Work” and “Process Puzzler” departments, developing and editing technical articles, researching and writing news stories, and doing a monthly column.
Ken Schnepf has been our managing editor for a couple of months. He has a journalism degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and 20 years of experience in publishing. After college, he got his start as a general assignment reporter, then business editor and later city editor of various suburban newspapers. He then moved over to trade magazines, particularly several publications serving dentists. He assures us that he’s just as game to get his teeth into chemical processing as he was with dental technology.
Ken is handling our “Equipment & Services” section, editing a column, and also will write stories about business, professional and similar issues. Most importantly, perhaps, he edits all content to make sure it is clear, accurate and grammatically correct.