The best guidance often comes from your peers. Sure, I can write about what matters to readers by interviewing sources, gathering facts and reporting my findings in a hopefully interesting fashion via a column, blog post or article. It's a sound way to disseminate unbiased information. Heck, cavemen shared stories this way on cave walls via pictographs. I imagine this is how they informed future clans of the best food sources, which animals to avoid and how to build a better fire.
Much like those stone-age scribes who wanted to offer advice, Chemical Processing has tapped resources within the chemical industry to help you find the best sources, avoid common pitfalls and build better fires.
Our Online Only Columns are located under the Perspectives tab on the menu bar at ChemicalProcessing.com. You can get there directly via this link: www.chemicalprocessing.com/voices/online_only.html.
The current column, which addresses how to achieve a better work/life balance while being a valuable part of the chemical industry, is written by Catherine T. "Katie" Hunt, Ph.D., director, Innovation Sourcing and Sustainable Technologies, at The Dow Chemical Company and 2007 President of the American Chemical Society. Katie is going to be a regular online columnist for Chemical Processing, offering her exclusive contributions every other month.
Future columns will explore self-mentoring and how to analyze your skills and learning opportunities, as well as identifying the skills needed in your job and how to solicit feedback to help you become a better engineer.
Katie also will address the importance of a good network and how to develop and deliver your personal "elevator speech" to help you advance in your career as a chemical-processing professional.
In another online-only column, she will explore the value case for gender and ethnic diversity in the chemistry field, e.g., citing work with MIT and diversity goals and programs in Brazil.
Katie isn't the only online columnist we have lined up. David L. Russell, P.E., who handles environmental protection questions in our "Ask the Experts" feature, also has agreed to contribute web-exclusive columns. In fact, we've already run one of his columns regarding whitewashing green efforts.
Dave has worked in the chemical industry for more than a decade. He owns and runs Global Environmental Operations, Inc. His work has taken him to Venezuela, Ecuador, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Germany, and Ghana. Currently, he is doing contract work on training in the Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain). I'm certain once his schedule lightens up, we will be treated to insights from his experiences in the Middle East.
We encourage others in the industry to submit ideas for potential columns. Our goal is to educate readers designing and operating plants in the chemical industry. If you have knowledge, experience or insight on how to make plants efficient, safe, environmentally friendly and economically competitive, we want to hear from you. E-mail your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traci Purdum is Senior Digital Editor for Chemical Processing. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.