Another noticeable trend is the slight shift in the number of female engineers. Nearly 12% of the chemical engineering professionals we surveyed are female — up 3% from 2011. This rise can also be seen in other areas of the chemical processing field (see, "Who's the Odd Man Out?")
Like previous years, respondents remain split on the public's negative opinion of the industry (Figure 7). Nearly 38% are somewhat concerned about public opinion but another 38% remain unconcerned. Only 12% (188) are very concerned about public opinion and 11% (172) say they aren't at all concerned.
"The best that industry can do is effectively communicate the facts and educate citizens, and hope that perceptions may change. Really, there would need to be a public cultural change to greatly improve perceptions. I have been working for many months in Germany. Here, there is a greater respect of and appreciation for science and engineering within the general public than there is in the U.S. The difference? The culture here (a long, distinguished history of science/engineering in which people take pride) and less bias in the media," believes one respondent.
How the Data Were Gathered
A total of 1,564 respondents participated in this year's survey.
From January through March, respondents accessed the survey questionnaire via a link listed on the www.ChemicalProcessing.com Web site, in e-newsletters and in e-mail blasts sent to readers. Additionally, those who follow Chemical Processing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn also were encouraged to participate.
Congratulations to our iPod Touch Winner!
Mausa Simpson, process engineer at O'Neal Inc, Greenville, SC, was randomly selected as the winner of an 8-GB iPod Touch offered by Chemical Processing as an incentive for participating in the survey.
We appreciate the answers and comments we received from all of this year's survey participants.
Amanda Joshi is Chemical Processing's managing editor. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org