Perspectives: From the Editor

Focus, not hocus-pocus

 

By Mark Rosenzweig

You probably can name several companies and perhaps even an association that have been so smitten with emerging or trendy fields that they have neglected or even abandoned their traditional core areas. However, strengths and competencies don't necessarily translate well or lead to leverage in the new fields. So, not surprisingly, the results too often have been disastrous.

Inertia offers no safety, though. Remaining relevant requires continual evolution to keep pace with a changing marketplace, and demands a clear understanding of customer needs and the particular advantages you offer. This certainly applies equally well to technical publishing as to chemicals making.

So, as the chemical industry continues to change, Chemical Processing is evolving, too, to make the magazine even more valuable to you. In doing so, we are guided by a single mandate: to serve the technical information needs of engineers operating and designing chemical plants.

If you are like many engineers, you must contend with a far different work environment than you did just a few years ago. You can call upon fewer people for help and they often have much less experience. Plus, your workload has dramatically increased; so, your time is at a premium.

For Chemical Processing, the message is clear. You need reliable useful information focused specifically on the chemical industry now perhaps more than ever. You don't have time to waste in getting it. You don't want fluff, gimmicks or extraneous material.

Providing that information never has been easy and has become harder given the changes in the chemical industry. And it is spurring redoubled efforts by us.

For instance, take a look at this month's masthead (p.4). In recent months, we have added Agnes Shanley and Nick Basta to our staff. Agnes has a degree in chemistry while Nick is a chemical engineer; both have distinguished records in covering the chemical industry And now I, another chemical engineer, have joined Chemical Processing; hopefully, my name will be familiar from my long tenure at a couple of other magazines in the field. Together, we boast over 70 years of editorial experience related to the chemical industry. And CP is looking to add another technically trained editor.

Staffing up with experienced people is as unusual in publishing nowadays as it is in the chemical industry. But, we consider it essential to do the job we want to do and it underscores our commitment to serving you.

As Editor-in-Chief, my aim is straightforward and unequivocal: to provide authoritative, practical and impartial technical information to help you make plants as efficient, safe and environmentally friendly as possible and to alert you to trends and developments that can keep operations competitive in the future.

Expect to see more input from industry veterans, more advice and insights from engineers dealing with the same operational and design issues that you face. We will be reaching out to such people more than ever as we develop content. One example is our new "Process Puzzler" dept. on p. 81. In addition, we will be setting up an Editorial Board of experienced practitioners to help guide us.

Your input can assist us in serving you better. Please contact me directly with suggestions as to topics that you'd like to see covered, comments on published material, or anything else about the magazine or the chemical industry.

And certainly let me know if you are tempted to write for us. Having an article published in Chemical Processing allows you to share you expertise with the largest audience of engineers at chemical plants of any magazine, and in so doing increases your visibility and enhances your reputation in the field. You might find writing is fun, too. Just send me an abstract or outline ," there's no need to work up a draft ," and I will let you know if your topic and approach are suitable for CP and what if any fine-tuning of focus might be necessary. I strive to make your publishing experience as easy, effective and enjoyable as possible. That's why over the years I have worked with so many repeat authors.

I promise to work hard to bring you the content that you need and deserve. The only thing up my sleeves is some elbow grease.

By Mark Rosenzweig is editor in chief of Chemical Processing  magazine. E-mail him at mrosenzweig@putman.net.

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