Always consider the source before following advice you’ve gotten on how to handle a technical challenge. Too often, limited real-world experience about a particular issue doesn’t stop someone from making a suggestion. The person lacking relevant expertise, while well-intentioned, may offer seriously flawed guidance.
When I started working as an editor, I was surprised to receive letters (no emails then!) asking for insights about a subject I just had covered. People, whether out of naivety or desperation, sought me out, thinking I had some expertise. However, spending a few weeks on research and having conversations with some specialists on the topic obviously didn’t make me an authority, I explained when responding to these requests.
Real insights require real expertise. That’s why Chemical Processing regularly publishes a number of columns — Compliance Advisor, Energy Saver, Field Notes, Plant InSites and Solid Advice — by people with extensive experience and in-depth knowledge about specific subject areas.
Many of these seasoned specialists have written for us for quite some time, which is a testament to their desire to share what they’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, as well as their ability to come up with relevant topics month after month.
We don’t give details on the background of our columnists in their columns but every one of these contributors boasts decades of experience. So, here’s some rudimentary information:
Compliance Advisor — Lynn Bergeson is managing partner of Bergeson and Campbell, a law firm specializing in environmental, safety and other regulatory issues affecting the chemical industry.
Energy Saver — Alan Rossiter, P.E., is president of Rossiter and Associates, a firm focused on energy efficiency, and co-author of the book “Energy Management and Efficiency for the Process Industries.”
Field Notes — Dirk Willard is an independent contractor who has handled a wide variety of roles at operating and engineering firms.
Plant InSites — Andrew Sloley, P.E., is a principal consultant for Advisian (WorleyParsons Group) where his responsibilities include process consulting and design.
Solid Advice — Tom Blackwood now is a consultant specializing in solids/powders processing, following a long career as an internal expert at a major operating company.
We also look for deep industry experience when developing articles for you. We actively solicit contributions from veteran practitioners. These pieces often highlight issues that less-seasoned engineers likely haven’t run into or don’t fully appreciate. For instance, this issue’s “Get A Cold Eyes Review of Pilot Plant Design,” by Rich Palluzi, someone with decades of dealing with pilot plants, summarizes a variety of mis-steps that can cause trouble but frequently don’t get adequate attention.
Another key way CP enables you to take advantage of the expertise of people with real knowhow is through our online Ask the Experts Forum. It provides you an avenue to pose questions to leading authorities in more than two dozen specific areas of technology, and to see the advice they have offered others.