what-dont-you-understand-tshirt2

2020 Gift Guide For Chemical Engineers

Dec. 17, 2020

Once again I am doing most of my holiday shopping online. While I try to support local small businesses, sometimes you have to head over to the big “A” to find those gifts for the hard-to-buy-for crowd. Bored with my own shopping list, I decided to see what popped up when I searched for “chemical engineering gifts.” To my delight, I didn’t have to finish typing the query; it seems that other people are looking for gifts for the chemical engineers in their lives, too.

If you’re stumped what to get your co-workers this year -- or if you need ideas to put on your own wish list, here are my top five funniest/creative gift ideas. Full disclosure, I do NOT get any sort of kickback for suggesting these items.

The irony of this first gift -- a t-shirt that challenges: What part don’t you understand? If you read the description, it appears the seller doesn’t understand any part of this shirt. But they are ready to take your money. So safe to say if you wear this in a non-work environment, you will get similar response from passersby. See it on Amazon. 

I have a thing for coffee mugs. I have way too many for my two-person household but I can’t stop buying them. They make me smile as I sip my morning joe. This gift is to the point. It’s a beaker mug that showcases what’s inside the cup. See it on Amazon.File this under “where the heck was this when I was in school?” Although, it’s not very inconspicuous to pull out the periodic table from the side of your pen while you’re taking a test. I can just hear my chemistry teacher, Mr. Venefra, bellowing from his lab table: Purdum, what do you think you’re doing? See it on Amazon. 

It says it’s for ages 8+ so I guess that includes me. However, I should probably find a budding engineer to gift this to. According to the description, there are 25 experiments from making rockets from a chemical reaction to fizzy bombs all via your own combustion lab. Several years ago Editor Mark Rosenzweig wrote about his love of chemistry sets in his column “Check Out ‘Science at Play.’” If an old codger … I mean

seasoned engineer like Mark finds joy in this type of toy, surely you will, too. See it on Amazon.
This gift made the list because it’s free. But be warned, it probably won’t be delivered before Christmas. Chemical Processing is seeking out the world’s okayest chemical engineers and hopes to recognize them accordingly. The nomination process is quite simple. Provide your mailing address and we will send you your very own World’s Okayest Chemical Engineer bumper sticker. Fine Print: The cost of postage restricts us to only sending bumper stickers to U.S. addresses. Get your bumper sticker now. 
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing’s senior digital editor. Send her a holiday greeting by December 31, 2020. One lucky person will be randomly chosen to win the prize of their choice from the five options above.  (photo was taken pre-covid.)
About the Author

Traci Purdum | Editor-in-Chief

Traci Purdum, an award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering manufacturing and management issues, is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent, Ohio, and an alumnus of the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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