US crude oil inventories shrink for first time in 2017 | PTC Therapeutics to buy Marathon's DMD drug | US upstream investments to surge 60% in 2017
March 21, 2017
AICHE SmartBrief
Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers
Business Update
US crude oil inventories shrink for first time in 2017
oil production
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
US crude stockpiles unexpectedly plunged by 237,000 barrels last week despite analysts' expectations for a 3.7 million-barrel increase, marking the first drop since the start of the year. Meanwhile, gasoline and distillate supplies declined by 3.1 million barrels and 4.2 million barrels, respectively.
Reuters (3/15) 
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PTC Therapeutics to buy Marathon's DMD drug
PTC Therapeutics announced Thursday it intends to purchase Marathon Pharmaceuticals' Emflaza, an FDA-approved orphan drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for $140 million in a cash and stock deal.
Kaiser Health News (3/16) 
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Other News
Mechanical Equipment Ignition Risk Assessment Article
This article is intended to provide some insight into the Mechanical Equipment Ignition Risk Assessment [MEIRA] methodology for evaluating the non-electrical ignition sources that could give rise to flash fires and explosion in locations where combustible dust clouds or flammable vapor atmospheres are present. Visit our booth at GCPS #321. To download a copy, click here
Chemical Technology News
BASF orders supercomputer for chemical research
BASF has asked Hewlett Packard Enterprise to build a supercomputer designed for faster chemical research and modeling. (U.K.) (3/17) 
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Chemists take the lead on quantum computing
Quantum computing is still mostly potential, but chemists working on batteries or electronics are likely to see the first practical applications of the technology, Tom Simonite writes.
MIT Technology Review online (free registration) (3/17) 
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Bath PSM To Attend 13th Global Congress on Process Safety
Bath Process Safety Management (PSM) will attend the 13th Global Congress on Process Safety at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX from March 26-29, 2017. Bath PSM will be at Booth 144 and Mr. James Johnston (Principal, Bath PSM) will present at the Poster Session on Monday, March 27 at 5 pm. For more information visit
Energy, Sustainability & Safety
CSB on the chopping block under Trump budget proposal
The US Chemical Safety Board is among 20 federal agencies and programs that would lose their funding under President Donald Trump's budget proposal. AIChE Executive Director June Wispelwey and Shakeel Kadri, executive director of AIChE's Center for Chemical Process Safety, say the CSB should be maintained to help businesses that "operate with the daunting challenge of preventing catastrophic accidents." Many industries that require hazardous materials "support essential economic development," they noted.
Forbes (3/17) 
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Solve Difficult Flare Problems with Dynamic Simulation
Applying dynamic process simulation to overpressure and flaring scenarios has the potential to reduce the relief requirements. Proper application of dynamic simulation may have significant benefits in terms of equipment availability, emission reduction and more. Download Siemens white paper about using dynamic process simulation on flare scenarios.
Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
Bandage-type device an alternative to sutures in wound closure
Seattle startup KitoTech Medical has developed an alternative to sutures with a bandage-type device called microMend that holds the edges of a wound together with tiny microstaples. A clinical hospital study testing it against traditional sutures found that doctors and patients preferred the device, which is expected to be commercially available this summer.
GeekWire (3/13) 
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Materials & Nanotechnology
Company says it will 3D print a skyscraper
Cazza, a United Arab Emirates-based construction company, says it will build the world's first 3D-printed skyscraper using a technique called crane printing. No height or design for the building has been released, but the company's chief executive officer said the process will make skyscraper construction more efficient and faster.
The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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Earn a Master’s in Chemical Engineering Online
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Education & Government Update
Executive order on climate change delayed
President Donald Trump has delayed his executive order targeting the Obama administration's climate change policies. The order, which was expected as early as Monday, will likely be delayed until next week, sources say.
The Hill (3/20) 
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Trump budget would cut EPA funding by 31%
President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 budget would cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31% and eliminate funding for the Chemical Safety Board, Clean Power Plan and climate-research programs.
Reuters (3/16),  Bloomberg (3/16),  The Hill (3/16) 
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Institute News
Standard rates for Spring Meeting, Global Congress expire tomorrow
Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22, is the last day to qualify for standard registration rates for AIChE's 2017 Spring Meeting and the 13th Global Congress on Process Safety, which will be held March 26 to 30 at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. Thereafter, higher, on-site rates apply. The Spring Meeting is the Institute's premier event for practicing chemical engineers, while the Global Congress is the world's largest gathering of process safety professionals. Find out more.
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Free webinar tomorrow: All about relief systems
Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22, at 2 p.m. EDT, Justin Phillips of Provenance Consulting will lead a webinar entitled "Relief Systems: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask." Participants can submit questions anonymously in advance and have them answered during this one-hour session, which is designed to help engineers and managers better understand basic, intermediate, and complex pressure relief system problems and situations. Learn more.
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Career Focus
Spruce up your resume with these action verbs
Use verbs such as "persuaded" or "reconciled" when discussing your communication skills in your resume, Caroline Zaayer Kaufman writes. Other powerful words include "operated," "delegated," "established" and "monitored," which show off your organizational and management skills.
Monster (3/15) 
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Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life.
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About AIChE
More than 53,000 members in 110 countries have joined the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. It is the focal point for information exchange at the frontiers of chemical engineering, including energy, materials, nanotechnology, sustainability, biological engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. Learn more at or contact us.
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