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February 12, 2013
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Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers

  Business Update 
  • MDU Resources, Calumet team up to build Bakken Shale refinery
    Calumet Specialty Products Partners struck a deal to jointly develop and operate a refinery in Dickinson, N.D., with MDU Resources. The proposed 20,000-barrel-per-day facility will process Bakken Shale crude oil to produce diesel fuel. "Construction of the refinery could begin this spring and is expected to take up to 20 months," the companies said. Reuters (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Chemical Technology News 
  • MIT researchers develop wastewater-treatment process for drilling
    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a process of treating water byproducts from the oil and natural gas industry through humidification dehumidification. "If you compare this to a pure evaporation process, you are basically imputing the energy of the latent heat of water. Here is a process that operates like a multistage evaporation system, but in a single stage," said researcher Anurag Bajpayee. (free content) (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Energy, Sustainability & Safety 
  • Wastewater plants could generate power with "waterfall turbines"
    The waterfalls at wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities that are used to release heat and chemicals from water are now deemed the most promising initial market for renewable energy from turbines made by Hydrovolts, a renewable energy company started in 2007. The $75,000, 15-kilowatt turbine is "easy to permit and install," requires little modification at the plant and could offer a payback of between three and five years from the energy it produces. Xconomy (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals 
  • Talent gap threatens biopharma research
    Pharmaceutical industry executives say they have had difficulty hiring top talent, a PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute survey of CEOs found. One-third of U.S. biopharmaceutical companies have tried novel approaches to filling research and development staffing needs, including: revamping their R&D operations; narrowing focus areas; and partnering with contract research organizations, competitors, foundations or academic institutions. Researchers will increasingly need skills in developing and managing outside partnerships, an understanding of regulatory science, and knowledge of bioinformatics and health economics, biopharma CEOs say. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA approved 39 drugs in 2012
    The Food and Drug Administration granted approval to 39 pharmaceuticals in 2012, the highest number in 16 years. Experts attribute the increase to the agency's improved review process and relations with companies. "Better leadership across much of the industry is producing better drugs that more-innovation-friendly regulators help bring to patients sooner," said Bernard H. Munos of the InnoThink Center for Research in Biomedical Innovation. Chemical & Engineering News (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Materials & Nanotechnology 
  • What nanotechnology can do for the smart grid
    Nanotechnology can have a significant effect on power electronics, according to Pradeep Haldar, an executive at the State University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering. "Nanotech is a platform," he notes, adding: "It’s not [a] single product or process. With the help of nano, we can make technology better and cheaper. We can make electronic devices along the smart grid smarter." (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Education & Government Update 
  • EPA releases draft of action plan for climate change
    The Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft proposal of its plans for adapting to climate change. The proposal will be open for public review and comment for 60 days. "Adaptation will involve anticipating and planning for changes in climate and incorporating considerations of climate change into many of the agency's programs, policies, rules and operations," the EPA said Thursday. Bloomberg (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nebraska chemical engineering student lands NEC scholarship award
    A University of Nebraska-Lincoln student is this year's winner of the National Ethanol Conference scholarship award given by the Renewable Fuels Foundation. The scholarship pays for the winner to attend the National Ethanol Conference. "I'm definitely using this conference to learn more about the opportunities in the industry," said Wade Hunt, who is graduating with a degree in chemical engineering in May. (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Career Focus 
  • The 90-day rule for weighing career change
    If you're unhappy for more than 90 consecutive days, it's time to start plotting a career change, writes Aaron P. Arnold, a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council. "It makes no sense to go another 90 days; it's time to pivot, see all the angles and assess your next move," he writes. Forbes/Young Entrepreneur Council (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Institute News 
  • Early bird rates for flow assurance workshop expire next Tuesday
    Discounted early registration rates for the joint Society of Petroleum Engineers/AIChE Flow Assurance Workshop expire next Tuesday, Feb. 19. Scheduled for March 19 and 20 at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, the workshop will cover innovative analysis techniques, risk-based system design, new subsea technology applications, and lessons learned. Case studies from operators will initiate open, interactive discussions. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Process safety videos now available in Spanish
    As part of its commitment to accident prevention, AIChE's Center for Chemical Process Safety, with the consent and encouragement of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, is offering Spanish-language versions of 13 CSB videos. Volunteers from Pan American Energy translated 12 of the videos and students at the University of the Andes in Colombia subtitled one. Watch the videos. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock."
--Arthur Goldberg,
American statesman and jurist

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