For over 109 years now, readers have looked to Chemical Engineering for practical how-to information that can be used directly on the job, plus the latest about what’s happening in, or will be affecting, the chemical process industries (CPI). While our editors put a lot of time and effort into identifying what the most important and timely issues are, finding good sources of information and assimilating it all in an unbiased, authoritative, clear and concise format, the truth is that the sources of much of that information come from within our readership itself. In a sense, one of our most important missions as editors is simply to facilitate the sharing of best practices, concerns, solutions and so on.
Our latest venture into social networking follows that same mission, and one might say it even takes it a step further. Approximately eight months ago CE launched its first LinkedIn group. The group has grown rapidly, and at press time it was already crossing the milestone of 2,000 members. That is a relatively quick ramp-up to such a critical mass of participants, and it underscores how eager chemical engineers are to share information.
The group is made up of a very diverse mix of CPI professionals from across the globe. About 32% of our members are from the U.S (4.4% of which are from Texas alone). The next most-represented geographical area is India (9%), followed by the E.U. (8%), Canada (5%), the U.K. (4.6%), Brazil (3.5%), Pakistan (2.9%), Australia (2.5%), Indonesia (2%) and Saudi Arabia (2%)*.
Meanwhile, the most-represented employers so far are what you might expect from our readership, the CPI’s engineering and operating companies: Worley Parsons, DuPont, Sabic, Fluor, Air Products, LyondellBasell, Nalco, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, BASF, Jacobs Engineering, ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron. By industry group, approximately 28% of members identify themselves with chemicals, 25% with oil and energy, 4% with mechanical or industrial engineering, 4% with mining and metals and 3% with environmental services. As for general job function, 34% work in engineering, 8% in operations, 6% in program and project management, 4% in consulting and 4% in research. (Note: Only the most significant categories are listed.)
Another interesting representation of the group’s membership is that of seniority: 34% of the current membership identifies themselves as entry level, 23% are senior level, 17% manager level, 6% director and around 6% are top (executive) level management (3% each for vice president and C levels).
While it is safe to assume that many of the group’s statistics will change over time, the current demographics fit perfectly with our vision for the group. First and foremost, the group is not a venue for promotions. The purpose of the group is to provide a platform where our readers can interact more frequently and directly with each other to share their best practices and expertise. Similarly, we see the group as a way for us to connect with our readers and their needs more directly.
For instance, one of the discussions that has received the most comments is a question we posed to the group asking them what types of technologies they would like to see covered in an upcoming CE news feature. The most popular responses included the following: Incorporating renewable energy into CPI facilities, biotechnology for producing building block chemicals, technology to recover and purify CO2, advances and optimization of separation technologies (such as membranes, pervaporation, multi-phase separation, and so on), process intensification, debottlenecking and more.
If you have not joined the group already, we invite you to do so today and give us your feedback. The group name is Chemical Engineering Magazine, and a direct link to it is available here.
* Percentages do not total 100% because only the most significantly represented categories are listed
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