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Help us to Honor Engineering Excellence

By Nicholas P. Chopey |

 

 

Do you know of a firm — perhaps your own employer — that has recently commercialized an innovative process, product, or other chemical-engineering development? If so, we would like to hear from you. Nominations are open for this magazine’s 2007 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award. We aim to honor the most-noteworthy chemical engineering technology commercialized anywhere in the world during 2005 or 2006.

Chemical Engineering has awarded this biennial prize continuously since 1933. The 2007 winner will join a long and distinguished roster, studded with such milestones as Cargill Dow’s production of thermoplastic resin from corn (2003), BHC’s streamlined production of ibuprofen (1993), Monsanto’s hollow-fiber membranes for gas separation (1981), Union Carbide’s low-pressure low-density polyethylene process (1979), M.W. Kellogg’s single-train ammonia technology (1967), Linde’s zeolite adsorbents (1961), Merck’s streptomycin (1947), the U.S. synthetic rubber industry (1943) and Standard Oil Development Co.’s aviation fuels (1939). The most-recent achievements appear in the table.

How to nominate

Nominations may be submitted by any person or company, worldwide. The procedure consists simply of sending, by March 15, an unillustrated nominating brief of up to 500 words to:

 

Nicholas P. Chopey, Secretary
Kirkpatrick Award Committee
c/o Chemical Engineering Magazine
110 William St., 11th floor
New York, NY 10038

Email: nchopey@chemengonline.com

It should summarize the achievement and point out its novelty, as well as the difficulty of the chemical-engineering problems solved. It must specify how, where and when the development first became commercial in 2005 or 2006.

If you know of an achievement but do not have information to write a brief, contact the firm involved, either to get the information or to propose that the company itself submit a nomination. Firms are also welcome to nominate achievements of their own.

 

The path to the winner

After March 15, the Secretary will review the nominations to make sure they are valid — for instance, that the first commercialization did in fact take place during 2005–2006. Then he will submit copies to more than 100 senior professors who head accredited university chemical engineering departments and, accordingly, constitute the Committee of Award. Working independently of each other, each professor will vote for what he or she considers to be the five best achievements, without trying to rank them.

The five entries that collectively receive the most votes become the finalists in the competition. Each finalist company will then be asked to submit more-detailed information — for instance, a fuller description of the technology, performance data, exhibits of press coverage, and/or a description of the teamwork that generated the achievement.

The Secretary will send copies of these more-detailed packages to a Board of Judges, which, meanwhile, will have been chosen from within, and by, the Committee of Award. In late summer, the Board will inform the Secretary as to which one of the five

finalist achievements it has judged the most noteworthy. The company that developed that achievement will be named the winner of the 2007 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award. The four other finalist companies will be designated to receive Honor Awards. Sculptures saluting the five achievements will be bestowed with appropriate ceremony in the fall.
 

 

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