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October Letters

By Jeff Kinsey, process engineer |

More opinions on ChE education I would like to contribute to the discussion on “practical” ChE education (CE, September 2012). After graduation, I as well didn’t know what a pipe flange was, nor a gasket, didn’t know how to read a pump curve, didn’t know how to size a relief valve and so on. I could have learned more that applies to the CPI [chemical process industries] in an operator training (process technology) curriculum that’s offered at the local community college than I ever learned in college. The problem as I see it is that the faculty of universities are trying to train students to become like them. But very few actually go on to become teaching professors since the salaries are better in industry. While I agree with Mr. Blanton’s suggestion that internships are the way to go, opportunities are limited these days. Those lucky individuals who get an internship represent a tiny percentage of those who are eligible. The rest of us (like myself at the time) end up in manual labor summer jobs with no practical experience upon graduation. I disagree with Mr. Bloss’s assumption that the “engineering field is so broad that it is difficult for any university to meet the need of…
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