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ADAPTABILITY IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING J. S. Watson Oak Ridge National I=boratory The adaptability issue for chemical engineering (the ability of chemical engineers to be retrained to work in other fields and for those from other fields to be retrained for work in chemical engineering) will be discussed and illustrated in terms of (~) the interdisciplinary origin of chemical engineering; (2) similarities of chemical engineering curricula with those of other professions; (3) the expected future directions of chemical engineering that are likely to include greater involvement of interdisciplinary skills and, perhaps, greater adaptability; and (4) a few actions that could enhance adaptability. Few quantitative facts are presented in this paper, but a brief section suggests ways to quickly gain limited quantitative information on adaptability. ~ considering interdisciplinary programs, it is worthwhile to consider first what a single engineering discipline is. There are different ways to approach and answer this question, but the criterion used in this discussion is the proliferation of undergraduate (and in some cases graduate) departments in the discipline at leading universities. Emphasis is placed upon the undergraduate programs, where the bulb of the classroom training usually occurs. The existence of undergraduate programs constitutes a recognition that a unique combination of courses makes up an important discipline. For a program to remain a separate department, its graduates must be well accepted by industries, goverrunent, and graduate schools. This becomes a validation of the discipline. Fields with only graduate programs can qualify as separate disciplines, but their cases may be weakened if the principal body of knowledge studied by the students occurs in the undergraduate program. Selection of this criteria implies that there is no unique, and perhaps no optimal, way to divide engineering and science into separate fields. The divisions that we have, and that we will have in the future, result from historical developments. As the existing fields expand and more new disciplines are developed from current specialty subfields and interdisciplinary areas, the boundaries of the "disciplines" will appear to be even more arbitrary. Present chemical eng~neenng Gaining constitutes a useful collection of 113

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knowledge that serves important needs In our society, but this is not a unique collection of knowledge that could only be packaged this way. In the future Here wiD be new needs, and new information and concepts will have to be covered in Be training of chemical engineers. Some matenals will be covered in less derail or even eliminated. Subf~elds or interdisciplinary programs within chemical engineering may eventually become recognized as separate disciplines. The Interdisciplinary Origin of Chemical Engineering Chemical eng~neenng can be viewed as either the youngest of the major traditional eng~neenng disciplines or as the oldest of the major new disciplines. It ong~nated as interdisciplinary programs between chemistry and die extant engineering disciplines. Although chemical engineering activities certainly extend weD back into We past, Hey were usually considered interdisciplinary programs unu1 the early part of this century. Consideration of chemical eng~neenng as a separate discipline was demonstrated by the foundation of He first academic program caned "chemical eng~neenng" at MU in 1888 and He foundation of a separate professional society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (ATChE), in 1908 (Reynolds, 1983~. Recognition and acceptance of chemical engineering as a separate discipline Increased in the following years and has become almost universal in He United States, although Here was in lame opposition in to formation of a separate discipline (even though the acceptance occurred more quickly in the United States than in some other countnes, some major U.S. universities with strong eng~neenng programs have no chemical engineering program). The establishment of a new discipline is almost certain to raise questions and challenges to existing departments and professional societies (disciplines). In most cases, cherubical eng~neenng programs grew out of the chemistry and mechanical engineering deparunents, but, in at least one case, it was once included in the electncal engineering department. The formation of a new discipline is likely to result when the needs of the new discipline are not met by tile existing department and society. Formation Of a new department (discipline) can be delayed or prevented by opposition from a strong department head from one of the original departments, but it could also be delayed by such exceptional (perhaps excessive) cooperation from the onginal departments blat there would be little apparent need to create a new deparunent. ~4

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The curriculum for training chemical engineers and the relationship of chemical engineering to chemistry and the other engineering professions developed slowly but has become relatively uniform, especially at the undergraduate level, due in part to accreditation activities of the ATChE and continuous interactions between chemical engineering departments. The historic evolution of chemical engineering as an interdisciplinary activity has resulted in the location of several important chemical engineering departments in liberal arts colleges, thus associated with chemistry departments, not with the engineering college (the more common location). Graduates from departments affiliated with liberal arts colleges appear to be treated by employers essentially the same as those from departments affiliated with engineering colleges. However, location of the chemical engineering department in the liberal arts college often places it in closer association with the chemistry department and may result in a greater number of required chemistry hours in the curriculum. The traditional interdisciplinary nature of chemical engineering is also illustrated by its frequent association with other engineering fields in joint departments. (This, of course, also reflects the relatively small size of many chemical engineering departments.) Several chemical engineering departments are, or have been, combined with material science (metallurgical engineering), nuclear engineering, petroleum engineering, or other small programs. As several of these programs became established as separate engineering departments, other newer programs have become associated with chemical engineering departments and are sometimes included in dhe department tides-for example, chemical and bioprocessing engineering and chemical and polymer engineering. To some extent this reflects only the use of the chemical engineering department to foster new departments that may eventually become separated into new and separate departments. The changing combination of names also reflects the evolution of emphasis in chemical engineering education and practice. The strong emphasis on petroleum and petrochemical processing in chemical engineering may fade somewhat during the coming decades as new areas of Processing become increasingly important. The interdisciplinary nature of chemical engineering is also illustrated in its graduate programs. Many chemical engineering departments now include important faculty members who were educated in other disciplines as well as in chemical engineering. There are even notable examples of faculty trained solely in related fields rather than directly in chemical engineering. There have been significant transfers to the profession from related fields such as chemistry. Transfers enter graduate studies in chemical engineering after obtaining B.S. or higher degrees In a related field. The motivations for such transfers ~5

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include discovery of an interest in chemical engineering (lack of public understanding of what chemical engineers do and study has always been a problem), better employment prospects, or higher salaries. The number of transfers has raised some concern for erosion of quality in "traditional" chemical engineering training, but the transfers also indicate the profession's commitment to interdisciplinary work and the relation of chemical engineering to other fields. The interdisciplinary aspects may even be more historical or "traditional" to chemical engineering than any particular courses that have become known as "traditional chemical engineering" during the last four or five decades. The relatively small number of chemical engineers makes it necessary for them to interact more with other engineering disciplines than for engineers from the more populated disciplines. The relation of chemical engineering to chemistry remains important and usually results in interactions in joint programs, perhaps more in industrial situations than in the university departments. Curriculum for Chemical Engineering Undergraduate chemical engineering students obviously study far more chemistry than any of the other major engineering disciplines, but the amount varies from school to school. More than five semesters of chemistry are required by essentially all schools; song require considerably more. The curricula require additional technical electives, which can include additional chemistry courses. Chemical engineering students do not take as much chemistry as chemistry majors, but the difference need not be great if the student chooses a school with a high chemistry curriculum and takes chemistry for some of the technical electives. Since engineering students take most courses in Heir undergraduate major only during their junior and senior years, there is much similarity between curricula for all fields of engineering. Furthermore, many chemical engineering courses are similar to related courses in mechanical and civil engineering: the undergraduate curriculum usually includes one semester of thermodynamics and at least one semester of fluid mechanics and heat transfer. Graduate students may take courses in such topics from other departments, and some graduate courses in these topics may be offered for joint (either department) credit. Courses In the chemical engineering department are more likely to have a chemical engineering emphasis and highlight "process" applications, but much of the material may be similar to that taught to mechanical and civil engineering students. Chemical engineers and other engineering graduates probably can be highly adaptable for work in those topics ~6

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covered by both departments. With normal in-house training, combustion, hydrodynamics, and heat transfer phenomena probably could be handled by either chemical or mechanical eng~neenng graduates. However, chemical eng~neenng graduates would require extensive retraining to handle problems in mechanical eng~neenng topics such as engine design and structural analysis. Similarly, while chemical engineers could quickly be trained to work on many topics in environmental eng~neenng, extensive retraining would be required for structural and construction positions In civil eng~neenng. Graduate education tends to become more highly specialized, and adaptability may be less evident since graduates may not be just chemical engineers, chemists, or other types of engineers, but true specialists in narrow subfields. The differences between graduate programs in chemistry, chemical engineering, and other engineering departments may in some cases become even less clear. Several special areas for chemical eng~neenng research and graduate study-such as specific problems in chemical and physical design of equipment or even integrated processing facilitiew are usually considered unique to chemical engineering. Other research areas strongly overlap traditional chemistry studies, especially areas of physical chemistry, or other engineering disciplines: therrnodynaniics and phase equilibria studies are active in both chemistry and chemical engineering programs; surface and interracial studies may be found in chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, and even other engineering departments. Several areas of materials production and materials properties are actively studied In chem~smy and material science as well as chemical engineering. The recent increase in studies related to pollution control and waste management have resulted in similar or related studies in environmental (sometimes civil) ~ engineering. The recent growth of interdisciplinary university "centers," sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSI;) or over organizations, increases Me likelihood of graduate students from different departments working together on different aspects of a problem. It is likely that the graduate students from these programs will be selected by future employers first for their special knowledges; the name of the department granting their degree may be a secondary consideration. There are examples (but no known statistics) of major professors who hold degrees in over fields but teach and supervise research within chemical engineering departments. There are probably similar examples of professors with chemical engineering degrees working in other departments. The mixing of such degrees is likely to be even more extensive in industry, which is concerned with the particular deparunent from which Be degree was obtained. ~ ~ ,

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The importance of industrial in-house training and experience on adaptability of engineers and other professionals should be noted. Many engineers work in activities that call for technical understanding but do not necessarily require extensive, specific initial knowledge of Me industry: intensive specialized knowledge may be required but so specialized that finals prefer to use their own in-house training to supplement the more general training from the universities. In such industries so much specific in-house training could lead to considerable interchangeability of new graduates. One indication of the use of people Dam other disciplines in chemical engineering is the number of members of the ATChE who hold degrees in other fields (AIChE, 1987~: in 1986, these represented 7.6 percent of the members with B.S. degrees and 16.9 percent of the members with M.S., and Ph.D., degrees. Membership in the AIChE is one indication that a person feels that he/she is are engaged in chemical engineering activities. Engineers working in a particular industry for many years acquire on-thejob knowledge that eventually can become more important than Weir Anal training. Adaptability usually declines wad time or age if the engineer becomes more specialized, but die importance of the initial education also becomes less important than the knowledge acquired after fonnal schooling. Expected Trends in Chemical Engineering A recent study by the National Research Council (1988) has attempted to predict future trends in chemical engineering and identify areas where new growth is most likely to occur. The study, which followed a similar study of chemistry and occurred during die period of unusually high unemployment and concern among chemical engineers, can be viewed as an assessment of opportunities for chemical engineers as weD as a prediction of new growth areas namely, biotechnology and biomedicine; electronic, photonic, and recording materials and devices; and m~cros~uc~ materials. An interesting aspect of these areas is that they all involve interdisciplinary activities. Biotechnology clearly involves biologists (perhaps several types) and biochemists. Chemical engineers are expected to play major roles in bringing the fruits of biotechnology to process scale facilities, but the roles of other disciplines are not likely to be diminished by parucipanon of chemical engineers. If chemical engineering participation means that more products of biotechnology reach the marketplace earlier and at lower paces, die roles of all participants in biotechnology will be enhanced

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Mere is some study of biomedical engineering (sometimes under different names) in older traditional engineering disciplines. In fact, journals and conferences organized by several engineering societies show signs of competition as each society stakes out its role in a "hot" field, but the competition is more apparent than real. Each traditional engineering discipline has a different view and interest in the field; so the overlap of interests is limited. Electrical engineers may think of biomedical engineering in terms of instrumentation and sensors for monitoring medical phenomena and detecting and evaluating diseases. Mechanical engineers and material scientists may think of biomedical engineering in terms of artificial hearts, artificial limbs, and other devices that would correct medical problems. Others may think principally of new "engineered" drugs, biochemical sensors, analyses of body fluids, and chemical treatments-areas where chemical engineering is more likely to play major roles in biomedicine. Thus the different interests of various engineering disciplines are more important than the overlap. Electronic, photonic, and recording materials currently are enjoying rapid growth that is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Expected new developments Will permit greater use of newer optical materials (systems) for information storage and faster electronic materials to replace the traditional silicon-based materials and accelerate the growth in the use of these materials. The combination of knowledge in chemistry and processing technologies included in the training of chemical engineers is important in this field and will become more important as the demand increases for higher purity materials and higher productivity processes. However, the role of electrical engineering, materials science, chemistry, and so forth will remain very important and will not decline. Participation by chemical engineers should enhance the productivity and quality of these products, increase the importance of the material, and thus enhance the participation of all disciplines involved. Microstructured materials molecular and physical structures that are designed and constructed for specific high performance-include structured polymers with selected molecular weight ranges and molecular orientation to maximize or optimize one or more desired properties such as strength or toughness. The high expected growth rate in microstructured materials results partially from the growing demand for new materials in new high technology products and partially from a growing awareness that demand for high quality products (even traditional products) is more likely to show higher growth than for lower quality products. 119

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Adaptability in Periods of Economic Stress Adaptability of different engineering disciplines becomes most impmant in periods when there are surpluses or shortages In a particular discipline. One way to assess the adaptability of chemical engineers and the potential for graduates mom other fields ~ enter chemical engineering would be to compare the effects of economic problems (high unemployment and even layoffs) on chemical engineers and over graduates. If the graduates are easily exchangeable, unemployment in one field should affect all interchangeable graduates. If there is no interchangeability, high unemployment should affect the disciplines differendy. There are, however, drawbacks that limit the information Mat can be gained via this approach. The high demand (relative to supply) for chemical engineers for several decades prior to the early 1980s allowed little change In the employment rates; the percent of chemical eng~neenng graduates not receiving job offers was too low for effective analysis. The unemployment rate In 1980 was 0.4 percent (Amencan Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1987~. This situation changed as enrollments increased sharply during the late 1970s and the demand dropped during We early 1980s (Table I). This one major perturbation in unemployment of chemical engineers was disturbing to the profession, but it provides only limited information on how employment problems In chemical engineering and other fields are coda. The major perturbation occurred when a number of factors affecter! other professions as well as chemical engineering, and changes In Weir employment picture do not necessarily indicate that chemical engineers were taking positions in other fields. The one correlation that probably does have important meaning lies in the relations between employment in chemical and petroleum engineering, especially closely related fields In which interchangeability is very high. The major decline in employment of chemical engineers in the early 1980s resulted principally from a sharp decline In the energy ~ndustnes. The two notable areas were the private petroleum industry and the partially federally sponsored (but largely pnvately operated) synfue} programs. The petroleum industry has long been a major employer for chemical engineering graduates, and Me synfue! program created a major perturbation in Me demand for chemical engineers. The profession is small enough that a single major new demand such as this can have important effects upon supplies. To meet this demand, as shown in Table 2, chemical engineering departments significantly increased enrollments and graduates from them (RawIs, 19891. In spite of efforts to maintain quality questions remain as to whether university departments 120

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Table I. Unemployment Rate Among Chemists and Chemical Engineers (in percent) 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 Engineema 0.4 o.5 0.9 4.3 3.2 2.8 3.2 Chenustsb 0.9 I.1 1.5 2.2 1.7 1.4 1.7 aData Tom American Insatiate of Chemical Engineers, l9X7. Economic Survey Report. New York: AIChE. bData from Rawls, Rebecca L. 1989. Facts & figures for chemical R&D.Chemical and Engineering News, 67~34~:56. that expanded their enrollment did so without loss in quality. This expansion in undergraduate enrollment was not reflected strongly in the graduate programs, probably because high demand and salaries attracted B.S. graduates into industry and reclucec! the final fraction continuing their studies in graduate schools. The subsequent employment decline in the petroleum industry extended quickly into He related petrochemical industry. Many of the largest petrochemical facilities are owned by petroleum companies, and financial needs alone were sufficient to couple the two industries. Not only were new graduates not receiving sufficient offers for employment, but experienced chemical engineers were being terminated or forced (often enticed) into early regiment. Compansons between Be unemployment rates for chemical and petroleum engineers during this penod are similar. The unemployment rate for chemists also peaked in 1983, but the peak was not as great (Table I). Other engineering disciplines associates! more closely with defense or cons~uci~on prog~asns have experienced more periods of serious declines, but the chemical engineering community viewed this penod very senously both because of the number of people involved and because of the fear that it could signal a major change in the chemical engineering market pattern. The perturbations in other major engineering disciplines during this period were not as serious, at least relative to previous periods, and apparently caused less trauma. One long-term effect of this perturbation In employment prospects for chemical engineers has been a significant decline In undergraduate enrollment in chemical engineering (as well as petroleum and chemistry) programs (RawIs, 19891. To a limited degree this has probably been beneficial since the enrollment may have grown too rapidly during the previous years. Recent enrollment figures indicate that the situation has stabilized, with total enrollment at levels similar to those of a decade ago. There is now 121

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reason to be concerned that enrollments may be inadequate for growing needs In new and important areas of technology where chemical engineers are expected to be needed. The most serious effects of the employment perturbation were on He individuals directly involved, experienced engineers who were laid off or red early and new graduates who did not find jobs immediately after graduation. There is lithe information on the overall effects of this period and the subsequent fate of the individuals. Personal contacts reveal retired individuals who have started small consulting businesses (some were successful and some were probably not successful), who found jobs with other companies, who remained retired, and who went into other businesses. Even without statistics on the fate of these engineers, it is probably fair to say that this reservoir of engineering talent and experience is not utilized as completely after the early retirements as before. The fate of young new graduates is equally difficult to assess. In some cases, failure to find suitable employment sent the better students to graduate schools. Enrollment in graduate programs in chemical engineering had declined during the period of high demand for B.S. graduates, but rebounded after the demand declined (Table 21. That could be a good result; but some of the best graduates of that period may have been discouraged from entering graduate schools because immediate job offers were understandably more enticing than the risk of not finding a job after graduate school. For over less fortunate students, there were neither jobs in chemical eng~neenng nor suitable positions in graduate school. Many, perhaps even most, of those students may be lost to the profession: some went to graduate school in fields where the job market was perceived to be more favorable; others simply accepted positions in other fields that probably did not meet their career goals. Being older than new graduates with no more experience and a record of underemployment or even unemployment, these individuals are not likely to be looked upon with favor by employers. The situation of He more specialized petroleum engineers probably has been similar. Since the petroleum industry was one epicenter of He downturn, unemployment among of] companies alone was particularly serious and enrollment in petroleum engineering plunged even more drastically than in chemical eng~neenng and compensated somewhat for the reduced demand. The long-term outlook for the petroleum and petrochemical industries in this country may be constrained by our limited supply of crude oil. A shift of secondary processing facilities toward the oil-producing counmes has started, and it is unclear how many of these act ties can be ma~ntuned in the United States. Petroleum engineering is an interesting example of engineering specialization that has flourished but faces problems because of its relatively narrow focus. 122

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Table 2. Degrees Awarded in Chemical Engineenng and Chemistry, 1968-1987 Year Chemistry Cal Engineering B.S. M.S. Ph.D. B.S. M.S. Ph.D 1968 10,847 2014 1757 3211 1156 367 1969 11,807 2070 1941 3557 1136 409 1970 11,617 2146 2208 3720 1045 438 1971 11,183 2284 2160 3615 1100 406 1972 10,721 2259 1971 3663 1154 394 1973 10,226 2230 1882 3636 1051 397 1974 10,525 2138 1828 3454 1045 400 1975 10,649 2006 1824 3142 990 346 1976 11,107 1796 1623 3203 1031 308 1977 11,322 1775 1571 3581 1086 291 1978 11,474 1892 L525 4615 1237 259 1979 11,643 1765 1518 5655 1149 304 1980 11,446 1733 1551 6383 1271 284 1981 11,347 1654 1622 6527 1267 300 1982 11,062 1751 1722 6740 1285 311 1983 10,746 1604 1746 7145 1304 319 1984 10,704 1667 1744 7475 1514 330 1985 10,482 1719 1789 7146 1544 418 1986 10,116 1754 1908 5877 1361 446 1987 9,661 1738 1976 4983 1184 497 . . SOURCE: Anonymous. 1986. Unemployment slightly higher. for chemists in the past year. Chemical and Engineering News, 64~26~:23-27. Increasing the Adaptability of Chemical and other Engineers The key to increasing tile adaptability of chemical engineers for work in over fields is to include broader and additional training in the chemical engineering curriculum. The knowledge taught in the colleges and universities should be as general as is practical, with specific knowledge for particular companies or even some small industries given to the 123

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engineers "on He job." However, the expanding technical knowledge appears to have trended toward specialization, not generalization. Specialization of both scientists and engineers has resulted from simple recognition that so much specialized knowledge is required for professional practice blat a general training curriculum In science or engineering would be impractical. Continuing growth in human knowledge is likely to increase the need for specialization. Training for research in He sciences has become sufficiently specialized that deparunent names alone do not cover or indicate the numerous special subtends: for instance, a chemist may be considered an analytical chemist, an instrumental analysis chemist or a spectroscopist. The engineering professions have resisted this degree of specialization, perhaps because more professional engineering practices involve activities other man research and use B.S., and M.S., as well as Ph.D. degrees. Nonetheless, the pressure has been high for "fig" more knowledge into the eng~neenng curriculum. The chemical engineering curriculum includes heavy loads of classwork and laboratones, and the need for aching more material becomes evident almost every year. In biology or matenals sciences, there appears to be little room for additional material needed for projected new grown areas. There have been cans for a S-year curriculum or adoption of the M.S. or a higher degree as the lowest professional degree In chemical (or other areas of ~ engineering to allow more information in the curriculum, but those calls have been resisted. As long as increases In the curriculum are resisted, it is not likely that significant quantities of new core material can be awed to meet the projected needs of the profession and increase the adaptability of chemical engineers. The uldmate way to include additional inflammation into a curriculum is to develop better ways to systemize the information. This requires better insight and understanding that identify similarities and allow several phenomena to be studied together. Systemization can involve development of thrones and models that allow complex behavior of systems to be described in new and more concise forms. Such advances must always be sought' but they require ingenuity. The rate of such advancements cannot be predicted Recent developments in computer and information technologies suggest new ways that more infonnation can be taught In a given period of time. The full potential of rapidly improving computer capabilities is not known, but obviously could impact the teaching of chemical (and other areas of) engineenng: numencal solutions and other descriptions of chemical engineering phenomena may replace verbal, tirne-consuniing laboratory demonstrations. Me results of student access to large data bases or artificial intelligence systems is more difficult to assess. Our ability to incorporate these new computer and 124

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infold non technologies into the training process has lagged developments in the hardware. Developing effective software for improving and streamlining scientific and mchn~ca] education is especially difficult in fields, like chemical engineering, where the number of potential students is not large enough to justify large efforts in software development. Another obvious case of a non-optimal factor in a chemical engineering curriculum is uncontrolled duplication. Some duplication is necessary to stress selected subjects, but duplication should occur only for specific and intended reasons. Generally, duplication In course material taught by individual deparunents has been eliminated. Exchange of ~nformaaon between chemical engineering departments throughout the counay allows departments at each university to see how other universities are handing these problems and to assess the value of different approaches to Weir particular department with its unique resources (staff and facilities), goals, and philosophy. Perhaps the major source of uncontrolled} duplication of instructional material in the chemical engineering curriculum occurs because of incomplete cooperation between different departments within the universities, an important consideration for any new engineering discipline Hat maintains significant portions of its classwork in over departments. Chem~smy can be taught to chemical engineers either as part of the regular offering of the chemistry departments or in special classes for chemical engineers (taught either by facula Tom the chemistry department or by chemical engineering faculty). By having Me chemical eng~neenng students participate In chern~smy classes within the chemistry deparunent's standard curriculum for chemistry majors, the instruction is more likely to be carried out by those best informed in the subject and the competition with chemistry majors helps ensure that high standards are maintained. However, the packaging and organization of cheesy cannot be optimized for presentation to both chemise and chemical eng~neenng majors. This leads to dup~icanon when students study similar material both in the chemical eng~neenng them~odynam~cs course and in physical chemistry. Both the lesser number of chemical engineering students and the appropriate primary focus of He cheesy curriculum upon the needs of chemistry majors means that the chemical engineering cumculum must be arranged around the chemistry curriculum rather than optimized for chemical engineers: the content of chemistry courses cannot be limited only to the subjects of most importance to chemical engineers. When chemical engineering students take one fewer semester of a sequence (such as organic chemistry) than chemistry majors, they must take the material as it is packaged by He chernis~y department. 125

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The obvious solution to the problem is to maximize cooperation between departments, but this does not mean that the chemistry departments will organize their programs to best suit the needs of chemical engineering students. Their responsibility remains first with their own, more numerous, chemistry majors; cooperation only means Hat they consider the needs of the chemical engineers and work to find suitable compromises. If a department becomes involved In cooperation with several other departments, the needs of several programs may become compromises. Suggestions for Improving Data on Adaptability There are few ways to assess how chemical engineers and other disciplines are interchanged in industry or government. That would require precise definitions of what is, and is not, chemical engineering and leave areas of uncertainties and disagreement. Furthermore, it would be necessary to have ~nfom~at~on from industry that is unavailable and would be difficult to obtain. Instead to improve our understanding of He current exchangeability, a more modest approach is recommended. Though less direct and less complete, it has the potential for providing partial answers quickly and with modest effort. Questionnaires can be sent to the major chemical engineering departments asking for tile following ~nf~nat~on: 1 . How many faculty members do you have, and how many hold one or more degrees in a field over than chemical eng~neenng? What degrees and in what other fields? 2. How many faculty members in your department hold no degree in cherubical engineering (or hold their highest degree in another fields? How many graduate students do you have? How many are working on research under an advisor or co-adv~sor from another department? How many of your faculty are advising students from other deparonents? 4. How many of your graduate students hold undergraduate degrees in fields other Dan chemical engineering? How many of your seniors during the last (few) years entered graduate schools in fields other than chemical engineenng? A simple survey such as this will not answer the larger questions concerning adaptability of chemical engineers, but it can assess how chemical engineers are exchanged with other 126

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disciplines at the universities. This represents a modest effort that would provide a basis for estimating how much campus interaction is laying a basis for later interchange of chemical engineers. There should be some similant~es in the exchange of engineers In industry. A limited insight Into the use of nonchemical engineers can be obtained by assuming that those working as chemical engineers are likely to become associated with the AIChE and asking that society how many members/associate members have degrees in other fields or no degree in chemical engineering. It would be more difficult to estimate how many chemical engineers are working in other fields, but similar checks could be mace of memberships In other societies. References American Institute of Chemical Engineers. 1987. Economic Survey Report. New York: AIChE. Anonymous. 1986. Unemployment slightly higher for chemists in the past year. Chemicala~Engineering News 64~26~:23-27. National Research Council, Committee on Chemical Eng~neenng Frontiers. 1988. Frontiers in Chemical Engineering: Research Needs and Opportunities. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. RawIs, Rebecca L. 1989. Facts & figures for chemical R&D. Chemical and Engineering News 67~341:56. Reynolds, T. S. 1983. 75 Years of Progress ~ History of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 908-1983. New York: American Institute of Chemical Engineers. 127 ;

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