D I S T I L L A T E S  Newsletter
 American Institute of Chemical Engineers 
Indianapolis Section


October 2006 Newsletter

Kevin Keating



October Meeting -- Plant Tour at Interstate Castings

Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2006



11:30 AM          



We will meet at Interstate Castings, 3823 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN  46218, located at the corner of Sherman and Massachusetts northeast of downtown Indianapolis





The process will be discussed where it is quiet, and then there will be a tour of the facility. The foundry is not heated or cooled, so dress appropriately, and no open toed shoes are allowed.  The tour should take about an hour and a half. They like to have a tour guide for every 5 or 6 people



1:00 PM          



Completion of tour


Please RSVP: Reserve with Alan Schmidt by telephone at (317) 233-5190 or aschmidt at so we know who is planning to come. 


Founded in 1883, Interstate Castings began by manufacturing complete railroad cars. Interstate Castings is a quality manufacturer of highly engineered gray iron, ductile iron, and austempered ductile iron castings. They specialize in castings for power transmissions, energy, pumps, elevators, hydraulic, agriculture, machinery, and off road vehicles. They produce low to medium volume production runs using a Roberts Sinto molding machine, Beardsley and Piper molding machine, airset molding line, or floor molding area. Their PLC based sand control system and Leco spectrometer ensure consistent process control of their sand and metal. Their mixture of automation and skilled workers allows them to produce castings of the highest quality.


Further information can be found at their website,; Telephone (317) 546-2427, fax (317) 546-4004, E-mail: sales at

Chairman’s Message:


AIChE was founded in 1908 with a mission to support the chemical engineering profession, its members, and society. Today, there are approximately 40,000 members, which include representation from 93 countries. Opportunities and challenges were discussed as at the 2006 Leadership Development Conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers held at Houston, Texas on June 2 – 4, 2006. Highlights include the following.       


·         The membership elects a Board of Directors that are nominated from the membership to represent them and the organization. Structured below the Board are The Career & Education Operating Council (CEOC), The Chemical Engineering Technology Operating Council (CTOC), The Societal Impact Operating Council (SIOC), Board Committees, and the Executive Director. These Councils work with the divisions, forums, committees, local sections, student chapters and other entities within AIChE. The national office supports these activities. AIChE has 110 local sections, 5 international sections, and 18 Division/Forums.


·         Strategic initiatives by the AIChE Board of Directors are Program Relevancy & Membership, International Developments, and Energy Challenge. Leadership teams have been formed to address each of these issues. 


·         Membership loss is a concern and has declined every year since 2001. Goals are to keep the membership at about 42,000. Members leave because of non-involvement, not getting value (technical content), and/or their employers quit paying the dues. About one-quarter of graduating seniors with ChE degrees join AIChE but within 5 years almost 80% quit. On average, about 15% of new members remain active on a long-term basis.                


·         Approximately two-thirds of AIChE members are considered industrial users of technology. These members are least served and usually do not attend the AIChE national meetings. Other major membership segments are academic and industrial developers (R&D) of technology, and recent graduates launching careers.


·         AIChE plans to take a more active leadership role in the energy debate. Sound, scientific information is needed for the public and technical community to make policy decisions about global energy issues. Considerations include developing an information data center with an energy, environment, and sustainability focus or theme that gives metric standards for evaluating projects, and posting reference reports from subject matter experts.


·         The AIChE Speakers’ Academy is operated by volunteers in the Speakers Academy Committee under the CEOC. It will be self supported and not require involvement from the national office. The program is now expected to be rolled out at the 2006 AIChE Annual Meeting. Initial members include Bob Langer, Jeff Siirola, Mike Ramage and others.




Thomas E. Leas PE

Chairman, Indianapolis Section of AIChE

Upcoming Events:


Volunteers Needed for November 4, 2006 AIChE Outreach

Volunteers are needed for our November 4 meeting, which will be a scientific outreach program for school children. The local theme for National Chemistry Week at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis is celebrating the chemistry that makes up our home and garden. Your local AIChE officers have arranged to have an Enviroscape model where the children can spray and pour colored water on the model and understand the importance of the proper use and disposal of household hazardous waste. We also have several brochures about household hazardous waste from the Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance (OPPTA) at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Additional ideas and contributions are welcome. Specifically,   


Volunteers are needed to staff the AIChE table in time slots from 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturday November 4, 2006 at the Children’s Museum, corner of Illinois St. and 30th St., Indianapolis. Please volunteer and give your time slot preferences to Dr. Alan Schmidt at (317) 233-5190, aschmidt at It makes a fine day to bring children, nieces and nephews, and others to the Children’s Museum. A number of high schools will have chemical displays and be competing for recognition. In previous years, Eli Lilly has provided an impressive “Chemistry is a Blast” demonstration with observation of interesting chemical properties.

Science and Engineering Presentations

Those seeking more technical content in a November meeting may consider coming to a Scientech luncheon and program held on Mondays at 11:30 AM at the Children’s Museum.  The calendar and details can be checked at Currently November meetings include Nov. 6 Restoring a New Orleans Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant post Katrina, by Ed Malone; Nov. 13 Purdue in Aviation, by John Norberg;  November 20 Purdue’s Bindley Bioscience Center, by Dr. Charles Buck; Nov. 27, Central Indiana Land Trust.

Call for Officers

We are looking for members who would like to become officers for the 2007-2008 year including those wishing to start the climb to the role of Section Chairmanship. If you can help or have an interest please contact one of the Section Officers.


Highlights from AIChE

·         Visit the  web site to find information, visit forums, renew membership or find benefits, career listings, and other advice from our national headquarters.


·         AIChE 2006 Annual Meeting, November 12-17, San Francisco, CA. For R&D professionals, AIChE’s Annual Meeting provides an open forum to present papers to fellow engineers and scientists from around the world. For students, the national conference is the ideal place to learn, network and receive recognition. This year, experts and thought leaders from around the world representing government and industry will be on hand to participate in the Industry and Government Leaders Roundtable on the Future of Chemical Engineering. Visit for details and to register

2006/2007 Meeting Activities for Indianapolis Section of American Institute of Chemical Engineers:


September 19, 2006

Dinner Kick-Off Meeting at Best Taste Chinese Restaurant – free food


October 24, 2006

Plant Tour – Interstate Castings


November 4, 2006

Chemistry Week – Saturday Display at Children’s Museum


December, 2006

No meeting - Holiday


January, 2007

Tentative Joint meeting with ACS – Invite speaker from AIChE Speakers’ Academy 


February, 2007

Plant Tour


March, 2007

Purdue Section meeting


April, 2007



May, 2007

Meeting - Election of Officers and Awards


June, 2007

Indians Baseball Game at Victory Field, Indianapolis


2006 - 2007 Officers