American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Indianapolis Section

visit us at www.indyaiche.org

January 2009 Newsletter

Editor: Kevin Keating



January Meetings – Speaker: Tom Leas speaking on Catalytic Gasification


Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 5:30 PM


Schedule:     5:30 PM presentation and questions

Location:  Heritage Environmental Services, 7901 West Morris Street, Indianapolis, IN 46231. 

Presentation: Past President of the Indianapolis Section of AIChE, Tom Leas PE, from Indianapolis, Indiana will be speaking about the patented Fluidized Catalytic Gasification Process (FCG) developed by Arnold M. Leas.  The technology is an advanced process for the conversion of coal and other carbonaceous feed stocks into medium-Btu syngas, which consists mainly of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.  Its development is based upon petroleum refining operations.  Market applications include power generation via integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plants, production of transportation fuels such as methanol and/or mixed alcohols, and use by industrial plants.  The talk will cover gasification reactions, key benefits of the FCG process, and the technology development.

Background: Tom Leas worked with Arnold Leas almost 10 years after graduating from Tri-State University with a chemical engineering degree in 1980.  During this time under Arnold's mentoring, he studied coal gasification technologies and completed process design work for the FCG process.  From 1989 until 2005, he worked at the Indiana Department of Commerce and is currently employed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.  Tom is Vice Chairman of the Indianapolis AIChE Section.  Thomas E. Leas PE, 401 W. Hampton Dr, Indianapolis, IN, 46208 Tel: (317) 283-3302 Email: tleas at indy.rr.com

RSVP:   Please RSVP by February 19 to Mike Wertz via e-mail at mike.wertz at heritage-enviro.com or by phone at (317) 486-2778.

Price:   FREE

From the Chairman …


Last November, members of the local section participated in the National Chemistry Week event at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.  The event included several chemistry demonstrations and hands-on science experiments for children.  At our table on the second floor of the museum, we conducted an experiment with Silly Putty, a ruler, a stopwatch, and a computer spreadsheet (to plot the data). 


Silly Putty is a silicone polymer with viscosity increasing with shear rate.  Pulling fast increases length quickly but increases the Silly Putty viscosity, making it more likely to break.  Pulling slowly decreases viscosity, making it less likely to break, but length increases slowly. 


With the help of volunteers ranging in age from about 4 to 40, we attempted to determine the optimum combination of factors to achieve the highest length (before breaking) in the shortest time.  The children conducted the trials, recorded their results on a log sheet, and then entered the data into the computer spreadsheet, where the other previous attempts were plotted on a graph of length versus time.  Thank you to Alan Schmidt for designing the Silly Putty experiment and to Tom Leas and Alan for their assistance at the event.


Our next meeting will take place on January 20, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. at Heritage Environmental Services (7901 West Morris Street, Indianapolis, IN 46231).  Tom Leas, former Indianapolis Section Chairman, will discuss a patented Fluidized Catalytic Gasification (FCG) process for the production of hydrogen-enriched syngas (“H2-Syngas”).  The FCG process efficiently converts coal, petroleum coke, residual oils, biomass, and other types of carbonaceous resources into H2-syngas.


If you have any questions, or if you have suggestions for plant tours or guest speakers for future meetings, please contact me via e-mail at mike.wertz at heritage-enviro.com or by phone at (317) 486-2778.



Mike Wertz

Section Chairman, Indianapolis AIChE

Back On the Web – Indianapolis AIChE – Local Section Web Site


We are back online with a new domain server!   This site should be seamless - identical to previous version.

Call for Officers – Indianapolis AIChE

If you would like to become more active and/or if you may want to become officers in future years, there are committee chair openings.  If you can help or have an interest, the officers will welcome you and help you learn to lead a committee.

Highlights from AIChE – Our 100 Years Anniversary


Informative and motivating sessions on group dynamics and team building, communications, goal setting, delegating, and presentations are part of this our 100 year celebration of chemical engineering.  Visit the www.AIChE.org  web site to find information, visit forums, renew membership or find benefits, career listings, and other advice from our national headquarters. Current items include;

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers - National


AIChE Calendar






Job Hunting?
CareerEngineer is still the only job posting system built exclusively for chemical engineers. New listings appear daily. Be sure to visit CareerEngineer at http://www.aiche.org/apps/careerengineer/index.asp.



Fellow Chemists:  The Indiana Section of the American Chemical Society is proud to announce its newly refurbished Indiana Section Website… http://membership.acs.org/i/indiana/index.html




Science and Engineering Presentations:
  Scientech meetings are held nearly every Monday at the Children’s Museum. They begin at 11:30 am with a buffet luncheon ($9.00). Announcements and introductions are at noon; followed by the presentation which continues to 1 pm.
Members of the audience may ask questions or make comments. The meeting ends promptly at 1:00pm. Museum personnel conduct special tours of new exhibits for Club members following some meetings. Other meetings may be replaced with a tour of some place of interest, usually on a major holiday. Any exceptions are noted on the calendar page of this site. Visitors at the luncheon meeting may also visit the Museum without further charge



Calendar of Events


Some meetings may be replaced with a tour of some place of interest, usually on a major holiday. Any exceptions are noted in the calendar listing below.   Following are the Scientech meetings scheduled for the near future:

Future Talks

January 5 - Advanced Fingerprinting Techniques - Dr. Demian Ifa
January 12 - CH13 - Convert to Digital Signal - A. Grossniklaus
January 19 - Tour of Haynes Museum, Kokomo - Dr. Bill Dick
January 26 - Engineering Education - Pat Fox

February 2 – Tour of Chateau Thomas Winery – Dr. Charles Thomas

February 9  - Nuclear Tech/Cargo Inspection – Prof. David Koltick, IUPUI

February 16 – Computational Fluid Dynamics on Open Wheel Racers – Tom Ramsey


For further details contact Dr. Alan Schmidt at (317) 233-5190 or 865-3545.  For later Monday programs check the Scientech calendar at www.scientechclub.org   


Indianapolis AIChE – Local Section Calendar


At September monthly meeting of the Indianapolis Section of the AIChE, we established the following schedule for our monthly meetings/events in 2008-09:





Holiday break

January 20

Speaker: Tom Leas; Topic:  Catalytic Gasification

February 17

Meeting with AIChE Student Chapter at Purdue University

March 17

Plant Tour

April 21

Guest Speaker

May 19

Plant Tour


Indianapolis Indians Baseball Game; Victory Field


Although subject to change, our meetings will typically be held on the third Tuesday of the month, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Additional information will be provided in our monthly newsletters and on our website.  Please consider attending a monthly meeting, and bring a guest!


If you would like to volunteer to be a guest speaker or to host a plant tour, please contact me via e-mail at mike.wertz at heritage-enviro.com or by phone at (317) 486-2778.

Officers for 2007 - 2008


Michael Wertz, Heritage Enviro. Servs., 317-486-2778


Phillip Endres,  Eli Lilly,


John Elliott, IDEM, 317-233-0703

Past Chairman

Alan Schmidt, IDEM, 317-233-5190

Scholarship Committee



Chris Burcham, Eli Lilly, 317-651-6437

Professional Development

Elizabeth Robin, Eli Lilly, 317-651-6437

Government Relations

Alan Schmidt, IDEM, 317-233-5190


Karl Schnelle, Dow AgroSciences LLC, 317-337-3140

Student Chapter Advisor

Becky Smith, Eli Lilly, 317-277-6509

Public Relations

Becky Smith, Eli Lilly, 317-277-6509

Newsletter Editor

Kevin Keating, Eli Lilly, 317-651-1698