AIChE - Indianapolis Section



American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Indianapolis Section

April Meeting

2002 Annual Meeting - Planning Session for November


Date:            Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Schedule:    Gather 5:30 to 6 PM

Order dinner at 6 PM

Discussion after ordering and after dinner

Location:       Doddís Townhouse, 5694 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN

Directions:     On the West side of Meridian Street just south of 57th Street or

on the south side of Westfield Boulevard just west of Meridian Street

Enjoy the ambiance of our own private upstairs dining room with the original log cabin walls and a fireplace. With 14 attendees or more the chapter does not need to pay for the room charge. To reward and motivate volunteers and attendance the chapter will cover the meal cost up to $10 with meals costing from $8 to $25. Dinner selections include beef, seafood, chicken, pork, and salads. Please respond with your attendance intentions to your chairman, Alan Schmidt, at (317) 233-5190.

Goals: We need to discuss roles, descriptions, publicity, and timing for the upcoming November 3 to 8, 2002 Annual AIChE Meeting here in Indianapolis. The local section focuses on guest tours, plant tours, publicity, registration, and the Sunday evening Welcoming Reception. We need to aim to have program copy ready 6 months before the meeting (early May) to meet publication deadlines. All members of the Annual AIChE meeting General Arrangements Committee are strongly urged to attend, plus other potential volunteers, and interested members. Program chairs please bring current program descriptions in as complete detail as possible for discussions. Amanda McDaniel will need volunteers for time slots manning the registration booth. Sid Sapakie, National AIChE President, suggested that we consider entertainment at the Sunday evening, Nov 3, 2002, Welcoming Reception, so we are open to ideas and potential contacts. General Arrangements Committee Chairs should locate a picture that can be published in the Annual Meeting Booklet. Lia Treffman, Program Copy chair will need to discuss mechanics and logistics of transferring program descriptions and information to final copy for National AIChE. Darrell Staggs, P.E., (765) 832-4689 chair of the AIChE Terre Haute Section has offered Annual Meeting support and may send a representative.

We need help from various companies for advertising sponsorships for the Welcoming Reception. We have sponsorships from Eli Lilly and the Commerce Dept. We have contacted but not gotten a response from National Starch, GE Plastics, Heritage, Bristol-Myers Squib, McDermott Technology (Babcock & Wilcox), Delphi Automotive Systems, Dow AgroSciences, Indiana Coal Council, Roll-Royce, and also USDOE. If you can nudge the previous contacts along or have a potential company sponsor please get an e-mail application from Tom Leas, Welcoming Reception Chair, (317) 232-8945, National AIChE handles the sponsorship contracts, but the local section helps identify interested companies.

2001-2002 Meeting Schedule:

April 9, 2000 - Indianapolis November 2002 Annual Meeting Planning Session

May - Year-end banquet

Message from the Local Indianapolis AIChE Chairman:

I have applied for the Marx Isaacs Award for Outstanding Newsletters recognizing the superb results Lia Treffman has been achieving with our newsletter. Winners will be announced at the annual AIChE Leadership Development Conference in Chicago May 31 to June 3, 2002. Check all the information that Karl Schnelle has arranged for our website at

I joined by teleconference in the Local Sections Committee Meeting on March 11, 2002 at the National AIChE Meeting in New Orleans. Awards and attendance at the AIChE Leadership Development Conference helps their mission to strengthen the local sections.

Dr. Alan D. Schmidt, Chairman


The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will be having their 2002 Annual Meeting at the Indiana Convention Center on November 3 to 8, 2002. There will be approximately 380 technical sessions presented that cover traditional chemical engineering subjects as well as topic areas including (1) Nanoscale Science and Engineering, (2) Sustainable Engineering, (3) Bioinformatics, (4) Envisioning Biorefineries - Chemicals and Materials from Renewable Feedstocks, and (5) Sensors. Approximately 3,000 to 4,000 people are expected to attend. This is the first time for Indianapolis to be selected.

The Indianapolis Section of AIChE, General Arrangements Committee (GAC) is responsible for promoting local involvement in preparing for the conference and getting sponsorship support for the Welcoming Reception. A bronze sponsorship for a $2,500 donation entitles a company to receive a full-page ad in the final program book (25,000 copies), plus other benefits.

The goal is to raise approximately $40,000 in sponsorship support. This is an opportunity for a company to partner with the AIChE and promote advancements of the chemical engineering field with good public relations. Please contact Tom Leas, GAC Vice-chairman and Welcoming Reception Chair, at (317) 232-8945 if you have any questions about the company sponsorships available.

Tom Leas, Vice-Chairman

Get To Know A Member: Karl Schnelle

Karl was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. He learned to call it "Music City" after moving to Indy, so as not to confuse people with the "other" Nashville. He still lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two hyper terriers.

Always interested in science and math in high school, Karl wanted something more applied, so he went into engineering and, seeing no reason not to, followed his father into Chemical Engineering. He attended Vanderbilt University for undergrad, with a great semester in wonderful Copenhagen for all his electives. He earned his PhD at Northwestern, working with mills in wonderful Gary, IN.

He first worked for Dupont as a process engineer after VU. They were starting up a new nuclear fuel processing facility for the Navy so he had the opportunity to enjoy the different phases of a startup: construction turnover, writing new procedures, training new operators (no "Hey, we've always done it that way!"), water runs, startup runs, etc. After that it was 12 hr shifts. He decided that he did not want a whole career on shift and wanted to learn more about how to apply new computer technologies to solve chemical engineering problems. So, voila, off to grad school he went. He looked around for a systems technology Prof with a research program in artificial intelligence and other novel techniques (Remember, this was 15 years ago). Found Prof Mah at Northwestern who was working with the steel industry on planning, scheduling, and quality expert systems to bring the US companies in line with the Japanese. Five short years later, he was done and had a job in Indy at Dow AgroSciences.

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, is a global leader in providing pest management and biotechnology products that improve the quality and quantity of the earth's food supply and contribute to the safety, health and quality of life of the world's growing population. Dow AgroSciences has approximately 6,000 people in over 50 countries dedicated to its business, and has worldwide sales of approximately $3 billion (US dollars). Dow AgroSciences is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.

He has been with Dow AgroSciences R&D 10 years now. His small research group consists of engineers and agronomists who do modeling and statistical data analysis. They provide quantitative decision-making skills to help maximize the productivity and quality of the company by (warning: mission statement follows):

His job responsibilities include:

He currently lists his greatest work-related accomplishment as having saved $MMs in capital costs by optimizing a new facility design.

Karlís hobbies and outside interests include, in no particular order: fetch and tug-o-war, exercise three times a week ( I try to! ), cruise ebay for model cars for my collection, Missions work at church, and he likes to travel and hike and bike. His favorite childhood toy was a toy truck that he still has in his possession.

Although complaining that it was hard to compete with Kevinís quote in the last newsletter :-) he said this Rene Magritte quote was currently on his wall: "My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself 'What does this mean'? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable."

Lia Treffman, Newsletter Editor

What You Missed - March Joint Meeting with Scientech: Stent Design

I had never heard of Scientech when I decided to attend their Stent Design lecture. It turns out that Scientech consists of an amazing conglomeration of retirement-age pioneers of industry, government, and academia, current leaders, and just regular folk, all of whom are interested in keeping up with the current state of science and technology. The level of sophistication of members of the audience was obvious, based on the questions asked at the end of the seminar. They were extremely gracious hosts, warmly welcoming us to their weekly luncheon meeting where they discussed the exciting topic of stent design.

When I sat down at the AIChE table, I confess I did not even know what a stent was. As it happened, though, several of the other audience members were wearing them! Although they sound like some kind of hat or motorcycle part, a stent is actually a specially constructed tubular structure that is inserted into clogged arteries to allow blood to flow through, unhindered by plaque buildup. They sell 2500 to 3000 stents each day, each of which costs $1500, with the only guarantee being that if the doctor can not get it inserted into the patient, the company will replace the stent! They can afford to make this kind of guarantee because they have such faith in the ability of their stents to function once inserted correctly. This is reasonable, since Guidant is already on their fifth generation of stent design. Roughly 40,000 units were produced, tested and analyzed in the development of the final design. In each iteration, researchers attempt to find the ideal combination of flexibility, and resistance to crimping, metal fatigue, corrosion and tissue encroachment. They implement electropolishing techniques and also apply a phosphoric acid chemical etch to remove a layer of iron, leaving a chromium layer in contact with the tissue.

Various stent manufacturers are currently developing ways to apply a coating to their stents that will prevent the encroachment of cells. When asked about the future of stents and stent designs, the speaker commented that they will ultimately become obsolete, as drugs are developed that will go through and clean artery walls without the need for surgical procedures, even minimally invasive stent insertion.

In the mean time, however, my personal suggestion would be to exercise and make wise food choices!

Lia M. Treffman, Newsletter Editor

From the AIChExchange

Pump up your career
At AIChE's Career Fitness Conference 2002, April 7 - 8 in Chicago, IL. Featuring career seminars "Keep fit for employment," and "Exercise your consulting option;" workshops on power interviewing, resume and letter writing; and the Institute's 55th Annual Career Fair. Free for national AIChE members. For details visit

Is your 401(k) looking more like a 201(k)? Are you concerned about your investments, particularly in company stock? As an AIChE member, you are entitled to a free 401k check-up with a Schwab Investment Counselor. You will receive a straightforward 3-page report and an action plan of next steps. Call 1-800-790-7704 or fill in the "contact us" form at .

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, sleep helps us "rehearse, restructure, and reclassify our existing world view, to allow us to function better." The American Cancer Society, on the other hand, reports that excessive sleeping (more than eight hours) may increase the risk of early death by up to 15%. What's a person to do? Try sleeping on it.

This spring, take to the green with engineered drivers that will make them cry. New drivers use molded titanium for greater speed, extra stability, and the elimination of soft spots.

Is open only until April 19. The meeting is November 3-8, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Submit your proposal online at

AIChE leaders from sections, committees, divisions, the operating councils and board of directors: mark your calendars for the Leadership Development Conference: "The Alchemy of Leadership," May 31-June 3 in Chicago, IL.

Aprilia, the Italian motorcycle company, has developed the latest tech toy: the fuel cell bicycle. The power unit for the high performance bicycle includes a polymer membrane fuel cell, which combines hydrogen in the tank with oxygen in the air, to produce steam and electrical energy. The cell weighs just 27.5 oz. and generates 600 watts of power. So now you can tear it up, and make the world a cleaner, greener place. .

While AIChE's new database is implemented over the next year, the Institute has undertaken a data "spring cleaning," to clean out any duplicate or incorrect entries. You can help by updating your information. Send an email to and include your name, membership number, work and home address, day and evening telephone number, email address, and title. Or call at 1-800-242-4363.

For the latest on the biotech sector, pick up the March issue of CEP. Learn about bioreactor selection and the parallels between bioreactors and traditional chemical reactors and what's happening in the biotech/pharma sector of the chemical engineering industries. Watch your mailbox or read it online at .

AIChE is heading to Baltimore with our Professional & Technical Training program, April 22-26. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of great courses and a great city. We've assembled a terrific selection of courses in Baltimore that will absolutely meet your needs. We've also expanded our course offerings in Professional Development. (You may see a complete listing at As if these weren't compelling reasons enough to join us in Baltimore, consider the city itself. Loaded with museums and attractions, Baltimore is a great place to visit. Check out the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum, Maryland Science Center, the National Aquarium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Harborplace, the U.S.S. Constellation, the Pier Six Concert Pavilion, and the American Visionary Art Museum. With AIChE's superb course offerings and Baltimore's many attractions, our courses are filling up fast, so please act today. For more information, or to register for AIChE Professional and Technical Training courses, please call 1-800-242-4363, or log on to

Course Offerings for Baltimore, MD; April 22 - 26, 2002

Ways to Register: Phone: 1-800-242-4363 anytime between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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