Tag Archives: solutions

It’s been lovely, warm, though humid and thundery few days here in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Perfect for midday ‘Mahlzeit‘ cycling to lunch, for grabbing a coffee, some wifi rays and working outside, perfect for stopping production. Uh, say what? You’ll go easy on me, I hope, for not providing you with news as it breaks, I was never cut out to be a journalist. There was an alas fatal explosion that claimed two lives at a chemical factory owned by Evonik in Marl, Germany on March 31st this year. The plant and its workforce produced an acid compound called cyclododecatriene, or CDT to its friends. Its friends are, among others, producers of the polymer PA12, a variant of the Nylon™ family, for which CDT is a crucial chemical stepping stone. The Marl factory is one of only four large producers of CDT in the world, so its loss has knocked out a significant chunk of global…

Read more

One of the beautiful things about engineering is that there are many, many solutions to each problem. In school, it was comforting to realize that there was a correct answer to every homework problem. I think engineers are stereotypically wired to like a precise, logical, correct answer. A SINGLE answer. But then, I got to graduate school. And suddenly, the problems that I encountered didn’t HAVE an answer. (Yet, at least.) That was scary in itself. And even scarier, was the notion that even if I did find AN answer – it might not be the only one. Which means, my answer might not be the best one. Yowza! Eventually I learned that in the real world, it’s not always about having the best answer. You can almost never prove which answer is best, and even if you could, it’s usually not worth the time it takes. It’s about having…

Read more

2/2