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CAST Communications - Winter 2008-09
Table of Contents
|Editorial Notes - 2008 in Review by Peter Rony and Karl Schnelle||Articles
Editorial Notes - 2008 in Review
by Karl Schnelle and Peter Rony
Welcome to the 12th online issue of CAST Communications. 2008 was not only the 100th Anniversary of AIChE but also the 30th for the CAST Division. We were not alone, as many other significant anniversaries took place in '08:
|The CAST Division was established in 1978 and documented in the first issue of the Newsletter of the CAST Division. The "History of Formation of CAST" from pages 6 and 7 of that Newsletter are reproduced as pdf files to the right. (Click on the page images to bring up the full-size pdf.) The current newsletter name, CAST Communications, did not appear until Volume 8 in 1985! The name change was the first decision that Peter Rony made after he was selected by Ed Rosen to become Editor. Twenty-four years later, both name and Editor remain.|
And, finally, the Quote of the Day is by Larry Page, cofounder of Google.
Editors' Note: Karl Schnelle and Peter Rony, the editors of CAST Communications, invited all the past Chairs to submit a short
“Reflections” that is related to their one-year term in office as Chair of the CAST Division of
AIChE. Here are a few of the replies. More will be published in future newsletters.
The Birth of the CAST Division
by Vern Sterba, 1978 CAST Division Chair
As one of the founders and the first chairman of the CAST Division, I felt a strong obligation to respond to Peter Rony's call for reflections. The most appropriate topic for me was to reflect on the formation of the division in 1977 (the year of the Apple I).
Way back in 1976, several of us in the AIChE Machine Computation Committee were convinced that there was a strong and growing interest in machine computation and we needed to work toward forming an AIChE Division. Back then, the MCC membership was at 66, up from in 57 members in 1975. There was a lot of work to do, not only in generating support for the division, but also in putting together all the voluminous and necessary paperwork. I wish I could remember and thank all those who contributed, but one name stands out: R. L. Morris. Bob was the key contributor in putting together a set of by-laws and also the petition to the AIChE Council.
One of the significant problems (and frustrations) in 1977 was to convince a skeptical AIChE Council that we could actually find at least one hundred AIChE members who would join the division. I think the survey we sent to 1876 AIChE members did the trick. Of the 975 who responded, 470 said they supported the idea and would join and an additional 274 said they might join (don't you just love it when you can prove you're right).
Another item we had to address is one that you may find of interest: why did we pick the division name we did? There was a lot of discussion about the name. We deliberately chose "Computing" rather than "Computer" because we saw the Ch.E. being an applications rather than a hardware oriented person. The word "Systems" was added because many Ch.E.'s who used computers heavily in their work were dealing with large and/or complex systems. Suggestions to include "Process" and "Design", while nobly supported, did not survive the review process. Finally, "Technology" was added because we are not as interested in the science of computing as we are in the practical application of the science. Our final decision seems to have survived the past thirty years!
“More Reflections” by Past CAST Division Chairs
Edward M. Rosen, 1985 -
Some of the best legacies that one can leave are the people you
are able to recruit during your stay in office. Such was my legacy
In the Spring (May) of 1985 the CACHE Corporation held its meeting at the
old Coronado hotel on Coronado Island (San Diego). I was fortunate to
room with Peter Rony. (Both Peter and I were CACHE trustees).
At the time Peter had recently resigned as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Computer
Society magazine “IEEE Micro”. Under Peter the IEEE MICRO had become the second
highest-subscription magazine in the IEEE Computer Society.
Being a chemical engineer I believed he would be at home
editing AIChE’s CAST Division Newsletter which was undergoing a
transition at the time.
It was a fortunate choice since Peter has now been an editor for CAST
Communications for the last twenty some years! It
has received three Max Isaacs awards as the outstanding newsletter in the AIChE.
As legacies go, it was exceptional!
Andy Hrymak, 2004 -
I scanned through the email history for the period that I was privileged to serve on the CAST Executive Committee and as Chair, and I was reminded of how many activities are done by so many volunteers to keep CAST as one of best run divisions within the AIChE. The CAST Awards program is a wonderful way to recognize the accomplishments of academic, student and industrial practitioners. I enjoyed serving on the award juries reading the records of publication and the support letters about the impact that the nominees have had on our profession of chemical engineering and field of process systems.
There was a dominant issue that was front and centre at the time I served on the Executive - the increasing importance of using the web as a means of communicating with the membership. The CAST webCASTs are an important response to the opportunity that the internet provides. The other issue that occupied a lot of time at the Executive meetings was support for the redesign and updating of the AIChE website. CAST members knew that that the website could and should be so much better – the issue was not just about whether CAST would help support the update financially, but there were so many great ideas about what more could be done and a that CAST should make sure that it was a job well done. CAST has been very fortunate to have dedicated volunteer members who have committed their time for many years to programming, newsletters, and conference organization. This continuity of experience provides a great basis for succeeding generations of directors and executive members.
Gavin Towler, 2008 -
I have very much enjoyed leading the CAST Division during 2008. Our Division continues to provide great opportunities to meet with colleagues, whether to hear research results, discuss the challenges of applying computational methods in industry or simply socialize. We continue to innovate and help other AIChE groups to improve their use of computing. In 2008 we helped AIChE launch a webcast program modeled on our own successful webCASTs. We also funded Area 10e's efforts to launch AIChE's first video contest on YouTube - you can see the results at castvideo.
During 2008 we also set a new record for AIChE when we became the first Division ever to have a tied result in the election of 2nd Vice Chair. After much debate on the relative merits of different computational and other approaches to resolving this situation, we decided both Mahmoud El-Halwagi and Richard Braatz were elected and we determined the order in which they will serve by an electronic coin toss at the CAST banquet. The Division is in great shape financially, and membership increased by 15% in 2008, so I am happy to turn over the role of chair to Frank Doyle and look forward to continuing success for CAST in the future.
A History and View to the Future for Knowledge Management and
Organizational Learning In the Process Industries
This presentation discusses the history of how knowledge management has evolved from groupware information applications into an important contributor for talent management in the process industries. Evolutionary examples are given of collaboration, best practice transfer, idea management, and replication of lessons learned through communities and networks. It is then shown how KM has accelerated the use of informal learning reduce cost and provide greater effectiveness of learning across global enterprises. Finally we discuss how further developments will occur as knowledge management integrates with talent management to deploy more effective global workforce networks.
This material [2MB ] was recently given at the 2008 Annual Meeting of AIChE in Philadelphia.
2007 CAST Directors' Award
Given for the best poster presentations at the AIChE Annual Meeting. The 2007 CAST Directors' Award was announced previously - details are on the last page of this pdf [297 KB ]. The following are for Work Presented at the 2007 AIChE Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT.
Click on the poster [204 KB ] for the full-size pdf of the winning poster.
2008 CAST Award Winners
The 2008 CAST Division Awards were announced previously - details are here [297 KB ].
Computing in Chemical Engineering Award - Recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of computing and systems technology to chemical engineering
The introduction [1.1MB ] to the attendees of the 2008 CAST Awards dinner may be downloaded in pdf format.
2008 Computing in Chemical Engineering Award Lecture
Yannis Kevrekidis became fascinated with dynamics - instabilities, oscillations, pattern formation - when he attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota. This interest has been a steady focus of his entire research career (from his postdoctoral year at the Center for Nonlinear Studies in Los Alamos through the years at Princeton).
Along with his students, postdocs and collaborators, he has explored nonlinear dynamical phenomena computationally in problems ranging from adaptive control and heterogeneous catalytic reactions to transitional fluid flows and chemotaxis. Over the last eight or so years, his work has focused on linking traditional, macroscopic continuum numerical algorithms with fine scale (atomistic/stochastic) simulation codes: a way to systematically model complex/muliscale systems. The main idea is to use the fine scale code as an experiment that can be initialized and executed at will. This way, traditional numerical analysis becomes a set of protocols for the design of computational experiments - and "standard" systems tools (model identification, estimation, observability, model reduction) can be used to link the fine scale at which simulations are executed to the "systems level" scale at which we want to pose and answer engineering questions.
In his award talk given at the 2008 CAST Awards Dinner in Philadelphia, Yannis outlines what he calls the "equation-free" approach to
complex systems modeling and simulation. The presentation may be viewed as three files:
ppt a [3MB ],
ppt b [1MB ], and
ppt c [6MB ].
During his presentation, Yannis used the animation feature of MS PowerPoint. If you do not have PowerPoint or the free Viewer, then the pdf's are available (and smaller):
pdf a [2MB ],
pdf b [1MB ], and
pdf c [1MB ].
Photos from the 2008 CAST Awards Dinner
And here are some casual shots from the banquet.
CAST Election Results
The CAST elections committee is pleased to announce the results of the election of officers for 2009.
Please join us in congratulating Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi, Richard D. Braatz, Martha A. Grover, and Marianthi Ierapetritou.
2008 CAST Directors' Award
by Martha Grover, CAST Director
Given for the best poster presentations at the AIChE Annual Meeting.
Click on the poster [147KB ] for the full-size pdf of the winning poster.
Student Travel Grants
by Ray Adomaitis
Please congratulate the following individuals for winning the second annual CAST Travel Grant (for attending the 2008 AIChE Annual Meeting):
Ashlee Ford, Gangshi Hu, Michael Wartmann, Ben Davis, Sivakumar Pitchaiah, Matt Percival, Charles Sung, Josh Enszer, Fengqi You, Zuyi Huang
Nominations are due August 1st for the 2009 grants.
AIChE Centennial Student Video Contest:
"The Future of Chemical Engineering"
"In celebration of AIChE's Centennial, the Computing and Systems Technology Division (CAST) Group 10e (Information Technology) sponsored a video contest seeking innovative perspectives on the future of chemical engineering.
Students and groups were invited to submit original videos no longer than 7 minutes long that demonstrated their use of creativity and articulated their vision about the future of chemical engineering. Prizes were awarded for top videos and contest finalists had their videos showcased at the Annual Student Conference Bash and the CAST Banquet."
Click youtube to view these videos and AIChE to see the winners!
How to Contact AIChE
Publication sales, meeting registration, applications for membership, technical training, and other AlChE products and services may be obtained by using the contact information below or visiting AIChE Contacts.
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
3 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016-5991
General Inquiries: 800-242-4363
International calls: 212-591-8100
On-line contact form
For answers to questions, try one of the following AIChE Staff:
Director of Volunteer & Membership Activities
Director of Operations
Director of Technical Activities & Journals
CAST10 E-Mail List
The following websites are used to participate in the list:
The address to post messages to the list is CAST10 at LISTSERV.UMD.EDU .
2009 Award Nomination Form
Please use the 2008 Award Nomination Form [52KB, MS Word], which should be completed by April 15, 2009. See CAST Division Awards for submission guidelines. Electronic submissions are encouraged.
Quote of the Day
Google cofounder Larry Page proclaimed that "science has a serious marketing problem." As a solution, he suggested that tenure and grants be tied to the media impact of research.
-- from "The Future of Public Engagement", published in The Scientist
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The Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division of AIChE is responsible for the wide range of activities within AIChE that involve the application of computers and mathematics to chemical engineering problems including process design, process control, operations, and applied mathematics. We arrange technical sessions at AIChE Meetings, organize special conferences, and publish this newsletter - CAST Communications - twice a year. These activities enable our members to keep abreast of the rapidly changing fields of computing and system technology. The cost is $10 per year, and includes a subscription to this newsletter. Shouldn't you join the CAST Division now?
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CAST Communications - Winter 2009
The Semi-Annual Publication of the Computers and Systems Technology Division of AIChE
Editor: Peter R. Rony, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech
Associate Editor: Karl D. Schnelle, Dow AgroSciences LLC