Friday, 18 May 2018

Expert Witness Troubleshooter Industrial Effluent Treatment Process Engineer

A mixed bag this week of expert witness enquiries and real design work, all for industrial effluent treatment plants.

It looks like I have finally bottomed out the commercial waste treatment plant design and associated negotiation with the environment  agency. I also had an enquiry from a startup company who thought before we talked that reverse osmosis could turn high strength industrial waste into deionised water as a single stage treatment. It can't. 

Other than that, a bit of writing, and a bit of follow-up with my students, trying to help them get that all important first job.  

#expert #witness #water #engineer #chemical #process #sean #moran #blog

Monday, 14 May 2018

Expert Witness Water Engineer Water Treatment Plant Design, Construction, Installation Commissioning Setting to Work Performance Testing Operation and Troubleshooting

I'm starting the week with an expert witness enquiry, in my usual field (water treatment plant design, construction and operation) with all of the usual elements.

Is it a bad specification, a bad contract, a bad contractor, a bad client or a bad design? Is it a bad plant or is it a good plant badly operated? Or is it some combination of some of these factors?

#waterengineer #expert #witness #process #design #chemical #engineer #seanmoran

Sean Moran Chemical Engineer Former IChemE Council Member Voice of Chemical Engineering Blogger Text Book Author

I am a chemical engineer. Most people don't know what that is, (including many people who call themselves chemical engineers). Chemical Engineers design and operate process plants. Process plants mostly make stuff (rather than widgets). That stuff might be clean water, drugs, plastic, chocolate or petrol, (and so on). In summary, we make the stuff which underpins civilisation.

My specialisation is clean water. This is the blog on which I discuss my professional practice in water and environmental engineering. I however have a number of other roles, and a number of other blogs in which I discuss those. I can see from google search that people look for my blogs, so I thought Id write a post which brings them together to allow you to choose.

So, I tend to discuss the books I write on linkedin, or my goodreads and amazon blogs, though they do get a mention here sometimes. I write blog posts for my main publisher Elsevier under the byline "The Voice of Chemical Engineering", which you can see here. My Elsevier books are IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) branded, though I left the IChemE earlier this year, and moved to CIWEM, as I was unhappy with the way the #IChemE treat their members.

I discuss my teaching on Linked in and this also tends to form the basis of much that I do on facebook, as I use facebook in my teaching.

#seanmoran  #icheme #council  #resignation #blog #chemicalengineer #engineer #blogger #author #professor


Friday, 11 May 2018

Industrial Effluent : Knowing What You Don't Know and How Much You Should Care

Sean Moran IChemE Chemical Engineer Blog











I still work as an engineer, even though a lot of the things I write on here are about my side-lines as a part-time academic and author. Earlier this week I had a discussion with a chemical engineer in a different sector which reminded me of the difference between academic and professional rigour, and between taking and dodging professional responsibility.

Without giving away too many details, it concerned the zoning of a confined space in an industrial effluent treatment collection system. Apparently the American NFPA 820 standard states that sewer gas is non-flammable. On the strength of this statement, an engineer thought that the confined space presented no risk of explosion hazard.

There are a number of standards in play in a case like this, though I have not seen an American standard used in this context the UK before. IEC 60079, BS EN 50281 and BS EN 60079 part 10 are the more commonly used guidance. The key word here is guidance. Codes and standards are not to be applied blindly. Professional engineers are employed to exercise professional judgement. Applying an inappropriate standard, or applying an appropriate one inappropriately is less than competent.

Thinking that reference to a standard gets us out of thinking about whether its recommendation is sensible is an abdication of professional responsibility. Not considering whether the question we are being asked falls outside our area of expertise is also a failing of professionalism. Luckily, someone on the team knows me, and knew that this falls in my area of expertise. I already knew that the idea that "sewer gas is non-flammable" was not universally true. I am confined space trained, and we wear gas monitors with (amongst other things) LEL detection when accessing chambers such as this. It also transpired upon investigation that this was not what I would call normal sewer contents, as it was mostly hot, high strength trade effluent rather than domestic sewage. Organic solvents are handled at the site, and it was uncertain as to whether there were any routes by which these solvents, or their heavier than air vapours could make it to the sump in question.

At this point I knew enough to say that there were grounds to have some concern about whether flammable atmospheres might occur in the sump, and to rule out the idea that this was an inconceivable condition. If I were looking to milk the client, I might have insisted that only a rigorous program of sampling and analysis could tell us how the chamber should be regarded, but I applied some common sense. What were the financial implications of making the conservative assumption, (zoning it as likely to contain an explosive atmosphere), compared with the costs of the investigation?

It turned out that there was no plan to put electrical equipment in the sump, so the zoning was a paper exercise. A study to "rigorously" establish the "proper" zoning would have been a waste of money. We are not scientists. Our investigations are intended to increase safety and robustness, or decrease cost. Sometimes the answer to an engineering question is "who cares"? Not that I'm immune to caring about things no-one else does myself. I'm an engineer too...

#seanmoran #chemicalengineer #realchemeng #engineering #industrialeffluent

Friday, 4 May 2018

Process Engineering Training From Sean Moran Chemical Engineer

There are still a lot of training enquiries coming in from the Middle East. Few firm bookings as yet, but I've got plenty to be getting on with.

I've just finished my draft of the much expanded second edition of "An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design", part of my series of #icheme books and I'm coming to the end of my module on water treatment engineering at Manchester University, so there will be coursework and exams to mark soon.

What we don't have a lot of at the moment is expert witness work, but summer is usually the busy time for that. Don't ask me why, but that's how it is...

#icheme #seanmoran #chemicalengineer #processplantdesign #training

Friday, 27 April 2018

Chemical Engineering Training UK and Middle East With Sean Moran

There are lots of enquiries about training coming in now, though I don't expect to be actually delivering anything in the Middle East before Ramadan, I've got a couple of things booked in the UK at the end of June.

It's a mixed bag of subjects, but generally it's all about either design or operation of process plants, which is how I define chemical engineering (and how it used to be defined by the #IChemE back when I became a Chartered Chemical Engineer).

#sean.moran #blog #icheme #chartered #chemicalengineer #training #processplantdesign #processplantoperation 

Friday, 20 April 2018

Process Plant Design and Layout Training with Sean Moran

I delivered some training in the UK this week, unusually. Mostly I train in the Gulf. I did a short session on process plant layout for a design house in the North of England.

More generally, training is finally looking up. I'm presently booking a week long course on design of desalination plant to be delivered in the UK for an overseas client, a couple of courses in South East Asia on water treatment plant design, have a bid in a course in the Gulf on data analysis for process investigation, and I'm looking at offering a few new process safety courses.

I have almost finished my university lecturing for the year. The Chester process design course got exceptional feedback. I'll have to arrange feedback for the Manchester course when I am back next week.

#seanmoran #chemicalengineer #training #processplantdesign #processplantlayout

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Sean Moran Blogger Chemical Engineer Author Professor Former IChemE Council Member Voice of Chemical Engineering

I have a number of blogs, reflecting my various roles. I am a chemical engineer, (who still actually engineers things). I am also a university lecturer / professor, and an author, and I was involved heavily in the past in the Institution of Chemical Engineers, though I resigned my position on the IChemE's ruling council, and eventually resigned from the IChemE entirely in protest at their behaviour as an organisation.

This blog is mostly to do with my work for Expertise Limited, the company through which I design and troubleshoot process plants, do expert witness work, and provide training services. I have a Goodreads blog and a couple of Amazon author pages (here and here) where I exclusively discuss my books.

I write opinion pieces on LinkedIn and on Elsevier's site, mainly about issues to do with the subject of my books and teaching, though these sometimes touch on issues to do with IChemE and more broadly the engineering establishment. My main concerns with respect to engineering education are that there are too many graduates being produced worldwide and they have too few useful skills. This may suit big business, academia and the engineering establishment, but it isn't fair on the kids.

#SeanMoran #Blog #ChemicalEngineer #Author #Professor #Former #IChemE #trustee #institutionofchemicalengineers #Council #Member #VoiceofChemicalEngineering  #ResignationStatement

Friday, 13 April 2018

Water Treatment Plant Design and Operation Training from Sean Moran

More progress on the training front this week. We are firming up on an in-depth two week course on desalination using membranes in the UK for an overseas client, and talking to people in Africa, India, the Arabian Gulf and the Caribbean about other courses.

As far as real engineering work is concerned, we are awaiting the Environment Agency's determination of our application for a variation to a consent to discharge treated trade effluent to environment, to allow final design of a new treatment plant.

I'm expecting to have finished my first pass at Edition 2 of my first IChemE book, "An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design" today. As I usually submit around revision 8, still a long way to go.

#sean.moran #training #icheme

Friday, 6 April 2018

Is Water Engineering Training Back?

Came back from holiday to a fair number of training enquiries. A mixed bag of water treatment, process safety, and data analysis (which I do a lot of, but never taught outside a university before). All new overseas clients, mostly related to the oil and gas industry. We will see if anything comes of it.

Other than that, I've been busy writing, and I've sold quite a few copies of my first book on the back of a series of linked in articles I've been publishing.

The EA have started their modelling exercise for the upgrade to the commercial effluent treatment plant. I think I can guess the result, but I'm willing to be surprised...

#seanmoran #sean.moran #training #waterengineering 

Friday, 30 March 2018

Training: Water Process Plant Design

We had a few training enquiries this week. It looks like the training market is finally coming back a bit.

I used to do a few courses a year in the middle and far east, but the oil price crash put that on hold for a few years (at least at rates attractive to UK engineers)

It will be nice to get back. I'm sure Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai have changed a bit since I was last there.

Meanwhile, I seem to be on the home straight with the EA with respect to the effluent treatment plant upgrade paperwork. I'm going to send out lots of emails today for people to come back from holiday to....

Friday, 23 March 2018

Sean Moran Chemical Engineer Water Expert

Another week of water engineering for me. Practicing it, writing about it, and teaching it as usual.

A few frustrations with the Environment Agency, but by yesterday, the various parts of the Agency were talking to each other....

Friday, 16 March 2018

Water Treatment Engineering Expert

Our various expert witness jobs are all concluded for now. It's been another week of teaching, writing and treatment plant design, as usual working in the field of water and effluent treatment engineering.

I've been writing the extended abstract for my PhD on chemical engineering education this week. Again. Rev 5 now. I don't find the turgid style required a job to write in. Expert reports are page-turners by comparison, but these are the hoops academia sets out for us...

Feedback from the Master's students at Chester is gratifyingly excellent, which is nice...

Friday, 9 March 2018

Sean Moran and The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

My latest IChemE book, "An Applied Guide to Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Design" is in press, and will be available in June.

I have produced three books for the Institution of Chemical Engineers (#IChemE) now, but we have parted company recently. I have one last IChemE book to produce, a second edition of "An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design"

I have however resigned from the IChemE itself, in protest at its direction of travel, just as I resigned as a trustee from its ruling council earlier in the year. I have transferred my Chartered Engineer registration to CIWEM.

#seanmoran #sean.moran #icheme #statement #council #trustee #resignation

Effluent Treatment Plant Upgrade

I'm just about to head out for an early morning meeting in North Yorkshire to discuss fine detail of my design for an upgrade to a commercial effluent treatment plant.

Teaching and writing are fine, but its good to get out on site, and do some real engineering.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Water Engineering Expert

I've been marking water engineering design coursework from chemical engineering students at Chester this week. It's the first year of a new master's level module, and I'm very pleased with the work.

I also made it through the beast from the east to teach water engineering at Manchester on Tuesday. They are doing well too.

Real engineering however suffered. I have had to cancel today's site visit to discuss an effluent treatment plant upgrade with client and contractors. Hopefully it'll happen next Friday...

Friday, 23 February 2018

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Engineering Expert Witness, Author, Professor

Expert witness work continues, as does the real engineering. I've been doing nitty-gritty detailed design this week of a system for treatment of a complex chemical wastewater arising from a commercial lab.

Proofing is officially finished for the new book, ("An Applied Guide to Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Design") but we do like to get all of the details right. I have reviewed books let down by a less than obsessive attention to layout and drawings, and it doesn't take that much of it to really spoil a book. No-one can care about this as much as a committed author does. I like it just how I want it, which leads to some extended correspondence with the publisher, but it is in everyone's interest to product a quality product...

My Chester students are going to submit their designs to me next week. They are using my first book as their set text, and they are producing lots of interesting questions whose answers will be incorporated into the second edition of An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design, which will be my next book...

Friday, 16 February 2018

Water Process Plant Design Expertise

As expected, a fair amount of teaching this week, and a lot of effluent treatment plant design. What wasn't expected was the new enquiry for subcontract plant design for a wastewater treatment pant supplier.

There were also a few enquiries from employment agencies, but they never seem to come to much, once it becomes clear that I'm not looking to work five days a week in someone else's office for a year at a time. If I'd wanted that I'd never have set up for myself.

No shortage of work, nor new enquires. I'm not overloaded, but I'm busy...

Friday, 9 February 2018

Teaching, Writing, Designing and Expert Witnessing in Water and Effluent Treatment Engineering

I had a couple of days teaching at Manchester this week. Next week I'm back there, and I'm in at  Chester as well.

Next week will also be the last week of proofreading "An Applied Guide to Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Design", available for preorder here.

The rest of the week has been taken up with actual detailed design of an effluent treatment plant for a challenging waste arising from an analytical laboratory.

More of that next week, as well as the teaching and proofreading. There's also a meeting next week for one of the expert witness jobs I have going on.

Friday, 2 February 2018

A Busy Week in Water Treatment Plant Design





















I taught water treatment plant design at Manchester University this week, as well as working through the final proofs of my book on water and effluent treatment plant design.

I picked up an order today to progress the detailed design of an industrial effluent treatment plant, and the various expert witness jobs are continuing.

I also made a start on producing a second edition of my controversial first book, "An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design". As you can see from all the post-its, there are going to be a lot of edits.