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Virtus Dynamica Chemical Engineering Student Award 2015
By Martin Berutti on 04.16.15
Mimic Simulation

Last night at the St. Louis section AIChE Meeting, we presented the Virtus Dynamica Chemical Engineering Student Award to recipients from Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of MIssouri, Columbia, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Mike Gentilcore- AIChE Section Chair, Rebecca Bass- University of Missouri, Shayan Sazdar- Missouri S&T, Xiaotong Duan- Wash U, and Mart Berutti-MYNAH Technologies

At the meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, St. Louis section, last night, I had the priveledge of presenting this award to the 2015 winners. In this company of the St. Louis chemical engineering community we had a chance to reflect on the importance of chemical engineering education and the bright future of the North American process industry.

Fellow chemical engineers, the last six months has been a wild ride for the process industries. Everyone who drives a car knows that oil prices and the price at the pump dropped to a 10 year low almost overnight. For companies like ours that had a number of Oil and Gas projects underway, it was a painful drop. But, for the chemical industry, cheap energy and cheap LNG feedstocks are the catalyst for the resurgence of North American investment. As we tap into our domestic oil reserves with new recovery techniques, prices for light hydrocarbon feedstocks drop to historic lows. Butane, Propane, and Ethane are all trading a prices half of their level a year ago. And the experts don’t think they are going to rise anytime in the future.

Because of this, North America is the new developing world market for petrochemical with incredible amount of domestic and international investment. One interesting phenomenon a major automation company executive told me this week is that we are going to start to see projects financed, engineered, skid built, and shipped to be installed in our country from China, India, Korea, and of course, western Europe. We are not shipping process plants overseas anymore they are coming here.

Who is going to run these plants? Who is going to re-engineer these gifts from our brother engineers overseas? It has to be the new generation of chemical engineering professionals. I am very excited to recognize three of these outstanding individuals tonight.

At MYNAH, our mission is to Reduce the Cost, Risk, and Complexity of Plant Operations. We do this by delivering Life Cycle Dynamic Simulation that provides significant business benefits for greenfield capital investments and brownfield operational excellence initiatives. Using our Mimic Simulation Software, process plants can train operators, improve the performance of their automation systems, and evaluate operational improvements without impacting their running plants. To deliver this value to the process industries, we employ chemical engineers and we will need many more in the future.

The role of the chemical engineering departments in our local universities is essential to equip this next generation of “captains of industry”. We need these departments to grow and succeed if they are going to supply men and women to be future leaders in our companies.

We are very proud to sponsor the Virtus Dynamica Chemical Engineering Student Award at our three local Chemical Engineering Departments, Missouri S&T, Mizzou, and Wash U. The award goes to the chemical engineering student with the highest overall GPA as a senior in each universities program, hence the Virtus, latin for excellence. Dynamica because MYNAH is a provider of dynamic simulation technology and we work in a very dynamic, exciting industry.

The recipients for the award in 2015 are:

  • Xiaotong Duan, Washington University in St. Louis. Tong is graduating in May and will continue her studies at Stanford University, pursuing a Masters in Chemical Engineering.
  • Rebecca Bass, University of Missouri. Rebecca will also graduate in May and is currently evaluating several offers of employment as a chemical engineer.
  • Shayan Sazdar, Missouri University of Science and Technology. Shayan will continue his studies this summer as he pursues his Chemical Engineering degree and is currently evaluating several other additional engineering degrees.

On behalf of MYNAH Technologies, we want to thank AIChE for allowing us to sponsor this award and congratulate our three recipients for 2015.

I look forward to your comments, questions, or suggestions.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Mart Berutti, 04/16/15