The Importance Of Communication In Chemical Engineering

1622 Words 7 Pages
On April 17, 2013, the citizens of West, Texas were shaken when a fertilizer plant exploded with a force equivalent to ten tons of TNT (McLaughlin). Unfortunately, the investigation of the blast yielded more questions than answers as the analysts were unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the fire that eventually lead to the massive explosion. The disastrous event claimed the lives of fifteen people, injured two-hundred and caused damage to over three-hundred homes (McLaughlin). Of the fifteen killed, eleven were brave firefighters struggling to extinguish the blaze at the time of the explosion. CNN reporter Eliott C. McLaughlin states, “The probe said guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association and U.S. Department of Transportation …show more content…
Chemical engineers will often collaborate with various other types of engineers such as mechanical, electrical and structural engineers; as well as, plant managers, technicians, and executives. When asked which communication skill he wished his university would have stressed more, Hannigan replied with, “Inter-disciplinary. How to talk to people who are not engineers.” It is key for chemical engineers to be able to communicate ideas across all levels of expertise to ensure that a project is completed on time and within budget. In an article that expresses the importance of communication in the field, David Brennan writes, “The language of the professional chemical engineer centers around accuracy, clarity, and conciseness” (44). Accuracy, clarity, and conciseness are qualities that a chemical engineers must possess and utilize to ensure his or her success. First, accuracy is important because chemical engineering requires specific conditions for the reactions and processes to proceed correctly and safely. Secondly, clarity is essential because failure to produce clear instructions for a process could result in faulty processes or catastrophic failure that could lead to injury or death. Lastly, when communicating with executives, bosses and individuals who are not chemical engineers, it is important to be concise; to arrange months’ worth of ideas and calculations into just a few …show more content…
Whether seeking out advancement in one’s career or working to prevent disastrous events, it is imperative for chemical engineers to learn and utilize the necessary communication skills required to do so. My academic career and current job are doing well to aid me in the development of several important communication skills. However, it is vital for me to continue to learn and develop my communication skills not only at my current job and in academic studies, but also through experience in the chemical engineering industry as I progress throughout my

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