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The New Applied Guide: Secrets of the Old Geezers

By: , Posted on: June 6, 2018

“When gone am I, the last of the Jedi, will you be…Pass on what you have learned”-Yoda

None of us knows everything about anything and all of us know more than any of us. There are however certain things that every competent engineer in a discipline or subdiscipline needs to know. When I write my books, I usually make sure that I have captured all of these things by recruiting a large number of professional chemical engineering designers to help review the content.

This worked well for my previous books on general process plant design and layout, but when I came to my latest book on my own area of specialism, water and effluent treatment, I had a problem. Instead of my usual hundreds of volunteer reviewers, I had less than five!  Neither was I granted permission to use many of the edge-of-public-domain sources I wanted to use. I don’t know if this is because the book deals not in generalities, but in what appear to be jealously guarded secrets of experienced designers, because the water industry is particularly secretive, or for some other reason, but I was more or less on my own with this one. Luckily, I have almost thirty years of experience in the sector and I have talked to many other specialists during that time, so I got my consultation in first with this one.

Whatever the reason, it seems that this book contains information which people would rather remained obscure. Much of it was originally obtained from those old geezers who carry the memory of engineering companies past and present in their heads, on multiply-photocopied bits of paper in their filing cabinets, and in obscure out of print books and papers off the radar of academia on their shelves.

Joe Bonem calls these old geezers “the voice at the end of the corridor” or somesuch. They are the source of much real engineering knowledge. They were certainly the source of much of mine, and I suppose I am now one of those old geezers myself. The book is not a perfect substitute for access to a master of the discipline, but it will at least provide the key information that such access gives you: quick ways to rough up a design in the absence of proper design information, the ability to apply a sanity check to the result of more sophisticated design methods, some knowledge of classic beginners’ mistakes to avoid, and ways to plug the gaps in existing public domain literature.

Read more articles from Sean Moran, The Voice of Chemical Engineering

Professor Sean Moran is a Chartered Engineer with over twenty years’ experience in process design, commissioning and troubleshooting and is regarded as the ‘voice of chemical engineering’. He started his career with international process engineering contractors and worked worldwide on water treatment projects before setting up his own consultancy in 1996, specializing in process and hydraulic design, commissioning and troubleshooting of industrial effluent and water treatment plants.

Whilst Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, he coordinated the design teaching program for chemical engineering students. Professor Moran’s university work focused on increasing industrial relevance in teaching, with a particular emphasis on process design, safety and employability.

Connect with Sean on LinkedIn here, check out his Facebook page here and stay up-to-date on his thoughts, research and practice at his personal blog here.

The book is available for preorder now, and has a publication date of 1st June 2018.
An Applied Guide to Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Design brings together the design of process, wastewater, clean water, industrial effluent and sludge treatment plants, looking at the different treatment objectives within each sub-sector, selection and design of physical, chemical and biological treatment processes, and the professional hydraulic design methodologies.


Key Features:

  • Explains how to design water and effluent treatment plants that really work
  • Accessible introduction to, and overview of, the area that is written from a process engineering perspective
  • Covers new treatment technologies and the whole process, from treatment plant design, to commissioning

Sean’s latest books are also available to order on the Elsevier Store. Use discount code STC317 at checkout and save up to 30% on your very own copy!


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