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What’s New in “An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design” Second Edition?

By: , Posted on: April 18, 2019

The cover of the book 'An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design' I’m currently completing the final proofreading of the second edition of “An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design”. The second edition has 150% of the page count of the original. So, what’s new?

In summary, the completely new chapters are as follows:

  • Neglected Industries and Processes
  • Success Through Failure: Safety Case Studies
  • Brownfield Process Plant Design
  • Practical Ethics

There is also a new appendix of relevant global standards.

I have greatly expanded the chapter covering beginners’ errors to avoid”, as well as the appendix on teaching process plant design, (just in case any academics are interested in this). I actually received a lot of positive feedback from new graduates which prompted me to include this new longer version. They seemed to enjoy reading it far more than I enjoyed writing it (this appendix is a bit dry and academic for my taste).

All of the chapters are broadened to cover new sectors, and include new illustrative anecdotes, case studies and even commonly circulated engineering jokes from two hundred new contributors/ reviewers. I think jokes can be more informative than equations when the subject is engineering practice. Here’s an example:

“A sign commonly seen on the Wall of an EPC Contractor’s office:

  • Architect- Someone who designs a combined monument to himself and tombstone for the contractor.
  • Architect’s estimate – The cost of construction in heaven.
  • Contractor – A gambler who never gets to shuffle, cut, or deal.
  • Subcontractor- Someone who is expected to correct all mistakes made by others and to provide financing for contractors and owners.
  • Pre-Construction Conference – A meeting held by the client, contractor, and subcontractors while they are still on speaking terms.
  • Bid – A wild guess carried out to two decimal points.
  • Bid opening – A poker game in which the losing hand wins.
  • Completion date – A predetermined period during which, under ideal conditions, about 70% of the project can be completed, and the point at which liquidated damages begin.
  • Critical path method – A management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control.
  • Liquidated damages – A penalty for failing to achieve the impossible.
  • Low bidder – A contractor who is wondering what he left out of his bid.
  • Profit -A small amount of money remaining after the completion of a project, sometimes large enough to pay taxes.
  • Project manager – The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union.
  • Quantity Surveyor – People who go in after the battle is lost and bayonet the wounded.
  • Lawyer – People who go in after the quantity surveyors and strip the bodies.”

No part of the original book needed amendment due to inaccuracies, but the updated version has a wider scope, most notably encompassing brownfield design in a way which makes very clear that ‘professional’ brownfield design has very little to do with its academic counterpart.

The second edition also covers process industry sectors which employ many chemical engineers and which are neglected by academic curricula, such as pharmaceuticals, minerals, nuclear, and the water industry. Unit operations commonly used in these sectors are covered in some detail, as new graduates may not be aware that such technology even exists.

The many new reviewers have been helpful in recommending a set of case studies illustrating key process design principles. Many of them are well known to engineers of my generation, but I know that new graduates are often unaware of them. If their lessons are forgotten, then accidents will be repeated.

The chapter on ethics is intended to counter the overly academic and impractical treatment this subject gets in universities. When engineers act ethically, the cases they work with are often far muddier than the examples given by wannabe philosophers, and the personal and societal stakes of making a right-enough decision can be very high.

The second edition is now available now on the Elsevier store for pre-ordering. Enter code STC319 at the checkout for up to 30% discount.

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