Zydney broadens public’s understanding of chemical engineering

Mindy Krause
October 21, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Andrew Zydney, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Penn State, is aware that many people do not know what chemical engineers do. As an American Chemical Society (ACS) Expert, he is able to provide the answer to that question along with many others.

“There are many people who do not know what a chemical engineer is,” Zydney said. “As a member of the ACS Experts Program, I provide answers to questions that are received by the ACS and supply the general populace with my perspective on a number of different topics.”

The ACS first launched the Experts Program in 2013 as a way to provide reliable, in-depth analysis and media response to a wide-range of topics in the news, as well as topics that interest the public and policymakers. Experts are hand-selected by the ACS to serve two-year terms and provide factual insight and commentary on energy and environmental issues, food, pharmaceuticals, brain chemistry, innovation, advanced materials, climate change, national security, lab safety, clean water and more.

Most recently as an expert, Zydney has provided insight for a book series that aims to provide professional guidance to young people interested in learning more about careers in engineering.

In a section devoted to chemical engineering, Zydney offers a broad explanation of the field and describes the many different roles a chemical engineer performs. He shares insight into what made him interested in joining the field and also describes his research career at Penn State.

As an expert, he has also answered a number of media calls and inquiries. He noted that all ACS Experts are first required to attend media training facilitated by the ACS to become more comfortable sharing their technical expertise with the non-technical community.

Last August, he attended a full-day training workshop run by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science that was sponsored by the ACS. The training offered communication tutorials and best practices for communicating scientific knowledge to reporters and other media professionals. 

Overall, Zydney feels that the ACS Experts Program is a great opportunity to communicate the excitement and importance of the chemical sciences and chemical engineering to the general public. “It is a chance to build public support for research while raising the visibility of chemical engineering at Penn State,” Zydney said of his involvement.

Zydney has been a Penn State faculty member since 2002 and served as the chemical engineering department head from 2004 to 2014.

His research activities and areas of expertise include: artificial organs, bioseparations, membrane processes, and purification of high value biotherapeutics.

He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and he is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Membrane Science, the leading publication in the membrane area. He also serves on the Board of Review Editors for the peer-reviewed scientific journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

Zydney received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Yale University and his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With more than 161,000 members, the ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. The society’s mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.

  • Andrew Zydney, Bayard D. Kunkle Chair and professor of chemical engineering at Penn State

    Andrew Zydney is the Bayard D. Kunkle Chair and professor of chemical engineering at Penn State.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 22, 2015