Author: Robert Szczesniak

About the Author

Robert Szczesniak

Name: Robert Szczesniak

Bio: Robert received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering for the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2000. After school he spent 5 years working as an Environmental Engineer leading groundwater and soil investigations and remediation. In 2006 he joined UOP as a design engineer in the PSA (pressure swing adsorption) group. In 2008 he moved to Field Operating Services and since has worked in China, Kuwait, Korea, India, Taiwan, and Japan mainly on oversight and startup of aromatics units. He enjoys food, cooking, cycling, hiking, and obviously – travel.

February 28th, 2013


By Robert Szczesniak
The author and his family in Thailand

[caption id="attachment_61853" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="The author and his family in Thailand"] BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION, [/caption]

I am sometimes asked how I got into this crazy business. What's so crazy about what I do. My title is straightforward enough – technical advisor – but what makes my job unconventional isn't what I do, but where I do it. Buy cheap DULOXETINE, I work for UOP, which provides technology to the petroleum refining, gas processing, petrochemical, and major manufacturing industries, DULOXETINE forum, and in less than five years, I have traveled approximately 200,000 miles. What is DULOXETINE, This includes three circumnavigations and five continents (missed a sixth due to a paperwork issue).  I have no permanent residence (though I still call Chicago home) and little in the way of long-term planning – often with days to get packed and moving, BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION. In short, my work is rarely boring, because every few months I get a new job with a new company and work in a new facility. You can read more specifics about what I do in this earlier post, DULOXETINE trusted pharmacy reviews. You can also read about some specific assignments I handled in Taiwan and in Korea. But the reason for this post is to explain how it all started, and how I ended up where I am today.

BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION, I'd like to try it all, thank you!

It started with not knowing what I wanted to do. Cheap DULOXETINE, It is hard to pick one thing; I wanted to try it all. Looking at college applications as a dumbstruck high school student, I liked chemistry and math. I was asked, what do you want to major in, buy DULOXETINE online cod.  I thought, "Both?  Can you even do that?"

[caption id="attachment_61854" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The author on a walk in Jiuzhaiguo Valley in Sichuan Province, China"][/caption]

On a random campus visit, DULOXETINE from mexico, to a school I wasn’t initially interested in, but eventually wound up attending, a sage professor suggested that I study chemical engineering. It would provide the most pathways after graduation, BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION. My dad was an engineer and that seemed to be working out well, so why not, DULOXETINE photos, I thought.

I went through school doing a fair job of picking up experiences in and out of the classroom. Among other things, Where can i find DULOXETINE online, I got decent grades, let some fellows convince me that it would be a good idea to keep the books for our house of 50 undergraduates, let a friend convince me it would be a good idea to go to Paris for a weekend in the middle of a semester (I still can’t believe how cheap those tickets were – I swear there was a period of time where the airlines paid you to fly), got a co-op, and a taste of the engineering world, DULOXETINE interactions.

Graduation eventually came and I still couldn’t choose a single direction. BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION, I had found a lot of activities and challenges that I enjoyed, but a co-op or intern is not the same as a full-time job.  A good co-op shows you all aspects of the company, and allows you to work with all stages of a project from the perspective of different departments. I really liked seeing the whole project develop through to completion and the different skills required to do that. But where were all the jobs that allowed you to work all the way from design to implementation. My DULOXETINE experience, They certainly weren't the jobs I encountered when I started interviewing.

Learning to look ahead

It wasn't very clear to me what I wanted and where I'd find it, so I went through the motions of finding a job and eventually did. Over the next several years, I had couple of jobs, BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION. While the first wasn't very satisfying, the second was a better fit, DULOXETINE treatment, but it still wasn't quite right either. It was at this point I was able to see the value in the experiences I had and see things from a new perspective.

[caption id="attachment_61855" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Hong Kong Harbor from the peak"][/caption]

I looked to colleagues 5 or 10 years my senior, Buy cheap DULOXETINE no rx, people I emulated, and saw that they were doing much the same work I was. Not bad, but if in 10 years I realized I was bored, there would be fewer options, buy DULOXETINE without a prescription. BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION, After researching other firms, I had already concluded this was a premier firm in the area, so that didn't leave me much room to grow. I decided to try to get more technical work. This included making the case to my boss for training, getting involved in ongoing projects, DULOXETINE blogs, and trying to find new business opportunities for the firm. I also worked on my soft skills, usually a differentiator in the engineering world, while I had access to excellent resources. Other pursuits included working with colleagues to learn about regulations, DULOXETINE price, coupon, improving my writing and presentation skills, learning how a business is run, and getting my license, Buy generic DULOXETINE, among other things. A couple years later I was a much more developed professional and doing more interesting work, but I was still thinking about the next level, BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION.

Is the grass really greener?

Then comes the hard part – is the grass really greener?  Make sure you do your research. I had a short list of places I was willing to take the risk for. Fortunately, one of them accepted, DULOXETINE without prescription. This was a jump from a small firm to a very large one, trading one set of options and restrictions for another. BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION, For me, preparing for the move was less work than getting in the job and making it work. To start with, DULOXETINE duration, I made the fairly rare decision to make a lateral move. But it paid off, because after learning the basics and how the company functioned, I was able to move into a position that I think I have been looking for since college. Ironically, buying DULOXETINE online over the counter, I was actually offered a chance at a very similar position during my first job search out of school; I just didn’t know I was looking for it yet.

What I've learned about building a career

[caption id="attachment_61856" align="alignright" width="201" caption="Sanctuary of Truth near Pattaya, Thailand "][/caption]

As I've made my way through college and beyond, there are a few ideas that I have really come to believe in. Take advantage of opportunities, even (or especially) unconventional ones; take a leap once in a while, BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION.

Take risks, but consider them carefully. I'm not encouraging jumping blindly, generic DULOXETINE, but it's worth taking a risk for a true growing experiences if it makes you say, “I’m really ready for that" and you know it's what you've been looking for. Embracing new experiences and perspectives is how you keep learning and developing. Online buying DULOXETINE hcl, This is a process that has significant momentum – once started, it can easily become a lifelong habit. BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION,  And when you commit, go all the way.  Meet all the new people that you can and learn all that you can about your new environment or activity. Ask questions. You never know where it will take you.

Take advantage of learning opportunities on and off the job, order DULOXETINE from mexican pharmacy. During the time I was laid off, I took a week long solo bicycle tour. I learned a lot about myself and on-the-fly problem solving, BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION. I talked about my trip and was passionate enough about it that others wanted to try it, Canada, mexico, india, and I wound up leading a group on some shorter tours. In other words, more problem-solving and figuring out how to lead a group of people through some challenges.

Regularly reassess where you are and where you are going. How is your work/life balance. What are you doing now. BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION, Is it where you want to be. Where do you want to be in 5 and 20 years. Your answers will all change over time. You may think what used to sound like a bad idea is now a good one – or vice versa.  You may have a new passion. You may not need to get there right now, but you should always be moving in the right direction. Don’t just hope everything will be great – make it that way, BUY DULOXETINE NO PRESCRIPTION.

These are just a few thoughts on how I finally made it into a job that is really a great fit for me, and often very satisfying. As you can see, I didn't take the most direct route – it's safe to say I made some true wrong turns. But even those wrong turns can help you see the right way. So whether you're still in school, just starting out, or several years into your career, I hope my experiences will help you find what you're looking for.

What "Now I get it!" insights about work or school can you share?

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September 18th, 2012


By Robert Szczesniak
Fermented foods in China

Fermented foods in China BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION, In the time before refrigeration, practitioners of the culinary arts were required not only to prepare food for the table but had to find ways to keep perishable and plentiful food available for the leaner seasons. Fermentation provided a method of preserving perishable items, providing nutritious food throughout the year. CLONAZEPAM coupon, These wonderful biochemistry experiments (zymology) turned into delicacies tightly bound to location through the sugar source (whatever local perishable was abundant) and local bacteria and yeast strains. The most familiar modern examples are wine, beer, yogurt, discount CLONAZEPAM, and cheese, but this practice also includes miso, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, kimchi, soy sauce, sauerkraut, sourdough, effects of CLONAZEPAM, sour pickles (also known as kosher dills), Hakari (Icelandic rotten shark), Online buy CLONAZEPAM without a prescription, and Sudanese traditions for preserving as many as 80 different animal parts – to name just a few.

Practicality beyond food preservation

Fermentation has other benefits beyond simple preservation.  It can make transportation of crops easier for farmers. It is easier to transport barrels of wine or bourbon to market for sale than fields of heavy and fragile grapes or corn, BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION. It can make a bland, common food a little more exciting to eat – think what kimchi does for cabbage, doses CLONAZEPAM work, or pickles do for cucumbers.

What's more, Where to buy CLONAZEPAM, complete conversion of lactose to lactic acid can be beneficial to the lactose intolerant, and the fermentation of other sugars can help diabetics. And while basic nutrients are preserved to significant benefit, Captain Cook took barrels of sauerkraut on his 27-month journey successfully preventing scurvy, CLONAZEPAM steet value.

[caption id="attachment_51315" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The author sends us a shot from a grocery store on the outskirts of Nanjing, China, CLONAZEPAM long term, where various pickled foods are for sale in the fermented foods aisle."][/caption]

More complex benefits can also be realized. There has been much research recently into the inner ecosystem of the human digestive system and many of the findings indicate that complete sterilization of our food is not beneficial BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION, .  Fermented foods contain “good-guy” organisms (compared to the “bad-guy” organisms that cause spoilage and illness) that can improve the living environment that is the human gut.  For example, the probiotics in yogurts or kefirs can improve intestinal function as well as provide a tasty snack.

Evolving lives, evolving tastes

As refrigeration became widely available and people moved towards buying their food instead of growing and preparing it, tastes and priorities changed, is CLONAZEPAM addictive. As author Sandor Katz puts it , fermented food exists in that flavorful space between fresh and rotten. Buy no prescription CLONAZEPAM online, With this comes the variability of a biological process. As people lose their connection to food, such as the knowledge of how to properly select it, they  begin paying more money for it and the reliability and consistency of every item on the shelf gains importance, CLONAZEPAM description.

A (what I term to be) sad example of this comes from France and the variety of Camembert cheese, BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION. There was a time when all local farms in the Normandy region of France made their own Camembert and it was seen as the French cheese. Cheese could make it to market while fresh milk would never – especially in the hot summer. Rx free CLONAZEPAM, Each farmer had a different recipe and local micro-climate that would produce a different flavor and texture. Some were better than others and the better brands became worth more, to the point that unscrupulous vendors would remove stickers from old wrappings and place them on cheeses from other farms. BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION, [caption id="attachment_51317" align="alignleft" width="207" caption="Natto, a Japanese fermented soybean dish. If sauerkraut is a "gateway" fermented food, buy CLONAZEPAM online no prescription, this is for the advanced connoisseur. (Click to enlarge)"][/caption]

As mechanical transportation improved, Order CLONAZEPAM online c.o.d, milk could be transported farther and farther before spoiling, allowing the popular farms to have access to more milk and increase cheese production. Consumers also changed with access to more urban markets, unaccustomed to the variety of strong rural flavors, order CLONAZEPAM online overnight delivery no prescription. Changes in production and target market eventually led to a mellower and more uniform cheese – to the point that if you were able to show someone from 1890 a wheel of modern Camembert cheese, they might not be able to identify it.

Along with changing tastes, the industrialization of food production increased the appeal of the reliability and cost-effectiveness of simpler chemistry compared to the variability and labor intensity of biochemistry, BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION. CLONAZEPAM pics, Thickeners can be measured to achieve uniform consistency between batches of yogurt, stabilizers keep emulsions (salad dressings, peanut butter, etc.) emulsified during transport and storage on the shelf, about CLONAZEPAM, vinegar and heat speed pickling. Likewise, CLONAZEPAM mg,  high fructose corn syrup is cheaper and easier to transport, and salt and other preservatives are easier to effectively apply.

Unleash the kitchen biochemist in you

But there is still hope. You can release your own curious culinary biochemist, CLONAZEPAM class. BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION, Helped by the slow food movement, there are many publications and organizations (including those of the previously mentioned Sandor Katz) that provide instruction, equipment, and inspiration to begin practicing home fermentation. The first step is to establish the proper environment to encourage the good bacteria: a sugar source (crops of your choosing), bacteria (either from purchased starter, Buy CLONAZEPAM from canada, such as kefir grains, or whatever may be local), and temperature (for rate of reaction). Then wait and monitor (taste) the process, low dose CLONAZEPAM.

[caption id="attachment_51319" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A household yogurt maker. (Click to enlarge)"][/caption]

Good starter recipes are yogurt or sauerkraut. I have made my own yogurt using store bought yogurt as a starter – easy and effective.  Sauerkraut is sliced cabbage, salted (to draw out the water), and placed in a ceramic or glass container, BUY CLONAZEPAM NO PRESCRIPTION. CLONAZEPAM use, The key is keeping the growth anaerobic; a weight is placed on the cabbage to keep it submerged. There are many different ways to advance once the simplest preparations are comfortable; one form of home fermentation gaining popularity among my friends is beer brewing.

Any way you choose it, you can make a tasty, online CLONAZEPAM without a prescription, healthy treat while building a stronger connection to your food.

Robert contributes this post from the outskirts of Nanjing, Australia, uk, us, usa, China, where he is currently working. Read more about how Robert's chemical engineering expertise takes him around the world here.

What favorite foods of yours rely on biochemistry?

Images: Nanking fermented foods, Robert Szczesniak; natto, yamada3; yogurt maker, Jay Paradis

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May 17th, 2012

Closing Energy and Material Balances in Food Production

By Robert Szczesniak

The hotel I am staying at in Thailand started a hydroponic garden, turning a previously unused area into productive one. While being “green” is among their objectives, this project is also a real measure of their operational philosophy of supplying quality products in a natural way.

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May 8th, 2012

From Thailand: One Perspective on the Food/Fuel Debate

By Robert Szczesniak

On location in Thailand, a look at how the food/fuel battle is affecting life. Read on for insights into the common practice of field burning and its detrimental effect on air quality, and about the struggle over whether to use crops for biofuel or cooking oil.

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February 9th, 2012

Engineering the Corner Office [Opinion]

By Robert Szczesniak
CEO at window

Engineering degrees appear to be an increasingly valuable asset in the business world, but will the supply of engineers shrink or grow?

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January 3rd, 2012

Working in Other Cultures

By Robert Szczesniak
Indian Women

As someone who regularly works outside the US, the dynamics of how other cultures work interests me – both as a theoretical and practical exercise. This drew me to an AIChE webinar titled “Working Across Cultures.” Culture is a complicated weave of many things, but the practical point […]

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December 29th, 2011

Book Review: The Disappearing Spoon

By Robert Szczesniak
Disappearing Spoon

Ever wonder what stories are told around the campfire at Chemistry Camp? Well, the Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean might just be the greatest collection of chemistry campfire stories.

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October 24th, 2011

Chemical Engineers’ Role in Food, Pharmaceuticals, and Bioengineering [On Location]

By Robert Szczesniak
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After spending a few days listening to presentations on traditional chemical engineering topics such as energy, refining, and chemicals, it was an interesting contrast to see how the same concepts can be used to improve the safety, health, and productivity of the country as well.

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October 19th, 2011

Advances in Algal Biorefineries II [On Location]

By Robert Szczesniak
algae on pond

Algae and plant oils have shown great promise towards answering the energy density question, but I am reminded of a 3-step business plan that I encountered in school: Step 1 – Collect algae, Step 3 – Profit. The presenters in this session are concerned with that mysterious Step 2.

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October 19th, 2011

A Tale of Two Plenaries: The Future of Energy and of the U.S. Chemical Industry

By Robert Szczesniak
offshore wind turbines

I attended a plenary session titled “What Makes Energy Clean” with two goals: find out what goes on in a “plenary” session and gain some industry insight into what makes “clean” energy clean. A plenary is defined as “fully attended by all entitled to be present.”  I gather that in a […]

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