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CCN Blog

This blog is for members to inform others, voice opinions and carry on discussions.  Opinions are those of individuals, and are not official positions of the Chemical Consultants  Network.

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  • 12 Jul 2016 8:47 PM | Roman Bielski


    God was highly concerned with chemical consultants. Their status in societies is not as high as it should be, they have major difficulties finding customers, they are considered by many as those who promote non-safe environmental practices, etc. Perhaps chemical consultants are an endangered species. After a short discussion with himself God decided to visit the Earth and act.

    He was hired by a huge chemical company to address major problems at one of the processes in the Texas facility. The yield of the final product was only 38% instead of expected 72%. Moreover, the product formed in the lab was white and crystalline. The plant product should be almost pure based on the analytical data but was a gray, ugly oil.

    The issue was not easy to solve but God had no problems. He proposed to increase the pH at stage II (during the second step) from 7.6 to 7.8.     

    -It will solve all your problems. I promise - he said.

    -But why? - they asked.

    -I cannot tell you. Just try – was his response.


    They did not have much to loose so they did. It turned out that his solution worked like a dream. The yield of the final product of the process was above 95%, it was crystalline and the crystals where beautifully white. They paid the consultant’s fee and he went off to other consulting jobs.

    A few days later one of the company executives asked the plant manager:

    -How did the new consultant do?

    -Well, we were not impressed at all. He didn’t even bother to ask what the melting point of our final product was.

  • 13 May 2016 3:59 PM | Dr. John Newport (Administrator)

    Don, a former and dedicated Chair of CCN passed away on May 9. His obituary can be found 

    at Those of us who knew him benefited from his friendship and knowledge and will miss him and his lively discussions and insights. We extend our condolences and sympathy to his family.

  • 18 Mar 2016 9:21 PM | Dr. John Newport (Administrator)
    • CECON Division of Becht Engineering

      Position Description

      Position: Client & Market Manager

      Date: 3/1/2016

      A. Position Scope

      The Client and Market Manager’s prime responsibilities are: 1) broker contracts between CECON DIVISION

      potential science and engineering clients and the independent consultants in CECON DIVISION’s network in

      support of Becht Engineering Contract section, 2) implement and manage active consulting projects, 3) take

      technical and market ownership of defined applications and market sectors, and 4) provide professional

      coverage to the CECON DIVISION business, clients, consultants and marketing programs.

    • B. Detailed Responsibilities

      1. Actively manage client leads as assigned by the CECON Group Manager of The CECON DIVISION of

      Becht Engineering or On-Boarding Coordinator. Activities include, but are not limited to, discussion with

      clients about the scope and nature of their projects, negotiating and finalizing client contracts, and

      managing client or consultant issues.

      2. Provide sales forecasts, and manage job leads and projects utilizing the job management system, and

      manage client relationships.

      3. Develop a market and technical focus for CECON DIVISION in specified markets and applications as

      agreed upon between the Client & Market Manager and the CECON Group Manager of the CECON

      DIVISION of Becht Engineering, utilizing current consultants in the CECON DIVISION network and

      supplementing consultants as defined by management. Drive CECON DIVISION’s branding in these

      markets, attend market sector conferences, and solicit new business via phone, email programs and

      personal visits (as approved by the CECON Group Manager of the CECON Division of Becht Engineering).

      4. Basic professional office coverage to include, but not limited to, office and phone coverage, recruiting and

      registering new consultants, providing support for CECON DIVISION administrative tasks such as reviewing

      consultant resumes, and attending CECON DIVISION Staff meetings.

      5. Implement and manage active consulting projects staffed by a team of CECON DIVISION consultants on an

      as-needed basis

    • C. Position Requirements

      1. A technical college degree and plus 10 years of experience in science, engineering, or a technical business.

      Technical and/ or market experience in a defined area.

      2. Interpersonal and telephone skills with the ability to handle and close sales leads, elicit client needs, and

      talk to different people outside of CECON DIVISION.

      3. The ability to discuss technical consulting services, negotiate, execute, and manage contracts, manage

      client relationships, and manage technical projects.

      4. Skilled using MS Office and a computer to access, use, and update databases and to electronically

      communicate with associates, consultants, and clients.

      5. Work may be conducted from the CECON DIVISION office or remotely; however, on average for part-time

      personnel, a minimum of two days per week should be spent in the office.

      6. The ability to read, write, type, use the telephone, stoop to kneel to retrieve items, lift office supplies,

      push/pull doors, and climb stairs

    • D. Compensation and Reporting Relationship

      1. Compensation shall consist of a base monthly salary and a commission based on project gross margins.

      2. Must work cooperatively with the CECON Staff and the network of consultants.

      3. Reports to the CECON Group Manager of the CECON Division of Becht Engineering.

  • 25 Feb 2016 11:00 AM | Dr. John Newport (Administrator)

    Remember that is a very useful resource for those with an entreprenurial spirit  and hosts many free seminars at locations across the country.

    This week is National Entrepreneurship week

  • 06 Feb 2015 9:56 AM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)

    See results of the survey of CCN members from August 2014.  

    best regards,  Keith Wing   08162014.CCN.MemberSurvey.pptx 

  • 16 Apr 2014 10:33 AM | Dr. John Newport (Administrator)
    If you have any ideas for future meeting subjects please let us know. We are always looking for topics of interest to consultants as well as for suggestions for speakers.
    We are putting together the fall meeting schedule. Right now the September and November slots are open. In October John Brennan will be giving a talk on chemical weapons
  • 12 Jan 2014 11:49 AM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)

    The following is a repeat of the email blast we sent out several weeks ago.

    The new Chemical Consultants Network (CCN) website is built upon and hosted by the member management system Wild Apricot (WA; almost 7000 other organization members) and will help us grow CCN and serve members better.  We have worked to transfer information from the old website to this new one, and customized features for consultants. 

    New features include

    ·         Easy, intuitive navigation.  Just explore and click.

    ·         Login with secure individual ID/password (temp will be sent by email) to premium member-only area. 

    ·         But public view allows potential clients to find the right consultants.

    ·         Once you log in, individual premium members can now edit/modify their own profile pages, including photos, contact updates, external webpages and more information about services

    ·         External searches for consultants via Google or other search engines, using the same URL's you had previously, or your new WA URL.   New members henceforth will just have the new WA URL.  Google ranks CCN highly for searches for chemical consultants, and this will continue.

    ·         Internal searches for consultant expertise by category and geography

    ·         Areas for posting presentations, including past meetings

    ·         Event announcements, including upcoming CCN meetings.  We can more easily collaborate with other chemically related groups, and extend our communication reach

    ·         Blog areas, covering topics of interest to premium members interested in growing a chemically-based knowledge community of microbusinesses.  This can include sharing ideas, organizing and now a weekly job board for chemists, biochemists and chemical engineers

    ·         A resources section that provides advice to premium members, such as tips on starting/maintaining a consulting business.

    ·         Facile online payment for either meetings or website dues, either through Paypal or using a separate non-Paypal associated credit card

    ·         Other premium member services which we'll develop during 2014

    ·         Administrative advantages

    ·         Finally, we have a complete, portable database of paid premium CCN members including all contact and expertise information .  Easier to communicate with and update all members

    ·         Easier posting of relevant material

    ·         Automated reminders of upcoming events and payments and payment acknowledgements

    ·         All online payments integrated with the member database, making it easier to track your payments

    ·         Automated software upgrades and backup of all data, ensuring data loss prevention

    ·         Overall, we can divert more energy to serving ongoing members, as well as reaching out to new members.  Also, ensures integrity of member transactions with CCN.

  • 12 Jan 2014 11:22 AM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)
    Premium members, please edit your CCN profiles to
    -     ensure your contact information is current
    -     ensure your expertise information is current
    -     add a picture or your own website or LinkedIn links
    New capabilities will be added to the website as time goes on.
    best regards,  CCN Website team
  • 01 Jan 2014 12:29 PM | Joanne Leonard (Admin) (Administrator)
    I've been asked to see if we can livestream a CCN meeting.  By livestream, I mean broadcasting video of the meeting presentation across the internet in real time.  

    There are a number of ways to do this.  The ones that I'm considering are YouTube's new Live feature,, and webinar.  I've watched livestreamed events many times over the past several years and the technology just keeps getting better.  Of the sites I've used to watch livestreamed events, I find YouTube's new Live service to be the most friendly.  One of the best features is that the link to the livestream event is retained after the event is over. The video of the event becomes available almost immediately so that people who missed the event can watch the stored video and can find it by using the same link that we'll provide for the live event.  As far as I can tell, this requires no work on the part of the event organizers. The video doesn't have to be archived or moved to a new location. It's just available for viewing and listed in the YouTube channel.

    YouTube has some special services for non-profit groups which I was not aware of until yesterday.  The Live service is not available to all YouTube users.  But I've read that non-profit YouTube channels are afforded this service pretty quickly, so hopefully after I set up the CCN YouTube channel and connect it to the YouTube non-profit group, we'll be able to use their Live service.  If so, I'd like to try this out for our first pilot livestreaming project.  If not, I'll have to look further into the other solutions. 

    Anyway, with some luck, we'll be able to set this up and test out livesteaming the January meeting presentation next week.  Today I'll be researching and testing connecting my DSLR camera to the laptop to see if we can use that camera for the event, which would be superior to the webcam built into my laptop, which is my fall back position.  I should also note that some of these livestream products also allow you to livestream using a cell phone and 4G network.  I'm not sure if that's the best solution for us and I don't have a 4G phone, but just wanted to mention that. 
  • 09 Dec 2013 1:04 PM | Joanne Leonard (Admin) (Administrator)
    Greetings, CCN members and site visitors. This is Joanne Leonard, your new web administrator.  

    I'm sure you've noticed that the CCN web site looks a lot different now.  The new site is being hosted by a company called Wild Apricot, which specializes in software for member-based organization. We've customized it for CCN's needs.

    For a few months, we were running the old CCN site and the new site in parallel.  Now the link delivers you directly to this new site.  

    CCN members should find their profiles on this new site with the same information as on the old site, now in a structured format.  When you log in, you will find a link at the top of the page which will allow you to edit your profile information.  This is a self-service site.  You don't have to contact a steering committee member or the web administrator to update your information (unless you're having a problem or otherwise need a human intervention).  You can do it yourself. 

    Also now automated are new memberships, renewals, and meeting registrations and for your convenience, you can pay by credit card.

    We also hope to create more value added features for members in the not too distant future.

    I'll continue to blog posts here to tell you more about the site features and things of interest.  Blog posts are meant to be participatory things, and if you are a member and are logged in, you should be able to post comments, so feel free to do that.  

    This blog is available for members to share information and ideas, and to interact online as a community.  CCN officers and steering committee might choose to use the blog to give you information or to solicit feedback.  CCN members might choose to share useful information related to their specialty or about the field in general, or they might just want to use this as a place to chat.  How the organization chooses to use the blog is entirely up to you.

    So welcome to the new site and thanks for reading.

    With Warm Regards,
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