In this blog series, which is part of our Sustainability Hub, we’re speaking to chemical engineers across the world making a difference to make sustainable practices and products a reality and more accessible to all for the wider benefit of our society and globe.
In today’s blog, Fotis Spyropoulos shares his work researching ways to create foods that are healthier – by reducing fats, sugar, and/or salt – but that still ensures their compounds and components are structurally-sound to make them commercially viable, as well as tasty and appealing for consumers. He gives an insight into the challenges he faces, as well as the critical chemical engineering skills to provide solutions ensuring the products hit the shelves.
For most girls, their first menstrual cycle is awkward and embarrassing, but seen as a natural transition towards womanhood. However, in Ethiopia it can be an incredibly taboo subject. As a consequence, misinformation, negative beliefs and myths hold sway.
In the rural Tigray region of Ethiopia, where chemical engineer Freweini Mebrahtu grew up, young girls found out about their menstrual cycle through overheard rumour and myth; often leaving them shocked, confused and afraid.
In some countries, chemical engineers don’t receive the respect they deserve.
Our contribution is hidden from the public as companies don’t want people to think about the ‘chemicals’ in their products.
I discussed the perception that anything natural is good and anything man-made is bad in my blog ‘Can you lead a chemical-free life?’, which demonstrates that this is not the case.
The US gets a lot of bad press about the public perceptions of science and engineering, but one thing they are getting right is the respect that seems to be increasing for chemical engineers working in the cosmetics industry.
The company has such a strong technological reputation that actress Jennifer Aniston (who I am told is famous for her hair?!) was not only was willing to advertise their products but also invested in the company as a co-owner.
Living Proof is now launching its first skin product – Neotensil – spearhead by another MIT chemical engineering alumnus Dr Betty Yu.
Neotensil uses polymer technology to compress and flatten eye bags.