Build Your Library with Basics

engineering reference books

With the advent of e-books and our ability to access archives of trade magazines online, it’s become easier for engineers to have ready access to a rich, professional library. This is especially good if you had to complete some work during March Madness; hope you picked the winner in your brackets. Let me know how you did.

Nevertheless, it’s a great idea to build a library of engineering reference books all of your own. Dirk Willard, in a Chemical Processing article, suggests several key titles for a good start to a reference library. He includes:

  • Schweitzer’s Handbook of Separation Techniques for Chemical Engineers
  • Sinnott and Towler’s Coulson and Richardson’s Chemical Engineering Design
  • Walas’ Chemical Process Equipment: Selection and Design
  • Kister’s series of books on distillation
  • Lieberman’s A Working Guide to Process Engineering
  • Kletz’s series of books on process safety

He has several other suggestions as well and proposes scanning useful information from equipment brochures into pdf format to access them on the move.

But, do you know what’s missing? An essential guide to Solid-Liquid Filtration. It’s something that has long been absent from the offerings to engineers. That’s why I recently published a Practical Guide covering the basic principles and mechanisms of filtration to help engineers make the right filtration choices.

Solid-Liquid Filtration considers filtration testing including filter aids and filter media, types of filtration systems, selection of filtration systems and typical operating and troubleshooting approaches. This guide is intended as a framework for process engineers analyzing filtration for an operating bottleneck issue or a new process development problem.

For those who want to experience it, rather than read the book, I’d encourage you to sign up for one of our BHS Filtration workshops.

What are some essential titles you’d suggest I put in my own library of engineering reference books? Tell me in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Build Your Library with Basics

  1. Hello Barry,
    My Alma Mater won but I didn’t pick them in the tourney. For a Chemist the perspective is unique.
    As far as selecting a good book to curl up with, the classic texts I always look for on office shelves are:
    1. The Merck Index – better than Grisham for some light reading
    2. Quantitative Analysis – Skoog and West
    3. Organic Chemistry – Morrison and Boyd
    4. Anything by Donald Wheeler on Test Methods and variability studies

    That said, there’s still nothing like doing the literature research to put together the pieces of a chemical process from the different perspectives – the origin, fundamental principles, history, financial drivers, innovations, various industry approaches, unit operations and opportunities for improvement. In this age of miracles in medicine, energy and environmental management often the best approaches are the tried and true methods that have stood the passing of time.


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