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The Twin Tiers Chemical Engineering Society - History

Original Name: The Twin Tiers Chemical Engineering Society

First Organized: 1980

Chartered as AIChE Local Section: 1982

Founding Officers:

Chairman: Anil Kharkar

Vice-Chairman: Ron Raghavan

Treasurer: Pam Whitman

Secretary: Harry Ruska

Our Early Years

The section was founded by Dr. Anil Kharkar, then the Manager of Chemical Engineering at Corning Glass Works. The organizational meeting was held on October 31, 1980 at the Sullivan Park research facility at Corning. The meeting was attended by 10 Corning engineers. The Twin Tiers Chemical Engineering Society was born with principal founder Anil Kharkar as its first chair. Other officers: Vice-chair - Ron Raghavan, Treasurer - Pam Whitman, Secretary - Harry Ruska.

The first formal dinner meeting for the society was held 1/29/81 at Pierce's Restaurant in Elmira Heights, NY. The newly formed society held six meetings in 1981 with an average attendance of 46. Charter and by-laws were adopted on 3/19/81. The first year activities culminated at the February, 1982 meeting of national AIChE in Orlando with the granting of charter to the Twin Tiers Section.

Always one of the smaller sections in AIChE, the Twin Tiers lacked a central large city from which to draw core membership. Corning Incorporated (then Corning Glass Works) in Corning, NY was the largest single employer of engineers in the region and has always provided the largest number of members and officers to the section. Membership was also drawn from Sylvania and DuPont in Towanda, PA; IBM in Endicott and Owego NY; Broome Communtiy College and Anitec in Binghamton NY; Cornell University in Ithaca NY, as well as numerous other smaller employers scattered throughout the region.

Past High Points and Information


Growing Pains: The section continued to thrive througout the 80's. Meeting attendance averaged in the 30's and, as a percentage of membership was always one of the highest in all of AIChE. We maintained a mailing list of over 300 names, members as well as others. Actual dues paying section membership hit the century mark for the first time in 1987, and is now 110 members.

Some notworthy events of the section's first decade:


Corning Glass Works became Corning Inc.

Corning Consumer Products is now part of Borden

DuPont’s Medical Imaging business was sold to a holding company.

GAF became Anitec Imaging

GTE’s Sylvania business was sold to become OSRAM SYLVANIA then sold to become Global Tungsten & Powders Corp.

Masonite Corp. became part of International Paper and later became Jel-Wyn

IBM’s Owego Plant is now Lockheed Martin

The Twin Tiers Section Today

The Twin Tiers Section continues to have 6 to 8 meetings a year, including two plant tours and various speakers. Local section membership is 110. Meetings are held throughout New York’s Southern Tier and Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, including Corning, Elmira, Waverly, Ithaca, Owego, Binghamton, Sayre and Towanda.

contact the Twin Tiers Section