Chemical engineering creates products that are changing lives #ichemeawards

Last month the IChemE Global Awards 2016 were held in Manchester, UK, in one of the biggest celebrations of chemical engineering achievement worldwide. Our judges had a difficult task narrowing down 16 winners from 120 amazing finalists.jr3c3275

The ceremony was held at the Principal Hotel and welcomed over 400 guests from around the world to recognise and celebrate chemical engineering success stories.

For many, success doesn’t end after collecting a trophy, but marks the starting point on a journey to excellence. An IChemE Award can take you to some unexpected places, make commercialisation easier, help to develop your team or grow your portfolio. You could even get a letter from the US President. 

So every day this week we’ll be dedicating special blog posts to the 2016 Award winners and their innovative, fascinating, problem-solving projects. With the fantastic support of Morgan Sindall we have produced a video for every one – enjoy!

But first, let us set the scene. Find out what all the fuss is about and watch our IChemE Global Awards 2016 highlights video:

Products that are changing lives

Today’s post focuses on our winners who have taken a problem in industry and helped to solve it with innovative product development. We received a fantastic range entries in this area for 2016 – but these three came out on top.

MOL and University of Pannonia’s chemically stabilised rubber bitumen

This is a great example of how industry and academia can work together, MOL Plc and the University of Pannonia, from Hungary, have developed a material for road construction that doubles the life expectancy of a road.

The material is made from 15% waste tyres, it is more environmentally-friendly and can be used to construct ‘quiet pavements’.

What does an IChemE Award mean to them? MOL’s Laszlo Keresztury says:

“It proves to customers that, in the eyes of an independent body, this is something valuable, something important, something worth investing in and using in the future.”

Check out their reaction and interview at the IChemE Global Awards 2016:

You can also watch the team’s original entry video here.

FUJIFILM break bio-pharmaceuticals barriers-to-entry

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies do some amazing things in the biochemical engineering space, developing medicines with higher efficacy at a lower dose.

Pharmaceuticals are highly regulated, and while this is essential regulations can prevent many medicines making it to market.

One of the biggest issues is developing a multi-product facility to produce a number of different biologics at small quantities, whilst adhering to the strict regulatory guidelines.

FUJIFILM have worked achieved this in a time-sensitive and cost-effective way, and maintained the required standards for containment and degradation.

You can’t deny the passion of this team either. When asked about why the project was so important, VP of Operations Nick Martin comments:

“The best thing about this project is that we know the therapeutics manufactured in that facility have contributed to the extension of several peoples lives.”

You can watch their backstage interview from the IChemE Global Awards 2016 ceremony below:

Find out more about the project here.

BP, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the International Centre of Advanced Materials develop clever coatings for steel

It isn’t just civil engineers that have to deal with large steel structures, chemical engineers working in oil & gas are pretty familiar with them too – on oil rigs and gas plants . Any damage to these steel structures can cause huge problems, both in terms of safety and production.

This collaborative team, which combines the expertise of energy giant BP, leading researchers from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the International Centre of Advanced Materials, have developed an incredibly clever additive for steel coatings that autonomously detects damage to steel structures it is used on.

So what difference will an IChemE Global Award make? Illinois’s Professor Scott White says:

“It’s going to accelerate the development of these techniques to be applied in the wider world.”

Well you can’t say fairer than that! Watch their reaction to winning a gong below:

You can also find out more about their novel coatings here.

Join us tomorrow when we look at the winners whose projects are making a difference to the lives of those in developing countries.


Thinking about attending, sponsoring, or entering the IChemE Global Awards 2017? Register your interest here and we’ll keep you posted with all the latest news and developments.