Flying the flag for LGBT engineers – London Pride 2018

In today’s blog John Bradbury, Vice Chair of InterEngineering and Continuous Improvement Manager at Amcor, gives his perspective on the recent London Pride celebrations and why inclusivity in engineering is so important in the 21st century. Continue reading Flying the flag for LGBT engineers – London Pride 2018

Piper Alpha anniversary and Hazards – process safety matters

LPBcover261.inddThis week we have been looking back, thirty years ago to the day, to arguably the world’s biggest offshore oil disaster – Piper Alpha. The devastating incident killed 167 people. Only 61 survived and were left with serious injuries and trauma.

Our friends at The Chemical Engineer have been sharing Piper Alpha Perspectives all this week, where chemical engineers and process safety professionals from around the globe have been sharing their personal views on the tragedy. You can read them here. 

In addition, our Loss Prevention Bulletin has published a special issue to mark the 30th anniversary.
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The anniversary reminds us that process safety matters, it still matters, and it will continue to matter for as long as the process and hazard industries continue to exist. It matters because we all have a duty to ensure that people return from work in the same state they attended – safe.

This is why the sharing of knowledge is critical in our industry.

IChemE helps to support the sharing of knowledge through the IChemE Safety Centre (ISC), which provide resources such as interactive case studies; journals such as Process Safety and Environmental Protection (PPSE) and the Loss Prevention Bulletin; expert networks such as our Safety and Loss Prevention Special Interest Group; dedicated medals that recognise excellence in process safety, such as the Franklin Medal and the Lees Medal; relevant training courses, partnerships with international process safety centres such as the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center; and and by qualifying Professional Process Safety Engineers.

IMG_9315In addition to all of this, our Hazards conference – held annually in the UK and Australia and every two years in South East Asia – is our flagship event for sharing process safety knowledge.

Hazards 28 took place in May, with Hazards Australasia being brought to a close just last week. Here’s a recap of both conferences, and a sneaky peek at some of the key talks.

Continue reading Piper Alpha anniversary and Hazards – process safety matters

Chemical engineers review the Industrial Strategy in Parliament #LinksDay18

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This week eleven representatives – a mixture of Trustees, members, and staff – from IChemE attended the 30th Parliamentary Links Day.

Hosted by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), the annual event brings together scientists and engineers from across the UK to discuss key issues with MPs and their peers.

This year’s theme was Science and the Industrial Strategy, and included two panel sessions – The Mission and The Target.

The UK government updated the Industrial Strategy on 21 May 2018 to focus on four ‘Grand Challenges’ – Artificial Intelligence and Data, Ageing Society, Clean Growth and the Future of Mobility.

Continue reading Chemical engineers review the Industrial Strategy in Parliament #LinksDay18

What is it like being a chemical engineer in Parliament? – Interview with Erin Johnson, Ashok Kumar Fellow 2017

On 20 January 2017, we announced that chemical engineering postgraduate student Erin Johnson had been awarded the Ashok Kumar Fellowship 2017.

The annual Fellowship, which is jointly supported by IChemE and the North-East England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), provides one chemical engineer with the opportunity to work the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST) for three months.

During Erin’s time at POST she researched and spoke to experts from academia, industry, government and the third sector, about the fire safety of building materials. Her research culminated in a briefing note (known as a POSTnote) to support MPs and peers in making evidence-based policy decisions on the subject.

Continue reading What is it like being a chemical engineer in Parliament? – Interview with Erin Johnson, Ashok Kumar Fellow 2017

How do you feel female chemical engineers are raising the bar?

 

 

After a successful campaign in 2017, the team behind International Women in Engineering Day, wanted to aim higher for 2018 and have created the theme #RaisingTheBar.

We felt this was a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and how these successes are ‘Raising the Bar’ for aspiring female engineers.

We wanted to see what our members thought, so asked them: How do you feel female chemical engineers are raising the bar?

Thank you to all the responses we’ve had – it’s been great to see them.

We’ve collated the responses from the chemical engineers below. We’ll be sharing them on Twitter throughout International Women in Engineering Day. Continue reading How do you feel female chemical engineers are raising the bar?

Trust in Energy: Forecasting our Uncertain Future

shutterstock_1011636538In today’s blog post, Jacob Brown of IChemE’s Future Energy Leaders discusses and reflects on the group’s latest event on energy forecasting, and what it means for chemical engineers.


Quote start On the 17th of May 2018, the Future Energy Leaders of the IChemE Energy Centre hosted a panel discussion on the future of energy, and more specifically, on the topic of energy forecasting; i.e. our ability to predict and plan for the imminent changes in our energy demand and supply. More than 20 delegates attended the live event in London, UK – with more than 40 watching online.

In the past, efforts at forecasting our energy system have been very inaccurate. This event brought together experts from a variety of backgrounds to examine why this is, and how we should be using these forecasts. In short, it seems the answer is “don’t just look at the numbers, look at the premises”.

Continue reading Trust in Energy: Forecasting our Uncertain Future

Chemical Engineer makes final three in research project competition

Three researchers at the University of Birmingham are battling it out to be crowned the winner of the university’s Philanthropic Research Project 2018.

The university has announced the finalists of its research project competition – selecting three that have the potential to change lives. Birmingham has committed to fundraising for the chosen winner over the next year, helping to drive their research forward to potential commercialisation opportunities – ultimately providing benefit to more people.

One of the finalists is Dr Sophie Cox from the Department of Chemical Engineering. Her project, Engineering new medical systems to fight antimicrobial resistance, is focused on combating antibiotic resistance, which is predicted to kill more people than cancer in a few years’ time.

Read on to find out more about her project, and how you can help her chances of winning the competition.

Continue reading Chemical Engineer makes final three in research project competition

#EarthDay2018: Energy and resource efficiency is key to reducing environmental waste

Reaching a consensus on how to reduce the environmental impact of human activity is challenging, but the desire to bring about change is gathering momentum across the world, and especially in the chemical engineering community.

Today, along with many others across the globe, we’re celebrating Earth Day. The Earth Day Network leads this campaign on 22 April each year with their mission to diversify, educate and activate a worldwide environmental movement.

This year’s theme is to end plastic pollution. Poor consideration of resources through their entire lifecycle not only results in pollution (such as plastics in our rivers and oceans), but also has a wider impact on our planet. Continue reading #EarthDay2018: Energy and resource efficiency is key to reducing environmental waste

Assessing quality research in the UK: new key roles for chemical engineers

Science and engineering research is key to innovation as society evolves. Breakthroughs are happening every day, all over the world, in laboratories and in field research.

Assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, evaluating its impact to ensure world-class, dynamic and responsive studies are maintained, and providing accountability for public investment is a big job – and one carried out by the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Continue reading Assessing quality research in the UK: new key roles for chemical engineers

World Water Day: my chemical engineering career

All over the world today people will be celebrating World Water Day and reflecting on the current issues facing the world with regards to water scarcity, pollution, flooding and droughts. 2018 is also the Year of Engineering, and it’s clear that engineers will be integral to helping tackle these issues to ensure access to water is safe and sustainable in the years to come.

Chemical engineers working in the water sector are making a huge difference already. In today’s blog, our new Water Special Interest Group Chair, Dr Martin Currie talks about his vibrant water career – working all over the world, and using his engineering prowess to help make a difference in the developing world.

This month’s Year of Engineering theme is ‘Routes into Engineering’ – we hope Martin’s account inspires you to consider a career as a chemical engineer in the water industry.

Continue reading World Water Day: my chemical engineering career

Becoming an IChemE Trustee: want to know more before applying?

You can apply for one of the six Trustee vacancies available for IChemE’s Council.

As an IChemE Trustee you will be sharing your expertise and experiences and contributing to the advancement of the Institution and chemical engineering more generally. This voluntary position provides an opportunity to develop new skills, broaden your experience and help shape the future of IChemE for the benefit of society.

Continue reading Becoming an IChemE Trustee: want to know more before applying?

A fourth win in a row for Birmingham at Frank Morton 2018

There’s only one thing on your mind in February if you’re a UK chemical engineering student. Nope, not Pancake Day, not Valentine’s, not even your exams or Final Design Project (okay maybe that’s on your mind a little). It’s the Frank Morton Sports Day!

The annual gathering is special because it is just for them, chemical engineering students from up and down the UK. One day to get to know prospective employers, compete with rival Universities in sports from hockey to chess, all rounded off by a night of entertainment.

University of Leeds took on the monumental task of hosting this year, with a committee of eight students. The Frank Morton Sports Day is a huge undertaking for the students, who find time to organise a sports competition, careers fair, and night out for more than 2,000 students – all whilst studying.

The event was generously supported by Essar Oil, Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, AstraZeneca, Essar, GSK, Pfizer, Phillips 66 and TeachFirst. IChemE was also there to support the event, and invited students to participate in I’m a Chemical Engineer, Get Me Out of Here! 

Like the TV Show (I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!), IChemE had designed it’s own Bushtucker Trials, and competition was fierce to make the High Scoreboard. Individuals participated in Critter Chaos – digging for IChemE stars wearing oven gloves in a mound of spiders, snakes and jungle debris. In true sporting spirit, the team game gave contestants a chance to become ball boys, with a twist – they could only pick them up using straws.

Students test their skills in IChemE’s Bushtucker trial Critter Chaos

Congratulations to Adam Raut and Alex De-Koning, University of Edinburgh – winners of our team game. They soared ahead by sucking up 55 ping pong balls in one minute. University of Bath’s Arjun Wadhwa managed to find 45 stars in the same time, and took the Critter Chaos crown.

They win an Amazon voucher each and a personalised I’m a Chemical Engineer, Get Me Out of Here! T-Shirt. Check out the IChemE team styling out theirs:

The IChemE team at Frank Morton

There was a plethora of sports for all 26 universities to participate in this year, including; badminton, basketball, chess, climbing, dodgeball, football, frisbee, funrun, hockey, laser quest, pool, quidditch, rounders, rugby, squash, table tennis, tennis and ultimate frisbee.

In the overall sporting event, third place went to Leeds and Bath. Leeds won table tennis and basketball; while Bath took the lead position in badminton and dodgeball.

Imperial College London and University of Strathclyde came in joint second place, each accumulating 14 points. Imperial College secured the top spots in chess, the fun run (which was based on the average time for the whole team) and climbing – a new sport for the year. Strathclyde, who had travelled through the night to attend the sports day, won the football and rugby.

Birmingham win overall at the sports day

But, for the fourth year in a row, the University of Birmingham were declared winners at the Frank Morton closing ceremony, and presented with the coveted trophy by IChemE Director Andy Furlong.

The university took the top spot in ultimate frisbee, quidditch, hockey, pool and tennis, and accumulated 25 points.

Not forgetting of course, the T-shirt Competition. Frank Morton is known for every University designing and wearing quirky T-shirts, often featuring chemical engineering-related humour. But this year University of Strathclyde took first prize with their pirate-themed t-shirt doning the equation for walking the ‘planck’.

Strathclyde win the t-shirt competition

The evening then continued late into the night. Various DJ’s accompanied the ‘Festival’ element of the evening, which included fairground rides and new music from Leeds Student Radio. This was followed by a club night, featuring Mistajam and various other DJs.

Callum Birkin, a student from University of Birmingham, said: “I’ve had a great day. The atmosphere has been really good. I know not everyone is so happy about it, I think it’s good that Birmingham have won.”

Speaking shortly after presenting the trophy to a jubilant Birmingham team captain against a backdrop of raucous celebration, IChemE Director, Andy Furlong, said: “The Frank Morton Sports Day has been running for more than half a century and it’s a rite of passage for undergraduate chemical engineers. This year they played hard; and as usual they are set to party hard too.

“IChemE is delighted to be in the mix but we don’t want to take any of the credit away from the student committee at Leeds who delivered another great day out for competitors from every corner of the British Isles.

“Big thanks go to out to Ethan, Kimberly and the team for delivering such a spectacular success. Months of planning and hard work must be fitted in around the weekly routine of lectures, labs and assessments; and that’s no easy task.  But it’s an unbeatable experience, and one that will stand them in good stead in the future. They did Frank proud!”

The Leeds committee delivered a fantastic event, and we’d like to give them a special mention in this post. Well done to…

University of Leeds Committee

Matthew Powders – Bid Lead/President

Ethan Errington – Sponsorship Coordinator

Kimberley Pavier – Event Treasurer

Jiara Rama – University Liaison

Lucia Vilajoana-Ricon – Sports Organiser

Abdullah Ali – Opening Ceremony

James Storrow – Closing Ceremony

Georgia Panayi – Evening Entertainment

Daniel Vincent – Secretary

Ethan Errington, from the Leeds committee, said: “This year saw the welcomed return of Frank Morton to Leeds – marking the 10-year anniversary since its last appearance on the University campus. To celebrate, Leeds did things differently – introducing climbing as a new competitive sport and hosting, for the first time ever, the well-received Frank Morton Festival.

“On behalf of the entire organising committee, I would like to thank everybody that participated and those who worked hard to ensure the smooth running the event, making the day such an unforgettable experience. Perhaps in 2019 we can finally see Birmingham knocked from their throne…”

They will shortly be accepting bids from Universities looking to host the event in 2019. We’ll keep you posted on the result.

Frank Morton Sports Day 2018 – Competition Winners

Competition Winner Runner-Up
Football Strathclyde Leeds
Hockey Birmingham Strathclyde
Tennis Birmingham Imperial
Rugby Strathclyde Birmingham
Ultimate Frisbee Birmingham Bath
Quidditch Birmingham Sheffield
Rounders Aberdeen Heriot-Watt
Fun Run Imperial Heriot-Watt
Table Tennis Leeds Bath
Chess Imperial Birmingham
Badminton Bath Strathclyde
Dodgeball Bath Cork
Squash Manchester Birmingham
Climbing Imperial Heriot-Watt
Netball Newcastle Nottingham
Basketball Leeds Heriot-Watt
Laser Quest Aberdeen Leeds
Pool Birmingham Chester

Frank Morton Sports Day 2018 – League Table

Birmingham 25
Strathclyde 14
Imperial College 14
Leeds 11
Bath 11
Heriot-Watt 10
Aberdeen 6
Manchester  5
Newcastle  3
Chester  2
Swansea  2
Sheffield  2
Cork IT  2
Nottingham  2

View the Frank Morton 2018 photo gallery.

Check out the event’s social media highlights on Storify.

 

 

Spotlight on: Chemical Engineers and Horlicks #ichemeawards

111 GSK - imageTea, coffee, ice cream, chocolate, pizza – just some of our favourite foods and drinks that have been around for hundreds of years. Nearly all of them involve a process, and that process was probably refined and scaled-up by chemical engineers.

Horlicks is no different. It’s associated with bedtime in the UK, but in South Asia it’s the country’s number one health food drink.

GSK Consumer Healthcare are responsible for producing more than 150,000 tonnes of Horlicks every year, and up until recently were continuing to use the original 135-year-old process.

CKEVnTcUYAEql3W (002)GSK’s small technical team were tasked to fundamentally re-think the process, considering energy, water usage, and cost.

Previously only incremental changes had been made, due to concerns about negative consumer feedback. As a result, the team of chemical engineering put the consumer first – and through reverse-engineering took the product back to the fundamental flavour, protein and carbohydrate chemistry.

From there, the process could be re-assembled to optimise every step – from converting starch to sugar, to drying the product in to a powder. The results are astounding – with the team eliminating any water usage and reducing the amount of energy used by 80%. Both factors are extremely advantageous to Horlicks’ main market of India, and the energy saved in the process alone could power 400,000 homes in the region. What’s more, the cycle time has been reduced from 18 hours to just 10 minutes.JR3C8371

And that’s what our profession is all about isn’t it? Or, as GSK’s Ben Jones puts it: “Chemical engineering matters because it is the bedrock of how we’re going to improve physical and chemical processes for the next generation.”

Ben was joined by Paul Heath at the IChemE Global Awards in November 2017 where they collected the Food and Drink Award for this project. The Award was presented by Nigel Hirst, on behalf of category sponsor – IChemE’s Food and Drink Special Interest Group.

Check out their reaction below:

The original team took five years to take this project from concept to pilot plant. Now the very same team is leading the construction of a full-scale commercial plant. What a fantastic achievement for all involved.

We’re delving into the pharmaceutical industry in our next ‘Spotlight’ piece, so don’t forget to swing by the IChemE blog tomorrow.


Are you feeling inspired to apply for the IChemE Global Awards 2018? Whether you would like to enter your own project, sponsor a category, or just attend to support your fellow professionals – register your interest here.

The IChemE Global Awards 2017 were held in Birmingham, UK on Thursday 2 November, held in partnership with Johnson Matthey and Wood.

Read the IChemE Global Awards 2017 Review

 

Spotlight on: Going Beyond Energy Neutrality in the North West #ichemeawards

179 United Utilities - imageThe world is becoming more focused on sustainability. For chemical engineers working in the water industry, sewage sludge is rapidly becoming a valuable resource that can be reused for a variety of purposes.

In the North West of England, the Davyhulme Treatment Works is one of the biggest wastewater treatment plants in the UK. It operates 24 hours a day, treating more than 30,000 litres of water a second. It also operates an integrated energy generation centre.

In 2015 the energy generation centre was turning 91,000 tonnes of sludge into 36 million Nm3 of biogas. The biogas generated 73,000 MWh of electricity per year – enough to run the entire works.

However, an opportunity arose to make the process more efficient. There was also a need to integrate a ‘biogas to grid’ solution – which would export excess energy to National Grid.  This is where a collaborative team of chemical engineers were needed.

JR3C8355Cue United Utilities, Jacobs and Laing O’Rourke – a collaborative team that had twelve months to take energy generation at Davyhulme to the next level. Working together, they delivered a solution that uses water scrubbing at medium to high pressures to process biogas and deliver a high grade biomethane product for supply to National Grid.

The design has delivered a carbon emissions reduction of 7,400 tonnes of CO2 per year, as well as financial benefits that will keep energy costs low for customers.  It also has a strong focus on operational flexibility – to manage demand of electricity, heat and green gas – with an option to produce green fuel in the future for transport.

5J5A5851A great deal has been achieved by the team, particularly in the timescale. According to United Utilities Pat Horne: “On 11 March we had to commission this plant within two weeks. From a chemical engineering point of view, we turned it on, it worked – from start to finish within 24 hours. To see something come from paper to reality in one day was fantastic.”

There was a triumphant whoop from the floor when we announced this project had won the Energy Award at the IChemE Global Awards in November 2017. We just managed to get them all on stage, as they were presented with the trophy by Lee Greenlees, Design Manager at Rolls-Royce, who sponsored the Energy Award.

Watch our interview with some of the team, and find out more about the works:

It’s also been great to see United Utilities engaging with the local community around this project. They have invested £48,000 in community parks, centres, and education, and visited several schools around the Davyhulme plant to get them excited about engineering.

Join us tomorrow when the spotlight is on that favourite British bedtime drink – Horlicks!


Are you feeling inspired to apply for the IChemE Global Awards 2018? Whether you would like to enter your own project, sponsor a category, or just attend to support your fellow professionals – register your interest here.

The IChemE Global Awards 2017 were held in Birmingham, UK on Thursday 2 November, held in partnership with Johnson Matthey and Wood.

Read the IChemE Global Awards 2017 Review

Spotlight on: Vaccination Research at University of Bath #ichemeawards

Ensilicated proteins in powder form Credit University of BathEvery year millions of people around the world die from vaccine preventable diseases. Why?

Well, researchers at the University of Bath, led by Dr Asel Sartbaeva found that keeping vaccines cold was the one of the biggest challenges in transporting these vital medicines around the world.

If the proteins in vaccines reach a temperature above 8ºC they can become ineffective and unusable – and in some cases, even toxic.

As a result, vaccination levels are 16% lower in low-income countries compared to the developed world, in part, because they do not have the electricity, infrastructure or equipment to store and transport these vital medicines.

To help tackle this challenge, Asel and her team have developed a method called ‘ensilication’ which involves encasing vaccines in silica to protect the proteins, and eliminate the need for refrigeration.

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The technology has been several years in development, and as well as helping millions of people around the world, it is also highly sustainable. The material is non-toxic and biocompatible, and the elimination of refrigeration ultimately reduces the environmental burden of generating power to run medical fridges.

As Asel says: “It’s very important because today we don’t deliver vaccines to millions of people. In fact, statistically more than 7 million people die around the world from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

This amazing project won an IChemE Global Award in November 2017, under the category ‘Biotechnology’. Asel collected the Award from Peter Farrelly, Managing Director of PM Group – category sponsor.

Watch her reaction and find out more about the project in our short video:

What’s more, just one week after getting her IChemE gong, Dr Asel Sartbaeva was awarded the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) World Award for her vaccinations project. Congratulations Asel!

Come back tomorrow when we’ll be shining the spotlight on another 2017 IChemE Global Award winner.


Are you feeling inspired to apply for the IChemE Global Awards 2018? Whether you would like to enter your own project, sponsor a category, or just attend to support your fellow professionals – register your interest here.

The IChemE Global Awards 2017 were held in Birmingham, UK on Thursday 2 November, held in partnership with Johnson Matthey and Wood.

Read the IChemE Global Awards 2017 Review

IChemE in Numbers: a 2017 round-up

cropped-ar1.jpgIChemE’s offices close from today until 2 January 2018. It’s been a busy year, and in today’s blog post we take a look at some of the highlights in numbers.

Remember, our Annual Review is published in May 2018 – giving a comprehensive overview of IChemE’s 2017 activities and achievements. Check out the Annual Review archive here. 

We look forward to working with you in 2018. If you are a volunteer, thank you for your support. If you have engaged with us, if you have attended our events, if you have joined the conversation via this blog or social media – thanks for helping us to advance chemical engineering worldwide.

Season’s Greetings and best wishes for 2018.


Continue reading IChemE in Numbers: a 2017 round-up

IChemE Books – All you want for Christmas?

Journals in a libraryFor many years, IChemE was a stand-alone publisher of chemical engineering books and had a small but dedicated team of staff administering the process. More recently, we have conducted our publishing activities in partnership with Elsevier. This has seen the introduction of many new titles, while other successful titles with Elsevier have been adopted by the joint programme.

However, there is still a lengthy back catalogue of titles which were published by IChemE prior to our Elsevier partnership. They are unfortunately at the stage where they are getting a little out of date. But just like a dog isn’t just for Christmas, neither is chemical engineering knowledge! That is why we would like to work with our members to develop new and updated editions for some of these titles.

Initial feedback is that some of the books below are still incredibly useful to our members, and new editions would be a good initiative. But which titles do you think need updating first? Which are the best of the bunch?

Please see below all the books currently on the IChemE back catalogue. We would value your feedback on which titles you would most like to see a new edition of, and why.

To tell us, simply comment below or send an email to communications@icheme.org

We are looking to collate the feedback at the end of January 2018.


Continue reading IChemE Books – All you want for Christmas?

EGM Events – a chance for you to find out more

An Extraordinary General Meeting will take place on Thursday 11 January 2018. Ballot information has been circulated to all Voting Members by post and email, and an announcement was made on our website last week.

To help you better understand why the EGM is happening, and to have an opportunity to ask questions directly to Council members and the executive team a range of events – online and offline – will take place between now and 4 January 2018.

If you’re an IChemE member, you can  register for any of the events or webinars. A full list of the various meetings can be found at the bottom of this post.

This is an important phase in our Institution’s history – we urge you to take part.

Continue reading EGM Events – a chance for you to find out more

EGM Update for IChemE Members

IChemE_10mm_RGBYesterday, we announced that an Extraordinary General Meeting would take place on Thursday 11 January 2018. Full details were posted on the IChemE website, and ballot information has been circulated to all Voting Members via email and post.

The President and Council are grateful for the many messages of support that have been received from different parts of the IChemE community around the world.

Naturally, an EGM calling notice has prompted a range of questions. We aim to address these in today’s update, and will continue to post answers via the IChemE’s blog as questions come in to us. If you have a question on the EGM, please send it to communications@icheme.org.

Continue reading EGM Update for IChemE Members

Was your commute today #poweredbycoffee?

coffee beanA brilliant piece of news hit our desks this morning, and chemical engineering is at it’s heart. London-based start-up Bio-Bean have teamed up with Costa and Shell, to power London buses with bio-fuel derived from coffee waste.

Bio-Bean has a number of products in it’s growing portfolio, but it is it’s B20 biodiesel that has been hitting headlines, and powering London buses from today.

Continue reading Was your commute today #poweredbycoffee?

GUEST BLOG: The future of our energy systems

Our energy system is ever-evolving. Over the past 200 years, we’ve seen a huge shift in our energy consumption and production. From the start of the industrial revolution, where coal was the central cog keeping the world ticking, to now where renewable and alternative energy is taking the world by storm.

Matthias Schnellmann chairs a group of other early-career professionals from across the energy sector, known as IChemE’s Future Energy Leaders. Together, they help to support the IChemE Energy Centre, engaging with policy debates, responding to consultations and producing original research and position papers. The group also lead on public engagement activities that support the centre’s priorities.

In October, Matthias and his colleagues represented the IChemE Energy Centre at New Scientist Live – one of the UK’s largest scientific festivals. With interactive presentations and posters, they gave other engineers, scientists and students visiting the four-day event at ExCeL London just a glimpse into the complexity of our energy systems.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: The future of our energy systems

GUEST BLOG: Advocating chemical engineering to the next generation – Madeleine Jones

By day, Chartered Chemical Engineer Madeleine Jones works as Deputy Operations Manager, Legacy Ponds & Silos at Sellafield, and is responsible for three nuclear facilities.

In her spare time, she is a passionate advocate of chemical engineering – promoting engineering to primary and secondary school children, and mentoring new engineering graduates at the nuclear reprocessing and decommissioning company, to inspire the next generation of chemical engineers.

She also actively volunteers for her professional engineering institution, IChemE, with roles including Student Representative on the Midlands Member Group Committee, and Webmaster for IChemE’s North West Member Group Committee.

For all of this – and more – she was recently awarded the Karen Burt Award, after being nominated by IChemE. The annual award is presented by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to a top Chartered Engineer or Chartered Physicist in memory of Dr Karen Burt.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Advocating chemical engineering to the next generation – Madeleine Jones

GUEST BLOG: Advising MPs from a ChemEng perspective – my Ashok Kumar Fellowship

In January 2017, Erin Johnson, a postgraduate chemical engineering student at Imperial College London, UK, was awarded the Ashok Kumar Fellowship 2017.

The annual Fellowship, supported by IChemE and the North-East England process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), grants funding for a graduate chemical engineer to spend three months working at the  UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST). During this time, they get to experience life inside the Houses of Parliament and produce a POSTnote (briefing paper), or assist a government select committee with a current inquiry.

MPs rely on scientists, engineers, and academics to help inform the decisions they make. Erin’s Fellowship began in September, so we thought we’d find out how she’s been getting on.

Name: Erin Johnson
Education: Postgraduate chemical engineering student at Imperial College London, UK
Job Title: PhD candidate
Research interests: Optimisation of biomethane and bio-synthetic natural gas supply chains in the UK. I recently co-authored a white paper on options for a greener gas grid.

 

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Advising MPs from a ChemEng perspective – my Ashok Kumar Fellowship

10 job hunting tips for chemical engineering graduates

The first semester of university is underway. For some chemical, bio-chemical and process engineering students, it’s their final year; for others it’s their first September for sometime not spent in a lecture theatre or lab.

Those who have recently graduated and haven’t yet found a placement or role at a company, you’re probably thinking hard about your career. For those in their final year, it’s never too early to start getting some ideas of what job you’d like.

Either way, it can be a daunting prospect. Where do you begin? How do you prepare for job hunting and those all important interviews to come?

Here are our top 10 tips to help in your job hunting journey.

Continue reading 10 job hunting tips for chemical engineering graduates

Be inspired to advance process safety worldwide

Each year hundreds of professionals gather to be a part of our flagship process safety conference Hazards.

Process safety is fundamental to chemical, biochemical and process engineers. IChemE’s three-day event encourages them to come together and discuss: the current best practice, the latest developments, lessons learned in the process industry, and how to make operations even safer.

The conference was first held in 1960, and is now is an annual event. Hazards brings together around 100 presenters from leading industry practitioners, researchers and regulators, as well as keynote speakers invited from industry.

Continue reading Be inspired to advance process safety worldwide

Why should engineers engage with government? #LinksDay17

InviteChemical engineers descended on the Houses of Parliament yesterday, to ask MPs and policymakers about UK Science and Global Opportunities at Parliamentary Links Day – the largest science event in the Parliamentary calendar. They had been selected by IChemE, as a special thank-you for the time they had dedicated volunteering for the organisation.

In the wake of the Election result and as Brexit negotiations begin to take shape, Parliamentary Links Day, organised by the Royal Society of Biology, saw a record turn-out of scientists and engineers all keen to discuss how the political landscape impacted their industry and work.

Continue reading Why should engineers engage with government? #LinksDay17

Fire safety expert gives interviews on Grenfell Tower fire

As the police and safety investigations into the Grenfell Tower fire continue, media across the world has been reporting on the tragic event that saw more than 150 homes destroyed and around 80 people presumed dead.

Police have said the London tower block fire started in a fridge-freezer, and outside cladding and insulation failed safety tests.

In the early stages of the investigation and as the incident unfolded, fire safety specialist Joe Ruane, Associate Member (Process Safety) of IChemE, was interviewed to give his expert opinion.

Listen to Mr Ruane speaking to Ireland’s RTE Radio 1 news on Thursday 15 June.

Watch Mr Ruane speaking to American news network CBS at the site of the fire.

Mr Ruane also spoke to the Associated Press news agency and the article was subsequently reported by media across the world, including The Daily Mail, Time, Fox News and Hindustan Times.

Why do we need female engineers? #INWED17

Why do we need female engineers? 

It’s a simple, in some ways controversial question, that we put out to IChemE members a couple of weeks ago to mark today’s International Women In Engineering Day.

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We received a fantastic response from chemical engineers working all over the world – take a look at them below and stay tuned on Twitter where we will be sharing them throughout the day.

How will you or your organisation be celebrating gender diversity today?

Continue reading Why do we need female engineers? #INWED17

KBR are #RaisingProfiles for International Women in Engineering Day

INWED LogoTomorrow is International Women In Engineering Day (INWED), and it’s been great to see an overwhelmingly positive response from our community in the form of events and activities.

The INWED website has some fantastic ideas for organisations to improve their diversity agenda, from organising networking events to completing an equal pay audit. It isn’t too late for your company to get involved, visit the website for more ideas.

Global engineering services provider KBR, a Gold Corporate Partner with the IChemE, is already ahead of the curve. Aspire, an employee-driven resources group committed to female engineers and promoting gender parity, was launched in Houston, US in 2016. In January it was rolled-out across the pond, and Aspire UK was born.

Aspire UK

To celebrate #INWED2017 the Aspire UK team joined with KBR’s graduate network, Impact, to host students from a local school. They attended the KBR Campus in Leatherhead today (Thursday 22 June) and inspired to take a career path in engineering.

The students were immersed in a working engineering environment and given several interactive workshop presentations about engineering, the opportunities the profession presents, and the pathways into an engineering career. They attended a networking lunch where they were able to meet with more engineers from KBR, including the business leaders.

The final activity was a team building game, where the students had to use their problem solving skills to build an Oil Rig Jacket Structure (oil platform) out of paper.

We caught up with the engineers who spoke at the event.

Continue reading KBR are #RaisingProfiles for International Women in Engineering Day

IChemE Energy Centre responds to US withdrawal from Paris Agreement

This press release was published on the IChemE Media Centre.

Continue reading IChemE Energy Centre responds to US withdrawal from Paris Agreement

Guest Blog: Rhamnolipids promise a renewable revolution

Environmental impact is something that has become increasingly important for organisations and consumers in recent years. It is a topic discussed on a global scale by world leaders, and an issue of contention for many.

For some chemical engineers it has provided an opportunity for them to use their knowledge of chemical processes to create environmentally-friendly alternatives to the products we rely on daily.

In today’s blog Dr Dan Derr gives an insight into biosurfactants – which he hopes will spark a ‘renewable revolution’ in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.

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Name:
Dr Daniel Derr

Current Position:
Project Leader, Internal Research & Development, Logos Technologies

Bio:
Dan gained his PhD from Colorado State University, and went on to study bio-based jet fuels and photocatalysis at General Electric’s Global Research.

Following this, he led an integrated BioRefinery effort called the Corn to Cellulosic Migration (CCM), focusing on the migration of billions of dollars of capital deployed in today’s corn ethanol industry toward cost-effective production of greener ethanol from corn stover, switchgrass and woodchips.

Now working for Logos Technologies, Derr is currently focused on NatSurFact® – a rhamnolipid-based line of biosurfactants.

Continue reading Guest Blog: Rhamnolipids promise a renewable revolution