Inside the Vaccine Taskforce

The UK Government Vaccine Taskforce (VTF) was established in April 2020 by the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, to drive forward, expedite and co-ordinate efforts to ensure that the UK population would have access to a clinically safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19.

Members of IChemE’s Covid-19 Response Team were approached to join the VTF to utilise their chemical, biochemical and process engineering expertise to enable delivery of the taskforce’s objectives.

We caught up one of the members, Vaughan Thomas, to find out more. 

Continue reading Inside the Vaccine Taskforce

CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Energy

Every month throughout our centenary year, we will be asking an IChemE member to write a blog about each of the centenary themes. The themes have been selected to highlight and celebrate the enormous contribution that chemical engineering has made to society over the last century.

IChemE Fellow and Past President Dr Desmond King, who was part of the editorial panel looking at energy, picks out his choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

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Digital literacy for chemical engineers

Industry 4.0 and digital technologies are impacting how chemical engineers work and what they work on. It means chemical engineers need to be become competent in the widespread application of machine data, artificial intelligence, process automation and control, and more.

Therefore, IChemE’s Learned Society Committee (LSC) deemed digitalisation one of the priority topics for the Institution to focus upon a learned society for chemical engineers and managed by IChemE’s member-led Digitalisation Technical Advisory Group (DigiTAG). We must help share this knowledge among the membership and chemical engineering community to enable improvements in capabilities and the responsible application of digital tools to benefit the wider profession and society as a whole.

In a feature article in The Chemical Engineer three IChemE members explain why digital literacy is so important.

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Meet a difference maker…in affordable energy – Dr Mauro Luberti

In this blog series, which is part of our recently launched 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.

To mark Earth Day today (22 April 2022) in this blog, Dr Mauro Luberti explains the two different gas separation processes he’s using and explains the specialised laboratory equipment he’s developed to predict separation performance of adsorption processes. He’s also looking at ways to capture carbon dioxide more efficiently from power and hydrogen plants, and the importance of decarbonising these industrial sectors.

Continue reading Meet a difference maker…in affordable energy – Dr Mauro Luberti

Digitalisation for Pharma

Digital technologies are impacting how chemical engineers work and what they work on through the widespread application of machine data, artificial intelligence, process automation and control, and more.

This is why our Learned Society Committee deemed it one of the priority topics for us to focus on a learned society for chemical engineers; to share this knowledge and help members improve their capabilities in their responsible application of digital tools to benefit the wider profession and society as a whole.

In a feature article in The Chemical Engineer, Chartered Member Tony Margetts, Principal Consultant at digitalisation consultant and software provider Factorytalk Ltd, explains the pharmaceutical industry’s challenges around connecting and collecting data.

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Meet a difference maker…in health and wellbeing – John Civardi

In this blog series, which is part of our recently launched 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.

Today on World Health Day (7 April 2022), John Civardi talks about his experience as a water engineer, and how water is being contaminated with pharmaceutical waste, which could lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. He also explains why it’s important for chemical engineers to help solve this issue for better treatment and cleaning of waterways, groundwater and other water sources to prevent future threats to humans, animals and the environment.

Continue reading Meet a difference maker…in health and wellbeing – John Civardi

CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Social Experience

Every month throughout our centenary year, we will be asking an IChemE member to write a blog about each of the centenary themes. The themes have been selected to highlight and celebrate the enormous contribution that chemical engineering has made to society over the last century.

IChemE Honorary Fellow Dr Marlene Kanga, who was part of the editorial panel looking at social experience, picks out her choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

Continue reading CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Social Experience

Meet a difference maker…in clean water – Professor Philip Davies

In this new blog series, 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.

This is part of our recently launched Sustainability Hub, which is a giving chemical engineers access to a growing suite of new on-demand training courses and knowledge resources to help them to embed sustainable principles and practices into everyday work and life.

Today on World Water Day (22 March 2022), Professor Philip Davies shares his work in water desalination, and particularly his unique process combining reverse osmosis with renewable energy sources to create safe drinking water from seawater in arid countries.

Continue reading Meet a difference maker…in clean water – Professor Philip Davies

CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Education & Technology

Every month throughout our centenary year, we will be asking an IChemE member to write a blog about each of the centenary themes. The themes have been selected to highlight and celebrate the enormous contribution that chemical engineering has made to society over the last century.

IChemE Fellow John Kenez, who was part of the editorial panel looking at education & technology, picks out his choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

Continue reading CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Education & Technology

Challenging perceptions in chemical engineering research

Chemical engineering is everywhere. Research plays an integral part in the development of solutions to help society.

IChemE’s recently formed Research and Innovation Community of Practice (R&I CoP) aims to identify and promote key areas of research and innovation in chemical engineering, as well as champion chemical engineering research through input into policy work and via materials that demonstrate the importance of chemical engineering research to everyday life.

But are there preconceived ideas about chemical engineering research? And how do the researchers themselves define their work, activities and contributions to society?

These are ideas that Owen Jones-Salkey from the R&I CoP’s Challenging Perceptions of Chemical Engineering Research Working Group wanted to dig deeper into. In this blog, he explains more on a survey conducted on this, the key findings and what’s next.

Continue reading Challenging perceptions in chemical engineering research

CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Sustainability & Environment

Every month throughout our centenary year, we will be asking an IChemE member to write a blog about each of the centenary themes. The themes have been selected to highlight and celebrate the enormous contribution that chemical engineering has made to society over the last century.

IChemE member Dr Nikolay Cherkasov, who was part of the editorial panel looking at sustainability & environment, picks out his choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

Continue reading CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Sustainability & Environment

Behind the scenes: interviews for a TV documentary on engineering

Six IChemE members recently featured in the second series of TV documentary series, Disasters Engineered

Aired on the National Geographic channel, the documentary examined various chemical, structural, and mechanical engineering incidents. Each episode looked at the causes of two incidents, why and how they happened, how they affected people, and what changes have been made in the industry as a result.

So, we caught up with three of the members – Zsuzsanna Gyenes, Fiona Macleod and Stephen Richardson – to understand how they felt to be part of the series, and why they feel it is important for the public to see chemical and process engineers giving expert accounts of safety incidents.

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23,000 pieces of knowledge at your fingertips

Part of our job as a professional body is ensuring members are equipped with an abundance of technical knowledge so they can continue creating impactful and safe solutions to help society and the environment.

That’s why we created our Knowledge Hub – a central hub from which members can search, browse and access IChemE’s technical resources.

Continue reading 23,000 pieces of knowledge at your fingertips

CENTENARY BLOG: Celebrating a century of achievements and a future of success

As 2022 marks IChemE’s centenary, we are celebrating our profession and the members who have shaped it. IChemE Fellow and Past President, John McGagh, chaired the centenary project’s volunteer committee who have developed a year-long programme of activity to celebrate this incredible milestone. In the first blog of our new series to mark the centenary, John talks about how the celebrations evolved into the packed programme which kicks off this month.

Continue reading CENTENARY BLOG: Celebrating a century of achievements and a future of success

Five things to consider for transferring sectors

The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have caused a shift in job opportunities for chemical engineers, particularly for those in more traditional carbon-based industries.

This may lead some to wonder what opportunities there are to move from these sectors to emerging ones and how to best to utilise and showcase their transferable skills in applications and interviews to make the switch.

In two recent articles for The Chemical Engineer, recruitment consultant James Colley offers his expert opinion. As Director of Consilium Recruit he has worked closely with chemical engineers and recruiters over the years to help find suitable matches and recognises the wealth of transferable skills chemical engineers can bring to different sectors.

So, here are five of his many tips on switching sectors.

Continue reading Five things to consider for transferring sectors

Your career in chemical engineering – Executive leadership

For the final in this six-part blog and video series, Your career in chemical engineering, we spoke to executive leaders and IChemE Fellows Jane Cutler, Professor Carl Schaschke and Chris Woodroofe to learn about their career experiences in various sectors including in oil and gas, overseeing engineering degrees, and airport operations.

They also provide advice to those starting out in their career and share what helped them transition to senior leadership roles.

The full series gives an insight into how 18 chemical engineers got to where they are in their careers today, the key engineering skills that have helped them succeed and practical tips for job hunting.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Executive leadership

Your career in chemical engineering – Senior engineering managers  

For the fifth of this six-part blog and video series, Your career in chemical engineering, we spoke to senior engineering managers Rachel Cooke, Simon Farrar and Helen Ramsay.

Find out more about their career paths through different sectors, the engineering skills that have helped them become successful managers and why they applied for their current roles at tech firm Amazon, regulating dangerous goods at WorkSafe Victoria and creating devices for diabetes at Abbott below.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Senior engineering managers  

Your career in chemical engineering – Engineering managers

For the next in our new blog and video series, Your career in chemical engineering, we spoke to Yasmin Ali, Thaddeus Anim-Somuah and Tommy Isaac who explain what they enjoy about their roles in energy policy, chemicals manufacturing and hydrogen energy production. Plus, they give advice to those seeking career progression to managing people and large scale projects.

Their stories are in one of a six-part blog series sharing the career journeys of 18 chemical engineers, the key engineering skills that have helped them succeed and their practical tips for job hunting.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Engineering managers

Your career in chemical engineering – Experienced engineers

For the third instalment in our blog and video series, Your career in chemical engineering, we chatted to experienced engineers Sam Grayson, Sarah Morris, and Dhammy Parameswaran for more on their experiences in risk management, water, and pharmaceuticals, respectively.

They share the day-to-day challenges they face and how they obtained their roles. Plus, they provide practical tips for graduates applying for jobs in the video below.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Experienced engineers

Your career in chemical engineering – Early career engineer

For the second in our new blog and video series, Your career in chemical engineering, we spoke to Joe Agnew, Kit Wayne Chew and Olivia Sweeney to understand how they got to where they are now in their career.

The early career engineers also share practical tips for those currently at the start of their career who are looking for roles, as well as why they enjoy their roles in chemical processes, microalgae research and lecturing, and plastics recycling, respectively.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Early career engineer

GUEST BLOG: Water and climate change #COP26

In this blog, IChemE Fellow Martin Currie talks about how a systems approach and collaboration beyond the water treatment community has taken the water climate discussion to COP26.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Water and climate change #COP26

Achieving a Just Transition and boosting skills for chemical engineers


What is a just transition and how does it affect chemical engineers?

There are many definitions of a “just transition” online, all with a similar theme in equally supporting workers in high carbon intensive industries to move into new lines of work, and the communities and economies they serve.

The Chemical Engineer looks at this in depth in two recent feature articles. In the first, reporter Amanda Doyle explains what the energy transition is and why it must be fair for workers in high carbon industries, while the second article analyses a survey of oil and gas workers, revealing how the energy transition affects them and what they feel could be done to support them.

Continue reading Achieving a Just Transition and boosting skills for chemical engineers

GUEST BLOG: From COP21 to COP26

In December 2015, IChemE Fellow Stefaan Simons attended COP21 in Paris. Six years later he is in Glasgow for COP26 and shares his experiences of attending the pivotal climate change conference, explaining the progress IChemE has made with respect to climate change during that time.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: From COP21 to COP26

Your career in chemical engineering – Graduate engineers

If you’re graduating or at an early stage in your career, finding the sector and job that will set you onto your career path may feel daunting given the diverse opportunities available in chemical engineering.

This six-part blog and video series, Your career in chemical engineering, gives an insight into how 18 of our members got to where they are in their career today, the key engineering skills that have helped them succeed and practical tips for job hunting.

For this blog, we spoke to recent graduates Emma Claxton, Nikita Javale and Robyn Mayne for more on their experiences in pharmaceuticals, energy and dairy, respectively.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Graduate engineers

Career paths: be inspired by these engineers to set you on your journey

Finding a job that truly motivates you can feel incredibly challenging and perhaps out of reach.

Whether that’s at the start of your career to set you on your journey, or throughout your career as you may wish to explore a different sector or move through career levels to more managerial roles, where do you start?

Continue reading Career paths: be inspired by these engineers to set you on your journey

Sustainable fuel solutions through multi-scale catalysis studies – Andrew Student Fellowship

Advancing heterogeneous catalysis and boosting collaboration between academics and industry to create solutions that benefit society was something the late Professor Syd Andrew was enthusiastic about.

In his passing, the IChemE Fellow and distinguished expert in the field of catalysis left a fund to support future generations of chemical engineers in the field. In commemoration, IChemE set up the Andrew Legacy.

Claire-Louise Woodward

It comprises of the Andrew Medal to recognise major contribution in the field, and the Andrew Fellowship to support researchers in heterogeneous catalysis – read about the latest recipients recently announced by IChemE. Additionally, in 2019, IChemE’s Board of Trustees agreed to a proposal to fund a promising PhD student at the University of Bath through a Andrew Student Fellowship.

Claire-Louise Woodward was the lucky winner of the Andrew Student Fellowship and will receive IChemE funding throughout her four-year research project. So, we decided to catch up with her after almost one year into her fellowship.

Continue reading Sustainable fuel solutions through multi-scale catalysis studies – Andrew Student Fellowship

Sharing knowledge on sustainability, safety and digitalisation

Following the identification of the Learned Society’s priority topics earlier in the year, IChemE has launched a new website area to focus on Responsible Production, Major Hazards Management and Digitalisation.

We caught up with Alexandra Meldrum to find out more.

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GUEST BLOG: Climate Action Plans

As we develop plans to promote the contributions of IChemE and chemical engineering to help mitigate climate change on a worldwide stage, in this blog Claire MacLeod, of IChemE’s Learned Society Committee Responsible Production Working Group, urges members to get involved.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Climate Action Plans

Fresh thinking: new HCEUK chair on the future of chem eng education

As green leaves appearing on trees signal the start of spring in the UK, it’s also the time for a new role for IChemE member Chris Dodds; bringing a fresh perspective to the future of chemical engineering education and research.

Continue reading Fresh thinking: new HCEUK chair on the future of chem eng education

Malaysia Award winners creating sustainable solutions for our Earth – #ichemeawards #EarthDay

Across the globe today, scores of people will be marking Earth Day (22 April) under this year’s theme, Restore our Earth.

While there is so much more to be done to help tackle climate change and prevent further environmental disasters, it’s also important to recognise the achievements of those who are working on extremely important regeneration and restoration initiatives, as well as creating sustainable processes and educational programmes to enhance the life of our planet and all living things upon it.

So, we caught up with three of our winners from the IChemE Malaysia Awards 2020 to learn more about how their award-winning projects are helping to do this.

Continue reading Malaysia Award winners creating sustainable solutions for our Earth – #ichemeawards #EarthDay

COVID-19 – A Year On

IChemE Chief Executive, Jon Prichard, reflects on the last year and how IChemE has responded to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Today marks the anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK which seems an appropriate time to reflect on how this global crisis affected IChemE and our response to it. As lockdown in the UK first came into force on 23 March 2020, few of us foresaw the enduring impact that would follow and most thought it would only last a matter of weeks; yet 12 months have now passed and the world we live in is a very different place.

Continue reading COVID-19 – A Year On