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.
In today’s blog, IChemE Safety Centre Director Trish Kerin talks about the importance of continuing to raise awareness of managing major hazards during the pandemic.
Name: Trish Kerin
Job title: Director IChemE Safety Centre
As process safety professionals we know that process safety never takes a holiday, and it certainly doesn’t take sick leave for a global pandemic either. We continue to see incidents occur each week and it is unfortunate to note that the circumstances we find ourselves in because of the pandemic contributed to the cause in some cases. Incidents have taken place on restarting after inadequately planned shut-downs and after handling higher quantities of flammable substances, for example when retooling to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitisers. We have also seen incidents caused by equipment failure that wasn’t adequately maintained due to the restrictions and due to the inappropriate storage of oxidizing agents.
“This technology is about storing energy in the form of heat, which is important because over 50% of global energy is used as heat, which emits carbon dioxide. So, this [process] helps to turn a renewable into heat.”
Congratulations to the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage, University of Birmingham and Jinhe Energy. They took home the Energy, Research Project and Outstanding Achievement Awards at the IChemE Global Awards 2019 for their project, ‘The NexGen-TEST Project’.
Last week more than 300 leading industry experts and process safety professionals from around the world attended IChemE’s leading process safety conference, Hazards 29 in Birmingham, UK.
They came together to share knowledge and their learnings from process safety incidents through a range of plenary talks, parallel sessions and workshops.
The message throughout was clear: process safety is a continued priority for all concerned. Sharing experiences, better risk management and competency are integral to mitigating hazards, and improving process safety procedures.
Here are some of our key takeaways from the conference.
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.
Yesterday, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
A cold, bright day in February saw more than circa 3,000 chemical engineering students from every corner of the British Isles gather at Loughborough University for the annual Frank Morton Sports Day.
The event has grown spectacularly from its modest beginnings in 1961 when IChemE stalwart, Professor Frank Morton, organised a football match between the chemical engineering departments at the University of Birmingham and the then University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
In today’s blog we are heading towards Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico, which is a small town with a population of around 5,000 people located just south of the US border near Columbus, New Mexico.
It’s a part of the world that has an average annual rainfall in the region of 361 mm (14.21 inches). In comparison, parts of the UK has more than ten times this level (4,577 mm or 180.2 inches).
Water supplies for North and South of the border are drawn from the same aquifers, some of which are contaminated with arsenic and fluoride.
On the US side, the water is treated using a reverse osmosis system to provide all residents with clean water.
On the Mexican side, the water supply is only disinfected with chlorine. The levels of arsenic and fluoride contaminating the water supply is toxic to the people who drink it over a long period of time.