Renew, Sustain, Disrupt and Advance – discussing the challenges faced by chemical engineers. #Chemeca

Chemical engineers create innovative technologies and solutions, adapt to disruption, and make processes more efficient and sustainable to benefit society.

But when the world is faced by unexpected challenges such as COVID-19, how do we create, maintain and improve upon safe, sustainable and cost effective solutions?

Despite the disruption of the pandemic, the organising committee for our Chemeca conference – made up of volunteer members and hosted by IChemE, Engineers Australia, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute and Engineering New Zealand – were keen to ensure sharing knowledge on these challenges still took place.

So our physical conference has been reshaped into a series of one-hour to 90 minute webinar sessions across four weeks and renamed Bite-Sized Chemeca. Under the theme ‘renew, sustain, disrupt and advance’, our expert engineer plenary speakers and panellists will discuss and present upon the hot topics affecting both industry and academia, including on COVID-19, industry 4.0, circular economy and energy efficiency.

Ahead of the event in two weeks’ time (29 September), we caught up with Dr Bronwyn Evans, Chief Executive of Engineers Australia, and our Deputy President, Jane Cutler who will be delivering plenary sessions in week one and two, respectively. Read their thoughts on how engineers might need to adapt to address these challenges and gain an insight into their plenaries below.

Continue reading Renew, Sustain, Disrupt and Advance – discussing the challenges faced by chemical engineers. #Chemeca

‘Changing communities. Changing lives’ – Marking Volunteers Week in Australia

As a membership organisation that is led by members, supports members and serves society, volunteers are the lifeblood of the Institution.

Without our member volunteers, we simply couldn’t fulfil our obligations as a qualifying body or a learned society. Their enthusiasm and drive to help fellow members, the chemical engineering community and wider society is palpable.

Continue reading ‘Changing communities. Changing lives’ – Marking Volunteers Week in Australia

Sharing lessons to improve competence and capability in process safety – #HazardsAus2019

Chemical and process engineers are key contributors to making working environments safer.

Sharing good practice in this is vital. And so is sharing lessons that have been learned along the way.

That’s why each year we bring leading chemical and process safety experts across Australia and New Zealand together at our conference Hazards Australasia.

This year’s event at the Hilton Brisbane, Australia on 13-14 November 2019 focusses on the theme ‘competence and capability’ and the technical programme features a new panel made up of process safety experts from the regulating bodies across the two regions.

Under the title, Lessons for industry safety cases, the panellists will discuss the importance of sharing lessons from process safety incidents and how the recent Work, Health & Safety review could affect process engineers.

Ahead of this panel discussion, we caught up with some of the panellists to understand some of the challenges and opportunities to improve the safety culture in the process industry in Australasia.

Continue reading Sharing lessons to improve competence and capability in process safety – #HazardsAus2019

How engineers are key to addressing societal challenges in Australia – Chemeca 2019

Today we are faced with many challenges in society. For example, how to provide sustainable and affordable sources of energy; develop the latest advances in mining minerals and resources; enable access to clean water and food for all; provide efficient waste systems; and advance healthcare to help sustain an ageing population?

Chemical engineers across Australasia and the world are at the forefront of programmes to help solve these challenges and emerging megatrends in engineering to make processes efficient, sustainable and economical.

As the fourth industrial revolution progresses, we must question what will be the next chemical engineering paradigm? And, how will the significant challenges, megatrends and our roots as a discipline in manipulating and combining the fundamental chemical elements drive the development of the next chemical engineering paradigm?

These are key questions that chemical engineers will be discussing at this year’s Chemeca conference in Sydney in September. To mark 150 years of the periodic table, Chemeca 2019 will explore the emerging opportunities and challenges for the chemical engineering profession throughout Australia and New Zealand under the theme ‘Engineering Megatrends and the Periodic Table’.

Ahead of their plenary sessions at Chemeca, we caught up with Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, and Belinda Grealy, Area Business Manager, Europe at Orica, both leaders in their respective fields of energy and mining. They gave an insight into their presentations, and how they feel Australian professional chemical engineers and leaders in the profession are key to positively effecting change for our current and future challenges.

Continue reading How engineers are key to addressing societal challenges in Australia – Chemeca 2019

Introducing a new engineering registration in Victoria, Australia

This article was originally published in The Chemical Engineer.

In today’s blog, IChemE Director, Regions, Peter Slane explains the changes that are being made to legislation for engineers in Victoria, Australia and what this means for chemical engineers in the future.

Continue reading Introducing a new engineering registration in Victoria, Australia

Foundations for the future – the STEM pipeline (Day 159)

Classroom science
The Australian Government will invest $12 million to improve the focus (STEM) subjects in primary and secondary schools.

Routinely there are calls and initiatives to boost the number of school pupils who pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in school and beyond.

In the UK there are different campaigns from Government, industry, charitable organisations and professional bodies. Many of you will have heard about IChemE’s whynotchemeng initiative.

It’s useful to remind ourselves that there are challenges and strategies in place in other areas of the world too.

This month, the Australian government announced an AUS$12 million investment in school STEM subjects. There is a realisation that the STEM skillset is essential to national and international economic growth and competitiveness.

Continue reading Foundations for the future – the STEM pipeline (Day 159)

Making food last longer (Day 78)

Goats cheeseGlobalisation has created opportunities for many industries, but the growth of some fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) – especially fresh foods – continue to be limited by their relatively short shelf lives.

For some countries, like Australia, it places an unwelcome cap on their exporting potential and economic growth.

For nations with burgeoning populations, especially in South East Asia, the scope and volume of ‘fresh’ food imports can be constrained and place additional burdens on ‘home-grown’ food supplies.

Continue reading Making food last longer (Day 78)