CENTENARY BLOG: IChemE at 100, a year of celebrations

As we near the end of our centenary year, IChemE President David Bogle reflects on the array of activities that have taken place to mark the centenary and expresses his thoughts on the important role chemical engineers will have in delivering sustainable development over the next 100 years.

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CENTENARY BLOG: Inspiring Chemical Engineers

As 2022 marks IChemE’s centenary, we have been celebrating our profession and the members who have shaped it. IChemE Fellow and Deputy President Nigel Hirst chaired the centenary project’s working group who designed and implemented the ChemEng Evolution website and event programme. In this latest blog of our centenary series, Nigel reveals some of the chemical engineers who inspired our Past Presidents and shares his own views on inspiring the next generation of chemical engineers.

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CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Materials

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 Joseph Bailey, who was part of the editorial panel looking at materials, picks out his choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

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Meet a difference maker in…. health and wellbeing – Fotis Spyropoulos

In this blog series, which is part of our 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.

In today’s blog, Fotis Spyropoulos shares his work researching ways to create foods that are healthier – by reducing fats, sugar, and/or salt – but that still ensures their compounds and components are structurally-sound to make them commercially viable, as well as tasty and appealing for consumers. He gives an insight into the challenges he faces, as well as the critical chemical engineering skills to provide solutions ensuring the products hit the shelves.

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CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Health

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 Elizabeth Cheeseman, who was part of the editorial panel looking at health, picks out her choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

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Meet a difference maker in…. affordable energy – Sam Haig

In this blog series, which is part of our 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.

Here, Sam Haig explains his role in the recycling and recreation of lithium-ion batteries, and why it’s important to improve the process of utilising the materials within them to ensure once a battery reaches the end of its life there is not significant waste harming the environment. He talks about the challenges of these hazardous materials within batteries and handling production in a sustainable way, while demand is ever-increasing.

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CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Built Environment & Transport

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 Nasrin Aghamohammadi, who was part of the editorial steering committee member for ChemEng Evolution and chaired the Built Environment and Transport theme, picks out her choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

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CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Food & Water

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 Laura Malhi, who was part of the editorial panel looking at food and water, picks out her choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.

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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. 

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Thanking and celebrating our volunteers in Ireland – #NVW2020

We have so many dedicated member volunteers. They are the heart of the Institution performing various roles to ensure we can fulfil our duties as a qualifying body and a learned society for chemical engineers.

Thank you to all our worldwide volunteers for your efforts, which have continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic, maintaining an excellent standard of activities and support.

As this week marks Ireland Volunteers Week (21-27 September), under the theme ‘health and well being’, we want to say a huge thank you all of our volunteers in the region for their continued contributions.

To celebrate, we’re sharing the stories of just some of our many volunteers to highlight their fantastic work. Read about how in their volunteer roles they are continuously supporting their fellow chemical engineers, and particularly during this pandemic.

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Chemical Engineering Education in the Age of Disruption

Chemical engineering educators had already been trying to adapt to and manage the impact of the rapid development of new technologies and advances are having upon education.

Industry 4.0 has prompted the chemical engineering education community to engage with, and adapt to, the digital transformation agenda. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit global communities, it caused huge disruption to learning, and saw remarkable efforts to take learning fully virtual.

Despite online learning playing a strong role in many chemical engineering education establishments across the world, the disruption COVID-19 has caused saw Esther Ventura-Medina, Chair of IChemE’s Education Special Interest Group (EdSIG), to reflect on what still needs to be done for the virtual future in an article in The Chemical Engineer.

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Decarbonising the gas grid – IChemE Young Industrialist Award winner 2019

“To be an IChemE Global Award winner feels a very large honour and a vindication of all the decisions I’ve made in my career so far.”

That’s how Chartered Chemical Engineer and Chartered Mechanical Engineer Thomas Isaac felt after being presented with the Young Industrialist Award at the IChemE Global Awards 2019.

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A learned society with international reach

In this blog, Sam Wilkinson, committee member and communications lead on the Learned Society Committee, discusses IChemE’s ongoing learned society activity that is contributing to achieving Aim 2 of Strategy 2024.

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Thanking our volunteers for keeping our wheels turning during the coronavirus – UK Volunteers Week 2020

Our dedicated member volunteers around the world are the life and soul of the Institution. Without their efforts we couldn’t fulfil our duties as a qualifying body or a learned society. Or truly be an organisation that is led by members, supports members and serves society.

Their efforts and activities are appreciated by the Institution all year round. And, as part of IChemE’s Strategy 2024, we are working to further improve the volunteer experience to ensure the membership remains a vibrant and thriving community. This is one of President Stephen Richardson’s top priorities, and that’s why at the end of 2019 he initiated a two-year programme to improve support for and better recognise volunteers. We are currently reviewing processes and documentation and planning how we can better align and improve them across the organisation, whilst adopting best practice. We’ll provide further updates on this in the coming months as the programme of work progresses.

As we entered 2020, no-one could have predicted the effect coronavirus would have on individuals, organisations and our health services across the world. At IChemE, we’ve been adapting our procedures so we can still maintain the same standards of services to our members, and our fellow professionals across academia and industry. A huge thank you to all of our volunteers across the world who are leading this effort.

To mark Volunteers Week in the UK (1-7 June), we’re sharing stories from just a couple of our many UK volunteers to highlight their great contributions to help IChemE adapt in this pandemic. They explain why now it’s more important than ever to maintain safe and quality practices in chemical engineering to support the wider community.

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Safely storing nuclear waste – IChemE Industry Project Award Winner 2019

At the IChemE Global Awards 2019, Sellafield received the Industry Project Award for their project Safe Retrieval of Legacy Nuclear Waste.

Historically, there were no facilities in place to store nuclear waste safely. Sellafield Ltd undertook a large-scale project to remove the hazardous waste and debris from the open ponds transferring this into safe storage facilities. This was only possible with the collective knowledge of chemical engineers who were all integral to the project.

Learn more from Simon Degler and Nick Elliott who are delighted to be recognised for their achievements in this video:

Has your organisation implemented an exciting project related to construction of new industrial plant or enhancement of existing facilities? If so, enter now for the IChemE Global Awards 2020.

Entries are now open until 26 June 2020. Visit: https://www.icheme.org/globalawards

This video was produced by CMA Video.