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.

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

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.

Continue reading Thanking and celebrating our volunteers in Ireland – #NVW2020

Nanofibres can ease the pain of Parkinson’s disease (Day 331)

In the UK this week, it is Parkinson’s Awareness Week. The aim is to raise awareness of the disease by doing a good deed and tweeting about it using #upyourfriendly.

We can all get involved; just by being nice to the people we meet. You can make new friends and maybe someone’s life a little easier without even knowing it. Check out the campaign to learn more.

Pair of carbon nanotube fibres
Photo credit | Rice University
Pair of carbon nanotube fibres

With this strategy in mind, I thought I’d raise awareness of the work of some chemical engineers who are definitely ‘up-ing their friendly’ by working behind the scenes to help combat the symptoms of this debilitating disease.

Researchers at Rice University in Texas, US, have developed flexible carbon nanotube fibres, that may provide an effective way of communicating directly with the brain.

Parkinson’s disease affects one in every 500 people. That’s an estimated 127,000 people in the UK – or around 8.5 million globally.

It is a progressive neurological condition that affects nerve cells in the brain, causing them to die. This results in lower dopamine levels in the body with serious implications for mobility and emotional behaviour.

Continue reading Nanofibres can ease the pain of Parkinson’s disease (Day 331)

Behind every good manicure is a great chemical engineer (Day 320)

ManicureAs one industry cuts back on jobs due to the recession, another blooms. Last year $8.5 billion was spent in US nail bars. That’s a $1 billion increase since 2012.

So why are more people visiting nail bars now, than when times weren’t so tight and we had more cash in our pockets?

One explanation is the ‘lipstick effect’. When our budgets are squeezed, rather than losing the taste to splurge we simply trade large extravagancies for cheaper luxuries to cheer ourselves up. Cue the nail bar, manicures and chemical engineering.

Continue reading Behind every good manicure is a great chemical engineer (Day 320)