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.

Continue reading CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Health

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.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Continue reading 23,000 pieces of knowledge at your fingertips

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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.

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#Hazards30 – 60 years of process safety learning and lessons

It has been 60 years since our inaugural Hazards conference took place, and although this year presented its own challenges, we were pleased to have successfully hosted #Hazards30 in a virtual format for the very first time. With an impressive line-up of plenary speakers and presentations, over 260 process safety professionals were still able to get the full experience of Hazards from the comfort of their home.

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Keeping sight of process safety in these challenging times

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.

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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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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

GUEST BLOG: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) and IChemE

In this blog, IChemE Trustee Macsene Isles-Ahite shares her vision for ED&I in IChemE and across the chemical engineering community.

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