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.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Senior engineering managers  

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.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Engineering managers

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.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Experienced engineers

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.

Continue reading Your career in chemical engineering – Early career engineer

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.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Water and climate change #COP26

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.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: From COP21 to COP26

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.

Continue reading Sustainable fuel solutions through multi-scale catalysis studies – Andrew Student Fellowship

#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.

Continue reading #Hazards30 – 60 years of process safety learning and lessons

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.

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

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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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.

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

Guest Blog: Account from Asia Pacific on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on chemical engineers in the region

In today’s guest blog, chemical engineer David Platts tells us how he has been working to share knowledge to support chemical engineers in his region during the coronavirus outbreak.

DSCF5083Name: David Platts

Job title and organisation: NZ based Food Industry Consultant (semi-retired)

IChemE role: Member of the Learned Society Committee and Subject Area Lead Food

 

 In discussions with IChemE members in my region, it was evident that although much information published globally was centred on the major economic centres, we too had interesting stories to share regarding our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia Pacific.

Working with the country chairs in Australia and New Zealand, and fellow Learned Society Committee member Alexandra Meldrum, a series of short webinars was planned highlighting how we were navigating the myriad of the challenges brought about by pandemic.

We asked two subject specialists to join us for the first webinar on 23 March. Both presenters shared some thought-provoking content which was extremely relevant to current events, but also challenged us to carefully consider future actions post the pandemic.

Trish Kerin, Director of the IChemE Safety Centre, gave a presentation titled “Decision Making in a Crisis”. Clearly this topic was of much interest to the delegates as we are indeed in a crisis and, for many, this provides many challenges to leadership. A key aspect that I took from the talk was that good leaders need to develop a well-stocked bank account of trust with the people they are leading. This point, I suggest, is highlighted by some of the differing global leadership styles that we are witnessing in many countries.

The second presentation was by Kennie Tsui, Principal Analyst at the New Climate Commission and board member of Engineering New Zealand. Kennie talked in depth about climate change issues going forward. Kennie gave us a vision of what could happen post COVID-19 if we let the brakes off too quickly, referencing the bounce back in emissions following the global financial crisis of 2008. We have a decision to make, follow a new path that leads to meeting our goals for emissions reductions or accelerate those emissions thereby making the challenges even more difficult. A direction that we need to carefully manage – informed and well communicated decisions are critical.

We do hope that those who viewed the presentations found them valuable. If you missed the webinar it can be viewed on the IChemE Safety Centre YouTube channel here.

For the future, please keep your eye open for more webinars as we would like to expand this initiative to the wider Asia Pacific region with more varied content. If you have stories to share, please contact us via the regional members portals for New Zealand and Australia. We would love to hear from you.

 

For more information on how IChemE is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit our Coronavirus Information Hub.

‘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

GUEST BLOG: Key lessons from CPD sampling

In today’s guest blog, Chartered Chemical Engineer and IChemE Fellow Richard Cousins, explains a recent member continuing professional development (CPD) sampling exercise undertaken by IChemE.

A member of IChemE’s Professional Formation Forum and a CPD Assessor Panel Lead, he reviews the key lessons from the sampling exercise, and what comes next.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Key lessons from CPD sampling

GUEST BLOG: Individual Case Procedure

At IChemE we’re undertaking a series of projects that aim to improve member services, service delivery and the sustainability of our Institution.

One of these is an overarching project called Programme SMART which, as IChemE’s Vice President of Qualifications Ainslie Just discussed in our recent blog, aims to deliver sustainable membership growth.

In today’s blog, Rob Best who is the Chair of the Individual Case Procedure Task and Finish Group, provides an update on one of the projects in the “Flexible Pathways to Membership” area of Programme SMART.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Individual Case Procedure

Chatting Chartered status and biosector careers with students at Frank Morton

Hundreds of chemical engineering students from across the UK and Ireland descended on central Birmingham this week for the annual Frank Morton Careers Fair.

It was a great chance for us to connect with so many of our Student Members at the event – this year hosted by the University of Birmingham.

Continue reading Chatting Chartered status and biosector careers with students at Frank Morton

Influencing policy: addressing sustainable energy and water challenges

In our latest ‘Influencing policy’ blog, IChemE Energy Centre member Tekena Fubara explains the complexities behind transitioning to robust, sustainable energy systems in order to meet international carbon reduction targets.

Also, we explore the role of advanced oxidation processes for sustainable water management, which could be used as evidence to inform policy-makers working on a new Environment Bill.

Continue reading Influencing policy: addressing sustainable energy and water challenges

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

GUEST BLOG: Why I support my chemical engineering community in…Aberdeen

Activities to share knowledge and support the professional development of chemical engineers are happening in a whole host of communities across the world every day.

At IChemE, we have various communities that focus on helping individuals enhance their technical knowledge, competence and skills, as well as assist them in becoming professionally qualified engineers.

We have many enthusiastic members who volunteer in our communities, so will be sharing their stories in specialist areas and regions in regular blogs.

In this blog, Jim O’Donnell, Chair of the Aberdeen Members Group, explains more about what the group does to support all levels of chemical engineers in their region and why he feels younger members in particular can play a positive role in shaping a sustainable future for our Institution and the profession.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Why I support my chemical engineering community in…Aberdeen

Influencing policy: pushing R&D investment and the food agenda

Our members want to know more about how we support them to influence the development of national policies that affect chemical engineering.

Following this feedback from our member engagement survey, we are bringing you regular updates on the various policy areas in which we work with our members to provide evidence that inform policy- and decision-makers.

In our latest blog, we explain more on our collaborative approach with the National Engineering Policy Centre to urge the Government to spend more on research and development, what’s new for IChemE’s Energy Centre, as well as an update on the various consultation responses that we are working on.

Continue reading Influencing policy: pushing R&D investment and the food agenda

GUEST BLOG: Policy central

We work closely with many engineering bodies in the UK; particularly when providing evidence to inform policy-makers. It is important that we collaborate across the engineering disciplines to provide one unanimous voice on policy issues.

In today’s blog, Nick Starkey, the Director of Policy at the Royal Academy of Engineering, explains why engineering input is so crucial for policy-makers, and how we can be far more effective in influencing positive action that will benefit society by working together.

Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Policy central

Influencing policy: the future of waste and of our building regulations

At IChemE we do a lot behind the scenes to support our members in respect to influencing the development of national policies that affect chemical engineering.

We work in a multitude of policy areas, sharing knowledge and providing evidence to inform policy makers. But we can only create impact by working with you, our members, other professional engineering institutions, and directly with the governments across the world. Progress in this area takes time and requires a consistent and proactive approach.

In our recent member engagement survey, it was clear that our members wanted to understand more about this work. So, we’ll be giving you regular insights via our blog and The Chemical Engineer.

In today’s blog we explain more about our contribution to a government consultation on building regulations and how we also advise on government strategies that could affect the future of electronic, plastic, food and farming waste.

Continue reading Influencing policy: the future of waste and of our building regulations

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

How do you feel female chemical engineers are contributing to #TransformTheFuture?

Every year on 23 June we celebrate the accomplishments of female engineers for International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).

This year is even more special as the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) – who founded INWED – are celebrating 100 years of inspiring women engineers, scientists and technologists. Happy birthday WES!

#TransformTheFuture is the theme this year for #INWED19. Female chemical engineers are playing a vital part in helping to transform the future.

Continue reading How do you feel female chemical engineers are contributing to #TransformTheFuture?