284 days into my blog and counting. By now, I trust you’ve realised that the chemical engineering profession is truly global. But it’s still all too easy to focus on our own back yard. So today, I’m heading south to see what Africa has to offer.
I recently went on a trip to South Africa, and during my time there I met with many IChemE and SAIChE members who shared stories of their work.
One of the research projects that caught my attention comes from North-West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom, south west of Johannesburg.
Much of the research at NWU looks at different aspects of the energy challenge, including bioenergy, fossil fuels (coal), nuclear energy and energy management. Today, I’m highlighting two different aspects of NWU’s energy research: safer and more sustainable coal stockpile management and the production of biodiesel from waste cooking oils.
Once the dust has settled after the merriment and celebration of welcoming in the New Year, it’s only natural to reflect on the year that has passed. 2014 was a great year for me, full of new experiences and meeting new people, which obviously includes a lot of chemical engineers, through my role as IChemE president.
So, on reflection, I’d like to share with you my personal and professional chemical engineering highlights of 2014.
1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Synthesis Report
The issue of climate change has been top of my agenda for some time, and communicating across the seriousness and urgency needed by our global society to mitigate the effects has been a personal mission of mine.