Last month the IChemE Global Awards 2016 were held in Manchester, UK, in one of the biggest celebrations of chemical engineering achievement worldwide. Our judges had a difficult task narrowing down 16 winners from 120 amazing finalists.
The ceremony was held at the Principal Hotel and welcomed over 400 guests from around the world to recognise and celebrate chemical engineering success stories.
For many, success doesn’t end after collecting a trophy, but marks the starting point on a journey to excellence. An IChemE Award can take you to some unexpected places, make commercialisation easier, help to develop your team or grow your portfolio. You could even get a letter from the US President.
So every day this week we’ll be dedicating special blog posts to the 2016 Award winners and their innovative, fascinating, problem-solving projects. With the fantastic support of Morgan Sindall we have produced a video for every one – enjoy!
This article was published as part of the Process Safety and Environmental Protection special issue on Air Pollution Control and Waste Management. The researchers identified sorption as the most effective and environmentally acceptable but the most expensive method for oil spill clean-up. However, using plant-based sorbents can improve cost-effectiveness and the plant waste can later be recycled for asphalt production and fuel.
Based on these experiences, I am always keen to initiate and promote new relationships between industry and academia.
However, I am by no means alone in valuing the importance of such relationships.
Delegates who attended ChemEngDayUK2015 in Sheffield, UK last month, heard from a range of industry speakers. The main conference sponsor was the German industrial conglomerate Siemens.
Sean McDonagh, who leads the chemicals team for Siemens Digital Factory Process Industries & Drives, gave a very insightful contribution during the opening session. I caught up with him shortly afterwards and he told me about one of Siemens’ latest projects – which focuses on strengthening those all important links between industry and academia.
Last year’s ChemEngDayUK, hosted by the University of Manchester, saw the official opening of a new pilot plant situated within the James Chadwick Building. The plant features Siemens’ distributed control system’. It is designed to help students learn about advanced process automation.
55 years ago, a chemical engineering professor with a passion for sport and a strong sense of fun initiated an annual football game between the chemical engineering departments at Birmingham and Manchester Universities in the UK.
That professor’s name was Frank Morton, and he had strong connections with both departments having taught in Birmingham where he rose to professor, before moving to Manchester as the first head of chemical engineering at the new Manchester College of Technology in 1956.
And his passion for fun lives on in the annual Frank Morton Sports Day
Frank was a firm believer in the principle that chemical engineering students should work hard and play hard. This year’s participants certainly didn’t let him down.
The 2015 Frank Morton Sports Day took place at Frank’s old stamping ground in Birmingham earlier this week, and had he been there to witness the event, I’m sure that he would have had a huge smile on his face.
As an academic, I know that chemical engineering matters in the research space. And IChemE recognises the importance of forums and meetings where chemical engineering researchers can share their work with their peers.
One such important UK research meeting for chemical engineers is the annual ChemEngDayUK conference.
This event brings together researchers, engineers and scientists from chemical engineering departments across the UK to showcase their latest technological advances and research to leading experts within the field.
There is also specific emphasis placed on collaboration between academia and industry.
We’ve heard a lot about Graphene in recent years and it’s an area which is promising a revolution in electrical and chemical engineering
Graphene is the world’s thinnest material. It is a potent conductor, extremely lightweight, chemically inert and flexible with a large surface area. It could be the perfect candidate for high capacity energy storage.
It’s an opportunity the University of Manchester, UK, is looking to exploit in the coming years.