Origins of IChemE
George E Davis, who is considered to be the ‘father’ of the profession, suggested as far back as 1880 that the group which the following year became known as the Society of Chemical Industry, should be named the Society of Chemical Engineers. Unfortunately this view was not shared by his compatriots and so the idea of forming a new professional body was put on the back burner for a number of years.
Davis continued in his pursuit of chemical engineering and wrote not only the first text book but also gave some of the earliest lectures on the subject in Manchester and started publishing them in 1888.
It was during World War I that the need for a more scientific approach to the problems of chemical plant – its efficiency, design, construction and working – was emphasised. Lord Moulton (after whom the Moulton Medal is named), who was then Director General of Explosive Supply, insisted on the necessity of training “Chemical Engineers” and thereby foreshadowed the founding of the Institution.
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