23 May 2012
Improve, Benefit and Inspire
IChemE must improve its value proposition and its benefit offer to members and non-members alike if its to inspire more people to join the profession, according to new president Russell Scott.
Speaking at the Institution’s 90th Annual General Meeting in London, UK today, Scott, CEO of engineering contractor Uhde Oil and Gas, told an audience of invited guests and IChemE members that chemical engineering is the profession for the future and that IChemE should work to substantially increase its membership by 2018.
Drawing upon the upcoming Olympic Games in London, Scott used the words of Australian middle distance runner and 1960 gold medallist Herb Elliot for inspiration: “Elliot said that it was the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete, but also to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.
“In order to improve and deliver new benefits, we must inspire those that we work with to challenge the status quo and drive innovation and new thinking. This applies to industry and business. It should apply to life in general and it should certainly apply to the professions,” Scott added.
Scott, who succeeds Sir William Wakeham in office, went on to analyse IChemE’s strapline, “Advancing Chemical Engineering Worldwide”. He suggested that more than 1000 chemical engineering university departments around the world, there would likely be an additional 1m chemical engineering graduates by 2018.
“With an extra 1m chemical engineers and IChemE, with 35,000 members, claiming to be advancing chemical engineering worldwide, I’m thinking small fish, big pond. And that pond is getting bigger all the time,” Scott warned.
He went on to discuss the importance of getting chemical engineering students into IChemE membership during their academic studies and developing stronger links with industry employers. Scott also cited the need for a new social media and digital communication strategy that would position IChemE as ‘the conduit to chemical engineers worldwide and their professional network for life”.
“Networking has gone online and training, publications, events, recruitment and even professional peer review will ultimately follow...Our 35,000 members represent an asset that can be leveraged to do great things and if we go about this in the right way, then I believe that we can unlock the power of our membership, our brand and our reputation to truly advance the cause of chemical engineering worldwide both on the ground and on the web,” said Scott.
The meeting also saw Judith Hackitt, chair of the Great Britain Health and Safety Executive, confirmed as deputy president of IChemE; Colin Webb, director of external affairs at the University of Manchester, UK succeeded David Shallcross, head of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Melbourne, Australia as vice president (qualifications); and Ross McCann, CEO of Qenos, Australia assume the office of vice president (international).
To view the image gallery from the event click here.