ChemEng Evolution

2022 marked IChemE’s centenary as the inaugural meeting of the Institution was held at the Hotel Cecil in London on 2 May 1922. From that first meeting, where approximately 100 chemical engineers attended, to the vibrant membership body which achieved an extensive global reach by the time of the centenary, IChemE has been advancing chemical engineering’s contribution for 100 years. View IChemE's milestones.

ChemEng Evolution: IChemE at 100

Ahead of the centenary, a committed group of member volunteers worked to determine the most effective way to mark this milestone under the banner of ‘ChemEng Evolution’. This name was given to the celebrations to celebrate chemical engineering achievements of the past whilst recognising the importance of permanently evolving to continue to contribute to global grand challenges in the future.

Nine themes were examined throughout the year, selected to highlight the enormous contribution that chemical engineering has made to society over the last century, and will continue to do so over the next 100 years.

Centenary activities

Thousands of members got involved by submitting thought-provoking articles, joining in with discussions in a programme of webinars, attending volunteer events, engaging with the centenary blog series and following #ChemEngEvolution on social media. Find out more on the centenary activities below.

Celebrating the evolution of chemical engineering

President David Bogle, Immediate Past Present Jane Cutler and Deputy President Nigel Hirst
L-R) President David Bogle, Immediate Past Present Jane Cutler and Deputy President Nigel Hirst

Bringing the centenary year to a close, the Presidential team of David Bogle, Nigel Hirst and Jane Cutler recorded a finale video where the team reviewed the year’s activities which took place to commemorate this important milestone.

Sharing their highlights from within the nine themes, the team discussed the actions that chemical engineers should take to help society to continue to evolve in a sustainable way. Watch the ChemEng Evolution – celebrating the evolution of chemical engineering video.

Dedicated centenary website

A centenary website was developed hosting a vast collection of articles written by members on topics that ranged from ’COVID-19, an impact on the whole world’ to ’Message in a plastic bottle – the search for sustainability’. Another section of the website detailed the chemical engineers who inspired IChemE’s Past Presidents. These range from Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau as nominated by Past President Julia Higgins to Trevor Kletz as nominated by Past President Ken Rivers. Visit the ChemEng Evolution website.

IChemE at 100, a year of celebrations

In the final blog of the centenary series, IChemE President David Bogle reflected on the array of activities that have taken place to mark the centenary and expresses his thoughts on the important role chemical engineers will have in delivering sustainable development over the next 100 years. Read the IChemE at 100, a year of celebrations blog.

Volunteer recognition event, Manchester, UK

To mark the centenary, all volunteers were invited to volunteer recognition events to celebrate the contribution of IChemE’s volunteer community. Attendees at the event held in Manchester in November 2022 were welcomed by IChemE Deputy President Nigel Hirst and Professor Lev Sarkisov from The University of Manchester before listening to Professor Adisa Azapagic’s keynote address. Watch the Systems, life cycles and sustainability: The role of chemical engineering keynote address.

The Board of Trustees would like to thank all those who engaged with the centenary celebrations with interest, enthusiasm and involvement

The Board of Trustees would like to thank all those who engaged with the centenary celebrations with interest, enthusiasm and involvement. The invaluable contribution of IChemE members made the centenary a success, from those volunteers who shaped the celebrations, the members who submitted their own personal stories and those who shared their insight on how the future may look.

The Learned Society Committee (LSC) is now taking forward the legacy of the ChemEng Evolution project to inform IChemE’s future strategy. In particular, the LSC is using the ChemEng Evolution themes to inform how IChemE’s activities and engagement can be reconfigured around chemical engineers’ contribution to society using the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  

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