IChemE launches technical challenge report

IChemE launches technical challenge report

23rd May 2024

IChemE has launched a report on the technical challenges for the profession, Engineering a Sustainable World – The Chemical Engineering Challenge.

Drawing on the expertise and perspectives of IChemE’s global membership, the report develops a forward view about the profession, and describes the scope of the global technical challenges that chemical engineers are facing in the coming years. It illustrates how central the profession is to achieving a sustainable future, and provides a framework for how chemical and process engineers, employers, IChemE and policymakers should focus on meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals in our drive towards a sustainable circular economy.

This report provides a useful reference for planning future work. Utilising the unique understanding of complex systems that underpin the profession, from chemical processes to supply chain, the report informs chemical engineers of all career stages and across sectors about how their systems thinking skills can create societal benefits such as increased productivity, efficiency and effectiveness, optimal use of new resources, and minimised waste.

By its nature, the content is broad, with a global perspective. Engineering a Sustainable World – The Chemical Engineering Challenge helps IChemE to understand where to focus in order to achieve its mission and vision, in addition to guiding external stakeholder engagement, showing policymakers how chemical engineers are contributing to shaping the future, and identifying opportunities for further industry and business growth. Chemical and process engineers are key to engineering a sustainable world.

IChemE's central vision is that engineering a sustainable world is crucial if society, the economy, and the natural world are to endure. Sustainability must be embedded at the heart of all chemical engineering thinking and practice in the 21st century, alongside ethical, safe practice. This is reflected in the report, with sustainable systems at the centre of the wheel, surrounded by the core themes of energy, water and food. Engineering biology, innovation and education are enablers for progress, and sustainability, safety and digitalisation underpin the implementation.

Alexandra Meldrum, Vice President, Learned Society, said: “Because we consulted our membership, this report provides a contemporary answer about ‘the profession’s view of the profession’. A report like this is only possible because of the thought leadership provided by our worldwide members and learned society groups. I particularly thank the many chemical and process engineers who volunteered their expertise to provide input for this report.

“As our world and technology continues to change, our work will evolve with it. I encourage you to read, share, and discuss. Let’s continue our work to engineer a sustainable world.”

To find out more, read our report.


Engineering a Sustainable World – The Chemical Engineering Challenge


For more information please contact:

Ann Baylis, Communications Executive and PR Lead, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534477
e: abaylis@icheme.org

Dan Owens, Communications Executive, IChemE  
t: +44 (0) 1788 534458  
e: dowens@icheme.org

What is chemical engineering?

Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, mathematics and economics in the process of turning raw materials into everyday, and more specialist, products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world. Energy, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the industry sectors and products where chemical engineering plays a central role.


The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) advances chemical engineering's contribution for the benefit of society. We facilitate the development of chemical engineering professionals and provide connections to a powerful network of around 30,000 members in more than 100 countries.

We support our members in applying their expertise and experience to make an influential contribution to solving major global challenges, and are the only organisation permitted to award Chartered Chemical Engineer status and Professional Process Safety Engineer registration.