IChemE medals awarded for outstanding contribution to chemical engineering

IChemE medals awarded for outstanding contribution to chemical engineering

21st February 2023

A dedicated volunteer, a sustainable production pioneer and an early careers researcher are among the winners of 20 medals and prizes awarded by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) for exceptional contribution to the profession across industry and academia.

With 15 individual winners and five groups gaining recognition, the full list of 2023 medal and prize winners has been announced today (21 February 2023) by the IChemE Medals and Prizes Committee.

Awarded for the first time since 2016, IChemE’s highest accolade, the Davis Medal, has been awarded to Professor Adisa Azapagic for her work on sustainable production and consumption. Given not more frequently than every three years, the Davis Medal honours George E. Davis, the founding father of the profession and is awarded to an eminent individual who has given exceptional service to chemical engineering. With her work on carbon footprinting, life cycle assessment and sustainability, Adisa’s award is in recognition of her substantial contribution to the profession.

Awarded to an individual who has made a highly commendable long-term contribution to the progress of IChemE, the Greene Medal was granted to the late John O’Shea who held a variety of volunteering roles at the Institution over several decades. Carrying out roles including assessor of university and company training schemes, member of the Professional Formation Forum, election panel registrar and a member of the Appeals Panel, John’s contribution to serving members of IChemE was valued by members, Trustees and staff alike.

The Nicklin Medal is an early careers award which recognises talented chemical engineering researchers who have produced international-quality research. The 2023 winner, Yuval Elani, has established the area of chemical synthetic biology as an emerging research discipline, pushing the boundaries of the research area in ways that are likely to be critical for the future.

Renowned for his leadership in the field of systems approaches to chemical engineering with a strong emphasis on sustainability, industrial practice and influencing policy makers, Professor Nilay Shah has been awarded the Sharma Medal which recognises sustained outstanding research contributions in chemical engineering.

For the article Ethics Series: Did you sleep well?, Dame Judith Hackitt has been awarded the Hanson Medal for the best article to appear in The Chemical Engineer magazine in a 12 month period. The article drew on personal experience to reflect on the choice between making an expedient decision that people want to hear versus making a decision that allows you to know you have done the right thing when safety is at stake.

The Underwood Medal has been awarded to the multinational research team of Professor Liyuan Deng, Marius Sandru and Distinguished Professor Richard Spontak for their significant contribution to researching membrane separations which is making a tangible difference to decarbonising the power and cement sectors.

Awarded for outstanding service in the field, the Clean Energy Medal has been awarded to Professor Rose Amal, a highly respected chemical engineer, whose work especially in photocatalysis, lead to the commercial use of solar energy to purify water and generate hydrogen. As an influential leader in both academic research and industrial deployment, Rose is a passionate mentor and outstanding role model for young women in science and engineering.

Alexandra Meldrum, IChemE Vice President Learned Society and Chair of the Medals and Prizes Committee, said:

“The IChemE medals and prizes provide recognition of outstanding contribution. Congratulations to all the winners, who have helped to advance our profession around the world – as volunteers, researchers, sustainability innovators, digital enthusiasts and process safety advocates. Our winners are role models who will inspire future chemical, biochemical and process engineers. I commend them all.”

The medal winners will be awarded their prizes during virtual webinars taking place throughout the year. For more information on all the winners, visit www.icheme.org/medals.


Full list of IChemE’s 2023 Medals and Prizes winners

IChemE Medals and Prizes


For more information please contact:

Lucy Cook, Communications Manager, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534454
e: lcook@icheme.org

Claire Shepherd, Communications Executive, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534457
e: cshepherd@icheme.org

What is chemical engineering?

Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, maths 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. Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role.


The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) advances chemical engineering's contribution worldwide for the benefit of society. We facilitate the development of chemical engineering professionals and provide connections to a powerful network of over 29,000 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.