IChemE responds to announcement of 2024 UK General Election

IChemE responds to announcement of 2024 UK General Election

23rd May 2024

Following the announcement of the 2024 UK General Election, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is drawing on its new technical challenge report to set out a vision for how the next government should play its part in achieving a sustainable world.

IChemE wants the next government to:

  • Recognise the pivotal role of chemical and process engineers, and chemical and process engineering, in achieving a sustainable world and in the transition towards this goal.
  • Designate chemical engineering as a subject of national strategic importance, alongside explicit references to chemical engineering in relevant discussions, documents and legislation.
  • Prioritise funding for research into key chemical engineering-related topics, for example:
    • Rapid process intensification and scale-up
    • Decarbonisation of energy generation
    • Engineering biology scale-up and industrialisation
    • Energy storage system technology
  • Prioritise chemical engineering education and training at all levels; supporting significant expansions in technical and apprenticeship, undergraduate, post-graduate and post-doctoral routes as well as reinstatement of ‘National Engineering Scholarships’, designed to encourage and enable young people from currently under-represented groups to engage.

IChemE looks forward to engaging on these crucial issues throughout the election campaign, and with the new UK government when it takes office on 5 July 2024. IChemE’s policy team will be working directly to pursue these priorities, in addition to collaborating closely with key partners such as the National Engineering Policy Centre.

IChemE President Nigel Hirst said: “The next government will take office at a critical moment and will face urgent and difficult decision-making across engineering-driven sectors. Government has a central role to play in supporting the transformation of the UK’s energy and industrial systems, as well as creating environments that promote innovation and collaboration, and help drive investment into a UK Research and Development landscape that is fit to thrive in the long-term.

"The government is also an important catalyst in supporting the chemical engineering community to deploy our world-leading expertise as we strive to embed sustainability at the centre of safe and ethical engineering thinking and practice. The policy asks that we are calling for today - and that we will be lobbying for going forwards - set out how the government can materially help our profession to deliver against our global goals, create societal benefits, and make achieving a sustainable world a reality.”

To discover more about IChemE’s policy asks, and the framework for how chemical and process engineers, employers, IChemE and policymakers should focus on meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, read IChemE’s newly released report 'Engineering a Sustainable World: The Chemical Engineering Challenge’.


Engineering a Sustainable World: The Chemical Engineering Challenge

National Engineering Policy Centre


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.