MP visits IChemE HQ to DiscoverChemEng

MP visits IChemE HQ to DiscoverChemEng

21st November 2023

The Member of Parliament for Rugby, Mark Pawsey, has visited IChemE’s HQ to meet with CEO Yvonne Baker and President Nigel Hirst and learn about the newly-launched DiscoverChemEng resources, which aim to raise awareness of the type of roles that chemical engineers can do.

Mark, who sits on the Parliamentary Commons Select Committee scrutinising the work of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), was joined by Rugby County Councillor Yousef Dahmash for the meeting.

Their visit began at a Rugby primary school, where Mark and Yousef took part in an education outreach exercise delivered by IChemE volunteers that focused on developing students’ engineering skills. Students learned about the rising demand for energy in recent decades, including from electronic devices they are familiar with, like gaming consoles and tablets. Students also learned about the importance of renewable resources, before splitting into groups and building models to explore the efficiency of different types of turbine blades.

Mark and Yousef then visited IChemE’s Rugby HQ building to discuss with Yvonne Baker and Nigel Hirst how attracting a diverse range of young talent from all backgrounds is pivotal to ensuring that chemical engineers of the future have the right range of skills to engineer a sustainable world, and the importance of ensuring that policy influencers have the necessary access to science and engineering expertise.

Mark Pawsey said: “Delivering reliable and affordable green energy, as well as hitting the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target, is a complex challenge that chemical engineers are already rising to meet across a wide range of sectors. It’s great to see initiatives like DiscoverChemEng offering youngsters from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop the strong STEM skills required for an engineering career. This is because it is crucial to ensure that we are training the future workforce the UK needs to support climate adaptation measures, develop innovative new green technologies and deliver energy security for the UK.”

IChemE CEO Yvonne Baker said: “A key focus for the Institution of Chemical Engineers is enabling all young people to understand more about what engineers do, and helping them develop their own problem solving and creativity skills. IChemE’s DiscoverChemEng initiative helps students from primary school to sixth form understand more about what chemical and process engineering is, how it impacts daily life, and how to follow a chemical engineering career.

“It's been interesting to hear Mark’s insights regarding his work on the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee and how IChemE can support the policy teams in this area, as chemical engineers are critical to addressing many of the key issues in the DESNZ portfolio. Our unique expertise in optimising complex systems and developing processes for industrial-scale production makes IChemE's 30,000 members uniquely placed to help drive progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Visit DiscoverChemEng for more information and to download classroom resources.


Northlands Primary School Headteacher and students (who were fundraising for Children In Need with a non-uniform day) with Yvonne Baker, IChemE volunteers, Mark Pawsey MP, and County Councillor Yousef Dahmash. The students were exploring the efficiency of different types of turbine blades.



Ann Baylis, Communications Executive & PR Lead, IChemE 
t: +44 (0) 1788 534477

Daniel Owens, Communication Executive, IChemE 
t: +44 (0) 1788 534458

Notes for Editors

IChemE ran a survey across social platforms during October – November 2023 exploring how many electronic devices people owned when they were ten years old.

  • For individuals who had their 10th birthday in the 1970s, the most common response was they owned no electrical items.
  • For individuals who had their 10th birthday in the 2010s, over 90% indicated that they owned between 1 and 5 electrical items.

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.