IChemE offers expert support to government in response to the coronavirus

IChemE offers expert support to government in response to the coronavirus

25th March 2020

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has written to the UK government to volunteer the profession’s support during the COVID-19 emergency.

IChemE members with vast expertise in vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic manufacturing have offered their skills to support the necessary response to the coronavirus.

Members from within the pharmaceutical and biochemical industries possess considerable experience in transforming early pharmaceutical development processes into commercial manufacture, including in the field of vaccines and diagnostics.

With active special interest groups focusing on pharmaceutical and biochemical manufacturing, IChemE has brought together a wealth of specialist knowledge in an area that could provide real benefit to the UK government at this time.

Recognising that a multi-disciplinary approach will be required to deliver the response, IChemE members have proposed to work with fellow professionals to determine the nature of the support required and identify the most effective process to deliver the response. This could include helping to design manufacturing processes, equipment and facilities.

Stephen Richardson, IChemE President, said:

“IChemE exists to advance chemical engineering's contribution for the benefit of society and to this end I am extremely proud of our members for offering their support to the UK government in response to this international emergency.

“Working across the pharmaceutical and biochemical sectors, members of the Institution can offer comprehensive knowledge of the supply chain required to generate the necessary response and by working together I hope our profession can play its part in supporting the government during this crisis.

“The Institution and its membership stand ready to work closely with the government and other professional bodies to use skills developed over the decades to play its part at this critical time.”

Update on 2 April 2020: IChemE has set up a COVID-19 Response Team to help support this effort. There has been an overwhelming response from members to volunteer as part of this.

Thank you to all those who have volunteered and offered to lend their expertise to this important cause. The Institution has received interest from a diverse range of members in terms of geographical location and expertise and therefore does not require any further volunteer support at this stage.

IChemE is also working with its regional member committees to support engagement with their national governments and will continue to keep members informed of its work on COVID-19.


For more information please contact:

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

Rachael Fraser, Communications Executive, IChemE
 t: +44 (0) 1788 534435
 e: rfraser@icheme.org

Ketna Mistry, Communications Executive, IChemE
 t: +44 (0) 1788 534484
 e: kmistry@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 support the development of chemical engineering professionals and provide connections to a powerful network of around 35,000 members in 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 to award Chartered Chemical Engineer status and Professional Process Safety Engineer registration.

More information: www.icheme.org