New Deputy President announced and voting opens for Trustee and Congress candidates

New Deputy President announced and voting opens for Trustee and Congress candidates

29th April 2022

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has announced that Nigel Hirst will be elected as Deputy President and David Edwards as Honorary Treasurer at the Annual General Meeting in June.

Members can also vote for candidates standing for the one contested position on IChemE’s Board of Trustees and two on Congress from today (29 April).

Hirst’s and Edwards’ nominations for the roles, as well as seven positions on Congress, were uncontested and therefore they will be formally elected to those positions on 14 June. After 12 months as Deputy President, Hirst will then become President in 2023/24.

An IChemE Fellow, Hirst is Chairman of the Haden Freeman Group with particular experience in design, construction and financial services. His career spans more than 40 years supporting private, commercial and charity organisations across the chemical, environmental management, nuclear, oil and gas, and pharmaceutical sectors internationally.

He has also been an active volunteer with IChemE through that period, including a stint as Chair of the IChemE Global Awards’ judging panel and as a keen member of the Pharma Special Interest Group (SIG). His most recent positions have been the inaugural Chair of Congress and a member of the ChemEng Evolution steering committee.

In his election statement, Hirst, said:

“I share the ambition of many members in wanting our Institution to be vibrant, support members and contribute to society. Continued focus is required to complete the work underway to reform and modernise [IChemE].

“We need to have good business practices in place with the resources to effectively and ethically handle them, and be relevant to the rapidly evolving workplaces where many members find themselves.

“IChemE leadership must also be outward-looking, helping governments and communities address challenges where we are well equipped to contribute.”

Edwards is also an IChemE Fellow with experience which includes the techno-economic evaluation of petrochemical plants, developing oil refinery models and analysing oil pricing.

He has held various roles in companies and universities developing expertise in process safety and economics. This has included fulfilling the role of the 'Economics Expert' to support final year design projects at Imperial College London, UK; researching cost estimation, inherent safety, and the impact of chemical plant on health and the environment at Loughborough University; and working at KBR for 14 years implementing on- and offshore hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies and front end engineering design (FEED) studies around the world.  

Edwards has volunteered with IChemE for more than 20 years in various roles, such as Editor-in-Chief for Safety of the Process Safety and Environmental Protection journal and co-authoring the Trevor Kletz Compendium - His Process Safety Wisdom Updated for a New Generation published in 2021.

The ballot is now open for eligible members to vote on the three contested seats as below and will close at 09:30 BST on 20 May 2022.


Board of Trustees - Regional member (one seat available)

  • Roger Kilburn
  • Raffaella Ocone

Congress – Early career (two seats available)

  • Gabriela Campos Balzat
  • James Hill
  • Martha Obasuti

Members are encouraged to review the candidates’ election statements which have been developed in video format as well as written format. 

The successful candidates will also take up their seats with effect from the Annual General Meeting.

For more details on the elections, how to vote and to view all the uncontested Trustees and Congress members, visit

Voting Members (Fellow and Chartered Members) will have been allocated two separate unique voter codes (UVCs): one for the vote on the Special Resolutions (amendments to By-laws), and one for participating in the elections.


L-R: Nigel Hirst and David Edwards


Trustee and Congress elections


For more information please contact: 

Lucy Cook, Communications Manager, IChemE 
t: +44 (0) 1788 534454 

Rachael Fraser, Communications Executive, IChemE 
t: +44 (0) 1788 534435 

Claire Shepherd, Communications Executive, IChemE  
t: +44 (0) 1788 534457  

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 over 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.