World Engineering Day campaigner recognised with Queen’s Birthday Honour

World Engineering Day campaigner recognised with Queen’s Birthday Honour

15th June 2022

Chartered Chemical Engineer Dr Marlene Kanga, who successfully campaigned for a global engineering day, has been awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in Australia.

She has been recognised “for distinguished service to engineering, particularly as a global leader and role model to women, to professional organisations and to business".

Kanga is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and is Chair Designate of its Safety Centre and Major Hazards Committee, which focus on improving process safety through developing and sharing knowledge resources with industry and the membership.

She has more than 30 years’ experience in process safety engineering in industry in Australia and New Zealand. She is a Non Executive Director for Sydney Water Corporation, Air Services Australia, Standards Australia and BESydney.

While President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) from 2017–2019 - the first chemical engineer to hold this position - Kanga led the proposal for UNESCO member states to declare 4 March as World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development. The first day was held in 2020. This year’s campaign saw Dr Kanga take part in a 24-hour live video feed showcasing engineering achievements around the world, which gained 30,000 views.

She has also volunteered with IChemE leading the social experience editorial for the Institution’s centenary celebrations, which was published in April 2022.

Kanga said:

“This is an extraordinary recognition of my leadership of some of the largest organisations involved in engineering and technology in the government, private and not for profit sectors.

“Chemical engineers are needed more than ever before, to develop solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to enable the responsible use of resources and to accelerate the energy transition. At the same time, we need to keep our communities safe, and I am looking forward to chairing the IChemE Safety Centre and Major Hazards Committee to promote the leadership of the Institution and its members in this very important area.

“This recognition is an opportunity to promote chemical engineering as a rewarding and exciting career to young people, especially women and girls. My message is: if you want to change the world, become an engineer.”

Earlier this month Dame Sue Ion, also an IChemE Honorary Fellow, was awarded the Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for the UK for her services to engineering.

The Honorary President of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, UK, is a global expert in nuclear engineering. She has been highly sought after for her expertise, including by the House of Lords' Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Committee giving evidence on the challenges in developing and implementing risk assessment processes within the nuclear sector.


For more information please contact: 

Rachael Whittles, Communications Executive & PR Lead, 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.