Be the change

Be the change

26th October 2023

Allyson Woodford, Chair of Chemeca 2024, blogs about the exciting challenge of chairing Australia's leading chemical engineering conference and asks fellow engineers to get involved.

Name: Allyson Woodford

Role: Chair of Chemeca 2024

Each year my best mate - Alasdair Beveridge - and I like to take what we call our “brain break” where we step out of the day-to-day hustle ’n’ bustle of engineering life to explore new concepts and hear about the exciting ways chemical engineers are looking to solve the wicked problems the world faces.

I am of course talking about the annual Chemeca conference. We catch up with old friends, including the academics we secretly wish we could be, and make new friends from across the globe. It’s always in a fabulous place, and we sit down and imagine what we’d do if we were running the conference. What themes would we choose? Who would we invite?

These are no longer hypothetical questions as I’m proud to be chairing Chemeca 2024 as we celebrate another first by taking the event to the Gold Coast in Queensland and once again combine it with Hazards Australasia.

Following professor Rolf Prince’s inaugural conference held in Sydney in 1965, it’s grown into the most prestigious chemical engineering conference in the Oceania and Asia-Pacific regions. From Port Douglas to Rotorua, it has evolved to include keynotes, plenaries, industry presentations and panel discussions. The opportunity to bring industry and academia together across broad themes rather than specialist topics is truly unique. The volunteer organising committees are focused on connecting professionals with students through the Chem-e-car programme and the new wildly successful and respected Hackathon. It’s such a great conference.

Alasdair and I now need volunteers to help get the ball rolling on conference and technical committees. I am also calling out to my fellow industry-based engineers: dust off your public-speaking skills and submit an abstract on what you’d like to share with the audiences of Hazards and Chemeca.

We are focused on change in 2024. Whether its climate, safety or technology we are all comfortable in the “why” we need to change. We want to hear from you on the “how, when, where and what” can we change. We want to “see the change”.

So please reach out to get involved: