Embracing diverse contributions

Embracing diverse contributions

3rd May 2024

The Institution of Chemical Engineers is its membership. It is a community of people drawn from diverse backgrounds, geographies and interests, bound together by an interest in, and commitment to, the art and science of chemical and process engineering, and how these can change society and lives for the better. It is one of the largest professional engineering institutions in the world, and one of only a handful of voices for the contribution that chemical and process engineering make towards achieving a sustainable world. It is – and should be – proud of the value that excellent standards in chemical and process engineering add to societies, economies and individuals, and the crucial part all its members play in addressing the huge challenges of our times.

The Institution 'punches above its weight', with many IChemE Fellows also being Fellows of other prestigious National Academies across the globe, working at the most senior levels of industry and government, presiding over bodies which work tirelessly to raise standards in process safety, sustainability and ethics. It also has many Members, Associates and Affiliates, as well as students, who aspire to working their way through the professional grades in order to demonstrate to themselves, their peers, and wider society, their commitment to highest standards of expertise. IChemE represents a wonderfully diverse range of skills and knowledge, but – in a world where discipline boundaries are becoming more blurred and the solutions the world needs requiring new ways of thinking and collaborating – it needs to recognise this even more, particularly in terms of welcoming those who have contributed so much to chemical and process engineering through a less traditional or clearly defined route. 

This is why eligible members of IChemE are now being invited to cast their votes on some Special Resolutions, including one around admission to the membership grade of Fellow. Specifically, it is proposed to ‘decouple’ FIChemE from Chartered Engineer status, allowing the Institution to recognise and embrace individuals who have made a significant contribution to chemical and process engineering from a broad array of backgrounds, including those which may not fit the historical ‘norm’. This will ensure IChemE is a truly inclusive global community, valuing and supporting those working in, around, and with chemical and process engineering from a wide range of circumstances.

By making this change at Fellow level, the Institution will strengthen its voice on behalf of the membership as well as its ability to influence at national and global levels. It will gain from welcoming and learning from those who have made their contributions to chemical and process engineering through innovative and unique routes, as well as many working in areas of academia, innovation, research and public service. As a result, IChemE’s voice will be heard louder and clearer in all areas of public and policy discourse in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and beyond.

As a Past President and current Vice President, both highly committed to creating an Institution that is professionally robust while inclusive and able to meet future challenges, we are strongly in favour of the proposed amendment. We both know people who have much to add to our Fellow grade of membership and Institutional life, while not necessarily meeting some of the historical criteria we have applied – and we believe it is time for careful but crucial change. We will be supporting this resolution, and we hope you feel you can too.

Andrea Hosey CEng FIChemE

IChemE Vice President (Member Engagement)

Geoff Maitland CBE FREng FIChemE

IChemE Past President


Voting opens for Trustee vacancies and amendments to Royal Charter and By-laws