Presidential Blog: Collaborating to solve challenges

Presidential Blog: Collaborating to solve challenges

30th April 2024

This is my penultimate Presidential blog – the year has flown by! I’m looking forward to my upcoming addresses to the IChemE Clean Energy Special Interest Group and CHEMUK, where I’m speaking about the significant challenges and opportunities of Net Zero. This is the ultimate scale-up challenge and one in which chemical engineers will lead the way, so there is certainly a bright future for our young engineers - but we must all do our bit to encourage young people into the profession.  

The future of chemical engineering certainly looks to be in good hands judging by the latest NXplorers systems thinking workshop at Rugby, where 20 young engineers spent two days directing their critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills towards sustainable development goals centred on the food-energy-water nexus. Equipping the next generation with the tools and skills to address and solve complex challenges is critical, and it’s encouraging to see such great engagement: all the Rugby HQ staff were immensely impressed with the students’ energy, enthusiasm and teamwork, as well as the high quality of the final presentation of their findings. The event also delivered another important element that underpins a successful future: IChemE Fellow Tariq Hussain led the workshop and was a superb example of an inspiring career role model and mentor! 

Continuing our drive towards delivering an enhanced and updated membership experience for members of every career stage, I’m pleased to announce that your up-to-date certificates, badges and membership cards will shortly be available digitally by logging into MyIChemE. These digital membership downloads will now be easily accessible whenever you need them for events, to share with your employer, or to use on social media.  

IChemE Connect continues to grow, with 1700 members and a broad range of interesting discussion threads. Dedicated communities for Member and Special Interest Groups are underway and we are currently testing an IChemE Connect app, which we will make available to members very soon. Don’t forget to activate your profile to join the discussions, if you haven’t already. 

I often speak about my belief in the importance of collaboration, and I have been working with the Partnerships and Impact team to renew and reinvigorate some of our strategic relationships with other Chemical Engineering Societies and Institutions around the world. We’re currently engaged in preliminary discussions with the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers and have shared our programmes and activities; conversations are also taking place with the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers. Our important hydrogen partnership with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers is flourishing and the first webinar is scheduled for Wednesday 5 June 2024, at 13.00 BST – you can register here.

Congress is a key collaborative IChemE body, and I’m delighted to welcome the successful candidates following the nominations process; their official election to office will take place at our AGM on 11 June. As the inaugural Chair of Congress, I understand how important it is for our governance to have a broad range of voices representing our diverse membership and acting as a sounding board and advisory body to the Institution. It is a significant and valuable volunteering role where you can make a real contribution to IChemE’s development, so do consider if this role is one you could be involved with next year. I can recommend it! 

I welcome input from all our members, so as always, if you have any ideas or questions you would like to put to me, please send me an email to I look forward to hearing from you.

March 2024 - Supporting innovation and expertise

February 2024 - Making new connections

January 2024 - Continuing the journey

December 2023 - A seasonal message

November 2023 - Collaborations and conversations

October 2023 - To mentor or be mentored, everybody wins!

September 2023 - Engineering a sustainable world

August 2023 - Futureproofing the profession

July 2023 - The hard work starts now!