Presidential Blog: Delivering against the ‘Four Cs’

Presidential Blog: Delivering against the ‘Four Cs’

30th May 2024

One of the greatest delights of my Presidency is meeting members and prospective members, and the last few weeks have been packed with activity, with visits to universities and presentations to member groups taking place alongside keynotes at CHEMUK and a dinner hosted by Lord Sainsbury in London. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since I took office, and I’ve reflected on my Presidential Address, where I spoke about my four planned areas of focus: collaboration, continuous learning, community and choice. It’s been heartening to recognise how much has happened, and how much willingness there is for us to work together to put chemical engineering on the map and build a sustainable future. 


To achieve our vision of ‘Engineering a sustainable world’ we need to make our voice heard, look beyond our own walls and intensify our public engagement. Collaborating with the stakeholders who have the knowledge and resources to achieve our mutual aims was a key focus during my presidency, as by working together we can all make a difference.

It’s important that the national strategic importance of chemical engineering is recognised, and IChemE’s new Policy and Partnerships team was created to maximise our impact with key stakeholders and help to reflect our profession’s crucial input. Sparking conversations with new connections and building relationships to extend our reach was a priority for the new team, who convened roundtable discussions across parliament, industry and academia on ‘Battery Energy Storage System safety’ and ‘Unlocking the workforce for the green transition’ as well as promoting one-to-one collaborations with government and policymakers.

Strategic relationships with other chemical engineering Societies and Institutions around the world are being invigorated, as we need global collaboration if we are to shift the dial. The alliance between IChemE and AIChE to support the production and use of hydrogen is now well underway, with the first webinar now available to book, and a date for our inaugural conference in 2025 to be confirmed soon.

Continuous learning

Providing support for professional development at all career stages, in addition to supporting member groups and individuals while improving and enhancing their IChemE membership experience was one of my priorities, with some key new staff posts created to deliver against this objective. The drive to update our member platforms is continuous, and certificates, badges and membership cards are now easily accessible digitally by logging into MyIChemE

I often speak about the importance of having a good mentor, whether you’re applying for chartered status, looking for access to resources and professional networks, or in need of a new or different perspective. The pilot phase of our career and development mentoring initiative is going well, with 24 mentees and 67 mentors now part of the scheme and many more in the pipeline. Mentoring is one of the most important career connections you can form, so this is very promising news - keep an eye out for a launch to the wider membership later in the year. 


Helping to generate an inclusive community for chemical and process engineers to contribute to society was a further focus during my Presidential year. We have so much to learn from each other and our vibrant global community gains so much from that mutual interaction and supportive network.

The heart of our community is our volunteers - without their dedicated support we simply would not be able to continue to deliver our diverse range of products and services to the wider membership. We revealed our new Volunteer Handbook, a comprehensive and valuable guide to help our volunteers gain the maximum benefit from their roles, in addition to IChemE’s new digital badge to thank our volunteers and recognise their contribution. It was great to see the badges being proudly shared across social media platforms by many volunteers who are actively supporting the institution and others with their knowledge and expertise. 

Our new global digital community, IChemE Connect, has rapidly gained pace, with over 1,900 members having joined this dynamic space. There is enormous potential for networking and knowledge exchange, and dedicated communities for Congress, member groups and special interest groups are on their way, so come and join the conversation.

The chemical engineering community also came together to generate the IChemE employment survey, with the insights into salary earning maximization factors, career stages, gender dynamics and sectoral trends, as well as the popular salary calculator, representing a valuable member benefit for chemical engineers navigating their career choices.


Maintaining a vibrant and thriving profession can only be achieved by supporting the future talent pipeline, so my focus on ‘choice’ was to make sure that many more young people – as well as the not-so-young! – are given opportunities to choose chemical engineering. Raising the profile of chemical engineering, demonstrating what our profession does, and explaining the skills and knowledge you can gain and where they can take you, are all key to promoting choice, and enabling young people to pursue successful careers solving global challenges.

Welcoming students into membership is vital, so it was great to see that waiving the student membership fee was met with such an enthusiastic response.

Our new ‘DiscoverChemEng’ campaign got off to a fabulous start influencing the engineers of the future with a fantastic series of classroom posters, demonstrating how chemical engineers play a vital role in addressing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Our partnership with ITN business to produce the programme ‘Engineering a sustainable world’ gave some of our early career members a chance to shine as marvellous ambassadors for chemical and process engineering, and I thought their enthusiasm for our profession was palpable as they shared their experiences to motivate budding engineers.

IChemE’s Rugby HQ hosted an NXplorers systems thinking workshop last month, where 20 young engineers spent two days directing their critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills towards sustainable development goals. 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.

We launched the UK pilot of the Young Engineers Awards for Innovation and Sustainability (YEAIS), which is dedicated to recognising new and emerging talent across chemical and process engineering. It’s a fantastic platform to nurture ideas about how we can all contribute towards IChemE’s Priority Topics and begin to develop practical solutions for the benefit of society, and I’m looking forward to the finalists’ event due to be held at IChemE HQ in late June.

The future of chemical engineering certainly looks to be in good hands!   

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.

April 2024 - Collaborating to solve challenges

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!