20 March 2015

IChemE Energy Centre to provide expert advice to energy debate

IChemE president at Energy Centre Launch

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) launched its new Energy Centre to an international audience on Thursday. Over 60 experts and opinion formers from industry, academia and government simultaneously gathered in Brisbane, Kuala Lumpur and London, via video link, to mark the occasion.

The Energy Centre is a timely intervention from the chemical engineering community to address the challenges in the rapidly evolving global energy landscape and increasingly urgent problem of climate change.

It will provide decision makers around the world with expert advice on energy issues, drawing on the expertise from the Institution’s global membership.

The Energy Centre will engage actively with energy policy debates, and work with other science and engineering bodies to better inform the policy making process.

Professor Geoff Maitland, IChemE president, said: “During my presidential year, I set myself the aim of ‘shining a light on chemical engineering’ and nowhere has the light shone brighter than in the energy sector.

“The energy challenges of the 21st century demand a systems thinking approach, an expertise right at the heart of chemical engineering, because without it and without radical action, these challenges would overwhelm us.

“For these reasons, I am delighted to launch our Energy Centre. It will provide expert evidence-based advice to policy makers around the world and highlight where chemical engineers are developing new and innovative solutions across the energy space.”

At the launch, Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government, welcomed the contribution of professional engineering institutions such as IChemE. He commended IChemE for providing the chemical engineering community with a coherent voice on such issues of critical importance to society.

Responding from Malaysia, Johan Samad, former chair of IChemE’s Malaysia Board, said: “At the root, this challenge poses the same question to all countries. How can we provide secure, affordable and low-carbon energy to our citizens?

“Each country will respond differently to this question. On both the internal question about Malaysia’s energy mix, and on the broader global question of sustainability, chemical engineers have something to offer.”

In Brisbane, Professor Stef Simons, the newly appointed chair of the Energy Centre Board, set out the initial programme for the Centre. He spoke about his belief that the chemical engineering voice is currently missing from energy policy debates.

By producing clear and compounding position papers, he asserts the Centre “can position IChemE as a thought leader in the energy space”. He also announced plans for the Centre to launch its first report at the United Nations (UN) climate conference in Paris later this year.

My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).