01 July 2016

IChemE welcomes its first Silver Corporate Partner in the water sector

United Utilities Silver Partner
The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has presented Silver Corporate Partner status to United Utilities. The presentation took place at the company’s head office in Great Sankey, Warrington, UK.

The company reached bronze status in 2014, after showing a clear commitment to developing its in-house engineering team. United Utilities then embarked on additional activities to champion engineering professionalism and encourage young people to consider careers in science and technology. Great progress was made, resulting in the company being the first in the water sector to receive IChemE's Silver Corporate Partner status.

United Utilities graduate training scheme has been accredited by IChemE since 2010. The scheme is designed to provide newly-qualified engineers with eight, six-month placements across the business. Structured around IChemE’s competency framework, the scheme ensures that graduates gain the broad experience required to become Chartered Chemical Engineers.

The company also promotes Chartership and Continued Professional Development with its process engineering workforce at all stages in their careers.

The upgrade to Silver Partnership sees United Utilities join a select group of organisations in the silver category, which includes AstraZeneca (pharmaceuticals), OSL Consulting Engineers (consultancy), and Larsen & Toubro (conglomerate).

Presenting the award, IChemE’s Director, Andy Furlong said:

“This was a superb submission by United Utilities. The commitment to engineering right across the business shines through, and they are blazing a trail in the water sector. I am delighted to present this award today, and wish them the best of luck in ramping up activity to achieve Gold partner status.”

Cathy Gillett, United Utilities’ Principal Process Engineer, who led the application process, said:

“We are incredibly proud of this achievement. Chemical engineering will be of central importance to United Utilities in the decades to come and that is why we are investing in the future of our workforce. We place tremendous importance on engineering professionalism, and Chartered Engineering status is a prerequisite for any process engineers seeking promotion to senior level in our company. It’s fantastic to have this commitment recognised by IChemE, and it’s an honour to join the ranks of Silver Corporate Partners.”

United Utilities Chief Process Engineer, Joanne Rands, was also presented with Fellow status by IChemE. The achievement is the highest level of IChemE membership and represents technical excellence and leadership within the profession.

United Utilities supplies 7 million people, from Crewe to Carlisle, with clean drinking water and waste services. It invested more than £3 billion in improving water infrastructure in the North West of England between 2010 and 2015, and has one of the largest engineering departments in the UK water industry.

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