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Chemical Engineering Associations Networking, Online and Graduates: IChemE's new President Points Out Strategy Change

Editor: Dominik Stephan

With one million additional chemical chemical engineering graduates by 2018, traditional associations like the IChemE fight to keep their importance. Now IChemE's new President Russell Scott outlined an agenda for the association that includes the promotion of both chemical engineering and the IChemE at the Institution’s 90th Annual General Meeting.

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(Picture: PROCESS India)

London/United Kingdom – Drawing upon the upcoming Olympic Games in London, the new IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) President Russel Scott used the words of Australian middle distance runner and 1960 gold medallist Herb Elliot for inspiration: “Elliot said that it was the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete, but also to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.”

“Chemical Engineering Is the Profession for the Future”

Scott, CEO of engineering contractor Uhde Oil and Gas, emphasised his believe that chemical engineering is the profession for the future and that IChemE should work to substantially increase its membership by 2018. “In order to improve and deliver new benefits, we must inspire those that we work with to challenge the status quo and drive innovation and new thinking. This applies to industry and business. It should apply to life in general and it should certainly apply to the professions,” Scott added.

One Million Additional Graduates by 2018

To emphasise his vision, Scott, who succeeds Sir William Wakeham in office, went on to analyse IChemE’s strapline, “Advancing Chemical Engineering Worldwide”. With more than 1000 chemical engineering university departments around the world, there would likely be an additional one million chemical engineering graduates by 2018, he stated. This development offers big chances for an organisation like IChmeE – but also huge risks ....

Are Associations Ready for Future Engineering Graduates?

“With an extra 1m chemical engineers and IChemE, with 35,000 members, claiming to be advancing chemical engineering worldwide, I’m thinking small fish, big pond. And that pond is getting bigger all the time,” Scott warned. In his opinion, the approach should be to get chemical engineering students interested in an IChemE mebership during their academic studies and developing stronger links with industry employers.

Scott also cited the need for a new social media and digital communication strategy that would position IChemE as ‘the conduit to chemical engineers worldwide and their professional network for life”.

Networking, Online and Social Media – IChemE's New Strategy

“Networking has gone online and training, publications, events, recruitment and even professional peer review will ultimately follow...Our 35,000 members represent an asset that can be leveraged to do great things and if we go about this in the right way, then I believe that we can unlock the power of our membership, our brand and our reputation to truly advance the cause of chemical engineering worldwide both on the ground and on the web,” said Scott.

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