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Institution of Chemical Engineers Sir William Wakeham Appointed new IChemE President

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Sir William Wakeham, former vice chancellor of Southampton University, has been appointed as the 70th president of IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers), suceeding Desmond King in the post.

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The former vice chancellor of Southampton University Sir William Wakeham was appointed has been appointed as the 70th president of IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers). (Pictrure: IChemE)
The former vice chancellor of Southampton University Sir William Wakeham was appointed has been appointed as the 70th president of IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers). (Pictrure: IChemE)

London/UK – In his adress to an an audience of IChemE members and invited guests, the new president highlighted the impact that an increasingly diverse membership base will have on the future of IChemE. He pinted out that, as the location, industry sector and education background of the membership changes, the institution must evolve: “IChemE is a global organisation with members in 120 countries. But those members are working in a wider range of sectors than ever before and not all of them have what might be called a ‘traditional chemical engineering’ background," Sir William said.

He used his presidential address, 'Thinking outside the pipe – unlocking potential, delivering chemical engineering futures' to point out IChemE’s significant recent growth in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and North America. Sir William also discussed the wide range of industry sectors in which chemical engineers and IChemE members can now be found and explained that members are not necessarily coming from a traditional chemical engineering background.

A physicist by training who was educated at Exeter University, Sir William has spent much of his career in chemical engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Physics. Having previously served at Imperial College London for over 30 years, Sir William was appointed vice-chancellor at Southampton University in 2001. In 2009 he retired from this post. Sir William was knighted in 2009 for services to chemical engineering and higher education.

IChemE chief executive David Brown says that Sir William will have much to offer chemical engineering: “We are looking forward to the year ahead. Sir William is a distinguished and immensely experienced academic who is respected around the world across a wide range of engineering and science disciplines. He will be able to maintain and enhance the strong influence and standing of IChemE and of the chemical engineering.

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