Chemical Engineering Matters in a time of Global Challenges

Article by Alexandra Meldrum FIChemE

Alexandra Meldrum outlines coming updates to IChemE’s technical roadmap

CHEMICAL engineers do work that is really inspiring. Our world is facing many challenges that are dynamic and interconnected. Chemical engineers lead and collaborate internationally to address these challenges. I’m excited that in 2022 our groups have come together to update Chemical Engineering Matters, IChemE’s technical roadmap. This document supports professional development and career development for the profession. It also informs wider research and public outreach priorities for society.

First published in 2013, it offers valuable guidance about the breadth, cross-cutting systems approach, and importance of chemical engineering. It also provides signposts to developing and expanding our discipline in future, and links to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Using the technical roadmap

Chemical Engineering Matters has been valuable in my own career. Since the publication of the first edition, it has been an important guide to understanding the breadth of chemical engineering. It really opened my eyes to how central chemical engineering is in achieving a sustainable future and solving major challenges. The document was also a useful signpost to future directions I might explore.

Chemical engineering skills are critical to addressing today’s challenges and opportunities, as societies seek to strengthen their resilience, address inequalities, decarbonise economies, improve productivity, and drive economic growth. Chemical Engineering Matters provides the framework for society and stakeholders to explore that.

People have told me that they value and use it for a range of purposes, such as:

  • engaging with policy makers;
  • informing professional career formation;
  • guiding learning outcomes in academic curricula;
  • provoking curiosity for areas of research and innovation;
  • guiding students about future careers; and
  • communicating with the public about what chemical engineers do.

Article by Alexandra Meldrum FIChemE

Vice President Learned Society and member of the Board of Trustees at IChemE

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