Conversation is Key

Article by Ken Rivers

Shape chemical engineering and the Institution through Interface

CHEMICAL engineering is all about sharing information and ideas to improve processes and safety, as well as finding new ways to help society.

Trevor Kletz, the founding father of inherent safety, once said: “Try to change situations, not people”. And I think that starts by having open, honest, and respectful conversations where we can share each other’s thinking.

In my view, more inclusive conversations are better conversations, which lead to better analysis and better decisions.

It has been clear to me, my fellow Trustees, IChemE’s senior leadership team, and IChemE staff, through our conversations with members, that you want a channel to openly discuss the Institution and all things related to the discipline.

Many suggested an online forum. We saw this as a great mechanism for these conversations to happen, and to assist with peer-to-peer collaboration. To this end, IChemE launched Interface to its members on 13 March.

Interface is a virtual space just for IChemE members, enabling you to connect with like-minded professionals, discuss the latest and greatest achievements in your sector or your personal field of interest, offer advice, share opportunities on career development and best practice in the profession, and ask questions of each other on any or all topics.

In the first few days since its launch, hundreds of members have accessed Interface and started discussions. Conversations have covered volunteering opportunities, training processes, process safety, our BioFutures project and more. You have also provided valuable feedback on software and functionality, with improvements already being made. All members are now able to personalise their profile with a biography and photo, and I would invite you to ensure your name and job title are clearly stated to help with networking.

Interface should be a simple, accessible tool for all members. Thank you for your interest in the early stages of this new platform. We’ll be reviewing feedback and the system itself, to make improvements where possible, helping the conversations to flow efficiently and effectively.

IChemE is led by members and supports members, and I would like to see Interface become the go-to place for members to network, openly discuss matters of the Institution, and help lead change – not only in IChemE but the wider world too.

This is our professional online space where the only rules are that we treat each other respectfully, considerately and courteously - even when our opinions differ.


Keeping you informed

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place in London, UK on 21 May 2018 and it’s an important meeting in many ways. Interface will be the place for members to discuss trustee elections, governance reform proposals, and anything else relating to shaping IChemE’s future.

Within this magazine, you will find details about the candidates in the running to fulfil six trustee roles at the AGM, and information on how to vote. I would like to offer my congratulations to all of the candidates. I encourage them to use Interface to share their manifestos and invite questions from  fellow members.

The AGM is also an opportunity for you to have your say in the future of IChemE. We published our proposed changes to the Institution’s Royal Charter and By-laws via Interface on Friday 16 March, with some supplementary detail to explain the changes. Voting Members will be asked to vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ these changes at the meeting, or in advance by proxy (further details will be available soon). If you haven’t already, take some time to read through the information and let us know what you think. 

The Charter and By-laws are underpinned by a set of regulations. Work is currently underway on revising IChemE’s existing regulations and developing new ones where needed. They will not be voted on at the AGM but are available on Interface for member feedback at all grades, to help with development. 


Join the conversation

If you haven’t had the chance to see what Interface is all about, there is still plenty of time to get involved and join the conversation.

This is your space to connect with the chemical engineering community, discuss anything and everything within the great spectrum of chemical engineering, and help to shape the future direction of IChemE.

What’s more, our trustees, board members, senior leadership team and staff can also be brought in to these conversations, as and when members think useful, to help answer queries or offer assistance.

Thank you to everyone who has joined this virtual community so far. I look forward to welcoming many more of you in the future.


To join the conversation, visit the MyIChemE dashboard on the IChemE website ( and enter your member login ID and password. Click on the Interface button to access the forum. Members must be logged into MyIChemE at all times to access Interface.

Article by Ken Rivers

IChemE Deputy President

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