Election Fever

Article by Jon Prichard

IChemE CEO Jon Prichard leads the call for nominations for roles on the Board of Trustees, Congress, and the Learned Society Committee

ICHEME’S success is due in large part to the commitment, knowledge and expertise given by the volunteers who sit on our committees and groups, who help steer how we deliver value to society and to our members.

As we begin implementing the many programmes contained within our 2021 business plan, with the objective of improving the service to members, we are now looking for nominations for the vacant positions on three of our key bodies: Board of Trustees, Congress, and the Learned Society Committee.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of IChemE and therefore members appointed to the Board are responsible for setting the strategic direction of IChemE. Congress is the member advisory body to the Board of Trustees and consists of two electoral colleges; one that represents geographical member groups worldwide (Regional College) and one that reflects membership grades from student to Fellow (Functional College). The Learned Society Committee (LSC) sets the direction for IChemE’s technical priorities and steers our activities as a learned society.

IChemE’s President, Stephen Richardson, has often spoken about the importance of volunteer involvement and I would like to encourage members to consider standing for election for these important bodies. Alternatively, you could consider nominating another suitably qualified colleague or friend. 

Roles open

We are looking for nominations for the roles listed opposite. Some of the roles require members to have specific skills and experience or have reached a certain membership grade; therefore please do read through the requirements as detailed later before submitting your nominations.

To give you more information on what these volunteer positions entail, role profiles for each of the open positions will be available on the IChemE website from 1 February 2021:  www.icheme.org/elections.    

How to nominate

Nominations are to be submitted via a web-based platform hosted by election services provider Mi-Voice, details of which will be shared with all members who meet the eligibility criteria to nominate or stand for each role as per the official call for nominations on 1 February 2021.


For most roles, only Voting Members are eligible to stand. Voting Members are those who are Chartered or Fellows. In Congress there are two exceptions to this: those wishing to stand for either an early-career or student position. As the name suggests, only those members with less than nine years’ experience (self-declared) are eligible to stand for the early career role. As you would expect, only students are eligible to stand for the student seat, though they are able to complete their three-year term regardless of a change in their membership grade during their term of office.

For all roles, nominations must be supported by a minimum of two members, with the details differing for each body as follows:

  • Board of Trustees – nominations must be supported by five Voting Members. Written consent from the individual concerned that they would act as a Trustee if elected is also required.
  • Congress – nominations must be supported by two members. For seats in the regional college, the two members must be Voting Members, who can be based in any region. Those applying for seats in the functional college require the support of two members in the same constituency, and in most cases this needs to be two Voting Members. The exception is for an early career seat where support can be given by Associate Members, Affiliate Members and Technician Members. The other exception is for a student seat where a nomination must be supported by two students. All nominations require the written consent of the individual concerned.   
  • Learned Society Committee - nominations must be supported by two Voting Members.


Nominations open on 1 February 2021 and there will then be a three-week period to submit nominations, closing at 09:30 GMT on 22 February.

If multiple valid nominations are received for any of the vacant positions, then a ballot of all eligible members will commence in April. Successful candidates will take up their positions with effect from the end of IChemE’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 14 June 2021.

All documentation, including role profiles, codes of conduct, and details on how to nominate will be available at www.icheme.org/elections from 1 February 2021.

Experience required

Board of Trustees – all applications for Trustee roles will be reviewed by the independent Nominations Committee to confirm that they possess the necessary skills and experience before being presented to the membership for election.

President – this role is only open to Fellows of the Institution and requires senior leadership experience. 

Honorary Treasurer – this role requires board-level financial experience.

Congress – Congress aims to be an inclusive group, representing the voice of the membership and advising the Board of Trustees on matters of interest to members. It therefore welcomes candidates who are at different stages of their career with a range of professional experience and a commitment to the future development of IChemE. Those with a passion for positive debate and creative suggestions will find it a rewarding experience.

Learned Society Committee – all nominations will be reviewed by current members of the LSC to confirm the suitability of the candidates against the criteria contained in the role profiles. Candidates should have a strong technical background and an understanding of the application of chemical engineering principles across a broad reach of chemical engineering research, technology development and practical implementation aligned with IChemE’s technical strategy. In particular, the LSC is looking for members with a strong interest in responsible production, ie promoting improved chemical engineering technologies to minimise the societal and environmental impact, and advance the sustainability of production and consumption cycles. The committee would especially welcome applications from members with a background in one or more of the following:

  • energy;
  • education, innovation and research;
  • water; or
  • resources and manufacturing.

Joining one of these influential bodies would give you an opportunity to influence the future direction and operation of IChemE.

Please do exercise your rights to nominate and then vote for those volunteers who can shape our Institution as we head towards our centenary year.

Article by Jon Prichard


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