IT ALL started with a meeting I organised at Chester University’s chemical engineering department in September 2016. This meeting was hosted by the head of department, Steve Wilkinson, and involved representatives of the two local IChemE member groups – Chester, and Warrington and Widnes – together with many of the staff from the Chester department. Our mission in the meeting was to identify simple actionable steps whereby IChemE could help develop the department which teaches one of the most-recently started UK chemical engineering courses.
One of the proposed areas for action was to complement an existing 4th-year lecture course on chemical engineering practice with a series of lectures focussed on chemical engineering in the nuclear sector. We chose nuclear because of the large presence of the nuclear engineering activities centred in the Chester region, in the form of nuclear fuel cycle plants, one of the new-build reactor sites and also a large concentration of the UK nuclear industry’s design and project capability.