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ICHEME’s strategy, as reviewed and reaffirmed this summer with the newly-elected Board of Trustees, puts two functions at the heart of IChemE: firstly, its role as a qualifying body (reviewing and qualifying members, approving training and accrediting degree courses), and secondly, its role as a learned society.
When I first got involved with IChemE in 1995, it was to support my own development as a chemical engineer and to contribute to the discipline as a whole as it addressed the grand societal challenges. I was keen to work with like-minded colleagues from diverse fields and geographies and learn from them.
As I became more involved in both my local member group (Tyneside), and the Education SIG, my passion for the profession grew. I saw the ambition of the IChemE membership, and Institution as a whole, as generating meaningful, applicable and trusted knowledge. For me, not only was this the most natural way to be a chemical engineer but it was also one of the fundamental objects of the Institution: to be a learned society. But what does it mean to be a learned society? More to the point, what does it mean to be a learned society that is led by members, supports members, and serves society? And – assuming we have a broad consensus on the answer to these questions – how do we set our priorities, develop specific goals, and put in place adequate and sustainable support to allow us to reach these?
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