Who will lead IChemE in 2018?

Article by John McGagh

Introducing your nominees for IChemE’s 2018 trustee vacancies

During recent consultations, conversations and meetings attended by IChemE trustees we heard that members sought ways in which they could be more involved in IChemE’s leadership. There was a wish for more trustees to be elected by members. Therefore, when I announced the call for nominations for the vacant positions on IChemE’s governing Council, I made it clear that my fellow trustees and I would not be putting forward any candidates.

The nominations period opened on Thursday 8 February and called for members to put themselves forward for six available trustee positions. In addition, we also asked for nominations to the Interim Candidate Committee (ICC) which would confirm the eligibility of the nominated members to stand for a trustee position and the suitability for those nominated as honorary officers. 

There has been a flurry of activity in recent weeks, with a good number of members showing an interest in the trustee roles. Many of you also joined our webinars to learn more about what it’s like to be a trustee, and I was pleased to see a high volume of applications sent in.

The ICC has now completed its review, and our final candidates are listed here. As you will see, most of the roles have more than one candidate in the running and, if you’re a voting member, it is down to you to decide who takes up these positions at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May.

Please take the time to read through the profiles before making your decision. Full profiles for each candidate and information on how to vote will be available on our members-only online forum, Interface, from Thursday 29 March. If you’re one of the candidates listed here, I would urge you to use Interface to engage with your fellow members throughout your election campaign.

Thank you to everyone who has shown an interest in this activity over the past couple of months, and congratulations to the final candidates.

I wish you the very best of luck in the elections.

Interim Candidate Committee

The Interim Candidate Committee (ICC) assessed the eligibility of the 2018 trustee nominations against established role profiles, from 12–19 March. The committee has done a fantastic job at providing interim cover for the proposed Nominations Committee, which will be formally created if the governance changes are adopted at the AGM on 21 May (see Ken Rivers’ piece on p50 for more information).

Nominations for the Interim Candidate Committee from the wider membership closed on Monday 26 February, with five nominations received. With only three places on the Committee available, the final names were drawn on Wednesday 28 February by two IChemE Fellows, at a Loss Prevention Bulletin panel meeting in London, UK. The final three – Michael Grave, Parneet Paul, and Stephen Watson - were joined by three members of the current Council – Jane Atkinson, Paul Ellis, and Colin Webb – to form the committee.

Nominees for Deputy President 2018 (to become President in 2019)

One vacancy

To lead the trustees and ensure IChemE strategy and policy reflect its aim to be an Institution that is led by members, supporting members and serving society.


President and vice-chancellor, University of Surrey (UK)

Formerly chairman of IChemE Australia Board

Lu was honoured with the Order of Australia (Officer) in 2017, for distinguished service to education and international research, and for championing Australia-China relations.

Extract from election statement:  “I am inspired to apply for this leadership role at IChemE, to assist the Institution in making a real impact to society, through influencing national policy, better serving our members and adding value to our partners.”


Technical manager, Royal HaskoningDHV (UK)

Water Special Interest Group member (former chair), and chair of the Midlands Member Group (UK)

Thompson led the UK roll-out of a new wastewater treatment technology, described as “the biggest change to the industry in 100 years”.

Extract from election statement: “IChemE is here to benefit society but can only do this through fully engaged members. Recent events, the no confidence vote, and the way it was conducted, have damaged the Institution. I wish to reconcile IChemE leadership with its members, so IChemE supports its members, and its members help the world.”

One vote per Voting Member for Deputy President 2018

Nominees for Ordinary Member

Three Vacancies

Ordinary members will be responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the Institution in line with statutory requirements.


Retired, formerly owner, Michael Burcher Consultants (UK)

Extract from election statement: “Chemical engineering has been good to me, and I am proud to be a member of our Institution. However, the extent of the recent no confidence vote shows that something is wrong. I cannot promise that I will fix anything. But I can promise that, if elected, I will work towards the following: changing the culture of IChemE centre so that all staff recognise that members are both customers and shareholders; the apparent breach between “academics” and those in industry to be understood and resolved; IChemE to have an authoritative voice in those things where we have expertise; support for member groups; and to organise for the long-term future in an external environment which will force change on all engineering institutions.”


Associate director Process & Engineering, BakerHicks (UK)

Extract from election statement: “If elected, as well as providing a voice for the membership I would encourage IChemE to engage in a transparent manner with them, to provide a clear understanding as to how and why decisions are made. As the IChemE approaches its centenary I want to help build a well-trained sustainable membership who will be the life-blood of our Institution.”


Consultant Ian Davies Consulting (UK)

Extract from election statement: “I am proud to be a chemical engineer. I am passionate about the promotion of engineering within society and want to see much more inclusion and diversity whilst fiercely upholding professional standards. We can achieve this through multiple, well-regulated career routes. We must ensure that professional engineers have adequate knowledge and skills, backed up with solid practical experience and awareness of risk.”


Head consultant/ Lead working environment engineer, Granherne/KBR (UK) and visiting professor of chemical engineering at Loughborough
University (UK)

Extract from election statement: “My combined academic and industrial experience will help IChemE focus on engaging members and its learned society role.  I am committed to the promotion of health and safety and diversity in the profession and I am committed to ensuring that the IChemE is legally compliant, well run, solvent and working towards the charitable purposes in the Royal Charter.”


Director, Dee Associates (Business Consultants) (UK)

Extract from election statement: “IChemE has a growing membership of well-educated, diligent and able men and women whose achievements are legendary, and whose potential to improve the world is enormous. I want to help to enable those members and volunteers to realise their potential by ensuring IChemE is managed and organised to best address the challenges they face in whatever role they play.”

CEng CSci CEnv FIChemE

Principal, StatoCirrus Technologies (UK)

Extract from election statement: “Few IChemE members actually bother to take part in elections or volunteer. Even worse, the governance of the bodies that regulate us is almost completely undemocratic and the executives of some of these bodies have been largely unaccountable to the members of the professions. In other words, us. I have significant experience as a representative at various levels in organisations. I know how they should operate and why they don’t. I want to assure good governance in our profession. Please vote for me.”



Chairman, Haden Freeman (UK)

Extract from election statement: “I would like the Institution to be focussed on its members, helping them to qualify with practical skills, sound career paths (whether employed or self-employed) and with accessible and value-for-money professional development programmes. A new emphasis on growing and developing regional and subject groups should include encouraging members to be entrepreneurial in their approach.”


Business development director, ABB (UK)

Extract from election statement: “I firmly believe that IChemE’s future is in developing stronger links with all of its members across every industry in which chemical engineers operate, both in the UK and internationally. In support of this I believe a key IChemE focus should be strengthening relationships with key companies in all industry sectors. I am committed to supporting and encouraging a secure future for the IChemE and reinforcing its position as an international leader within the process industries.”

Macsene Isles-Ahite CEng MIChemE

Process engineer, Browns Wood Service (UK)

Extract from election statement: “I am confident that in this role of ordinary member of council, I can provide viable strategies to boost member participation and engagement.  I believe that it is important to get the views of the lapsed and disinterested members in order to gain the perspective needed to set the Institution’s future objectives and initiatives. I believe I will be able to positively influence the Institution’s management and governance because I understand the responsibility, accountability and limitations of this role.”


Director – engineering and safety, HRO Solutions (Australia)

Extract from election statement: “I would like to help build a culture that not only achieves success but one that all members, employees, and clients are proud to be a part. Throughout my many years volunteering for IChemE, I have always focussed on adding value for members. If elected I would use my position to ensure that member value is at the core of everything that is undertaken.”


Director, Integral Pharma Services, and visiting lecturer, University of Chester (UK)

Extract from election statement: “In my opinion, Council has not been open and visible enough and the management approach has been very much top-down. If I am elected, I will seek to achieve more openness and visibility as well as encouraging a bottom-up approach by empowering member volunteers.”


Director, Agillis KLM (UK)

Extract from election statement: “If elected, my priorities will be to support the ongoing governance review, to help ordinary members to benefit more fully from their membership and to actively engage with all members to build a strong forward-looking Institution fit for the future.”


Dean of College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Brunel University London (UK)

Extract from election statement: “My role with the IChemE Energy Centre has been to establish it as the main voice for IChemE members on energy and climate change related issues, presiding over a comprehensive portfolio of national and international seminars, debates, workshops and media commentary. I believe I have a lot to offer as an IChemE trustee, in terms of my international experience in chemical engineering education and research, in the governance and leadership of complex organisations and in interacting with government bodies and industry.”


Technology application director, Johnson Matthey (UK)

Extract from election statement: “Through my process industry network, my large team of engineers, volunteers who support the Institution that I work with, and students that I meet through our university outreach, I believe I am well placed to listen to a diverse representation of our membership and bring the voice of the membership to the council. I would also like to help IChemE in forging stronger links with the other disciplines relevant to our industry, as I believe this will be important to the profession’s future.”


Retired (UK), formerly General manager Americas for project services, Shell Global Solutions (US)

Extract from election statement: “I have strong engagement and interpersonal skills and would welcome the opportunity to interact and obtain feedback from the membership on a regular basis especially with a view to help the learned society aspirations. I am passionate about the need for undergraduates to obtain ‘hands-on’ industry experience to augment their degrees as this gives them a much higher chance of obtaining a job.”

Three votes per Voting Member for Ordinary member

Honorary Treasurer

One Vacancy


Business development and
incubator director, Johnson Matthey (UK)

Martin has extensive experience of business management, technology licensing and managing innovation built on extensive technical and commercial experience within the chemical, petrochemical and bio renewables areas. Iain’s recent experience includes responsibility for the management of R&D and engineering functions to support divisional growth, with particular emphasis on commercialisation of novel technologies.

In relation to the honorary treasurer role, no formal nominations were received. However, Iain Martin, who was due to stand down at the AGM in May, indicated that he would be happy to continue on Council for a further year in the role of honorary treasurer. The Interim Candidate Committee, therefore, confirmed that Iain Martin would become IChemE’s honorary treasurer with effect from the end of the AGM on 21 May 2018.

Nominees for Vice President (International) 2018

One Vacancy

To work closely with non-UK national boards in furtherance of delivering IChemE’s strategic aims. Specifically, to nurture and support the development of IChemE and of the profession, particularly in those countries where we do not already have a mature operation, and to act as a source of guidance and advice to the trustees and staff in order that IChemE’s work and policy are an appropriate fit to each country and geographic region involved.


Retired, formerly Dean of engineering and science, Curtin University (Malaysia)

Formerly interim director of IChemE South East Asia,
membership interviewer (CEng) and C&C assessor (CEng)

Extract from election statement: “As vice president international I would support IChemE’s existing International presence and seek to encourage international growth, but in a responsible and planned way that enables good control, as well as the opportunity for international operations to have the flexibility to grow and expand their operations pertinent to their local situation.”

Thomas White CEng MIChemE
CEO of SteamTech & Co (Oman)

Membership mentor and WhyNotChemEng volunteer

Extract from election statement:“Having spent more than half my professional life overseas, I have experienced the benefits the IChemE can bring internationally. I passionately believe that the Institution has a lot to gain from embracing the rich and diverse approaches to engineering in different parts of the world. I would champion the advantages of the IChemE’s unifying charter for engineering communities to rally around and harness the proven power of their volunteer branch structure.”

One vote per Voting Member for Vice President (International) 2018

Article by John McGagh

IChemE President 2017–2018, Chair of the IChemE100 Steering Committee

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