Jane Cutler becomes 80th IChemE President

Article by Adam Duckett

JANE Cutler has become the 80th President of IChemE. She delivered an expansive Presidential address focussed on the need for chemical engineers to adapt and respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by our changing world.

The speech (recording available to watch below) was streamed online from the University of Western Australia. Cutler pledged to ensure IChemE delivers its Strategy 2024 and said she wants to use her Presidency to focus on ethics, respect, and inclusivity.

“Our development of chemical engineers includes a strong focus on technical competence. While ethical issues are increasingly discussed during education and training, there is scope for more discussion, at all points during our professional journey, around judgement, ethical decision-making, dealing with uncertainty and how we engage with society,” Cutler said.

“Embedding ethical culture in the chemical engineering profession would embrace other important professional behaviours such as operating sustainably, inclusively with regard for diverse views. Greater visibility of an ethical engineering culture to the whole of society would help to ensure that engineers retain society’s trust.”

Noting the shift in expectations for chemical engineers to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular helping to tackle climate change, Cutler spoke about the need to expand thinking beyond the immediate business cases for emissions reduction and enable members to develop the skills necessary to consider and contribute to sustainability.

Cutler said: “We must recognise our contribution to society, continue to be a leading voice in process safety and offer more support to provide skills and knowledge to equip members to contribute to the challenges of climate change and sustainability so that IChemE remains relevant.”

Currently an independent Non-Executive Director with the Southern Ports Authority and ChemCentre Western Australia, Jane was elected last year by the membership to become President.

Cutler studied chemical engineering at Auckland University in New Zealand and gained a Master’s in environmental science before working for BHP in Australia and Vietnam in roles covering environment, safety, and project management.

She later went on to become CEO of two superannuation (pension) providers; worked for Woodside as a vice president, leading a LNG import project in Los Angeles and subsequently an LNG development relocating to Perth in Western Australia; and CEO of Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

A more detailed review of Cutler’s address will appear in the coming issue of The Chemical Engineer.

You can watch a recording of Cutler's address on IChemE's YouTube channel.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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