Entering a New Golden Age of Chemical Engineering

Originally delivered Sep 10, 2014
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
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  • Duration:
    1 hour

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Chemical engineering expertise is essential for a wide variety of areas that are shaping the world’s future, making this truly a new Golden Age of ChE. At the same time, a hallmark of our scientific and technological advances is that they must address larger contexts, and we must aid both industry and public decision-making. Consider these trends:

  • The new abundance of hydrocarbon resources
  • Biology’s turning into a molecular science
  • Computing’s evolution into a cyberinfrastructure
  • Manufacturing’s shift to emphasize processes and properties
  • Society’s need for the breadth and problem-solving approaches of chemical engineering.

Looking more broadly, for the next hundred years bio-oil products will face difficult competition with abundant gas and oil from hydrofracturing. That sets up conflicts between our intertwined societal aspirations of having both energy and environmental quality. Our knowledge is crucial for providing the technologies and the information to fill such needs wisely and to achieve our world's highest aspirations.

Be sure to read the related blog series "We Are ChE: Entering a Golden Age", authored by AIChE's 2014 Past President, Phil Westmoreland.


Phillip R. Westmoreland

Phillip R. Westmoreland is Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State Univ. (NCSU) and Executive Director of the NCSU Institute for Computational Science and Engineering. His chemical engineering degrees are from NCSU (BS, 1973), Louisiana State Univ. (MS, 1974), and MIT (PhD, 1986). He worked in coal research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1974–1979), as a ChE faculty member at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (1986–2009), and as a program director at the National Science Foundation (2006–2009).

An AIChE Fellow, Phil began service as public...Read more

June Wispelwey

Before she became AIChE executive director, June served as executive director of the Society for Biological Engineering (SBE), overseeing its successful launch and growth. Previously, she served as vice president of marketing services at Aventis Behring and as director of performance chemicals business development at Lyondell. After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Princeton University and a master’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, June began her career at Lyondell. She also completed an executive education program at The Wharton...Read more



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