Fellow Nomination and Senior Member FAQs

Browse the questions below to find out more about the AIChE Fellows nomination procedure.

Fellow Nomination and Application

​Senior Member FAQ

Q: Who can nominate someone for the grade of Fellow?

A: Any Member in good standing, except Student Members. However, supporting letters must come from either Senior Members or Fellows and no more than two should come from the same entity (also see Q9 and Q10)

Q: Who can be nominated for the grade of Fellow?

A: Any Senior Member in good standing who has (a)been a Member of at least ten years and (b) a Senior Member for at least three years and (c) who can meet the requirements for Fellow as established in the bylaws.

Q: Please provide some guidance as to what qualifies as “service to the profession” done for reasons other than financial compensation.

A: Service to the profession involves unpaid (volunteer) participation in the operation and/or governance of organizations that promote the societal benefits of the chemical engineering.  Please note, however, that merely being a member of an organization, or multiple organizations, is insufficient to count as “service to the profession”. As chemical engineering is a very diverse discipline, credit is given for service to affiliated societies.  In cases where the service is unpaid but could be construed as being undertaken for professional advancement the burden lies in explaining the altruistic nature of the service.

Documenting specific activities or assignments undertaken, the time invested, and the value of the work product is essential to establish the level of “service to the profession”.

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Q: Please provide some guidance as to what qualifies as “service to the profession” in the context of engagement in AIChE activities.

A: Engagement in various AIChE operational areas such as Local Sections, Student Chapters, Forums, Committees, Operating Councils, and Board may not meet the standard as participation in some of these areas may be considered to be an essential part of what a person’s career demands. For example serving as a Student Chapter advisor may be a typical assignment for a junior faculty member, and participation in programming activities may be useful for promoting research activities and publication requirements. Similarly, longevity on various committees may also not meet the standard.

Documentation of a candidate’s specific activities and assignments and ability to complete them in a timely manner provides concrete evidence of volunteer engagement in improving the quality of AIChE’s deliverables and operational efficiency.

Q: I gather a nominee must have an “outstanding” in professional accomplishments or service to the profession. What guidance can you provide for documenting an “outstanding” in "professional accomplishments”?

A: The initiator should use a chronological sequence to complete the nomination form listing career titles and service roles and durations. Titles such as Senior Director, Vice President or Senior Process or Project Manager of a large department may indicate the level of accomplishment or service if the organization is a major corporation or technical society but for mid-sized or small companies it is necessary to describe the financial and managerial span of control to document the degree of accomplishment. In an academic environment the candidate would have a tenured position and be recognized as a senior faculty member who has made considerable contributions to the development and stature of the department in which he serves. Similar considerations would apply for both State and Federal government entities.  Sponsor letters should include specific reference to the candidate’s accomplishments and their impact to augment the information on the nomination form.

Q: I gather a nominee must have an “outstanding” professional accomplishments or service to the profession. What guidance can you provide for documenting an “outstanding” in “service to the profession”?

A: “Outstanding” service is achieved through active volunteer engagement with an organization at a level where the candidate’s contributions can be judged as making a significant impact on the organizations operation and/or mission. In the context of AIChE a Local Section Officer having a documented record of growing or improving the operation of the Section would be considered “outstanding” service. However, simply being a long-term member, or even an officer of a Local Section would not, by itself, qualify. The same considerations would apply to Forums, Committees, and Operating Councils.

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Q: My nominee has less than 25 years experience but has considerable professional accomplishments and service to the profession. What guidance can you offer?

A: Nominees with less than 25 years of experience need to demonstrate a level of progressive and sustained accomplishments or service that would be judged to be equivalent of a successful candidate with at least 25 years experience.

Q: What guidance can you give regarding the resume used to support the nomination?

A: A well constructed resume is a valuable addition to the nomination package and can be very helpful to the nominator in completing the nomination form. However, the resume should not be used as a substitute for the Nomination Form as resumes are not usually constructed to address the requirements for establishing that a nominee meets the specific criteria for the grade of Fellow. Additionally, many academic resumes, and some non-academic ones, have much material (publication lists or detailed descriptions of each industrial assignment, for example) with little bearing on establishing the credentials for Fellow. It is for this reason that the resume must be limited to five pages and should focus on providing supporting information to the documentation of accomplishments and service provided in the nomination form. For instance, an extensive publication record should be summarized in such a way that it can support the documentation of professional accomplishments as simply having many publications is not sufficient (a suitable summary might highlight publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and whether the publications have been recognized as having a significant impact on the field). Likewise, listing attendance at international conferences, even as an invited speaker is not sufficient and the resume should detail why participation was considered a significant mark of professional recognition. For industrial nominations the resume should include details of the nominees span of control and budget authority.

Q: I am having difficulty find five sponsors who are either Fellows or Senior Members. What advice can you offer?

A: If a nominee can’t identify Senior Members or Fellows who are knowledgeable enough about the nominee’s career to be able to attest to professional accomplishments and/or service to the profession the nominator should contact the Admissions Committee to discuss the individual case as it may be acceptable to have testimonials of non-members.  

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Q:I am having difficulty finding sponsors from different organizations to meet the requirement of having only two from the same entity. What advice can you offer?

A: The main purpose of the sponsor letters is to verify the accomplishments and service noted in the nomination form.  If more than two letters are required from the same organization, feel free to provide them. However, it is important to get at least three other letters from individuals from other organizations as the Admission Committee believes that a nominee with outstanding accomplishments and/or service must have interacted with chemical engineers outside of his own organization.  If meeting these requirements is still an issue, please contact the Admissions Committee to discuss the situation. 

Q: I would like to nominate a prominent chemical engineer who is not a member of AIChE. What steps should I take?

A: The Fellow Grade is meant to honor and reward AIChE members for their accomplishments and service. The current requirements are 10 years of AIChE membership including 3 years as a Senior Member. AIChE has no way of recognizing an individual who is not an AIChE member through an Associate Fellow or Honorary Fellow designation.

As such the nominee would need to apply for membership as a Senior Member and then a Fellow nomination could be made 10 years after joining.  Both professional accomplishments and service to the profession are required for the grade of Fellow and the latter may be an area where industrial practitioners not actively engaged in AIChE programs may have difficulty meeting the requirements.

Q: My Nominee is an AIChE Senior Member but resides outside of the US and has had little opportunity to participate in AIChE meetings. What advice can you offer for activities that support “service to the profession”?

A: Although service to AIChE is preferred, consideration is given to service to other organizations that promote the chemical engineering profession.  This may be the local professional chemical engineering society or other non-profit organization that promotes science and engineering.  (other than IChemE?)

Q: My nominee has been a long-time member of AIChE and has considerable professional accomplishments. However, he is not a Senior Member.  What advice can you provide?

A:   To be considered for Fellow the nominee has to have been a Senior Member in good standing for three years. Thus the only course of action is to have the nominee apply for Senior Membership and then submit the nomination three years after Senior Member status has been granted. AIChE has no way of recognizing professional accomplishment through, say, an Associate Fellow of Honorary Fellow designation which does not have a Senior Member requirement.

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Q: The AIChE Bylaws mention the emblem of Fellow? What is this and when is it awarded?

A: A Fellows lapel pin looks like the old AIChE logo with FELLOW written above.  It is often presented with a certificate either at the Fellows breakfast or at a Fellow’s local section meeting.

Senior Member FAQ

Q: What benefits are there in becoming a Senior Member?

A: Senior members may hold office in the Institute and vote on amendments to the AIChE Constitution. Four year regular members may also do this.

Q: Are dues the same or higher than for a Regular Member?

A: They are the same.

Q: Is Senior Member status at AIChE the equivalent of Chartered Member at IChemE?

A: No. Chartered Engineer is more like Professional Engineer.

Q: What is the definition of “proficient in chemical engineering”?

A: As defined by the AIChE Constitution, chemical engineering is the profession in which a knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, and other natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop economic ways of using materials and energy for the benefit of mankind. To be proficient in chemical engineering a practitioner must be engaged in the profession for a sufficient period to demonstrate that he/she can apply chemical engineering skills to industrial applications and would typically have some budget authority, supervise or train other chemical engineers or those in related fields, or be responsible for approving the work of others.

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