Seizing the Future of ChE [Blog Series]

December 20, 2012

This is Part 12 in the ChEnected series "We Are ChE: Entering a Golden Age". It is authored by Incoming 2013 AIChE president Phil Westmoreland. This series has been based on the five reasons that are shaping our entrance into a Golden Age of ChE:

  • Manufacturing’s shift to emphasize processes and properties
  • New abundance of hydrocarbon resources in the US
  • Biology’s turning into a molecular science
  • Computing, evolved into a cyberinfrastructure
  • ChEs’ breadth and problem-solving approaches

I conclude by identifying three ways we can seize the future and shape our profession:

  • Asserting leadership in the new face of manufacturing
  • Incorporating information management and analytics
  • Embracing our profession’s breadth

ChEs can take on a leadership role in manufacturing

Chemical engineers and AIChE can both promote our role in manufacturing and take a leading role in reshaping its modern form. The public, economists, and governments think of manufacturing as durable goods like cars or washing machines or aircraft built on assembly lines.

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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