CEP: Editorial - A New Global Home for ChEs

September
2013

The moving vans are gone, and we on the AIChE staff are quickly settling in to our new home at 120 Wall St., a special Association Center that offers lower rents for nonprofit organizations like us. While we think of this as our new work-home, more importantly, the move solidifies AIChE’s role as the global home for chemical engineers, as reflected in our new logo.

The office is open, bright, and airy, with a streamlined layout designed to allow us to work efficiently and collaborate easily. Conference rooms and a training center equipped with a state-of-the-art communication infrastructure will make it easy to conduct our educational courses onsite, host members and other visitors, and conduct video conferences. Motion sensors that turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms, coupled with a building-wide commitment to recycling, are helping us reduce our energy and environmental footprint.

This location will allow us to take advantage of Wall Street as a major center of business, finance, and trade, as well as the recent migration of tech firms to the area. We hope to forge alliances with our new nonprofit neighbors, and also with the international financial community, particularly through the growing number of chemical engineers who work in this field.

Globalization, of course, is not new for AIChE; the first element of our strategy for growth is to be a global organization of chemical engineering practitioners. We are doing this in numerous ways.

AIChE’s International Society for Water Solutions is part of a new U.S.-China EcoPartnership to promote innovative models for collaboration on clean water and environmental sustainability. The article on p. 52 provides more information on this program, which also involves Peking Univ. Water Center and Wuhan Univ. in China, New York Institute of Technology, and U.S.-based industrial partner HDR|HydroQual.

The International Committee is working to increase the number of local sections and student chapters outside the U.S., and is assisting universities around the world in adopting the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) curriculum standards, including the first ABET-accredited university in China. The ever-popular Chem-E-Car Competition has also expanded internationally. New agreements with our sister societies in Mexico and Taiwan will provide joint memberships in those organizations. November’s Annual Meeting will feature joint sessions with the chemical engineering associations of China, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom.

In addition to increasing international participation at the Spring and Annual Meetings, more AIChE conferences are being held outside the U.S. A recent four-week period saw the Safety in Ammonia Plants and Related Facilities Symposium (which achieved record attendance) in Frankfurt, Germany, and Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) conferences in Colombia, Australia, and China. AIChE leaders and staff are actively participating in many international events, such as the 2nd Middle East Process Engineering Conference and Exhibition (MEPEC) in Bahrain, Sept. 29 – Oct. 2. Several of my colleagues missed our first day in the new office because they were attending the 9th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE9) in Seoul, Korea.

Barbara McDonald, Director of Membership, sums up AIChE’s global presence very well: “Wherever you are in the world, AIChE is there with you.”

 

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