2016 Election

For the 2017 Board of Directors

To enable members to make informed selections, the candidates  the candidates will provide over-views of their experience, as well as their plans for future programs and directions for the Institute. The messages will be in each candidate’s own words.

Voting dates and deadlines:

Ballots will be mailed on Aug. 29. The election will commence on September 6. Electronic proxy AIChE.SocietyElection.com will also be available on that date. Instructions for electronic proxy will be included with the ballot and emailed to members with email addresses on file. As a reminder, your 2016 dues must be paid in full in order to be eligible to vote. All ballots must be received by Oct. 10.

The Teller’s Committee will meet to verify the results of the election on Oct. 12. Election results will be announced in November at AIChE’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, and in the December issue of CEP.

Vote Now

2016 Election Timeline

May 23, 2016 Petition Candidate Due
August 29, 2016 Ballot Mail Date
September 6, 2016 Election Commences
October 10, 2016 Ballot Receipt Deadline
October 12, 2016 Tellers Committee Meeting
November 14, 2016 Results Officially Announced at the Annual Board Meeting in San Francisco, CA

Slate of Candidates

For President-Elect 

Liese Dallbauman  Integrated Water Stewardship, LLC
Christine Seymour Pfizer

For Treasurer

Dennis Griffith Granherne
Rosemarie Wesson City College of the City University of New York

For Director

Billy B. Bardin The Dow Chemical Co.
L. Antonio Estévez University of Puerto Rico
L. S. Fan Ohio State University
Kate Gawel Mondelez International
Zenaida Otero Gephardt Rowan University
Mary Kathryn (Kathy) Lee ExxonMobil Corporate Research
JoAnn S. Lighty University of Utah 
Al Sacco, Jr. Texas Tech University

For President-Elect

Liese Dallbauman

Liese Dallbauman is the founder of Integrated Water Stewardship LLC (IWS), which develops mutually beneficial solutions to water challenges. She is also an adjunct professor in Northwestern Univ.’s Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Before founding IWS, Liese was Director of Water Stewardship for PepsiCo’s global food and beverage businesses. Her responsibilities included conservation training, use analysis, and global risk assessment. She managed PepsiCo’s Positive Water Impact initiative, which developed locally-relevant watershed protection and restoration strategies. Before assuming her global role, she was a member of an interdisciplinary team responsible for reducing energy and water use in PepsiCo’s North America production plants.

Liese has also developed and analyzed environmental separations processes for NASA, Honeywell, and Gas Technology Institute. Her chemical engineering degrees are from the Univ. of Colorado and the Univ. of Notre Dame. She has served as director and chair of AIChE’s Separations Div., and as a Director of the Institute. She is a Fellow of AIChE.



As engineers, we’re trained to think on different scales. Development of a new process can start at bench-scale, grow to a pilot, and ultimately reach plant-scale. Through this evolution, it’s possible - even probable - that experience will drive changes from the original plan.

An analogy can be drawn with our careers. Nonlinear paths are increasingly common; a jungle gym with lateral and vertical connections may be a more accurate metaphor than the familiar career ladder image. Movement among companies or even sectors is also normal; chemical engineers still work in the chemical process industries but can also be found in fields such as biological engineering and sustainable development.

In order for AIChE to effectively serve its broad spectrum of members, the Institute must ensure that its services address both the ongoing and new concerns of its entire member population.  Communication between the Board and the AIChE communities - student chapters, local sections, divisions and forums, industrial technology groups - and among the communities themselves will promote understanding of these concerns. In turn, common goals can be defined, and projects addressing the needs of multiple communities can be designed and executed.  Impact can be maximized and duplication of effort avoided.

This nomination is an honor. If elected, I will work to promote an effective dialogue that will maintain and amplify AIChE’s robustness. This strategy will encompass communication within the Institute and with our external partners - trade groups, government, communities, and schools. I hope you’ll share your thoughts on this approach; I can be reached at watersteward@ix.netcom.com.

Connect with Liese Dallbauman on Engage

Go to Top

Christine Seymour

Christine Seymour is a director in Global Regulatory Chemistry and Manufacturing Controls at Pfizer Inc., where she leads the regulatory strategy and implementation for a portfolio of projects across all phases of drug development, commercial applications and established products. Previously, Chris led chemical process research teams at Pharmacia and G.D. Searle. She has Chemical Engineering degrees from Lehigh Univ. (BS) and the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (PhD), as well as a Regulatory Affairs MS from Temple Univ. Chris has enjoyed participating in AIChE leadership for more than twenty years, including: Secretary of the Board of Directors (2012–2015); Chair of the forum formation committee and first Chair of the Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development, and Manufacturing Forum (2012–2014); Director of the Society for Biological Engineering (2012–current); Chair of the Executive Board of the Program Comm. (2012); Board of Directors (2009–2011); Spring Meeting Program Chair (MPC, 2008); Co-MPC 2005); and Chair of the Process Development Div. (2003–2005). She received the 2012 Epstein Award for Technical Programming and is an AIChE Fellow.


I am honored and humbled by the nomination for AIChE President-Elect. I truly value being part of AIChE; I’ve enjoy contributing to the Institute and cherish my many AIChE friendships. If elected, I will serve with the same leadership and passion that I have demonstrated throughout my twenty years of volunteering in AIChE.

I am determined to move AIChE forward to become a more diverse, and stronger, professional society that better meets the needs of its industrial and academic members. AIChE is transforming from a society that had members in several core industries to a society that serves members in a broad spectrum of industries and research areas. I believe that AIChE needs to expand into new areas while continuing to strengthen our existing foundational areas to create an Institute that will be prepared to serve tomorrow’s engineer in whatever discipline, part of the globe, or environment they are in.

In my AIChE volunteer leadership, I have strived to expand AIChE into new areas - from leading the creation of the Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development and Manufacturing Forum, to creating the Quality by Design Topical Conferences, to chairing the AIChE/ACS co-sponsored 2008 Spring Meeting, and to contributing to the creation of the Process Development Div.

I believe that AIChE needs to continue important efforts that increase membership value, such as young professionals activities, international programs, specialty conferences, local sections,

ChEnected, e-learning, energy, sustainability, water, and the Scale-up student membership program.

I would appreciate your vote for AIChE President-Elect. If you’d like to contact me, my email is Christine.B.Seymour@Pfizer.com. Thank you.

Connect with Christine Seymour on Engage

Go to Top

For Treasurer

Dennis Griffith

Dennis Griffith is the current AIChE Treasurer, a Fellow of AIChE, and a senior project manager at Granherne, KBR’s front end consultancy. His professional work involves economic viability evaluations of projects during concept development phases, including both high level and detailed cost estimates and financial analyses. His work also includes developing, monitoring, and reporting project budgets. Dennis has a BSChE from The Univ. of Texas at Austin and an MSChE from the Univ. of Michigan. His AIChE activities include serving as Treasurer since 2014, on the Board of Directors, and as the Chair and Treasurer of the Fuels and Petrochemicals Div. and the South Texas Section. Dennis also has been a member of the Societal Impact Operating Council, the Center for Energy Initiatives’ Executive Comm., and the Chair of the National Program Comm., with service as Meeting Program Chair, Meeting Program Co-Chair, and General Arrangements Chair for multiple Spring Meetings. He is a current member of the Public Affairs and Information Comm., Trustee of the AIChE Foundation, and AIChE’s representative to the American Association of Engineering Societies’ Professional Licensure Working Group. Through these activities, Dennis has gained a comprehensive knowledge of AIChE procedures and operations. Outside of AIChE, he has held positions of leadership and financial responsibility in non-profits and government, including serving on the Spring Valley Village, TX, City Council.


The Treasurer is responsible for the financial health of AIChE and provides oversight by monitoring and reviewing financial activities of AIChE, insuring transparency and reporting the financial status to the Board. As a key member of the AIChE leadership team, the Treasurer is involved in developing the strategic policies that are implemented by the Institute and must consider their financial impact on AIChE. During his term, Dennis has worked with the AIChE Finance Dept. in developing the annual AIChE budgets, monitoring AIChE’s financial condition, revising investment policies, reviewing proposed projects using AIChE’s NewBiz process, and updating financial guidelines for divisions and forums.

If re-elected, Dennis will continue to:

  • ensure that financial policies meet the current and future needs of AIChE
  • use his concept development experience to innovate and investigate new ways to grow AIChE
  • explore funding opportunities for AIChE’s Industrial Technology Groups, and
  • work to insure the future viability of AIChE.

Along with his long-standing commitment to AIChE and his career experience, Dennis will bring his volunteer spirit, diverse background, and leadership skills to address critical issues while keeping AIChE financially healthy.

Please feel free to contact Dennis at DennisGriff@sbcglobal.net.

Connect with Dennis Griffith on Engage

Go to Top

Rosemarie Wesson

Rosemarie D. Wesson recently joined The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of the City Univ. of New York (CCNY) as Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Chemical Engineering. Prior to joining CCNY, Rose spent almost 15 years as a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Rose has also worked as a senior research leader in Dow Chemical Co.’s Corporate Materials Science R&D. Rose received her BS in chemical engineering from MIT, and her MS and PhD, both in chemical engineering, from the Univ. of Michigan, and is a registered Professional Engineer. She has been an active member of AIChE since 1988. Some of her AIChE leadership experiences include service on AIChE’s Board of Directors (2012–2015) and as Treasurer of the Management Div. (2007–2011). She has been the AIChE Coordinator of the Washington Internships for Students in Engineering (WISE) Program (2010–2015), and is an AIChE Fellow.


The Treasurer is the guardian of the Institute’s financial assets, and is involved in all major AIChE decision-making and actions, and, as such, must have a sound understanding of the organization and its challenges. Over the years, I have been deeply involved in, and have witnessed the growth and development, of the Institute.

During my recent tenure on the AIChE Board of Directors, I chaired an eleven-member task force to examine the governance processes of the Institute. The task force made several recommendations for improved governance. As Treasurer, I look forward to being a part of the continued improvement of the governance processes of the Institute.

If elected as AIChE Treasurer, my first priority will be to maintain responsible stewardship by providing guidance on the financial health of the organization and potential impact of operating decisions. I also feel that it is crucial to continue to attract and retain students and young professionals to and in the Institute in order to remain fiscally solvent. As Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of AIChE, I will strive to continue the growth of the Institute through continued outreach to young professionals, and work to promote interactions between students, young and mid-career professionals, and Fellows.

As Treasurer of the Management Div. of AIChE, I provided the leadership to maintain and monitor the spending of the Division and provided advice on the financial health of the Division. I also led the effort for the Management Div.’s support of the AIChE WISE Internship Program in an effort to continue to grow the Division and the Institute. As Treasurer of AIChE I would continue such efforts.

If you’d like to discuss any of these ideas, my email is rwesson@ccny.cuny.edu. I’d appreciate your vote for AIChE Treasurer. Thank you for your consideration.

Connect with Rosemarie Wesson on Engage

Go to Top

For Director

Billy B. Bardin

Billy B. Bardin is the Global Operations Technology Director at The Dow Chemical Co. (Freeport, TX), where he leads technology and innovation for manufacturing and engineering and has responsibilities for all commercialized technologies. Billy joined Union Carbide/Dow R&D in 2000 as leader of alternative feedstocks and high throughput heterogeneous catalysis research. He was named R&D Director for Chemicals and Licensing in 2008, and R&D Director for Feedstocks and Energy in 2010. He has held leadership positions in the U.S. and internationally, and has been recognized with Dow Inventor and Technology awards. He is co-author of a book chapter on high throughput screening of heterogeneous catalysts. Since 2011, Billy has been elected Secretary/Treasurer of AIChE’s Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Div. He is Chair of the Purdue Univ. School of Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board and a member of the Univ. of Virginia Chemical Engineering Dept.’s advisory board. He is a member of the strategic advisory and executive committees of the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. Billy is a member of the Eastern North Carolina and South Texas local sections, and a lifetime member of AIChE. He holds a BS from North Carolina State Univ., and an MS and PhD from the Univ. of Virginia (UVa) — all in chemical engineering. Billy received the UVa SEAS Outstanding Young Alumnus Award and was selected for the NAE Frontiers of Engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in West Virginia.


Today, our society faces great challenges: energy, food, water, sustainability. Great engineering and scientific leaders are needed to meet those challenges. As your AIChE Director, I will:

  • work to enhance the interface between AIChE, industry, academia, and our national laboratories, to more rapidly deliver technology that can impact our challenges today and provide the conduits for development of tomorrow’s technology leaders
  • lead AIChE to capitalize on the unique opportunity currently available to coalesce national interests in manufacturing revitalization with the ability to influence the education, experiences, and diversity of new chemical engineers in areas such as process safety, process intensification, digitization, materials, and energy
  • develop paths for members at all career stages to enhance their experiences and to provide expertise to steer the profession for the future.

Through my ongoing activities supporting the Institute and our profession, I have demonstrated resolve to ensure chemical engineers lead the way to solving our grand challenges. I would be honored to serve as your Director and welcome any opportunity to discuss your ideas on how to make AIChE more impactful.

Contact: bardinbb@dow.com.

Connect with Billy B. Bardin on Engage

Go to Top

L. Antonio Estévez

L. Antonio Estévez is currently Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez (UPRM), where he has been a faculty member since 1987. His background includes a PhD from the Univ. of California, Davis; an MS from Central Univ. of Venezuela, and a BS from the Univ. of Santiago, Chile — all in chemical engineering. At UPRM, he has served in numerous administrative positions ranging from Associate Director of Chemical Engineering to Interim Dean of Administration at the campus level (reporting directly to the Chancellor). As dean of the Graduate School, he was active in the Council of Graduate Schools, and was appointed to its Advisory Committee on Minorities in Graduate Education. Since 2001, he has also been involved in the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professorate (AGEP) program, which also supports minorities in graduate education.

Statement: My passion to serve in professional societies is shown by my involvement in AIChE. I joined AIChE in 1985 and was a founding member of the Puerto Rico Local Section - and am the first and only AIChE Fellow on the Island. I have participated in the Minority Affairs Committee, the Societal Impact Operating Council, and the Career and Education Operating Council. I have been Student Chapter Advisor at UPRM since 2004. I have also served on the Board of the Interamerican Confederation of Chemical Engineering (1995–2000), serving as vice-president, president, and past-president; later, in 2002, I was elected Secretary General, and I have been reelected every two years ever since. During these terms, I have been committed to improving the ties among the Confederation’s member societies, including AIChE. Also, I actively participate in the World Chemical Engineering Council (WCEC) on behalf of the Confederation. Incidentally, I speak the Confederation’s four official languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Chemical engineering has become a key profession for the nation’s and world’s development. Alternative energy sources, sustainability, emerging bioprocesses, nanotechnology, and the water-energy-food nexus are more than buzz words — they are key elements in mankind’s survival, and chemical engineers are the masters of those fields. As director, I will support AIChE’s leading efforts in this direction and make these efforts known to its membership.

One of AIChE’s challenges is to make sure that all members perceive it as an open, inclusive professional society. As director, I will strive for underrepresented groups to be well represented in the Institute leadership. I will constantly seek feedback and suggestions from fellow members. My experience and background may help AIChE on crucial fronts such as diversity, inclusiveness, international relations, graduate education, and membership.

Questions or feedback are welcome: antonio.estevez@upr.edu.

Connect with L. Antonio Estévez on Engage

Go to Top

L. S. Fan

L. S. Fan, a Fellow of AIChE, is Distinguished University Professor and C. John Easton Professor in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State Univ. His career at Ohio State has spanned 38 years, and he served for nearly a decade as Department Chair. Fan’s outreach efforts are diverse in their scope but are linked by the common goal of establishing and cultivating a sense of dialogue and community. As a member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council committees on workforce diversity and homeland security enhancement, Fan has helped shape national dialogue and strategy on these issues. At AIChE, he served as founding Chair of the Particle Technology Forum and in leadership roles on the Societal Impact Operating Council, the International Committee, the Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion Div., and the Diversity Taskforce. He was a member of the Institute Presidential Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation and serves on the AIChE Journal Editorial Board. Fan has had extensive experience with industry as a technical consultant, a technology development partner, and a licenser. Fan has also interacted appreciably with government agencies on energy and environmental issues. These experiences reflect the strong commitment to the cross fertilization of ideas among academia, industry and government that is the hallmark of Fan’s commitment to service of the Institute. Fan was a recipient of an industrial R&D 100 Award, named as one of the “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era” by AIChE, and delivered AIChE’s 67th Institute Lecture.


I am honored to be considered for Director, and, if elected, I will continue to promote AIChE with a particular focus on the following areas.

  • A continuously increasing population coupled with the growth of developing countries, dictates the efficient utilization of natural resources, particularly the dynamics of primary energy source consumption, which affects all facets of society. AIChE must remain abreast of this evolving situation, embrace its challenges, and provide practical, effective solutions that are economically and environmentally viable.
  • In today’s global village, AIChE is necessarily an international organization, but it must grow and enhance its diversity through inclusiveness and engagement with the international community.
  • National and international partnerships among industry, academia, and government agencies are a necessity to create teams that can solve global, complex challenges and problems. AIChE must support such collaborations and develop outlets where such relationships can form.

To best serve AIChE’s constituents and support its mission, I will always be available to discuss perspectives that will strengthen AIChE as a global leader.

Connect with L. S. Fan on Engage

Go to Top

Kate Gawel

Kate Gawel is a product developer for the North American biscuit group of Mondelez International (East Hanover, NJ), where she works closely with marketing, operations, and packaging to create new products for the company’s $1.2 billion club, multipacks, and immediate consumption business, including iconic brands such as OREO and Ritz. She started her career as a project engineer at Kraft’s Lehigh Valley plant and transitioned to the role of Product Commercialization Manager before the Mondelez International and Kraft split. In that role she was responsible for managing the launch of more than 30 new products. Kate received her BS in chemical engineering with honors in food science, and with a minor in engineering entrepreneurship, from The Pennsylvania State Univ.’s Schreyer’s Honors College.


From the earliest stages of my career, I have benefited, personally and professionally, from the support of AIChE members and the Institute as a whole. I began my involvement with AIChE at the Penn State Student Chapter, and held multiple leadership roles including Chapter President. After graduation, I knew I wanted to stay involved and I was lucky to be connected with AIChE’s Young Professionals Advisory Board where I started out as their 2010 Annual Student Conference coordinator. Over the past six years, I have been honored to serve AIChE on the global level as a member of the Membership Comm., the Societal Impact Operating Council (SIOC), as Chair of the Young Professionals Comm., and on the local level as a board member and current Chair Elect of the North Jersey Local Section. None of these roles would have been possible without the support of other AIChE members who encouraged me to find where I fit in the Institute.

Today, chemical engineering and the Institute are more diverse than they have ever been. While I believe AIChE truly is “home” for every chemical engineer, it is not always easy as a newcomer to figure out where you fit best. As an AIChE Board member, I plan to help other chemical engineers find their AIChE home by:

  • working with committees, divisions, and forums to come up with new ways to highlight involvement opportunities and connect them to new members
  • continuing to support SIOC in its effort to encourage and celebrate the diversity of our members and the industry
  • supporting efforts to increase the conversion rate of students to professional members and retain young professional members
  • working with members who have non-traditional careers to figure out how the Institute can meet their needs and encourage others like them to become members.

I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my ideas with readers. Please feel free to reach out to me at katherine.gawel@gmail.com.

Connect with  Kate Gawel on Engage

Go to Top

Zenaida Otero Gephardt

Zenaida Otero Gephardt, PhD, P.E., is an AIChE Fellow and associate professor of chemical engineering at Rowan University, where she has served as Director and Associate Dean of Engineering, and has received the Lindback Excellence in Teaching Award and the Excellence in Student Advising Award. She was previously a research engineer at DuPont. Zenaida is past Vice President of the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions. She serves on the Editorial Board of  Formación Universitaria in Chile and is a registered Professional

Engineer (DE). She is a member of the AIChE Foundation Board of Trustees and the Fellows Council, past chair of the Societal Impact Operating Council (SIOC), and past chair and current Board Member of the Delaware Valley Section. She has received Best Paper and Best Poster awards from the American Society for Engineering Education.


Everything chemical engineers do has economic and societal impact. This is a pivotal time for chemical engineers around the world to find new opportunities and implement novel solutions to technical and societal challenges. AIChE can and must increase its impact throughout the profession with initiatives that benefit members and the broader community. As a member of the Board of Directors, I will work to strengthen and develop local sections and their connections with student chapters. Supporting local sections to work with young professionals and offer students mentoring and development experiences provides a smooth transition between student and professional membership. It also engages and increases a diverse membership to continue growing a robust AIChE. Additionally, I will work to promote AIChE’s leadership in: diversity and inclusion initiatives; existing and emerging technologies and globalization initiatives and partnerships; enhancing public awareness of technical and societal matters; and K–12 education and scholarship initiatives that enhance a diverse pipeline to the profession.

I have worked to develop and enhance collaborations throughout the Institute and with other organizations to strengthen AIChE and advance its mission. It is my honor to have served AIChE as chair of the SIOC, and to lead its reorganization. I led and worked on projects including K–12 education and scholarship initiatives, workshops on women’s workforce retention and re-entry, and diversity workshops that helped develop the Institute’s membership-driven inclusion strategies. Currently, I am working with SIOC, the Fellows Council and the Foundation Board of Trustees to further increase the Institute’s impact and effectiveness in education, diversity and international initiatives.

My work at AIChE has been characterized by leadership through collaboration and consensus. With your support, I will bring my experience to the Board and we can work together to further position AIChE as a champion for its members and the profession. Please contact me at gephardtzo@rowan.edu.

Connect with Zenaida Otero Gephardt on Engage

Go to Top

Mary Kathryn (Kathy) Lee

Mary Kathryn (Kathy) Lee is a chemical engineer at ExxonMobil Corporate Strategic Research (Annandale, NJ). She has a BS in chemical engineering from MIT (1982) and attended North Carolina State Univ. as a G.E.M. scholar, graduating in 1984 with an MS in chemical engineering and a minor in science education. She joined ExxonMobil in 1991 and has worked in separation science, designing and building new laboratory-scale analytical units to make novel liquid and gas separation measurements. Her work has impacted upstream, downstream, and chemicals research, and has ranged from viscosity characterization to haze measurements and adsorbent development. Kathy has served the Institute as two-time chair of the Minority Affairs Comm. (MAC), as a member of the Societal Impact Operating Council, and as chair of the MAC@25 celebration. She was involved in the planning of the Diversity and Inclusion Workshop as well as the Women’s Initiatives Comm. Women’s Workplace Retention & Re-entry (W2R2) project. Under her leadership, MAC has changed its scholarship funding formula to a more sustainable model and initialized a new outreach to AIChE student chapters at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She has also been instrumental in the revival of the Minority Faculty Forum and the initiation of the MAC newsletter.


AIChE has always been part of my technical training, and the Institute continues to serve engineers well by providing leading edge education. I am a strong advocate of AIChE’s premier role in the continuing education of chemical engineers throughout all phases of their careers and the use of Institute experts and technology to bring education and training to engineers globally and locally. My role on the Board of Directors will be to actively support the positive role of chemical engineers in addressing societal, environmental and safety issues through outreach and education from the K–12 level to the practicing engineer by: promoting the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion goals throughout the Institute; encouraging innovation and the use of technology to bring AIChE benefits and training to the local and global levels; and maintaining AIChE as the world’s premier chemical engineer organization. I will focus on:

  • supporting technology that brings AIChE training to all parts of the globe
  • developing and encouraging diversity and inclusion throughout the Institute
  • promoting inclusion of young professionals in professional and societal activities
  • increasing member recruitment through student and local chapters
  • growing entrepreneur development activities
  • furthering education for safe and environmentally responsible operations.

Connect with Mary Kathryn (Kathy) Lee on Engage

Go to Top

JoAnn S. Lighty

JoAnn Slama Lighty is an AIChE Fellow and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Univ. of Utah, where she has been a faculty member since 1988 and has served in a variety of leadership roles including Department Chair and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering. Her research has focused on the formation and reduction of air pollutants from combustion and gasification systems. Currently, she is on loan to the National Science Foundation, serving as Director of the Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport (CBET) division with responsibility for 16 programs that serve the chemical, mechanical, civil/environmental engineering, and bioengineering communities. She has served AIChE in the following capacities: Executive Board, Programming Comm. (2015–present); Annual Meeting Co-Meeting Program Chair (2015); member of the Fellows Admissions Comm. (2011–present); and Secretary (1990–1991) and Director (1995–1997) of the Environmental Div. JoAnn obtained a PhD and BS in chemical engineering at the Univ. of Utah.


I have been a member of AIChE since 1982. AIChE continues to serve students and professionals across diverse interests — academics, industry, and government — through networking and professional growth and learning opportunities. Chemical engineering is making an increasingly important contribution to researching and solving current and future grand challenges such as clean water, health, and energy. This, coupled with increased interest in chemical engineering as reflected in enrollments, solidifies AIChE’s mission and the need for AIChE to “be a global leader in … the theory and practice of chemical engineering, to be the lifelong career home… to promote safety in every aspect of chemical engineering, and to be a leader in applying … chemical engineering principles for the betterment of society.” As an AIChE Board Member, I will focus on the following issues to help fulfill and extend this mission:

  • Support the global presence of AIChE through increased partnerships with international organizations and greater opportunities for web-based learning and networking.
  • Foster the interaction of industrial professionals with students, both undergraduate and graduate, at its meetings and virtually.
  • Support and enhance efforts to ensure that AIChE is an inclusive organization reflective of the diversity needed to meet future global challenges.
  • Support the transition of students to professional membership by working with the Young Professionals Comm.
  • Continue the opportunities for life-long learning of all members and encourage the transition to Senior membership and, ultimately, AIChE Fellow.

I look forward to discussing these and other issues. Please contact me at jlighty@utah.edu.

Connect with JoAnn S. Lighty on Engage

Go to Top

Al Sacco, Jr.

Al Sacco, Jr., is presently Dean of Engineering at Texas Tech Univ., and was formerly a professor and Chemical Engineering Dept. Head at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an Endowed Chair and interim department chair at Northeastern Univ. He flew on the space shuttle Columbia, conducting 200 experiments for 130 scientists. He has published more than 200 papers and given more than 300 invited presentations, including commencement, plenary and keynote addresses. He is a Fellow of AIChE and a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He is also a promoter of STEM (science, engineering, technology, and mathematics) education, university safety instruction, and inclusion of underrepresented minorities and gender equity in engineering. He has received numerous awards including four honorary doctorates (two in science, two in engineering) and NASA’s Space Flight Medal in 1995. He received the 2014 President’s Excellence in Diversity and Equity Award from Texas Tech Univ., and the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from AIChE’s Fuels and Petrochemicals Div.


I am passionate about, and would work diligently on, three areas if I were elected as a director of AIChE.

The first would be improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) proficiency. It is critical to the world, our nation, and our profession that we inspire the next generation of scientific and technological problem solvers. In my invited lectures, I have talked to over 45,000 students around the world to inspire them to become engineers and scientists, in order to solve the world’s Global Grand Challenges, and I believe AIChE should be a leader in this critical arena.

Second, I believe AIChE must do more for inclusivity of underrepresented minorities and must work at gender equity throughout the profession. We need to be more inclusive of other chemical engineers throughout the world, working with them to improve the profession worldwide. 

Third, I think AIChE must be a facilitator in bringing the best practices in industrial safety — including, but not exclusively, process safety — to university instruction. This will allow our universities to better train our students, faculty and staff on safe practices and will help universities to not just be compliant but to embrace a culture of safety in all they do.

If I receive your vote for director of AIChE, I will take a global outlook across the organization while focusing on these three areas: STEM (growing the pipeline), diversity and inclusivity (growing the pipeline and getting the best of all peoples), and embracing safety in the universities that train our next generation of engineers.

Feel free to email your ideas and suggestions related to these areas of interest: al.sacco-jr@ttu.edu.

Connect with Al Sacco, Jr. on Engage

Go to Top