2018 Election | AIChE

2018 Election

For the 2019 Board of Directors

Board of Directors Voting dates and deadlines:

The election will commence on August 27th. Ballots will be mailed on August 13th. Due to new international mail restrictions, no ballots will be mailed to international members, however they will all receive emails that include the link to vote electronically. The electronic proxy voting site is now available: AIChE.SocietyElection.com. Instructions for electronic proxy will be included with the ballot and emailed to members with email addresses on file. As a reminder, your 2018 dues must be paid in full by September 1st in order to be eligible to vote. All ballots must be received by October 1st.

The Election results will be announced on October 29 at AIChE’s Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, and in the December issue of CEP.

2018 Election Timeline

May 7, 2018 Petition Candidate Due
August 13, 2018 Ballot Mail Date 
August 27, 2018 Election Commences
October 1, 2018 Ballot Receipt Deadline
October 29, 2018 Results Officially Announced at the Annual Business Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA

Slate of Candidates

For President-Elect 

Monty Alger Pennsylvania State University
Dan Lambert Savannah River National Laboratory

For Secretary

John P. O’Connell University of Virginia
Joseph D. Smith Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology and Elevated Analytics, LLC

For Director

Ana P. Davis Syngenta
Brian H. Davison Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Walter L. Frank Frank Risk Solutions, Inc.
Stephen B. Jaffe ExxonMobil (Retired)
Erin N. Kane AdvanSix Inc.
Cato T. Laurencin University of Connecticut
Syamal Poddar Poddar & Associates
David S. Sholl Georgia Institute of Technology

For President-Elect

Monty Alger

Monty Alger is a professor of chemical engineering at the Pennsylvania State Univ., where he is Director, Institute for Natural Gas Research. His more than 30 years of experience in the chemicals and energy industries includes positions as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and as Senior Vice President of Research at Myriant. He spent 23 years at General Electric (GE), where he led technology development at the Global Research Center of GE Plastics, and was the General Manager of Technology for the Advanced Materials business. Prior to GE, he was Director of the MIT Chemical Engineering Practice School Station at GE Plastics. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and serves on advisory boards for organizations including the Shenhua National Institute of Clean and Low Carbon Energy and PTTGC (Thailand). He is a former member of the Council on Competitiveness Technology Leadership Strategy Initiative. He earned SB and SM degrees from MIT and a PhD from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in chemical engineering. He served on AIChE’s Board of Directors (2010–2012), the Finance Committee, and worked on investment priorities to ensure alignment with member value.


AIChE is in a unique position to help design new innovation and education practices that build on successes to date, including the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), the AIChE Academy, and the public, private, and government partnership created through RAPID. Technology has enabled radically new business models supported by shared global platforms. The workforce is more dynamic as long-tenure positions at companies are less common, and intellectual capital management has become vital to maintaining a competitive market advantage. Students seeking their first jobs benefit from prior workplace experience and knowledge of professional skills, including business communication, finance, and project management. New models of online learning provide access to just-in-time learning and the opportunity to connect basic research innovation with market opportunity. The lean start-up model and interest in entrepreneurship has opened new opportunities for small business creation and factored in to larger companies’ innovation investments, while reinforcing the value of basic research and the need to invest for the future. AIChE has the unique ability to bring together public, private and government sectors to accelerate the design and implementation of modern integrated practices. Outcomes from this effort will lead to improved student success, improved awareness of career opportunities and skill requirements, reduced innovation cycle time, new methods for knowledge management in established companies, and greatly improved connection for basic research and market need.

If elected, I will work with members and partner organizations to advance these ideas. I would appreciate your vote and insights to help AIChE be part of conceiving and implementing new technology-enabled practices for the world of today.

Connect on Engage

Dan Lambert

Dan Lambert is a Fellow Engineer at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL; Aiken, SC), where he specializes in process development for stabilizing high-level radioactive waste generated from nuclear weapons production. He received his BS in chemical engineering from Ohio State Univ. and began his career with the U.S. Air Force’s Space Div. (Los Angeles, CA). He has spent 31 years at SRNL, where he leads research for the only active nuclear waste vitrification facility in the United States. Dan is a 36-year member of AIChE; an AIChE Fellow; founding chair of AIChE’s Virtual Local Section; former chair of the Career and Education Operating Council (CEOC), the Central Savannah River Local Section, and the Nuclear Engineering Div.; a Webinar Advisory Editor; and served on AIChE’s Board of Directors (2014–2016). He is a recipient of the Nuclear Engineering Div.’s Robert E. Wilson Award, the Local Section Shining Star Award, and two Gary Leach Recognition awards for service to the Virtual Local Section and the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Local Sections.


I am involved in AIChE because I want to serve others. It humbles me that I have been selected to run for president-elect. If elected, my focus will be to lead AIChE in improving its services and support for chemical engineers during every career phase.

I see a bright future for our profession. My sons have also chosen chemical engineering careers, and I want to encourage students and young professionals like them. Much has changed since I earned my degree, and I want to ensure that AIChE remains at the forefront of future growth.

I believe AIChE needs to foster early career growth — by providing practical continuing education through its webinars and courses, student chapters, and local section meetings, as well as through the programming of divisions and forums at Spring and Annual meetings.

Because our industry’s largest growth will likely occur overseas, AIChE’s outreach network also needs to be global. AIChE isn’t the only chemical engineering society in the world, and if AIChE does not engage chemical engineers working internationally, another society will. We need to find ways to extend our resources across time zones. AIChE also must assist people in career transitions, whether they are unemployed, returning to the workforce, or simply need a change. Local sections, divisions and forums, the Women’s Initiatives Committee, and other AIChE groups can give personal assistance and encouragement to people facing these challenges.

I’d love to hear your ideas on how you’d like to improve AIChE. Please contact me at dlambert@gforcecable.com or connect with me on LinkedIn at dan-lambert-7a09358 if you have any questions or comments.

Connect on Engage

Back to top

For Secretary

John P. O’Connell

John O’Connell is Professor Emeritus at the Univ. of Virginia. He has been active in AIChE for more than 50 years. An AIChE Fellow for more than 25 of those years, he served as Fellows Chair from 2004 to 2011, and became founding Chair of the Fellows Council. John is currently the Fellows Council Secretary and Editor of the Fellows Newsletter. He served on AIChE’s Board of Directors from 2015 through 2017. John has been involved in all levels of Institute programming — as a chair of many meeting sessions, Chair of Group 1 and Area 1A (Engineering Sciences and Fundamentals; Thermodynamics and Transport Properties), and as a member of the Executive Board of the Program Committee. He was Local Arrangements Chair for the 1978 Miami Beach Annual Meeting, and Meeting Program Chair of the 1989 San Francisco Annual Meeting. For 27 years, he was advisor to AIChE student chapters — which were selected as National Outstanding Chapters 11 times. John was honored as AIChE’s Outstanding Chapter Advisor in 1982 and 2013. Other AIChE contributions include service as Director of the Education Div. and the Virtual Local Section, as well as several cycles in the Future Faculty Mentoring program. He was an editor for Fluid Phase Equilibria and Chair of the Publications Board for Chemical Engineering Education. He has held sabbatical positions in Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal, and New Zealand. John has a BA from Pomona College, an SB and SM in chemical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in chemical engineering from the Univ. of California, Berkeley.


As an officer of AIChE, the Secretary is deeply engaged in the Institute’s governance in both operations and policy. The Secretary’s official tasks are to certify and communicate about elections and to participate in, and submit minutes of, all leadership meetings. The Secretary also works closely with AIChE staff and volunteer leadership at all levels, striving to provide full and consistent information and support to members and programs.

AIChE’s initiatives, especially as being developed in the new strategic plan, are both exciting and challenging paths into the future of our profession.

If elected, besides faithfully executing the official duties of Secretary, I will use my broad experience to:

  • advance AIChE as the Global Home of Chemical Engineers
  • contribute insights and ideas for meeting member needs
  • enhance internal and outreach programs for inclusion, diversity, and public affairs
  • encourage technical endeavors such as Industrial Technology Groups and RAPID
  • stimulate leadership development for a strong future.

Please feel free to contact me at jpocfc@gmail.com with your questions and thoughts.

Connect on Engage

Joseph D. Smith

Joseph D. Smith works at Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology and leads Elevated Analytics, LLC (www.elevatedanalytic.com) as Chief Technology Officer. As an AIChE leader, he previously served as the Institute’s Treasurer (2017) and Director (2014–2016). He has also served on AIChE’s Local Sections Committee and the Student Chapters Committee. He has worked for the Dow Chemical Co., Cabot Corp., and the John Zink Co. Smith formed his first startup as a joint venture with CD-adapco, and most recently started Elevated Analytics. He has published more than 60 papers, presented more than 80 conference papers, holds eight patents with four pending, and has contributed chapters to the John Zink Combustion Handbook, the Industrial Burner Handbook, and most recently to Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook and the Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. Since 2011, Smith has held the Wayne and Gayle Laufer Endowed Energy Chair at Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology (formally Missouri Rolla), where his research has focused on bio-energy and hybrid energy systems.


I view AIChE as the worldwide professional organization for chemical engineers. As a recent member of AIChE’s Executive Committee, I saw firsthand the demands and duties of the Secretary. Based on my experience, I believe I can help lead our diverse profession. I believe we must reach out to students and young professionals, in addition to serving long-time members. I believe we must support and build vibrant local sections, increase international membership, and expand our focus on advanced manufacturing. Success brings new challenges, which requires experienced leadership. My time as an AIChE local section chair in Midland, MI, and Tulsa, OK, and as Chair of the Student Chapters Committee, has taught me the value of involving students with local professionals. I believe that providing more leadership opportunities for students in local sections in addition to student chapters can increase conversion of student members to young professionals. I also believe we will continue to grow internationally, which will provide an opportunity to expand our influence by “Doing a World of Good!” If elected Secretary, I will focus on:

  • increasing student involvement in local section leadership to better integrate them with professionals and to improve connection between student chapters and local industry
  • expanding e-learning using mobile apps to increase membership value
  • increasing diversity and inclusion using international initiatives that also expand meeting attendance
  • supporting AIChE’s leadership role in advanced manufacturing, leveraging recent successes.

Based on my industrial and academic experience, as well as my AIChE service, I am well prepared and qualified to serve as Secretary and would greatly appreciate your vote. Feel free to contact me if you have questions: smithjose@mst.edu.

Connect on Engage

Back to top

For Director

Ana P. Davis

Ana Davis heads Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) in North America for Syngenta, a global agriculture company. She manages all of Syngenta’s corporate HSE programs, which include active ingredient manufacturing, product formulation, seeds operations, and commercial sales. Her team develops tools to improve safety culture across the company. Ana began her career as a process control engineer with Exxon, later working as a facilities engineer for Advanced Micro Devices. Prior to joining Syngenta in 2009, she held a variety of production and HSE management roles with Kao Specialties Americas. Before that, she was a plant manager at Dow and held several positions with Union Carbide Corp., becoming a plant production manager after the Dow Chemical merger. A native of Spain, Ana was recognized in 2005 with the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award for Professional Achievement in Industry. She serves on the advisory boards of AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and North Carolina State Univ.’s Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Ana received her BS degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State Univ., where she and her husband have established an endowment for chemical engineering undergraduate students.


Chemical engineering has evolved into a boundaryless profession with broad reach across industries, government, and academia. It is this breadth and scope that poses a transformational opportunity for the next phase of AIChE, its members, and chemical engineering around the world. I will work to position our organization as the premier global institution where all chemical engineers can connect, discover and create value, and benefit from a diverse platform for career growth.

My personal journey as a chemical engineer reflects the wide-ranging future opportunities for AIChE. Having worked across diverse industries — oil and gas, chemicals, semiconductor, and agriculture — and having championed roles in process automation; quality control; operations; facilities; and health, safety and environment, I bring perspectives that reflect the broad chemical engineering community. In addition, I serve on the advisory boards for AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety and for the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering of my alma mater. Through these partnerships, I have developed a new understanding of the interplay among industry, academia, and the different generations of engineers as they shape the future.

If elected, I will focus on helping AIChE explore new ways to inspire young engineers — such as my daughter who is pursuing a chemical engineering degree — and promote our unifying role in the broader engineering community. Through this engaged community, we can lead purposeful and powerful conversations to solve the world’s complex challenges, which will advance the chemical engineering profession and our future.

Connect on Engage

Brian H. Davison

Brian Davison is Chief Scientist for Biotechnology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He is also the Chief Science Officer of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE’s) new Center for Bioenergy Innovation, and the previous BioEnergy Science Center. He is a Fellow of AIChE, the Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He has served on the Board of AIChE’s Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) since 2012, and has also served on numerous DOE roadmaps and other panels. Davison is an editor for Biotechnology for Biofuels and the Journal of Industrial Biotechnology. He received an R&D100 Award, the C.D. Scott Award from SIMB, and the ORNL Science Communicator Award. He is also an adjunct professor in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was an Area 15 (Food, Pharmaceutical, and Bioengineering) plenary speaker at the 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting. He earned his BSE from the Univ. of Rochester and his PhD from CalTech, both in chemical engineering.


Chemical engineers are traditionally defined by our academic training; actually, we are defined by what we do in very diverse areas. Likewise, while we work in academia, industry or government, we all want our work and discoveries to be communicated and used. AIChE’s conferences, technical divisions and forums are the primary means for sharing information and new discoveries, and our meetings provide networking opportunities to accelerate our shared goals. I have been an active member for over 30 years because I find friends and colleagues in AIChE who share my goals in communicating the value of our science.

These personal goals of improved communication, networking, and diversity match AIChE’s strategic goals. We need to support sections, divisions, and organizations like SBE to continue to diversify their programming — at major meetings and through targeted conferences. Since I recently helped start a new SBE conference, I am aware of ongoing needs in mentoring and support for organizing meetings — especially when encouraging newer members to lead. We need to communicate the informal and formal (i.e., the Leadership Development Program) opportunities offered by AIChE. By expanding opportunities for professional development and leadership, AIChE will increase its diversity (personal and professional). However, we must act intentionally.

Communication includes technical talks, but also extends to our ability to inform the public and speak to management. This was reinforced at a career panel held at our local AIChE student chapter, when I and others emphasized communication skills. I would be honored to serve as a Director and pledge to communicate and listen via bhdcheme@gmail.com to help AIChE serve its members and society.

Connect on Engage

Walter L. Frank

Walt Frank is President of Frank Risk Solutions, Inc., a process safety consulting practice. He received his BSChE from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and has over 45 years’ experience in the process industries. He is a Fellow of both AIChE and the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), a registered PE, and a CCPS Certified Process Safety Professional (CCPSC). Mr. Frank served previously as a director, then as Chair, of the AIChE Safety and Health Div., and as Chair of the 2005 Loss Prevention Symposium. An Emeritus member of CCPS, he has actively supported CCPS programs for more than 25 years, co-authoring four CCPS process safety books and tools, and assisting in the development of nearly 20 others. He is a CCPS staff consultant and an AIChE Academy instructor.

Frank previously served on the board of directors of the Delaware Chapter of the American Diabetes Association and was an elected council member for the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers (DAPE) — the state PE-licensing board, where he also chaired the Law Enforcement and Ethics Committee. He has been recognized for his service by AIChE, the Safety and Health Div., DAPE, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).


I believe that there is no higher responsibility for chemical engineers and AIChE than helping ensure the safety of our facilities and operations. AIChE and CCPS have been leaders in fostering advances in process safety. But, additional opportunities remain to both broaden and reinforce these efforts. Therefore, I believe that it is important for the Board of Directors to have members who have worked in the process safety discipline, can bring appropriate insight and experience, and can advocate for and support the current and future process safety programs within AIChE and CCPS. I am confident that I can provide that perspective and would be honored to have the opportunity to do so.

Over the past three decades, I have been fortunate to work with many of the thought leaders who have guided the development of process safety as we now know it. Unfortunately, many of these talented people have retired or will soon retire. At the same time, I have often noted that many of our brightest engineers do not elect to go into process safety practice, perceiving other career paths to offer greater opportunity. As a Board Member, I will urge AIChE to work with industry to find ways to make process safety a more appealing career path, either as a long-term choice, or as an important career development step. The CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification program is a good first step, but there is more that we should do. Please share your thoughts with me at wlf@frankrisk.com.

Connect on Engage

Stephen B. Jaffe

Steve Jaffe earned his BS from Tufts Univ. (summa cum laude), and his MA and PhD from Princeton Univ., all in chemical engineering. He joined Mobil Research and Development Corp. in 1968 as a Research Engineer at the Paulsboro (NJ) Research Laboratory. After stints in New York as Mobil’s Senior Planning Associate for Research and Engineering, and at the upstream Dallas Research Laboratory, Steve returned to downstream R&D at the Paulsboro Lab in 1987. There he co-invented structure oriented lumping, a method for describing the composition, chemical reaction and properties of complex hydrocarbon systems. Structure oriented lumping, the basis of compositional modeling, is used to optimize petroleum refinery operations on a molecular scale. In 2000, with the merger of Exxon and Mobil, Steve became a Distinguished Scientific Advisor, championing the development and deployment of compositional modeling technology, leading to significant business impact. He retired from ExxonMobil in 2006. He is a Fellow of AIChE and a recipient of the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Div. Award (2004). In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.


I first joined AIChE as an undergraduate at Tufts Univ. After earning my doctorate from Princeton, I spent my entire engineering career working in research at Mobil, and then Exxon-

Mobil. I was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for pioneering work on composition modeling of complex petroleum systems. I’ve been an active member of AIChE, organizing and serving on panels, and building networks. Throughout my career, I maintained strong academic ties and served on the outside advisory committees at both Tufts and Princeton, and as a consultant in industry.

Engineering as a discipline puts a premium on both practical application and academic research, and the cornerstone of my career has been the strengthening of these natural bonds. I have presented more than 75 seminars at various universities and technical forums, highlighting novel industrial research and stressing opportunities for future work. I would like to see the AIChE strengthen ties between industry and universities and further its outreach both nationally and internationally.

There are two areas of particular interest to me where the AIChE can have substantial impact:

The first is addressing the difficulties related to integration of the bioengineering curriculum with traditional chemical engineering, especially in smaller universities.

The second concerns the education of the public — outside of science and engineering — about the sources and uses of energy.

In sum, I am excited to work with the AIChE board and AIChE’s membership to contribute to the Institute’s mission, including fostering communication, supporting research, promoting education, and building a stimulating, inclusive, and diverse scientific community.

Connect on Engage

Erin N. Kane 

Erin Kane is president and CEO of AdvanSix Inc., a fully-integrated manufacturer of nylon 6, established in 2016. She was named to lead AdvanSix as it was spun off from Honeywell to become an independent company, following more than a decade of advancing leadership roles. AdvanSix has more than 1,500 employees at four U.S.-based manufacturing sites, and provides global customers with nylon materials used in carpeting, engineering plastics, and films; fertilizer used to grow high-value crops; and chemicals that serve as building blocks for paints, adhesives, and other formulations. Kane is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt. She serves on the boards of directors of the American Chemistry Council and AdvanSix. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Bucknell Univ.


Like most, I joined AIChE as an undergraduate ChemE - though as my professional responsibilities grew, I was not as active in the organization as I would have liked. I have become reacquainted with the organization through AdvanSix’s participation in the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and my involvement in the two most recent AIChE Foundation Corporate Council and Industry Leaders Forums. Now, more than 20 years removed from my initial student membership, I am once again a member! With both the experience and enthusiasm to give back, I would be privileged to contribute to AIChE as a Board member.

As a director, I believe I can add both strategic and operational insight to the governance of the Institute and fulfill the primary duties of contributing to a refined and executable strategic plan and the advancement of the profession.

Forging and strengthening connections among the many facets of our profession would be a primary goal — from students, to academia, to industry. The local section network is an incredible strength of the organization that can be leveraged for growth and advancement as we tackle key challenges: diversity and inclusion, undergraduate and professional learning, career advancement and retention, innovation, and sustainability.

My journey with AIChE membership is not unique. I would seek to further improve and define the path from student to professional membership so that we may benefit from the engagement of all ChemEs no matter what career path they choose. We face exciting yet challenging times. The Institute will need to be agile in responding to the changing needs of its members, and must remain agile in order to continuously improve to be even stronger tomorrow.

I would be humbled to have the opportunity to bring my skill set and perspective to the team — to advance and elevate the work of AIChE and to provide meaningful benefits to current and future members. I welcome your ideas and comments at Erin.Kane@advansix.com.


Connect on Engage

Cato T. Laurencin

Cato T. Laurencin is the 8th University Professor in the University of Connecticut’s history. An AIChE Fellow, he was named one of the 100 Engineers of the Modern Era by AIChE. He is active with the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC), and has won the AIChE William Grimes Award. More recently, he is the founder of the Regenerative Engineering Society, a new community within AIChE. He received his B.S.E. from Princeton, his Ph.D. from M.I.T., and his M.D. from Harvard. He has served in board member roles in industry (Board of Directors of Osteotech), academia (Board of Directors of UCONN Health and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center), government (National Science Board of the FDA) as well as science organizations (Board member of AIMBE, BMES, NMA, SFB, and TERMIS). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine, and internationally a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He received the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from President Clinton, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring from President Obama, and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, our nation’s highest honor for technological achievement, in ceremonies at the White House.


First, I am honored to be nominated to be a Director of AIChE. I have been a member for over 30 years and have greatly admired the organization and the work it has performed. I am excited about the future of AIChE for a number of reasons. First, AIChE has shown itself to be nimble and responsive though the creation of industry groups and technology groups, offering members a variety of opportunities for involvement. We need to continue to expand these groups and provide the administrative and technical support to see them flourish. AIChE is strong really only to the extent it benefits its members. Second, I believe that AIChE has hard-wired diversity into the organization through the involvement of the Minority Affairs Committee and through various efforts taking place throughout. I would like to see AIChE serve as a true model for inclusiveness, demonstrating to the world its benefits. Third, AIChE is already recognized as a preeminent organization in the world, but is poised to do even more on the world stage through international programs, and by serving as a voice for solving societal needs and challenges in the U.S. and internationally. Finally, I remember my first meeting at AIChE, my first paper, my first session moderated, and my first award through AIChE. I feel fortunate to be a member and believe it is my turn to give back. My vision is for an organization where every individual has every opportunity to engage and grow in AIChE.

Connect on Engage

Syamal Poddar

Syamal Poddar is the founder and President of the consulting company Poddar & Associates. His 40+ year industrial career includes working for two global companies — Exxon Research & Engineering and Bechtel Corp. — where he held diversified professional, management, and leadership responsibilities. He also maintained his teaching interest as an adjunct faculty member for several years at the Univ. of Houston (Clear Lake and Downtown campuses). As a part of his consulting activities, he offers several technical, project and business development, and leadership courses in the U.S. and internationally.

Syamal has been active in AIChE for many years. He has served as chair of the Fuels and Petrochemical Div. and the South Texas Local Section, director of the Management Div., and has also served on the Societal Impact Operating Council (SIOC). He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the AIChE Foundation. Syamal is a Fellow of AIChE and is currently Chair of the Fellows Council. He enjoys mentoring young professionals. As a passionate volunteer, he is driving the expansion of diversity and inclusion, and encouraging leadership roles for young professionals by attracting and motivating them within AIChE. He earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in chemical engineering (with honors) from Jadavpur Univ. (India), and his PhD in chemical engineering from the Univ. of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Texas.


I truly believe that AIChE is the global home of chemical engineers, and I am honored to be a part of the active Foundation team and its Doing a World of Good campaign. As your AIChE director I will:

  • communicate effectively with members, particularly those who are not active, to understand how they could be engaged
  • initiate better interaction between industries and the academicians to make curricula relevant and current to the changes the industry is facing
  • bring diversity and inclusion to our team and energize them to participate in the strategic initiatives of the Institute
  • plan programs and activities focused on the needs of retired members
  • energize young professionals to transform them into effective leaders
  • initiate special efforts to expand our Fellows pool by identifying potential candidates via effective interaction with local sections, divisions and forum.
  • work with underrepresented minority colleagues to unleash their individual potential.

I would appreciate your vote to serve as an elected Director of the Institute. Please feel free to communicate with me should you have any questions or comments: associates.poddar@gmail.com.

Connect on Engage

David S. Sholl

David Sholl is the John F. Brock III School Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a role he has held since 2013. He has been a faculty member at Georgia Tech since 2008, after being on the chemical engineering faculty at Carnegie Mellon Univ. from 1998–2007. David chaired AIChE’s Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum (CoMSEF) from 2012–2014, and is a current member of AIChE’s Strategic Plan Steering Committee. He was deeply involved in establishing the RAPID Manufacturing Institute — the DOE-funded process intensification institute being led by AIChE; he was RAPID’s interim CTO and is now a RAPID focus area leader. David is a member of an active National Academies Study Committee on Separations Science and was the Associate Chair of a recent Basic Research Needs report on the energy-water nexus for the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Div. of Basic Energy Sciences. David’s research group has published more than 300 papers and collaborated extensively with industrial partners including ExxonMobil, Dow, Phillips66, Praxair, and AspenTech.


AIChE’s members will define the future of chemical engineering and indelibly change global society. Below I discuss three aspects of a future-facing vision for AIChE: future leaders, future technologies, and future challenges.

Future Leaders: Today’s students are our profession’s future leaders. Studying chemical engineering draws students into satisfying and well-compensated careers. AIChE can and should play a critical role in shaping chemical engineering education in the U.S. and around the world. I will advocate tirelessly for AIChE to encourage educational programs that give students the skills they need to advance throughout their careers, to continue efforts to increase the diversity of students at all levels, and to forge deep ties between industrial practice and student training.

Future Technologies: For the chemical industry to thrive, new processes and products must continually be developed. AIChE can play a powerful role in shaping the R&D agendas of government agencies, in catalyzing public-private partnerships, and in enabling innovative connections among companies of all sizes. I will work to further strengthen AIChE’s position as a focal point for translating R&D into industry-leading future technologies.

Future Challenges: In the coming years, our profession will have to confront enormous challenges associated with cybersecurity, automation, sustainability, and undoubtedly many others. AIChE can be a key resource to members in anticipating these complex issues. I will seek to bolster AIChE’s ability to help members at every career stage in defining and facing future challenges.

I would welcome your feedback on how I can help AIChE define the future of chemical engineering and can be reached via email at david.sholl@chbe.gatech.edu.

Connect on Engage

Back to top