Chemical Engineers To Gather In Houston In April To Discuss Energy, Safety Developments | AIChE

Chemical Engineers To Gather In Houston In April To Discuss Energy, Safety Developments

March 1, 2012
HOUSTON – The American Institute of Chemical Engineers will hold its Spring Meeting and 8th Global Congress on Process Safety, in Houston from April 1-5. Much of the meeting will focus on energy solutions and advancements in safety.  Nearly 2,000 chemical engineers are expected at the Hilton-Americas and the George R. Brown Convention Center for the conference.  
On Monday, April 2, Michael J. Dolan, senior vice president of ExxonMobil Corporation, will deliver the meeting’s keynote address. Dolan’s speech, “Process Safety and Corporate Responsibility,” ties together safety and sustainability, two of the major topics of the Spring Meeting. 
Also on Monday, Joseph Powell, chief scientist at Shell, will speak about “Future Fuels and Chemicals: Grand Challenges and Opportunities.” He will discuss how carbon footprint, cost, and convenience will be critical drivers for future energy choices.
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as it is commonly known, has been a hot topic in both energy trade publications and the general media. On Tuesday, Stephen A. Holditch of Texas A&M University will discuss hydraulic fracturing in his paper “Unconventional Natural Gas: How Much, At What Cost?” which will explore how technology breakthroughs and increased prices have made underground gas reservoirs increasingly accessible and desirable.  Holditch’s paper is just one of many papers on shale gas at the Spring Meeting. 
On Wednesday, April 4, a team of engineers from Air Products & Chemicals, led by Joan M. Schork, will present a paper on “Societal Risk Criteria and Pipelines.” They will focus on the risk of transporting gases and liquids via pipeline, a topic much in the news, given the debate over the proposed Keystone Pipeline from Canada to Texas.
George Famini from the Department of Homeland Security will also give a presentation on Wednesday. His paper focuses on the efforts by the Department’s Chemical Security Analysis Center to improve the security of the chemical supply chain.
The Global Congress on Process Safety is the largest annual gathering of process safety experts in the world. Participants will share lessons learned in the chemical, refining, and pharmaceutical industries on how to avoid incidents, manage risk, ensure plant safety and strengthen your process safety management programs. 
This year’s Spring Meeting also features the first International Conference on Upstream Engineering and Flow Assurance. Other highlights of the conference include:
  • The 24th Ethylene Producers’ Conference
  • 112h Topical Conference on Gas Utilization
  • 15th Gas Utilization Topical Conference
  • Fossil Energy Utilization
  • Advances in Sustainability

AIChE will update content on its social media channels throughout the Spring Meeting. News, photos, videos, special event and keynote coverage is available at  Facebook ( and Twitter feeds (@chenected) will have regular updates direct from the meeting. The official hashtag for the meeting is #AIChESpring.

For more information about the conference or related workshops and meetings, please go to:

Editor’s Note:  Journalists interested in covering the conference should contact Danielle Gross at 


About AIChE:

AIChE is a professional society of more than 40,000 chemical engineers in 92 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at