Orlando Spring Meeting will Highlight Manufacturing, Energy, Particle Technology

Process Safety Experts Will Gather for Annual Global Congress to Discuss Safety in Chemical and Petrochemical Facilities
March 27, 2018

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will hold its 2018 Spring Meeting and 14th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS) at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida, April 22–26.

The Spring Meeting consists of more than 200 technical sessions covering a spectrum of topics pertinent to practicing engineers. Important areas of focus include new methods of manufacturing, energy production, and safety developments in the chemical, petrochemical and related industries. The meeting is also the venue for the 8th World Congress on Particle Technology— a quadrennial conference exploring particle technology applications in pharmaceuticals, sustainable energy, and more. An international audience of 2,500 engineers and affiliated professionals is expected to attend the Orlando meeting.

The activities kick off on Monday morning, April 23, with a keynote address by Mark P. Vergnano, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Chemours Company, a U.S.-based global chemical firm. At the conclusion of his speech, “Building a Winning Culture: Harnessing the Power of Values,” Vergnano will receive AIChE’s Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award.

The role of chemical engineers at the forefront of modern manufacturing will be explored in a new Industry 4.0 Topical Conference. Two panel discussions will introduce Industry 4.0 concepts on April 23, with subsequent sessions expanding on pertinent topics in computing (big data analytics), process intensification, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and more. Complementing the Industry 4.0 conference and its focus on manufacturing is a returning conference on innovative and smart manufacturing.

Also on April 23, the AIChE Fuels and Petrochemicals Division’s Welcome Session features a keynote talk by Jim Rekoske, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Honeywell UOP, who will look toward the future of the refining and petrochemicals industries in an era of changing energy raw materials.

Other topical conferences returning to the Spring Meeting program include the 6th International Conference on Upstream Engineering and Flow Assurance, the 18th Gas Utilization Conference, the 21st Refinery Processing Conference, and the 30th Ethylene Producers Conference — as well as conferences covering distillation, sustainable engineering, and emerging technologies in clean energy.

Joining the breadth of technical conferences is a new conference devoted to professional skills development. The Leadership Development Conference highlights issues that impact the career paths and workplace dynamics of today’s employees — with sessions exploring unconscious bias, listening skills, the art of the personal “elevator speech,” and other career-building strategies and insights.

While considerations of safety underscore virtually all the conference’s technical program tracks, the programming of the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS) is dedicated to instilling universal process safety excellence across the world’s chemical process industries. Organized by AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and the Safety and Health Division of AIChE, the GCPS is the foremost annual gathering of process safety professionals, engaging participants in an ongoing discussion about technologies and strategies to ensure plant safety, manage risk, and strengthen Process Safety Management (PSM) programs.

The GCPS launches on April 23 with a keynote speech by Michael J. Graff, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of American Air Liquide and Executive Vice President of Air Liquide Group.

This year’s GCPS incorporates the programming of the 52nd Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, the 32nd CCPS International Conference, and the 20th Process Plant Safety Symposium — the latter of which highlights two decades of progress toward improved safety culture in chemical plants. Another program track is the Seventh Process Safety Management Mentoring Forum, where experienced process safety personnel in the oil, gas and chemicals fields share their expertise with young professionals. The global emphasis of the meeting is reflected in sessions highlighting Perspectives on Process Safety from Around the World. Process Safety Spotlight sessions round out the GCPS program.

The Orlando conference is also the venue for the 8th World Congress on Particle Technology (WCPT8) — a conference that attracts the world’s particle science and technology experts, who will explore topics ranging from the field’s fundamentals to applications of particle technology in pharmaceuticals, sustainable energy, and environmental engineering. Sessions — including five plenaries and more than 25 keynote talks — and exhibits of the WCPT8 are open to registrants of the Spring Meeting.

Luncheon speakers are another highlight of the Spring Meeting and GCPS. The luncheon on Monday, April 23, welcomes Andrew Lenzen, Special Agent at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigators, who will discuss cybersecurity and the “Cyber Threat Landscape.” Tuesday’s luncheon speaker is Delia Contreras, Global Vice President of Engineering at Ecolab — who will contribute to a lunch program celebrating the 20-year history of AIChE’s Women’s Initiatives Committee. The Wednesday, April 25, luncheon highlights a talk by Jun Mutoh, Representative Director and Executive Vice President of JXTG Holdings, Inc., who will discuss safety culture “Beyond Operations Management Systems.”

AIChE will update its social media channels throughout the Spring Meeting, GCPS, and World Congress on Particle Technology. News, video interviews, and coverage of special events and keynotes will be available at ChEnected, AIChE’s online community blog (www.aiche.org/chenected/spring); Facebook (www.facebook.com/chenected); and Twitter feed (@chenected). The hashtags for the meeting are #AIChESpring, #GCPS, and #WCPT8.

For more information about the conference or related workshops and meetings, please visit www.aiche.org/spring.

Editor’s note: Journalists interested in covering the conference should contact Gordon Ellis at gorde@aiche.org.

About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 60,000 members in more than 110 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 www.aiche.org.