The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) announced today that Karen Fletcher is assuming the new role of chief executive officer of its RAPID (Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment) Manufacturing Institute. In making the announcement, AIChE Executive Director June Wispelwey saluted Fletcher’s efforts as “a key player in the conception and development of this AIChE initiative” to provide products and services for the modular process intensification community.
Outlining Fletcher’s qualifications for the new job, Wispelwey highlighted her distinguished career in senior leadership roles at DuPont, driving innovation, engineering, business development, and investor relations. Most recently, Fletcher was chief engineer and vice president of engineering, facilities and real estate. In this role, she was responsible for $1.5 billion in global capital projects and engineering support to R&D and manufacturing.
In leading the RAPID Manufacturing Institute, Fletcher will leverage the expertise of a consortium of companies in the chemical process, pulp and paper, and metals industries, as well as government laboratories and academic partners. She will build on AIChE’s decades of experience managing technical centers, such as the Center for Chemical Process Safety, the Design Institute for Physical Properties and the CHO Genomic Systems Consortium.
RAPID has applied for support from the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation’s Modular Chemical Process Intensification for Clean Energy Manufacturing, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Previously, Fletcher’s positions at DuPont included vice president of investor relations, global marketing director for DuPont Titanium Technologies, and global business manager for Tyvek envelopes and graphics. Fletcher began her career at DuPont in 1982.
Fletcher earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in chemical engineering, at the University of Delaware. She serves on the Board of the University of Delaware (UD) Research Fund and is on the Advisory Council for UD’s Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. She recently completed service on the Board of Directors of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME).
About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 53,000 chemical engineers in 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.