World’s Premier Chemical Engineering Meeting, Highlighting Energy, Sustainability And Bioengineering, Comes To Minneapolis

Special sessions celebrate the International Year of Chemistry and offer corporate and academic leaders discussing the future of the US chemical enterprises.
October 17, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS – The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the world’s leading organization for chemical engineers, is holding its Annual Meeting here this week to discuss topics that include energy, water supply and quality, sustainability, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. More than 5,000 engineers and students from around the world are expected. 

The week will feature more than 750 sessions, including 13 topical conferences focused on issues such as water sustainability, green process engineering, renewable energy and nanotechnology. 
The conference kicks-off on Monday with early sessions and a plenary address by Thomas Peterson of the National Science Foundation that celebrates 2011 as the “International Year of Chemistry,” a worldwide designation by the UN that highlights the contributions of chemistry and chemical engineering to the well-being of people everywhere. Later on Monday, at a plenary session, Chemical Science Innovation: Future of the U.S. Chemical Enterprise, American corporate, academic and research leaders will share their perspectives on this critical component of the US economy.  
Most events are being held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. 
This year’s program includes the second International Conference on Energy, the first Annual World Congress on Sustainable Engineering and the Annual Meeting of the American Electrophoresis Society. The International Congress on Energy focuses on the ways that innovation and new technologies are the key to ensuring future supplies. This conference consists of more than 100 sessions on topics that range from hydrogen production and storage to green process engineering, biorefineries, and nuclear and solar energy. 
The first Annual World Congress on Sustainable Engineering provides a deep look at sustainable materials, the lifecycle of chemicals, biorefineries and sustainable fuels. 
AIChE will update content on its social media channels throughout the Annual Meeting. News, photos, videos, special event and keynote coverage will be available at and Facebook (, and its Twitter feed (@chenected) will be regularly updated from the meeting. The official hashtag for the meeting is #AIChEAnnual.
“Our Annual Meeting spotlights cutting-edge research that will transform our industries and our lives,” said June Wispelwey, AIChE executive director. “Chemical engineers are at the forefront of innovations around the globe in energy, healthcare, and the environment, and the Annual Meeting is the year’s best opportunity to share the latest development.” 


Each year, AIChE invites a person who has made fast-paced progress in chemical engineering to present a lecture. Michael W. Deem, the John W. Cox Professor of biochemical and genetic engineering and professor of physics & astronomy at Rice University will deliver this year’s address F = m a of Biology? on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Chaitan Khosla, chair of chemical engineering at Stanford University, will receive the James. E Bailey Award sponsored by the Society for Biological Engineering. The award is presented to an individual who has had an important impact on bioengineering.
Each year, AIChE invites a distinguished chemical engineer to present a comprehensive review of his or her specialty. Dr. William Koros, the Roberto C. Gouizueta chair and GRA eminent scholar in membranes at Georgia Institute of Technology will present the 63rd AIChE Institute Lecture on Wednesday. Membrane materials, structures, modules and system design have fundamentally changed the water purification industry. More recently, the revolution has begun to spread beyond water to more difficult to separate gaseous species, such as oxygen-nitrogen separation, hydrogen and natural gas purification and monomer capture and recycle. Koros will discuss the challenges in expanding the separation spectrum.
The Xerox Corporation will receive the 4th Corporate Innovation Award on Thursday. Hadi Mahaadi, vice president and director at Xerox Research Centre of Canada, will discuss the Emulsion Aggregation Toner Technology (EA) that was invented, developed and commercialized by Xerox. EA represents a breakthrough in chemical engineering processes for preparing toner materials using nanotechnology. The technical challenges faced by chemical engineers and chemists during the early stages of product development will be presented.


Yesterday, the Chem-E-Car competition, one of the chemical engineering students’ most popular annual events took place. College teams raced shoebox-size cars powered by alternative fuels using carefully calculated chemical reactions. Adding to the excitement of the competition, the cars must safely transport a small payload a certain distance, but that critical information is not revealed to the teams until one hour before the race, so students must quickly calculate how much fuel to use. 
For more information on all the activities surrounding the AIChE Annual Meeting, please visit

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