Entering a New Golden Age of Chemical Engineering

Originally delivered Sep 10, 2014
Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
  • Level:
  • Duration:
    1 hour

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Chemical engineering expertise is essential for a wide variety of areas that are shaping the world’s future, making this truly a new Golden Age of ChE. At the same time, a hallmark of our scientific and technological advances is that they must address larger contexts, and we must aid both industry and public decision-making. Consider these trends:

  • The new abundance of hydrocarbon resources
  • Biology’s turning into a molecular science
  • Computing’s evolution into a cyberinfrastructure
  • Manufacturing’s shift to emphasize processes and properties
  • Society’s need for the breadth and problem-solving approaches of chemical engineering.

Looking more broadly, for the next hundred years bio-oil products will face difficult competition with abundant gas and oil from hydrofracturing. That sets up conflicts between our intertwined societal aspirations of having both energy and environmental quality. Our knowledge is crucial for providing the technologies and the information to fill such needs wisely and to achieve our world's highest aspirations.

Be sure to read the related blog series "We Are ChE: Entering a Golden Age", authored by AIChE's 2014 Past President, Phil Westmoreland.


Phillip R. Westmoreland

Phil Westmoreland is a professor at North CarolinaState University in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research focuses on reaction kinetics and engineering, obtained from experiments, computational chemistry and reactor modeling. His Chemical Engineering degrees are fromN.C. State (BS73), LSU (MS74) and MIT (PhD86). From 1986-2009, Phil was at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and in 2006-2009 he served as a Program Director at NSF.

He was 2013 AIChE President; is a Trustee and past president of the educational nonprofit CACHE Corporation; and was...Read more

June C. Wispelwey

June Wispelwey, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is a chemical engineer and business leader with vast work experience in the chemical and bio-pharmaceutical fields. Prior to becoming AIChE executive director, June served as executive director of the Society for Biological Engineering (SBE), a technical community within AIChE, overseeing its successful launch and growth. Under her leadership, SBE developed a successful consortium to advance genomic research on the Chinese hamster ovary cell lines which are important to...Read more



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