The Importance of International Exchanges to Chemical Engineering

Dear Colleagues:

AIChE's leadership and home office have had multiple inquiries from members in the wake of the recent U.S. Executive Order limiting travel and immigration. We recognize that within the United States and around the world, there are differences about local and national goals, policies, and laws. Our U.S. membership may be divided on the policy issue of tightening border controls. However, as constructed and executed, the present Executive Order has adverse effects on our diverse members, their employers, and our academic institutions.

To that end, AIChE, along with 160 other engineering and scientific societies and universities, has co-signed a letter that was issued by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It notes the adverse consequences of the particular processes that were ordered in the January 27 Executive Order, stating "we urge the Administration to rescind the Executive Order, and we stand ready to assist you in crafting an immigration and visa policy that advances U.S. prosperity and ensures strong borders while staying true to foundational American principles as a nation of immigrants." If you’d like to read the full text of this statement, it can be found here

AIChE is committed to being the Global Home of Chemical Engineers, as emphasized by our logo. As part of our Code of Ethics, "AIChE is committed to creating an environment in the Institute and profession in which all members, regardless of characteristics such as gender, race, religion, age, physical condition, sexual orientation, nationality or ethnicity, are valued and respected."

Looking beyond political, cultural, and national differences, AIChE is committed to professional development, international cooperation, and volunteer participation around the world. Part of that commitment is that we encourage and promote virtual and face-to-face discussion and advances.

We will continue to share the best and most useful information and practices from the worldwide chemical-engineering community and to aid interactions among chemical engineering professionals. Such openness aids prosperity, security, and quality of life for everyone, nationally and internationally.

Thank you for your interest.

Phil Westmoreland

Chair, AIChE Public Affairs and Information Committee



Todd Jaco's picture

Where is AIChE's official response regarding other countries where our members reside that had (or even still have) tighter travel and/or immigration policies than the US has had up to this executive order?

I believe that the executive order needs a massive overhaul and that AIChE should have an opinion, but if it styles itself a global organization it should have had an opinion on many policies globally.

Phillip Westmoreland's picture

Thanks - This statement restates AIChE's commitment to all of our global membership, whether they are coming to meetings in the US or elsewhere. Most countries believe it is important to control their borders, yet countries benefit generally from the fruits of international professional advances and interactions.