Jinghai Li, National Natural Science Foundation of China: The Future of Chemical Engineering

As part of AIChE's 110th Year Celebration, this series provides perspectives on the future of chemical engineering from dozens of leaders in industry, academia, and at national laboratories.

We continue with Jinghai Li, president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, vice president of the International Council for Science, former vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and lead author of the book From Multiscale Modeling to Meso-Science.

During AIChE’s centennial year of 2008, AIChE interviewed chemical engineers to learn their perspectives on the profession’s future. In today’s blog post, Jinghai Li presents his visions for chemical engineering post-2018.

Looking ahead 25 years, how do you expect chemical engineering to evolve?

In the next 25 years, chemical engineering will be greatly upgraded due to the progress made in understanding complex structures at different levels of materials and reactors, computational science, and data science. 

Traditional core areas of ChE expertise — such as applied chemistry, transport processes, process analysis and design, and business/communication skills — will continue to be important, but surely in a totally different paradigm.

Transdisciplinarity will be a common practice in ChE.

AIChE's 110 Year Celebration

Celebrate AIChE's 110-year anniversary. Attend this Annual Meeting session, focusing on the future of chemical engineering through the eyes of thought-leaders from industry, academia, and national laboratories.

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