Safety, Manufacturing, and Knowledge Transfer Highlight Programming at the 2019 Spring Meeting and 15th GCPS

Chemical engineers at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, and the technologies that define the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), will be explored in depth at the 2019 AIChE Spring Meeting and 15th Global Congress on Process Safety, March 31 to April 4, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, LA.

The Spring Meeting is AIChE’s premier conference for chemical engineering practitioners, with program tracks covering the profession’s latest developments in areas both fundamental and future-focused. This year’s Spring Meeting continues its recent emphasis on topics under the “Industry 4.0” umbrella, with substantial programming devoted to topics in process intensification and big data analytics, including sessions exploring artificial intelligence (AI), digitalization, and more.

Setting the stage for Industry 4.0 is a plenary session (Monday, Apr. 1), which will provide a historical overview of the evolution of AI applications, a retrospective on the development of computing since the 1980s, and an assessment of the role of big data in the age of power-computing.

AGILE Award keynote address

Another underlying theme of this year’s meeting is the critical need (and optimal methods) for transferring technical knowledge to future generations of practitioners. That theme is introduced on Monday by Sharon Beshouri, President Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc., in her AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award keynote address entitled “Embracing Transitions Today — Assuring a Robust Future Tomorrow.”

Topical conferences

Other topical conferences highlight clean energy, sustainable engineering, refinery processing, gas utilization, ethylene production, and upstream engineering and flow assurance. Topical tracks also include the Kister Distillation Symposium and a Leadership Development Topical Conference emphasizing career-skills enhancement.

On Monday, AIChE’s Fuels and Petrochemicals Div. kicks off its programming with a welcome plenary, held in tandem with the Big Data Analytics Topical Conference. The plenary will explore applications of big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing in upstream and downstream refining and petrochemicals operations. Headlining the session is a keynote talk by Paul Bonner, Vice President of Consulting and Data Analytics at Honeywell Connected Plant.

Another Fuels and Petrochemicals highlight is an executive panel entitled “Embracing the Challenge: Meeting the Global Demand for More and Cleaner Energy” (Apr. 2). Representatives from the global energy, environmental, and technology sectors will discuss the challenges involved in meeting the demand for more and cleaner energy in the context of a shifting global energy mix. Panelists include Doris Fujii (BP America), Cary Garcia (California Energy Commission), Laurel Harmon (LanzaTech), and Debalina Sengupta (Texas A&M Gas and Fuel Research Center).

Meet the Industry Candidates Poster Session

New this spring is a Meet the Industry Candidates Poster Session (Apr. 1), where graduate students will showcase their work to industrial attendees, talent scouts, and recruiters. Also new are two panel discussions devoted to the contributions of women engineers in the refining and petrochemicals industries (Apr. 1) and in process safety (Apr. 2).

Luncheon speakers

Conference bundle registrants hold a reserved seat for daily keynote luncheons, beginning on Monday with a talk by Bruce Chinn, President of Chevron Oronite Co. LLC, who will explain why the fostering of diverse and inclusive workplace environments is an innovation imperative.

Tuesday’s luncheon features a status report on hydrogen and fuel cells by Sunita Satyapal, Director of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Wednesday’s luncheon speaker is Gavin Towler, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, who will discuss integrated process safety management and how to “take safety performance to the next level.”

15th Global Congress on Process Safety

Organized by AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and the Safety and Health Div., the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS) assembles the expertise of an international audience of safety engineers, plant managers, and process designers in an ongoing examination of the latest technologies and strategies for avoiding incidents, managing risk, ensuring plant safety, and improving process safety management (PSM) programs.

The 2019 GCPS begins on Monday, Apr. 1, with a Welcome Plenary Address by Matthew C. Koenings, retired Vice President of Operations and Chief Engineer at DuPont, who will discuss AIChE’s Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative, which has been instrumental in transferring process safety knowledge from practitioners to chemical engineering professors and their students.

The GCPS incorporates the programming of the 53rd Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, the 34th CCPS International Conference, the 21st Process Plant Safety Symposium, and the 8th Process Safety Management Mentoring Forum — which will again highlight knowledge transfer in sessions devoted to “mentoring the mentors.” The Global Congress program also showcases Process Safety Spotlight sessions and Perspectives on Process Safety from Around the Globe, with pertinent sessions presented in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. A Case Histories and Lessons Learned session (Apr. 3) showcases a cross-section of real-world incidents.

Among the meeting’s new program tracks are sessions devoted to the application of big data digitalization in augmenting process safety performance.

AIChE Engage community and social media

The community for the Spring Meeting and GCPS has launched on AIChE Engage. There, you can connect with fellow attendees through the discussion board and directory, and ask questions about speakers, sessions, and the city of New Orleans.

Make sure to follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for updates before the meeting and during the meeting, and share your experiences at the meeting with #AIChESpring and #GCPS.