A Message from 2021 AIChE President Deborah Grubbe

A Thank You to June Wispelwey for 13 Years of Leadership, Accomplishments, and Growth

I know that I speak for all of the members of the AIChE Board of Directors and many colleagues, past and present, when I say how indebted we are to June Wispelwey for her leadership over the past 13 years. She has helped AIChE to reach many important milestones, and has lifted the Institute to a pre-eminent position within the global chemical enterprise. Below are just some of June’s accomplishments:

  1. AIChE now has 60,000 chemical engineers in more than 110 countries, with an even broader reach beyond these members. 
  2. AIChE’s revenue has grown roughly 300% during June’s tenure. 
  3. Along with the efforts of the AIChE Foundation’s leaders, volunteers and donors, AIChE now has raised over $25 million to support process safety education and promote the chemical engineering profession. Almost 200,000 people have viewed a video on “What Chemical Engineers Do.”
  4. The AIChE Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS®) is considered to be the “go-to organization” for process safety expertise, and its membership totals more than 215 companies. 
  5. The AIChE Institute for Sustainability was the first organization to define and establish a credential for the practice of sustainability. 
  6. The Center for Hydrogen Safety, in only its second year, is working to ensure that hydrogen becomes a safe and viable alternative energy with more than 60 organizations working to promote hydrogen safety and best practices worldwide.
  7. Through June’s collaboration, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Chemours, HBCU Week, 43 generous firms, and AIChE have established the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI), which provides scholarships and professional development to students pursuing STEM degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
  8. The new AIChE Institute for Learning and Innovation (ILI) has positioned itself as the horizontal integrator and platform for the broader chemical engineering profession. Our first activities are underway, and you will be hearing more about them very soon.  

The Board of Directors has initiated the search process for a new executive director. We plan to communicate the details of this process across multiple channels in the near future. In the meantime, should you have any questions or feedback, please forward them to execdirsearch@aiche.org.

As the current AIChE president, I will personally miss June’s leadership. However, I know that we are all looking forward to working with her in her new role as a volunteer for AIChE! 

I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations and deepest thanks to June for a job well done! You can read June's retirement announcement here.