Spring Meeting Chair Tony Cai Invites You to the 2024 AIChE Spring Meeting and 20th Global Congress on Process Safety

Dr. Tony Cai is Chief Scientist for Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI) and the Spring Meeting Program Chair at the 2024 AIChE Spring Meeting & 20th Global Congress on Process Safety taking place in New Orleans, LA, on March 24–28, 2024. We recently caught up with Tony to find out what we can expect at this year’s conference.

What is your role for the 2024 AIChE Spring Meeting & 20th Global Congress on Process Safety?

Extending a warm welcome to the chemical engineering community for the 2024 AIChE Spring Meeting and 20th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS) in New Orleans brings me great pleasure. My role involves serving as the Spring Meeting Program Chair and holding the position of Director of the Separations Division. In both capacities, my primary focus has been collaborating with the AIChE Staff to curate captivating programming and events and to ensure a vibrant and stimulating experience with ample networking opportunities for all attendees.

Additionally, I am dedicated to promoting the active engagement and participation of practicing chemical engineers within AIChE. I place particular emphasis on involving young professionals through my established network and affiliated platform. It is crucial to recognize and appreciate the immense dedication and hard work put forth by the various programming chairs, session chairs, and the outstandingly diligent AIChE staff, with special acknowledgment to Mr. Justin Canna, who plays a pivotal role in shouldering the majority of the responsibilities.

Can you give us some insight into this year’s meeting and what events shouldn’t be missed?

The AIChE Spring Meeting this year holds its position as the foremost technical conference for practicing chemical engineers, covering a diverse range of subjects crucial to current industry needs. In parallel, the Global Congress on Process Safety 2024 goes beyond surface-level discussions, providing a comprehensive exploration of the essential requirements for process safety practitioners, surpassing the scope of any other conference in this field.

Attempting to outline all the unmissable events would create an impossible schedule! Each luncheon promises exceptional speakers and captivating topics. On the morning of Monday, March 25th, Dr. Mark Lashier, President and CEO of Phillips 66, will kick off the conference with a keynote for the AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award, focusing on the theme “Regeneration: Fuel for the Future.” Those with conference bundle registrations will enjoy reserved seats at daily keynote luncheons, featuring guest speakers who delve into key meeting topics. Highlighting some of these speakers, Teresa Keating, Global Director of Business Operations at Dow Performance Materials and Coatings, will present “What’s the Worst that Can Happen?” on Monday, March 25. On March 26, Michael Lefenfeld, President and CEO of Hexion Inc., will discuss engineering innovation and building world-class research and development and manufacturing organizations. The luncheon on March 27 features Rafael Bittar, Executive Vice President and CTO of Vale S. A.   

The 36th Ethylene Producers’ Conference sessions will explore the latest developments, technologies, challenges, and best practices in ethylene production, with a focus on success stories and future trends. Other highlights include discussions on new technologies, design and analysis, and modeling for energy transition. For those keen on alternative fuels, Topical 5 “Emerging Technologies in Clean Energy” is the place to be from Monday to Wednesday.  Within Topical 8, “Distillation,” numerous presentations will explore the latest developments and trends in mass transfer, such as latest mass transfer equipment development, energy saving processes, electrified distillation systems, applications of digital twins, and machine-learning on distillation. For those interested in the latest developments in digital transformation, AI, and digital twin in the chemical process industry, don’t miss all the sessions at the Industry 4.0 Topical Conference. Finally, let’s not forget the great networking opportunities, starting with the opening reception on Sunday evening.

What information are you hoping attendees walk away with?

I hope that attendees glean valuable insights from this Spring Meeting to enhance both their technical proficiency within their current roles and foster professional growth within their careers. It’s common for many of us to focus on sessions that offer immediate benefits. I strongly encourage attendees to thoroughly review the technical program and set aside time to attend a few presentations that spark their interest but also to explore topics beyond their current roles or responsibilities. Moreover, I urge attendees to reconnect with old friends or colleagues, forge new connections, and consider mentoring young professionals who represent the future of chemical engineering or finding a mentor for personal and professional development.

In conclusion, we express our sincere gratitude to the session chairs, presenters, authors, and volunteers for their generous collaboration and unwavering dedication to AIChE and its objectives year after year. To all our attendees, may you have an enriching and enjoyable time at the meeting, and we thank you very much for being an integral part of the spring meeting. If you haven’t registered for the event, we encourage you to do so. We eagerly anticipate your presence in New Orleans this March. 

Learn more about the 2024 Spring Meeting and 20th GCPS.

Registration Info.

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Tony Cai

Tony Cai is Chief Scientist for Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI), where he’s responsible for research program planning and execution, model & software development, membership development and support. Read more.