The Awards Committee (a) formulates general policies regarding awards and honors administered by the Institute, and submit such policies and specific recommendations for approval by the Board of Directors; (b) formulates a general program designed to meet the needs and desires of the Institute in the matter of awards and honors, a may be approved by the Board; and (c) selects, subject to the approval by the Board, the recipients of the existing awards and honors.
The primary role of the AIChE Awards Selection Committee is to select each year’s recipients for AIChE’s Institute Awards.
AIChE Awards Selection Committee is comprised of an approximately even mix of members from academia and industry/government, who shall have a good working knowledge of the chemical engineering profession and practice. AIChE’s Board of Directors shall approve the appointment of new Selection Subcommittee chairs, each of whom serve a two-year term. Recommendations for a new chair should be made by the current Awards Selection Committee Chair.
The Selection Subcommittee chair shall be responsible for recruiting a slate of new members each year. The slate is submitted to the Board of Directors (or the Executive Committee) for approval. Subcommittee members typically serve three-year terms, staggered so that 1/3 of the membership rotates off the Subcommittee each year. The membership will typically be 24 people, so that eight members join or rotate off each year. A member of the AIChE Board of Directors is assigned as a liaison to the committee.
The Awards Committee Bylaws provide elaboration on committee members’ roles.
The award selection process takes place in two stages. First, from the membership of the Selection Subcommittee, the chair assigns review groups for each award having more than two nominations. The purpose of each subgroup is to select two finalists for the award in question. The subgroup typically has three to five members, including a chair (assigned by the overall Subcommittee Chair) and (typically) at least two other members of the Selection Subcommittee, also appointed by the chair. It is intended that at least one or two additional qualified members from the AIChE community will be selected by the subgroup chair for ad-hoc service on the review team. Those ad hoc participants shall not be considered members of the Award Selection Subcommittee.
For the “industry” awards, it is expected that an equal or greater number of the subgroup members shall be drawn from industry. In general, subgroup composition for a given award shall change each year. However, subgroup members may be asked to serve for the same award more than once. The Subcommittee chair has discretion in setting the process for selection of the specific award. However, the process should typically include individual review of the nominations and rank-ordering of candidates by each subgroup member (perhaps in two steps, if there is a large slate of candidates). Conference calls are encouraged for subcommittee deliberations.
Nomination materials are accessed by the committee members using the same online platform that nominators use to submit their nomination packets.
The subgroup chair collects the votes or rankings, along with comments on the top choices, by email and then produces a rank-ordered list. The names of the top two finalists and the subgroup’s comments on these finalists are forwarded to the chair of the Awards Selection Subcommittee.
The Awards Selection Subcommittee Chair reports the names of the top two finalists for each award to the AIChE Awards Administrator, who is tasked with managing the online platform — which will be modified to become a voting mechanism to assess the subcommittee’s preferences for the two finalists.
For the second stage, the chair of the Awards Selection Subcommittee — in collaboration with the AIChE Awards Administrator — provides the names (without rank ordering) of the two finalists for each award to all members of the Awards Selection Subcommittee. Each member of the Selection Subcommittee then reviews the nominations for the finalists (excluding conflicts of interest) and records a vote for their preferred candidate in each award category. Abstentions are allowed. An award recipient will be recommended only if a majority of the voting members (including those abstaining or voting “no acceptable candidate”) select one of the nominees.
Managing Conflicts of Interest
To minimize conflicts of interest, members of the AIChE Awards Selection Subcommittee are not allowed to be nominees or nominators for an Institute Award during and for at least one year after the completion of their terms of service. Members may not write supporting letters for nominees during their terms of service. The Chair of the Selection Subcommittee (in collaboration with the Awards Administrator) identifies apparent conflicts of interest between Subcommittee members and award finalists — based primarily on affiliation. If a member of the Subcommittee is a colleague, graduate or postdoc advisor or advisee, family member, or close collaborator of a nominee, then the member shall recuse himself or herself from voting in the pertinent award category.
The deliberations of the Awards Selection Subcommittee are confidential. The contents of nominations are also confidential and should not be shared, except for appropriate publicity of the winners — as arranged through the Awards Administrator. The names of selected awardees are to remain confidential until the Board of Directors has endorsed the selections, the winners have received official notice, and the Chair has informed the Subcommittee members that this information may be shared. Subcommittee assignments are also to be held confidential. Should a nominator seek feedback on how his/her nominee fared, such communications should be directed to the chair of the Awards Selection Committee.