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.
(Revised September 2009)
The primary role of the AIChE Awards Selection Committee is to select each year’s recipients for AIChE’s Institute Awards.
The AIChE Awards Selection Committee is comprised of an approximately even blend of academic and industry/government members who shall have a good working knowledge of the chemical engineering profession and practice. AIChE’s Board of Directors shall appoint the committee chair, who may serve a one- to three-year term. Recommendations for a new chair should be made by the Awards Selection Committee via the outgoing chair to the AIChE President.
The chair shall be responsible for recruiting a slate of new members each year, which shall be submitted to the Board of Directors (or the Executive Committee) for approval. Membership terms are typically five years, staggered so that a portion of the membership rotates off the committee each year. The membership will typically be 20 to 25 individuals, so that 4 or 5 members would join and rotate off each year, but the overall membership may be increased as new awards are added. A member of the AIChE Board of Directors is assigned as a liaison to the committee.
The selection process takes place in two stages. First, a subcommittee is formed for each award having more than two nominations. The purpose of the subcommittee is to select two finalists for the award. The subcommittee typically has four or five members, including a subcommittee chair and one or more other members of the overall Awards Selection Committee appointed by the selection committee chair, and it is intended that at least two additional members will be selected by the subcommittee chair for ad-hoc service, who shall not be considered members of the Award Selection Committee.
For the industrial awards, it is expected that an equal or greater number of the subcommittee members shall be drawn from industry. In general, subcommittee composition shall change each year. However, subcommittee members may be asked to serve 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 subcommittee member (perhaps in two steps, if there is a large slate of candidates). Conference calls are encouraged for subcommittee deliberations.
The subcommittee 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 subcommittee’s comments on these finalists are forwarded to the chair of the Awards Selection Committee.
For the second stage, the chair of the Awards Selection Committee forwards the names (without rank ordering) and subcommittee comments (without individual attribution) for the two finalists for each award to all members of the Awards Selection Committee. Each member then reviews the nominations for the finalists and sends the chair a vote on which finalist to select for each award. A vote of “no acceptable candidate” is also allowed. An award recipient will be recommended only if a majority of the voting members (including those voting “no acceptable candidate”) select one of the nominees.
Managing Conflicts of Interest
To minimize conflicts of interest, members of the AIChE Awards Selection Committee are not 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. If a member of the committee 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 service on the subcommittee of the award for which the individual is nominated and from voting for the finalists of that award should the individual be included.
The deliberations of the Awards Selection Committee and its subcommittees are confidential. The contents of nominations are also confidential and should not be shared, except for appropriate publicity of the winners as described in the guidelines of the AIChE Awards Recognition Committee. 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 committee 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, all such communications should be directed to the chair of the Awards Selection Committee.