Thinking about Sustainability [Virtual Meeting]

Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 6:00pm-7:30pm EDT
Event format: 
Virtual / Online

The Mid-Michigan AIChE invites you for our April seminar on the topic:


“Thinking about Sustainability”

by Dr. Rich Helling

Director of Sustainable Chemistry for Dow

Wednesday April 22nd from 6:00 to 7:30 pm


We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all meeting attendees. In light of the impact of the Coronavirus, we will be holding the April meeting virtually. Please reach out to Pranav Karanjkar ( for a Webex link. We will provide everyone some time to properly dial into the virtual meeting and start the seminar at 6:10 pm. 


The lecture qualifies for one continuing education hour. CEH certificates are needed for licensed Professional Engineers to maintain their license and certificates will be provided to interested attendees.



Decisions about the production or purchase of products is driven by their price and performance. Sustainability concerns can also be drivers, and can also represent issues that are poorly described by economics today, but will be in the future.  Many of these concerns can be articulated and quantified with metrics such as the product carbon footprints that are based on the concepts of life cycle thinking and life cycle assessment.  Public claims of environmental superiority must be specific and back up with documentation.  Figuring out if one is heading in the right direction can be done very simply, especially by chemical engineers (and their friends!).   The process starts with a qualitative description of what benefit the product or project could offer, then ways to convert that description to numbers.  The seminar will include a brief introduction to LCA , but will focus worked simple examples, links to some handy tools, and perhaps the opportunity to try your own! 



Dr. Rich Helling is Director of Sustainable Chemistry for Dow, located in Midland, Michigan.   Rich leads Dow businesses on the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) and sustainability metrics and tools to identify opportunities for innovation, differentiate products in the marketplace and create sustainable value for Dow.  Rich has been with Dow for 32 years, in a variety of technical and managerial roles in R&D, Manufacturing and Sustainability.  He has been based in Michigan, California and France.  Rich holds a bachelors' degree from Harvey Mudd College with majors in Engineering and History, a masters' degree in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT, and a doctorate in Chemical Engineering, also from MIT.  He is a LCA Certified Professional.  He enjoys riding a bike to work most of the year.