Transforming the Future through Chemical Engineering: New Topical Conferences and Lectures to Highlight Annual Meeting, Nov. 10–15 in Orlando


This fall, an international congregation of chemical engineering researchers, practitioners, and collaborators will turn their collective imaginations toward the future of the profession when they assemble in Orlando, FL, for the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting, November 10–15.

Mirroring a technical program showcasing the latest research and innovations across the broad domain of chemical engineering, the meeting’s organizers are presenting a schedule highlighted by new and expanded topical conferences and featured sessions — including the inauguration of two major lectures.

The meeting’s featured technical content includes a new Applications of Data Science to Molecules and Materials Topical Conference, spotlighting recent advances at the intersection of data science and chemical engineering. Another new tropical conference, Food Innovation and Engineering, will allow stakeholders to discuss emerging technologies and strategies in food production and processing, topics pertinent to the food-energy-water nexus, and food science challenges related to sustainability, ethics, quality, and safety. The Food Innovation and Engineering conference has received funding from the AIChE Foundation’s Doing a World of Good campaign.

Additional featured topical conferences that reflect the evolving interests of today’s chemical engineers include Chemical Engineers in Medicine, which examines how chemical engineering is changing the face of healthcare, including contributions to medical synthetic biology. The Synthetic and Renewable Fuels conference will explore topics including the role of hydrogen in biofuels, CO2 capture, natural gas utilization, and methanol to fuel applications. Another new conference, Entrepreneurship in Chemical Engineering, is sponsored by AIChE’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneuring Excellence and will showcase entrepreneurial and start-up opportunities for chemical engineers. The meeting also features an expanded topical conference on Next-Gen Manufacturing. The Entrepreneurship and Next-Gen conferences are also supported by the AIChE Foundation’s Doing a World of Good campaign.

Details about the Annual Meeting’s other topical conferences and the technical program will appear in next month’s issue of CEP. In this issue, we preview some of the meeting’s featured events.

Transforming the future through chemical engineering

As the Annual Meeting’s technical sessions provide a guide to the most impressive developments and new directions in the field, the meeting’s special events and panel discussions help to put many of those new prospects into a useful context.

Data Science Education in Chemical Engineering, Monday, Nov.11. Complementing the Annual Meeting’s new Applications of Data Science topical conference, this session features perspectives from chemical engineering researchers and practitioners who advocate for integrating data science into the chemical engineering curriculum as a foundation for modern practice and future innovation. Speakers will include Richard Braatz, Gilliland Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Lloyd Colegrove, Director of Data Services and Fundamental Problem Solving at Dow; Sharon Glotzer, the Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering at the Univ. of Michigan; Curtis Martin, Assistant Professor at Purdue Univ.; and Joe Qin, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Univ. of Southern California.

Meet the Innovators: Transforming the Future through Chemical Engineering, Tuesday, Nov. 12. Innovation is pivotal to achieving the breakthroughs that will be necessary for solving the world’s grand challenges. This plenary session and panel discussion features innovators who will describe the role of chemical engineering in transforming the world and assuring a sustainable future for us all. Speakers include Rakesh Agrawal, Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue Univ.; Jay D. Keasling, Professor at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, and Senior Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Christine E. Schmidt, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Chair of the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at the Univ. of Florida. This session is also receiving funding through the AIChE Foundation’s Doing a World of Good campaign.








New lectures debut in 2019

Each Annual Meeting is distinguished by a slate of prominent lectureships. The 2019 meeting will unveil two new lectures:

The Presidential Lecture, Monday, Nov. 11. This new annual lecture features subject matter and a presenter chosen by the Institute’s serving president, and will showcase the significant contributions being made by chemical engineers and related professionals. The inaugural Presidential Lecture will be delivered by Matt Sigelman, Chief Executive Officer at Burning Glass Technologies. Details about Sigelman’s lecture will appear in the September issue of CEP.



The William R. Schowalter Lecture, Wednesday, Nov. 13. The AIChE Foundation has endowed this new lecture to honor fluid mechanics pioneer William R. Schowalter, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Emeritus, at Princeton Univ. Reflecting Schowalter’s broad contributions, the focus of this annual lecture will alternate between fluid mechanics research and topics of general interest to chemical engineers. The inaugural Schowalter Lecture will be delivered by Michael D. Graham, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Harvey D. Spangler Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. Graham’s talk is entitled “Flowing Complex Fluids, from Blood to the Buffer Layer.” More information about the Schowalter Lecture will appear in the September issue of CEP.



The Annual Meeting programmers are also pleased to announce the return of the following lectures, along with this year’s esteemed presenters:

Daniel I. C. Wang Award Lecture, Monday, Nov. 11. AIChE’s Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) sponsors the D. I. C. Wang Award Lecture, to be presented this year by Douglas S. Clark, Dean and G. N. Lewis Professor at the Univ. of California, Berkeley. In his talk, “From Artificial Cofactors to Synthetic Arrays: Teaching Old Enzymes New Tricks,” Clark will discuss modern biotechnology’s capacity to engineer biological systems and impart them with novel functions — ranging from living organisms with reprogramed genomes to individual proteins with optimized structures.



The Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering Lecture, Tuesday, Nov. 12. This lecture will be given by the Institute’s 2018 Acrivos Professional Progress Award recipient, Martin Z. Bazant, E. G. Roos Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mathematics and Executive Officer at MIT. In his lecture, “Control of Interfacial Stability in Electrochemical Systems,” Bazant will present examples of interfacial patterns whose stability can be controlled by electrokinetic phenomena, and explain how electrochemical reactions can alter the thermodynamic stability of solid or liquid interfaces, with applications to Li-ion batteries, electrodeposition, corrosion, and biological pattern formation.



The James E. Bailey Award Lecture, Tuesday, Nov. 12. The SBE has chosen Jens B. Nielsen, Professor at Chalmers Univ. of Technology (Sweden), as the recipient of the 2019 James E. Bailey Award in Biological Engineering. Nielsen’s lecture examines the systems biology of metabolism and its role in the production of advanced biofuels and the diagnosis of metabolic diseases, obesity, and cancer.



Also on Nov. 12, the Annual Meeting will showcase the IACChE’s James Y. Oldshue Lecture, held in alternate years at the AIChE Annual Meeting and the Inter-American Confederation of Chemical Engineering’s (IACChE) Inter-American Congress. This year’s lecturer will be announced in a future issue of CEP.

The John M. Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecture, Wednesday, Nov. 13. This 71st annual Institute Lecture will be delivered by Karen K. Gleason, the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, who will discuss her work with vapor-deposited polymers. (See the related article, p. 72.)



Additional highlights and special events, along with the full Annual Meeting program, can be viewed at

Details about the technical program, registration instructions, and hotel information are available at Registration fees are discounted through Sept. 30.



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