Topical Conference Highlights and Special Events
The global chemical engineering community — represented by everyone from undergrads in training to young entrepreneurs to the discipline’s esteemed masters and innovators — will survey the future of the chemical engineering profession and its boundless possibilities at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting, November 10–15, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, in Orlando, FL.
Expanded topical conferences will describe the foundations on which that future progress will be built, and will encompass the latest research and innovations across this rapidly evolving discipline. One example is the Applications of Data Science to Molecules and Materials Topical Conference, showcasing developments and opportunities at the intersection of data science and chemical engineering.
Other featured topical conferences that serve the interests of today’s chemical engineers include Chemical Engineers in Medicine, which will illuminate the ways that chemical engineers are changing the face of healthcare, including the use of synthetic biology in medicine. Another conference, Synthetic and Renewable Fuels, explores topics related to the role of hydrogen in biofuels, CO2 capture, natural gas utilization, and methanol to fuel applications.
The August issue of CEP detailed the Annual Meeting’s major lectures and panel discussions. In this issue, we continue our preview of the Annual Meeting’s technical program along with several special events. More Annual Meeting highlights will appear in the October issue.
The AIChE Foundation: Doing a World of Good in support of topical conferences
The AIChE’s Foundation’s Doing a World of Good campaign funds a spectrum of programs that strengthen chemical engineering as a profession and promote its good works. In addition to sessions that promote workforce inclusion of women and other underrepresented segments of the chemical engineering community, the Foundation is supporting three Annual Meeting topical conferences that supplement the meeting’s traditional technical offerings.
Entrepreneurship in Chemical Engineering — Sponsored by AIChE’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneuring Excellence, this topical conference showcases entrepreneurial and start-up opportunities for chemical engineers, with sessions devoted to strategies for start-ups, intellectual property, investing in early-stage companies, mentorship for women in leadership, and more.
Another conference receiving Foundation funding is Food Innovation and Engineering. This conference is a venue for stakeholders to discuss emerging technologies and strategies in food production and processing. Sessions will address topics such as fermentation, sustainability, transport phenomena, rheology, and mixing in food processing.
The Foundation is also helping to underwrite the expanded Next-Gen Manufacturing Topical Conference. Featuring more than 30 sessions, this topical offers in-depth coverage of hot topics, such as 3D printing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, big data and data analytics, digitalization, and modular manufacturing and process intensification, applied across a breadth of industries.
CACHE Corp. Celebrates 50 Years with Annual Meeting Session
In July 2019, Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering (CACHE) Corp. marked the 50th anniversary of its founding with a conference held in Breckenridge, CO. The event featured a retrospective of CACHE’s (and computing’s) contributions to the chemical engineering workforce — from academic research and training to industrial practice.
The CACHE celebration continues at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting with a special session, “The Future of Cyber-Assisted Chemical Engineering Education,” on Wednesday, Nov. 13. This session will feature highlights from the anniversary conference, with plenary speakers offering their views on the evolution of cyber-assisted learning and its future directions. Thought leaders and innovators of new educational media will explore novel approaches to student-instructor interactions that enhance learning and experimenting through alternative methods of knowledge delivery. Other topics will showcase CACHE’s initiatives in systems biology, molecular modeling, process systems, reaction engineering, and more.
With early support from the National Academy of Engineering and the National Science Foundation, a group of chemical engineers established CACHE in 1969 — in the wake of the rapid growth of computer technology and the need to integrate computing into the teaching of chemical engineering. Today, CACHE remains dedicated to providing chemical engineers with the skill sets needed to accelerate the penetration of data analytics, big data, artificial intelligence, and data-driven and first principles models and simulations at all levels of decision making in government, industry, and academia.
In addition to championing dozens of conferences, CACHE’s educational initiatives have included software development; monographs; and programs for process simulation, real-time computing in the lab, and process synthesis and optimization. Other pioneering contributions include a series of volumes on artificial intelligence and neural networks, and an e-book on molecular modeling and simulation.
Also in Orlando … Co-located conferences
AIChE’s expanding portfolio of specialty conferences includes two events that are co-located with this year’s Annual Meeting.
Organized by AIChE’s Society for Biological Engineering, the Conference on Engineering Cosmetics and Consumer Products (Nov. 9–10; www.aiche.org/eccp) offers scientists, engineers, and academic researchers a window into the latest technologies and approaches for manufacturing, packaging, and engineering cosmetics and consumer products. This new conference aims to foster innovation through sessions devoted to process, product, and package engineering; safety; sustainability; open innovation; and regulatory and compliance issues.
Also on Nov. 9–10, the Industrial Water Use and Reuse Workshop (www.aiche.org/water) will help attendees to understand the current status of water usage, treatment, and recycling in the oil and gas sectors. The event is organized by AIChE’s Institute for Sustainability.
The Annual Student Conference
Professionals who attend the co-located conferences on Nov. 9–10, or who happen to arrive early in Orlando, can witness one of AIChE’s most energetic and enthusiastic assemblies of chemical engineering potential, embodied by the 1,500+ undergraduates expected at this year’s Annual Student Conference. (See the article on networking, p. 62.)
Kicking off three days of career building opportunities, on Saturday, Nov. 9, will be a welcoming keynote address by Karen McKee, President of ExxonMobil. Sunday’s Student Conference program is dominated by AIChE’s signature Chem-E-Car Competition. Now in its third decade, the competition — sponsored by Chevron — challenges undergraduates to design chemically powered vehicles that carry a variable load over a variable distance. Precision — and safety — in performance are key, and the competition is intense.
AIChE’s STEM Showcase and Outreach Competition
Chemical engineering principles exit the lab and enter the spotlight at this new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education event. On Sunday, Nov. 10, AIChE members, young professionals, and undergrads will exhibit their original interactive tabletop demonstrations of engineering principles to an invited audience of K–12 students, science teachers, and parents from Central Florida.
The best of these demos and lesson plans will be preserved in an online archive that will benefit anyone who wants to share the wonders of chemical engineering with young people and the public. Learn more about the event, and how to participate, at www.aiche.org/k-12.
Honoring the profession’s best
On Sunday evening, Nov. 10, AIChE will salute some of chemical engineering’s foremost researchers, educators, industry leaders, and innovators at the Honors Ceremony. AIChE’s technical divisions and forums will also present awards throughout the week, and newly elected AIChE Fellows will be recognized at the Fellows Breakfast, Nov. 12.
Michael Graham is Inaugural Schowalter Lecturer
Michael D. Graham, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Harvey D. Spangler Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, has been selected to deliver AIChE’s first William R. Schowalter Lecture. This new honor recognizes Schowalter’s broad contributions to chemical engineering, highlighted by important insights into the dynamics of multiphase flows. (See the related article, p. 61.)
Graham presents his lecture at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 13. His talk, “Flowing Complex Fluids, from Blood to the Buffer Layer,” describes the flow of blood in microcirculation, as well as segregation in blood and other confined multicomponent suspensions.
Graham joined the chemical engineering faculty at the Univ. of Wisconsin in 1994, and he chaired the department from 2006 to 2009. His research has explored the rheology and dynamics of polymer solutions and suspensions, especially under confinement, as well as instabilities and turbulence in Newtonian and complex fluids. He is the author of the textbooks Microhydrodynamics, Brownian Motion, and Complex Fluids and (with James Rawlings) Modeling and Analysis Principles for Chemical and Biological Engineers. He has served as an associate editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics.
Graham is vice president of the Society of Rheology. He earned his BS and PhD in chemical engineering from the Univ. of Dayton and Cornell Univ., respectively.
For the complete technical program, hotel information, and registration instructions, visit www.aiche.org/annual. Registration fees are discounted through Sept. 30.
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