ChemEngDay UK shows that “chemical engineering is booming”

This year’s ChemEngDay UK, a chemical engineering conference for the academic community, has come to a successful close with over 250 delegates from across the country attending the annual networking  event.

Hosted in conjunction with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), the event – held this year at Bath University – is attended predominantly by PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and academics together with delegates from industry.

The conference was opened by University’s deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Bernie Morley, who commented on the rising uptake of chemical engineering at degree level, saying “chemical engineering is booming.”

Plenary speakers at the meeting included IChemE Fellow, Prof Hugh Stitt, a consultant chemical engineer at Johnson Matthey; Prof Barry Crittenden, Bath University and incoming IChemE president, Prof Jonathan Seville, Surrey University.

According to the University, several prizes were awarded at the event, notably the IChemE Nicklin Medal which is awarded to those with an outstanding early career in chemical engineering research. It was presented to Dr Colin Hare from Surrey University at the conference dinner.

A PhD student in the University’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT), Jemma Rowlandson, also collected first prize for the conference ‘Three Minute Thesis’ (3MT) competition. Jemma had previously been crowned winner of the University’s 3MT competition and is due to compete at the national semi-finals in July.

Jemma said: “All competitors did a brilliant job of presenting their PhD in under three minutes, and it was absolutely fantastic to see the breadth of research being done in chemical engineering.”

Head of the department of chemical engineering at Bath University, Dr Tim Mays, who led the conference and gave the closing speech, said: “We were excited and proud to host ChemEngDay UK 2016 at the University. The whole event was buzzing with enthusiasm for chemical engineering research and even the weather was kind for the meeting.

“I am particularly pleased with the close collaboration and partnership amongst the local organisers at Bath and at the IChemE in Rugby which made the event such a success.”

David Brown, IChemE chief executive added: “ChemEngDay UK gives graduate students a chance to present their research, network with their peers and with senior people in academia and industry, and hear from some leading experts. We’ve a strong UK research base in chemical and biochemical engineering, with some outstanding young researchers: they’re an essential driver of progress in our profession, and this event has shown the sheer scale of ambition and talent in our academic community.”