DAVID Bogle became the 81st President of IChemE. Yesterday he delivered a keynote address focusing on the importance of ethics within the chemical engineering profession and education, highlighting how essential ethics are in making a difference and attracting talent.
Speaking from Savoy Place, London, UK, he was just 100m from the site where IChemE’s first meeting took place 100 years ago – at the Hotel Cecil – addressing an in-person audience of around 100 members, directors and guests, with many more watching the address live online. A recording of the speech is available below.
“It is a great honor to be elected President of IChemE, especially in this centennial year, and I look forward to it,” Bogle said, noting that he had read the centennial papers and attended to its events “with great interest”. He said he took his presidency at a time of celebration for IChemE, but also of concern, referring to the war in Ukraine, divided national populations, rising inequality and the climate emergency.
“The climate emergency and making the world sustainable is the great challenge of our time. We chemical engineers play a central role in this by designing industrial processes, urban systems and many daily operations to be more sustainable and ultimately net zero.
“Our know-how places us at the heart of the challenge by imagining the best use of energy and materials to satisfy – and limit – the demand of our fellow citizens. IChemE places this at the heart of its strategy, guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. »
During his speech, titled Chemical Engineering: An Ethical Professionhe said: “Our role in promoting more sustainable ways of operating is one of the ways in which we seek to be ethical.”
“To help address the climate emergency in particular, we must continue to attract good talent to our profession,” he said.
Speaking of students, he pointed out that the number of those studying chemical engineering in the UK and elsewhere remains high, as does the footprint of the subjects in which chemical engineers can deploy their skills in the face of chemical and physical change. He listed “environment, biology, medicine, design of new materials, as well as our core business of manufacturing and energy.”
However, “it is seen as a difficult journey and, above all, not yet sufficiently clear as a path to a profession that makes a great contribution to the climate emergency”.
In an interview with The chemical engineerBogle explained that it’s important for young people to understand the contribution that chemical engineering can make, as they seek “a profession, a career, a life that makes a contribution.”
“They all recognize the climate emergency as a major issue facing them in a way that it didn’t confront us when I was that age. […] Many, many of them are very concerned about this. We therefore want to show that we are helping to meet this challenge, and we are doing so in an ethical way. Because they want to have those values of honesty and be seen to be making a difference in a good way.
Acknowledging the high number of students for the field, he added in his interview, “it is by attracting them to IChemE that I really want us to work”.
“It clearly tells them the value proposition and why they need to join, because many don’t, and we want to attract them. So it’s not just about attracting them to chemical engineering. […] but it is they who join IChemE as a statement of their professional values.
In his address he said: “By becoming a member of a professional organization such as IChemE, we demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles – to the statement of ethical principles published by the Council of Engineering and the Royal Academy of Engineering . I think it’s a powerful force in recruiting potential young engineers who want to work in an ethical profession.
Retaining a higher fraction of chemical engineering graduates among the membership, as well as increasing the already “strong” number of chartered members, are goals that Bogle mentioned for IChemE in his speech. He said The chemical engineer that plans to achieve this are in the works and that actions will be put in place “in due course”.
IChemE Strategy 2024 sets a clear course on how it will advance the contribution of chemical engineering in the world for the benefit of society. During his speech, Bogle stressed that it will continue until 2024 and that a new strategy is being developed which will continue until 2028 and will build on the work of ChemEngEvolution.
He added that over the next few months a draft strategy will be developed through key committees and Congress, which will serve as the basis for member consultation in early 2023. After revisions based on the consultation, the board of directors is expected to approve in July this year, leading to a public launch in September.
“We hope you will all engage in this process to develop a strategy to inspire the entire profession to play its part in meeting the challenges ahead.
“These times may be difficult, but it is clear to me that the future of chemical engineering is bright. We have to work with others, but we are key players in the fight against the climate emergency and we are increasingly seen as such.
He added: “As IChemE, we represent the chemical engineering profession and I hope that by being clear about our commitment to safety, sustainability, diversity and ethics, we can attract more members. to see it clearly as a commitment to these values.
“For my title, I considered putting a question mark after An ethical profession? But I believe that we are an ethical profession, even if there is still a lot to do. But above all, we must be clear to society and in particular to potential students that we are an ethical profession and demonstrate this clearly.
Prior to his presidency, Bogle helped IChemE focus on ethics by contributing and volunteering to help produce The chemical engineerEthics Series.
Currently Professor of Chemical Engineering and Pro-Vice-Rector of the Graduate School and Early Career Researchers at University College London (UCL), UK, IChemE Fellow Bogle was elected President last year. The official handover of the presidency was given by the 80e President, Jane Cutler, at the IChemE Annual General Meeting held on June 14.
Bogle’s career began with a degree in chemical engineering and then a doctorate from Imperial College London, UK, before spending three years in industry and three years in academia in Australia. He joined UCL in 1990 and has since held his current position, in which he supervises researchers in all disciplines.
His expertise lies in process systems engineering and in systems biology, working with a range of academic and industrial partners, particularly from the pharmaceutical industry.
Bogle was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2005 and is currently Chairman of the Engineering Ethics Reference Group of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Engineering Council.
You can watch a recording of Bogle’s address on the IChemE YouTube channel.