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Institution of Chemical Engineers
Abbreviation IChemE
Formation 1922
Legal status Registered charity
Purpose/focus Chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology worldwide
Location Offices in Australia, China, Malaysia, New Zealand and the UK.
Region served Worldwide
Membership 36,400
President Judith Hackitt
Main organ IChemE Council
Budget £5,936,000 [1]
Website IChemE

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is a global professional engineering institution with over 36,000 members [1] in over 120 countries worldwide, founded in 1922, and awarded a Royal Charter in 1957.[2]

It has offices in Rugby, London, Melbourne, Wellington, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Singapore.


It is licensed by the Engineering Council UK to assess candidates for inclusion on ECUK's Register of professional Engineers, giving the status of Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer and Engineering Technician. It is licensed by the Science Council to grant the status of Chartered Scientist and Registered Science Technician. It is licensed by the Society for the Environment to grant the status of Chartered Environmentalist. It is a member of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering.[1] It accredits chemical engineering degree courses in 25 countries worldwide.


The mission of this organisation is to build and support a community and network of professionals involved in all facets of the Chemical Engineering discipline.

Membership grades and post-nominals

IChemE has two main types of membership, qualified and non-qualified, with the technician member grade being available in both categories.[3]

Qualified membership grades.

Fellow - A chemical engineering professional in a very senior position in industry and/or academia. Entitling the holder to the post-nominal FIChemE and is a chartered grade encompassing all the privileges of Chartered Member grade.

Chartered Member - Internationally recognised level of professional and academic competence requiring at least 4 years of field experience and a bachelors degree with honours. Entitles the holder to the post-nominal MIChemE and registration as one or a combination of; Chartered Engineer (CEng), Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). This also entitles the individual to register as a European Engineer with the pre-nominal Eur Ing.

Associate Member - This grade is for young professionals who are qualified in chemical & process engineering to bachelors with honours level or a higher. Typically this is the grade held by those working towards Chartered Member level or those graduates working other fields. This grade entitles the holder to the post-nominal AMIChemE. This grade can also lead to the grade of Incorporated Engineer (IEng) for those with some field experience but which falls short of the level required for Chartered Member grade.

Technician Member - Uses practical understanding to solve engineering problems and could have a qualification, an apprenticeship or years of experience. This grade can lead to the Eng Tech TIChemE post-nominal and now in conjunction with the Nuclear Institute the post-nominal Eng Tech TIChemE TNucI.

Non-qualified membership grades.

Associate Fellow - Senior professionals trained in other fields of a level comparable to Fellow in other professional bodies.

Affiliate - For people working in, with or with a general interest in the sector.

Student - For undergraduate chemical & process engineering students.


Annual awards

The IChemE Innovation and Excellence Awards take place in November in the UK. The awards are highly regarded throughout the process industries for recognising and rewarding chemical engineering excellence and innovation.

There are 14 categories in total that applicants are invited to enter including; food and drink, energy, health and safety, bioprocessing, innovative product, nuclear innovation and young chemical engineer of the year, offering a broad scope for entries.

The organisation is working on newer award programs in other countries and in 2012 events also took place in Singapore and North America.

Ashok Kumar Fellowship

The Ashok Kumar Fellowship is an opportunity for a graduate to spend three months working at the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST). The first fellowship was completed in 2012 by James Lawrence, a PhD student at University College, London. The fellowship is jointly funded by the IChemE and the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).[1]

The Fellowship was set up in memory of Ashok Kumar, the only serving chemical engineer in the Parliament of the United Kingdom at the time of his sudden death in 2010. Kumar was an IChemE Fellow who had been the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East since 1997, his second time in parliament following a brief stint in 1991.


IChemE established an educational program whynotchemeng? in 2001 to help young people find out more about a career in the field of chemical engineering.

In addition to careers information for students, whynotchemeng? also provides schools with free teaching resources for Key Stages 4&5 including Top Ten Flash Bang Demos, a citizenship lesson and dilution plant challenge, plus free careers literature including posters, leaflets and careers packs.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms is a shield with two figures.[4] On the left a helmeted woman, Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom, and on the right, a bearded man with a large hammer, Hephaestus the god of technology and of fire. The shield itself shows a salamander as the symbol of chemistry, and a corn grinding mill as a symbol of continuous processes. Between these is a diagonal stripe in red and blue in steps to indicate the cascade nature of many chemical engineering processes. The shield is surmounted by helmet on which is a dolphin, which is in heraldry associated with intellectual activity, and also represents the importance of fluid mechanics. Just below the dolphin are two Integral signs to illustrate the necessity of mathematics and in particular calculus.

The Latin motto is "Findendo Fingere Disco" or "I learn to make by separating".


Peer-reviewed journals

Other periodicals

  • The Chemical Engineer
  • Loss Prevention Bulletin


  • Conference Proceedings
  • Technical Guides
  • Safety Books
  • Forms of Contract

Past presidents

Notable members

  • Roland Clift Developer of Life cycle assessment and broadcaster on environmental issues
  • John Coulson (1910–1990) Co-writer of classic UK textbooks
  • Sir Arthur Duckham (1879–1932) First President of the IChemE
  • Ian Fells Noted energy expert and popular science broadcaster
  • Trevor Kletz Noted safety expert
  • Ashok Kumar (1956–2010) UK Member of Parliament
  • Frank Lees (1931–1999) author of major safety encyclopaedia
  • Bodo Linnhoff His 1979 PhD thesis led to Pinch Technology which has enabled companies to save large amounts of energy
  • K. B. Quinan (1878–1958) An American who, according to Lloyd George "did more than any other single individual to win the (First World) War" (Freshwater, page 14)
  • Jack Richardson (1929–2011) Co-writer of classic UK textbooks
  • Meredith Thring (1915–2006) prolific inventor, futurologist and early proponent of sustainability

See also

Chemistry portal
Engineering portal


Further reading

  • Colin Duvall and Sean F. Johnston, 2000 Scaling Up - The Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Rise of a New Profession Kluwer Academic Publishers ISBN 0-7923-6692-1

External links

  • Institution of Chemical Engineers
  • Origins of the IChemE
  • Why not Chemical Engineering - schools' website
  • Official IChemE Twitter feed
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