Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers
      
 
 

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Dear Members,

IIChE has initiated an extensive Digitisation drive, which is in sync with the national fervour for going digital. The second issue of the Newsletter comes to you in a new incarnation as an E-edition. Many of our members have been receiving issues of the Newsletter rather late. The despatch process for 6000 copies of the Newsletter by post and the subsequent vagaries of the postal department were largely to blame for such delays. With the E-edition, members will now be able to get hold of the Newsletter without much delay. It is, in fact, now uploaded on IIChE’s website (www.iiche.org.in) – just a click away.

After a thorough trial process, full-fledged online enrolment for corporate membership has commenced recently. From the current year, our members will also be happy to take part in the online process for electing the members forIIChE Council 2018.For hitch-free operation of the new process, members have already been requested to forward their mobile number and E-mail IDfor updating the Membership Directory at the IIChE HQ office. If you have not yet done so, please mail the necessary data to the HQ by 12 August 2017. The details regarding the new process are also available from the IIChE website (www.iiche.org.in).

The Institute HQ organised a two-day long National seminar on ‘Project Management – Objectives and Challenges’ in Kolkata (at The Gateway Hotel) on 7 and 8 July 2017. The organizers pulled all the stops to make it a high profile event with senior executives from top PSUs and other major industrial concerns, management experts from B schools, etc., participating as guest speakers, resource persons and delegates. Project Management is the mainstay of core engineering, which can never lose its importance. As a matter of fact, of late, one is witnessing renewed attention on core engineering fields due to a number of developing factors. Against such a backdrop, this two-day exercise offered an ideal platform for worthwhile interactions among leading industry experts, technocrats, management professionals, senior government functionaries, etc. The seminar was a sound success with many of the high-profile speakers sharing their valuable on-field experience and offering profound inputs. The audience, on its part, was very appreciative and interactive as well. The proceedings and photographs of the seminar will be uploaded on the IIChE website shortly.

It was my pleasure to be present at Bhubaneswar on 27 and 28 April 2017 at a very well- organised meet on ‘Odisha – Investors’ Destination for Chemicals and Petrochemicals’, organized by the Bhubaneswar Regional Centre of IIChE. Top brass from a number of high profile PSU organisations and private sector engineering houses delivered lectures and took part in deliberations. Based on these deliberations, several recommendations on Petrochemicals & Petroleum Investment Region (PCPIR), Paradip, as well as Dharma Port have been put forward by the seminar panel to the appropriate authority which may prove to be extremely beneficial for the prospective investors and the major stakeholders in the state’s economic progress.

On my visit to Ankleshwar for the Council Meeting on 15 July 2017, I had an opportunity to visit the Department of Chemical Engineering at Shroff S R Rotary Institute of Chemical Technology (STRICT), Ankleshwar on 14 July. Besides witnessing various research and consultancy work being carried out at the Department, I met the faculty members also. We discussed the prospect of holding tutorial classes for the candidates of the AMIIChE examination at the Department in collaboration with the faculty members. The outcome of the meeting was positive. The Ankleshwar RC, however, yet has to work out the details.

Following the Council meeting, on the 15 th evening, the Council Members attended an Industry-Institute Interaction, organised by the Ankleshwar RC. Around 30 top-notch industry representatives and a few faculty members joined the interactive session. The Council Members were very encouraged by the extent of positive response and useful suggestions from the participants regarding future growth of the Institute that emerged during the meet.

Northern Regional Centre is going to organise a seminar on ‘A Perspective of Refining’ at Gurugram, Haryana on 18 August 2017. Competent authorities and experts will speak on various aspects of refining. There will be no registration fee for attending the seminar.

IIChE should organise more seminars and workshops of this kind which would not merely be theoretical exercise but which could also strengthen practical knowledge base of practising engineers, academic personnel and spell out concrete recommendations for effective policy decisions. Issues like Water Management, Dry Cooling of Power Plants, Refineries, Fertiliser Plants, etc., CO 2 Mitigation, etc, are assuming increasing importance from environmental perspective. Resultantly, there is a growing urgency for the professionals to upgrade themselves with new developments and progresses, attained in these fields. In fact, in recent period, a number of such seminars have been successfully organised by headquarters and a few of our Regional Centres. Brief reports of these meets have been published in the previous issue of the Newsletter. The HQ and the Regional Centres of IIChE should draw up a blueprint of sorts to hold such conventions on a more regular basis.

IIChE Students’ Chapter at NIT Rourkela in association with the Department of Chemical Engineering, at that Institute is going to organise SCHEMCON 2017 on 7 and 8 October 2017. I would request other Student Chapters of IIChE, specially those in the eastern region, to facilitate participation of their Student Members in considerable numbers. The organisers have created a dedicated website, providing all the details regarding the forthcoming event. This year’s CHEMCON will be held at the industrial town of Haldia near Kolkata during 27 – 30 December 2017. The central theme for this year’s CHEMCON is ‘Versatility of Chemical Engineering to Meet Societal Challenges’. The organisers, the Haldia Regional Centre, in association with the Department of Chemical Engineering, Haldia Institute of Technology, have stepped on the gas, to ensure that the tradition of this splendid mega event continues without any glitch.

Members will be happy to know that from the current year, another new award has been introduced for the students of Chemical Engineering, namely, Professor Ashutosh Sharma Award for Best Research Paper Published in a National Journal by an Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Student. Instituted with an endowment from Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, this award will be presented biennially. The nomination form is available from the Institute website. Another biennial award, P.K. Nair Memorial Award, will be introduced from 2018 for Chemical Engineers below 45 years of age for Excellence in Design and Development of Process Plant and Equipment in a Commercially Running Continuous Chemical Process Unit. This award has been instituted with endowment from Dr. Madhu Nair in memory of his late father.

Meanwhile, AICTE is working on introducing a compulsory Internship Programme from 2018 for fresh engineering students in India, which will be initiated in collaboration with Engineering Council of India and its member associations, such as, IIChE. This initiative is aimed at ensuring enhanced employability of the engineering students. IIChE is taking an active interest in working out the process.

In my earlier communication, I expressed my disappointment at the state of membership profile for IIChE. The very rationale behind professional institutes like IIChE is their membership base. Our Institute still has much to achieve on this front. Each of us – the existing members – has a responsibility on this count. We have to motivate and bring in new blood to the fold of IIChE, who will infuse dynamism and new ideas to propel the Institute. For the sake of the members’ information, during April – July 2017, a total of around 600 Corporate and Student Members joined the Institute. During this period, IIChE has welcomed four organisations – three academic institutes (Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kerala, NIT, Tiruchirappalli and HBTI, Kanpur) as well as one industrial enterprise (Oster Chemical & Pharmaceutical Works Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata) – to the IIChE family.

During the last couple of months, a fresh drive has been initiated, inviting industry houses as well as academic institutes and research bodies to join IIChE. Even though the initiative has elicited some response, the expectation was much higher. I again request our members to take an active interest and initiative to promote IIChE at suitable forums. For sustenance of our Institute and its effective functioning, sustained organisational support will always be essential.

Prof. P De


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