New IChemE President focusses on the importance of ethical thinking
David Bogle CEng FREng FIChemE has been elected as the 81st President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Bogle’s Presidential Address was delivered today (16 June 2022) from Savoy Place, London, UK, only 100 metres from the site where IChemE’s first meeting took place 100 years ago. An audience of around 100 members, trustees and invited guests were physically present with many more watching the Address live online.
Currently a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School and Early Career Researchers at University College London (UCL), UK, Bogle was elected last year by the membership to take up the position of President of the Institution from June 2022. The formal handover of the Presidency was given by the 80th President, Jane Cutler, during the Institution’s Annual General Meeting held on 14 June.
Entitled Chemical Engineering: An Ethical Profession, the Presidential Address focused on the need to ensure that ethical thinking is placed at the forefront of chemical engineering professionalism and education, as safety and sustainability have been in recent years. Bogle commented that safety and sustainability are parts of the ethical code that chemical engineers must all aspire to and for which the next generation must be trained.
“Our role in promoting more sustainable ways of operating is one of the ways in which we seek to be ‘ethical’. But what do I mean by ethical? We have had the benefit of an excellent education and we all have a duty to make the most of it: for ourselves and our families but also for our friends, colleagues and fellow citizens.
“Showing that our decisions and behaviours can be trusted in an ethical sense allows us to step up and be part of the major decisions. It means that we are not just trusted by our employer and colleagues but also by society.”
Commenting on the importance of using chemical engineering expertise to address the world’s major challenges, Bogle added:
“The climate emergency and making the world sustainable is the great challenge of our time. We chemical engineers have a central role in this through designing industrial processes, urban systems and many everyday operations to be more sustainable and eventually carbon net zero. Our skillset puts us right at the heart of the challenge through devising the best use of energy and materials to satisfy – and limit – the demand of our fellow citizens. IChemE has this at the heart of our strategy, guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Discussing the need to encourage future chemical engineers to join the profession, Bogle said:
“As IChemE we represent the chemical engineering profession and I hope by being clear about our commitment to safety, sustainability, diversity and ethics we can attract more as members to see membership clearly as a commitment to these values.
“I think you are all aware how dynamic the profession of chemical engineering is. We are embracing the broader employment opportunities, digitalisation as it changes how we work, and most of all to play our key role in facing the great challenges that face society, particularly the climate emergency, in an ethical way.”
During his address Bogle reflected on his career which began with a degree and PhD from Imperial College London, UK before spending three years in industry and three years in academia in Australia. He joined UCL in 1990 and in his current role of Pro-Vice-Provost of the Doctoral School and Early Career Researchers oversees researchers across all disciplines. His expertise is 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 Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2005 and is currently chair of the Engineering Ethics Reference Group for the Royal Academy of Engineering and Engineering Council.
Commenting on his goals during his 12-month tenure as President, Bogle referred to the need to raise the profile of the profession, and the vital role that chemical engineering has to play in addressing the global grand challenges. Looking forward to the Presidential year, Bogle hopes to meet as many members as possible and looks forward to further centenary celebrations as the Institution focuses on the next 100 years.
The 2022 Presidential Address was live-streamed via IChemE’s YouTube channel and a recording is available to view.
Link to the Video: https://youtu.be/WUbkX63GEPQ