Leading female chemical engineers top the bill at Chemeca 2018

Transpower’s Chief Executive, Alison Andrew, and University of Auckland’s Dr Michelle ‘Nanogirl’ Dickinson, are the latest plenary speakers to be announced for Chemeca 2018. The annual gathering of Australasia’s chemical and process engineers will take place, for the first time, in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The conference is presented by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), Engineers Australia, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), and Engineering New Zealand.

Andrew will look at Australia and New Zealand’s electricity systems in her plenary talk, comparing the benefits and challenges in terms of delivery, and achieving global emissions targets. Andrew won Deloitte’s Women in Energy Award this year, for her exceptional leadership and technical skill. She has been Chief Executive of Transpower since 2014, previously Global Head of Chemicals at Orica and Director at Genesis Energy. She also spent 7 years at New Zealand’s dairy giant, Fonterra.

Better known as ‘Nanogirl’, Dickinson is a passionate about engaging people of all ages and stages with science and engineering. She is a Senior Lecturer of Chemical Engineering at Auckland University, and uses her Nanogirl alter-ego to engage people in science through her blog, YouTube channel, and speaking at various events and conferences. She has recently embarked on a new adventure – the NanoGirl Live Science Show – the world’s only female-led science show that features trained female scientists and engineers, who play Nanogirl on stage to a captivated young audience.

At Chemeca 2018, Dickinson will discuss the philosophy behind Nanogirl, and how engineers can be better at communicating to potential students and the wider community.

The conference theme is Chemical Engineering in Australasia and the call for papers is now open via: https://www.chemeca2018.org/call-for-papers/. Those submitting papers are encouraged to explore the emerging opportunities and challenges for chemical engineering profession, specific to the region.

IChemE’s Deputy President, Ken Rivers has also been confirmed as a plenary speaker and will focus on the conference theme from a global perspective. Ken spent twenty-five years at Shell in various roles, and was CEO of Refining NZ.

The event will also host the Awards of Excellence in Chemical Engineering, which includes the IChemE Safety Centre Award. It recognises a team’s commitment and leadership in the area of process safety. The winner will be automatically shortlisted for the IChemE Global Awards, which take place in November 2018.

Chemeca 2018 will be held at the Millennium Hotel and the Copthorne Hotel and resort, Queenstown Lakehouse, in Queenstown, New Zealand on 30 September – 3 October 2018.