Institution of Chemical Engineers

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Institution of Chemical Engineers
Legal statusRegistered charity
PurposeChemical engineering, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology worldwide
HeadquartersRailway Terrace, Rugby, UK[1]
  • Offices in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK.
Region served
Jane Cutler[3]
Main organ
IChemE Council
AffiliationsEuropean Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) and Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering (APCChE)
£8.04 million[2]

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is a global professional engineering institution with over 35,000 members in over 100 countries worldwide.[2] It was founded in 1922 and awarded a Royal Charter in 1957.[4]

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


The IChemE's head office in Rugby.

The IChemE 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.[5] 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[edit]

IChemE has two main types of membership, qualified and non-qualified, with the technician member grade being available in both categories.[6]

Qualified membership grades.

FellowA 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 MemberInternationally 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 MemberThis 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 MemberUses 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 FellowSenior professionals trained in other fields of a level comparable to Fellow in other professional bodies.

AffiliateFor people working in, with or with a general interest in the sector.

StudentFor undergraduate chemical & process engineering students.



The Frank Morton Medal of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Awarded biennially for outstanding service to chemical engineering education.

The Institution has been awarding Medals for different areas of Chemical engineering work since the first Moulton medals were issued in 1929. The medal was named after Lord Moulton who helped develop chemical engineering during World War I when he took charge of explosive supplies.[7] Today the institution gives out eleven medals related to research and teaching,[8] six medals in special interest groups, [9] four medals relating to publications,[10] two medals for services to the profession[11] and two medals for contribution to the Institution.[12]

Annual awards[edit]

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. The first awards took place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 23 March 1994.[13]

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.[13]

The organisation is working on newer award programs in other countries and in 2012 events also took place in Singapore and North America.[13]

Ashok Kumar Fellowship[edit]

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 fellowship was jointly funded by the IChemE and the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC). However, NEPIC was unable to contribute in 2018 and the Fellowship was not offered in 2019.[14] As of 2021 it is jointly funded by the IChemE and the Materials Processing Institute (reflecting Kumar's employment with British Steel).[15]

The Fellowship was set up in memory of Dr 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.[14]


In response to a considerable reduction in applications to study the subject at UK universities[16] in 2000 the IChemE established an educational programme and website whynotchemeng? to help young people find out more about a career in the field of chemical engineering.[16][17] This was credited with the major rise in applications in the following years.[18][19] The programme included a website, YouTube stream, documents and outreach volunteers. In 2018 the web resource was moved from its own site to one within the IChemE.[16][20]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms is a shield with two figures.[21] 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[edit]

Other periodicals[edit]


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

Past presidents[edit]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE INSTITUTION OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERS Charity number: 214379". Charity Commission. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Annual Review 2019" (PDF). Institute of Chemical Engineers. April 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  3. ^ "New IChemE President focusses on ethics, respect and inclusivity". IChemE. 15 June 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  4. ^ Freshwater, Don (1997). People, pipes and processes; a short history of chemical engineering and the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Rugby: IChemE. ISBN 0-85295-390-9.
  5. ^ "Member Societies". EFCE. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. ^ Membership Grade Info Archived 2012-12-24 at Accessed 25/09/2012.
  7. ^ "Moulton Medals". IChemE. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Research and teaching". IChemE. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Special Interest Groups". IChemE. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Publications". IChemE. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Services to the profession". IChemE. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Services to the Institution". IChemE. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  13. ^ a b c "IChemE Awards, originally called the Excellence in Safety and Environment Awards". IChemE. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Funding for the Ashok Kumar Fellowship" (PDF). IChemE. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  15. ^ Jasi, Amanda (15 July 2021). "IChemE invites Ashok Kumar Fellowship applications". The Chemical Engineer. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  16. ^ a b c "The future of whynotchemeng" (PDF). IChemE. June 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Making the Grade". Process Engineering. Berkhamsted: Synthesis Media Ltd. 26 October 2000.
  18. ^ "Process, chemical engineering bucks university trend". Process Engineering. Berkhamsted: Synthesis Media Ltd. 24 April 2006.
  19. ^ "Journal Editor awarded CBE". Chemical Engineering Research and Design. 85 (2): ii–iii. 2007. doi:10.1205/cherd.iu.0702.
  20. ^ "whynotchemeng". IChemE. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  21. ^ College of Arms, London, 1964 The Armorial Bearings of the Institution of Chemical Engineers
  22. ^ "Journals - Peer-review research - IChemE". Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  23. ^ "New IChemE President focusses on systems thinking and the big picture for process safety". Institution of Chemical Engineers. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019. (Press release)

Further reading[edit]

  • 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[edit]