Chemical Engineers to Convene in New Orleans for Conference Showcasing Opportunities in Energy, Manufacturing, Process Safety

Chemical engineers, process safety experts, and affiliated stakeholders across the chemical process industries (CPI) will survey the state of their profession when the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and its Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) present the 2024 AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety, March 24–28 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. At this year’s conference, the chemical engineering and process safety communities will mark the 20th year of the Global Congress on Process Safety, which is regarded as the industry’s foremost annual gathering of safety engineers, plant managers, and process designers. 

The AIChE Spring Meeting is the largest annual conference for practicing chemical engineering and allied professional, and showcases the breadth of chemical engineering endeavors, from the field’s fundamentals to its new developments, in a program incorporating nearly 200 technical sessions. Areas of focus include chemical engineering’s role in new and sustainable methods of manufacturing and energy production, as well as process safety developments in the chemical, petrochemical, and related industries.

AGILE award and keynote address 

The stage for the conference will be set on Monday, March 25, with the AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Keynote lecture, presented by Mark Lashier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Phillips 66, a diversified energy company. Lashier will discuss the regeneration of the energy industry and “fuel for the future.”

The meeting program homes in on the roles that chemical engineers will play in creating a more sustainable path for industry and society. The focus on emerging opportunities will underscore topical conferences devoted to the energy transition and advanced manufacturing, the latter incorporating resource-efficient techniques related to process intensification as well as “Industry 4.0” concepts such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, digitalization, and data analytics.

Programming

Programming organized by AIChE’s Fuels and Petrochemicals Division will span topics from traditional fuel production to considerations of how the oil and gas industries are adapting to the changing landscape of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonization. The energy-focused programming begins on March 25 at a plenary co-hosted with the meeting’s Industry 4.0 topical conference.

Along other program tracks, the 36th Ethylene Producers’ Conference highlights a by , Head of Product Management and Cost Estimation at Linde Engineering, who will discuss the ethylene industry’s approaches to achieving net-zero carbon emissions. AIChE’s Process Development Division will host a by , Senior Principal Science Expert in the Process Development Group at Shell. He will describe process development in the conversion of sustainable feedstocks into low-carbon fuels.

Additional topical conferences delve into gas utilization, distillation, refinery processing, hydrogen safety, plastics circularity, and professional-skills development.

Keynote luncheons

Keynote luncheons expand upon some of the conference’s themes. On March 25, Teresa Keating, Global Director of Business Operations at Dow Performance Materials and Coatings, will deliver a talk titled “What’s the Worst that Could Happen?”. The luncheon speaker on March 26 is Michael Lefenfeld, President and Chief Executive Officer at Hexion Inc., who will discuss engineering innovation and how organizations can build world-class research and development and manufacturing operations. The guest speaker on March 27 is Rafael Bittar, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Vale S. A. He will share safety insights gained after the 2019 dam collapse in Brazil.

20th Global Congress on Process Safety

Organized by AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS) engages safety engineers, plant managers, and process design experts around the world in an ongoing exploration of technologies and strategies to ensure plant safety, manage risk, and strengthen process safety management (PSM) programs. The Global Congress builds upon CCPS’s vision for “a world without process safety incidents.”

To commemorate the Global Congress’s 20th year, organizers have programmed special session including several that welcome returning speakers who will deliver “best of the best” presentations, updating noteworthy talks about critical issues that have been explored at past conferences.

The GCPS beings on March 25 with a plenary session and keynote by Yatendra Lodha, Group Head of Safety and Operating Risk at Reliance Industries Limited. Lodha will discuss “process safety challenges and approaches for the 21st century.”

The GCPS incorporates the of the 58th Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, the 39th CCPS International Conference, the 26th Process Plant Safety Symposium, and the 13th Process Safety Management Mentoring Symposium. The international emphasis of the meeting will be on display at sessions offering “Perspectives on Process Safety from Around the Globe.” Sessions devoted to “Case Histories and Lessons Learned” (March 27) will spotlight real-world incident investigations. Those include lessons learned from train derailments, the impact of natural disasters on chemical plants, a gas poisoning incident in China, and electrostatic hazards in industrial processes, among others.

For a complete schedule of events and information about conference registration, visit fontelearn.com/spring.