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2021 Virtual Spring Meeting and 17th Global Congress on Process Safety

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April 18, 2021 – April 23, 2021 all-day

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will conduct its 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting and 17th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS), April 18–23. For the second year, the conference will be presented using an online platform. The virtual platform will expand the global reach of the conference and permit new interactivity among meeting attendees.

The 2021 AIChE Virtual Spring Meeting consists of more than 600 technical presentations, and offers a comprehensive review of topics important to practicing chemical engineers and allied professionals. Areas of focus include chemical engineers at the forefront of new methods of manufacturing and energy production, as well as process safety developments in the chemical, petrochemical, and related industries.

Each conference day will begin with a keynote presentation, followed by alternating program blocks devoted to technical sessions and networking — providing attendees with opportunities to engage with speakers, exhibitors, poster presenters, and colleagues in moderated topical discussion rooms.

In announcing the conference program, AIChE’s Executive Director and CEO, June Wispelwey noted “AIChE is pleased to present our 2021 Spring Meeting and Global Conference on Process Safety as a virtual event. We have assembled an impressive roster of keynote speakers, panelists, presenters and exhibit sponsors to create a vibrant program for the chemical engineering community. Our ability to reach new audiences via online meeting platforms has enhanced AIChE’s recent conferences, increasing the diversity of participants at the meetings’ technical sessions and networking activities. In addition to our outstanding technical program, AIChE is pleased to offer its meeting participants meaningful networking experiences, as attendees are able to connect to new business opportunities and  strengthen their current professional relationships.”

The scene is set for the conference on Monday, April 19, with the AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award Keynote lecture, to be presented by Ilham Kadri, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Executive Committee at Solvay. In her talk, Kadri will address topics related to sustainability and safety in industry.

Among the meeting’s special events is a panel discussion on April 22 devoted to industry perspectives on learning innovation. Company leaders including Laura Matz (EMD Performance Materials), Navin Kunde (Clorox), and David Parillo (Dow Industrial Intermediates and Infrastructure), will discuss the skill sets and knowledge that industry will require of its future workforce.

The role of chemical engineers as drivers of advanced manufacturing techniques will be examined in several topical conferences under the “Industry 4.0 umbrella, incorporating topics such as process intensification and big-data analytics.

A new topical conferences is being dedicated to industrial wastewater management. Other topical conferences include the 9th International Conference on Upstream Engineering and Flow Assurance, the 21st Gas Utilization Conference, the 24th Refinery Processing Conference, the 33rd Ethylene Producers Conference, and the biennial Kister Distillation Symposium— as well as conferences covering clean and efficient energy, hydrogen safety, chemical engineering’s role in handing waste plastics, leadership- and career-skills development, and more.

AIChE’s Fuels and Petrochemicals Division kicks off its energy-focused programming on April 19 at a plenary co-hosted with the Industry 4.0 topical conference. The session includes presentations by Andre Argenton (Dow), who will discuss digital transformation in the materials industry, and Efstratios Pistikopoulos (Texas A&M University), whose talk will describe applications of data analytics in modeling and optimization. Also on April 19, the Big Data Analytics conference launches with a plenary featuring talks by Michael Tomasco (Pfizer Digital), who will discuss the digital transformation of Pfizer’s manufacturing facilities, and Peter Zornio (Emerson), who will offer advice on how to select the right data from the vast amount of information contained in big data.

Daily keynote’s highlight some of the conference’s major themes. Pfizer Digital’s Michael Tomasco will return to the conference stage on April 20 with a talk about how Industry 4.0 and digitalization have created a paradigm shift for manufacturing operations. On April 21, Kenneth Lane (LyondellBasell) will discuss the circular economy and his company’s efforts to eliminate plastic waste in the environment.

Organized by AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), the Global Congress on Process Safety engages safety engineers, plant managers, and process design experts worldwide in a continuing 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 universal process safety excellence in the chemical process industries.

The GCPS beings on April 19 with a plenary keynote by Corrie Pitzer, Founder and CEO of SAFEmap, who will advise engineers and safety personnel to remain vigilant for latent danger in their companies’ processes.

The GCPS incorporates the programming of the 55th Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, the 36th CCPS International Conference, the 23rd Process Plant Safety Symposium, and the 10th Process Safety Management Mentoring Forum. The international emphasis of the meeting is underscored by sessions offering Perspectives on Process Safety from Around the Globe.” Sessions devoted to “Case Histories” (April 23) will examine real-world incident investigations, including the 2020 explosion at the port of Beirut, Lebanon, and the Midland County (Michigan) dam failure.

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