FOUNDATION OF IIChE
Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE) was born on the eve of the Indian Independence during the days fomenting with nationalistic aspirations. Dr. Hira Lal Roy, the great visionary and pioneer of Chemical Engineering education in India, along with a few other stalwarts felt the need for such a forum within the country to spread Chemical Engineering education and to foster the interest of the Chemical Engineering profession in general.
A modest beginning was made on 18 May 1947 at a room in Jadavpur University, Kolkata, with 30 members, little fund and nominal infrastructure. IIChE has come a long way since. Today, with around 29,000 members on its roll, the Institute has emerged as the apex professional body of Chemical Engineering professionals in India and has developed a distinct profile of its own.As a matter of fact, IIChE is always moulding itself and playing a proactive role to keep up with the dynamic needs of the economy and the society. Nevertheless, the basic objectives of IIChE remain largely unchanged since its inception, which is succinctly described in its Memorandum of Association. The administration of the Institute is governed by an all-India Council.
The day-to-day function of the Institute is carried out with assistance of the staff at the Institute headquarters in Kolkata. The HQ, located in a five-storied building of IIChE’s own at the Jadavpur University campus, is equipped with various modern facilities and amenities.
The activities of the Institute are spread across the country through its 42 Regional Centres and more than 165 Student Chapters. The Regional Centres promote and complement the activities and objectives of the Institute within their respective territorial limits by organizing meetings, conferences and seminars; arranging workshops, refresher courses and counseling sessions; promoting research; guiding chemical engineering students in career planning; and, initiating any other activities which are of social, technical and professional relevance to their Members. They serve as an open forum fortheir Members,who regularly gather for informal get-togethers and exchange of notes. The Regional Centres also confer awards, prizes and scholarships.
Student members, pursuing under-graduate degree courses in Chemical Engineering across the country, can join Student Chapters at their respective academic institutes. Student Chapters function under the auspices of the Regional Centres in the vicinity. The Student Chapters organize lectures, seminars, workshops, short courses, plant visits, career counseling programmes, etc., at regular intervals to better equip and empower the students for their ensuing professional life once they come out of their academic precincts. Academic activities apart, Student Chapters also organize cultural events and sports activities for their members.
IIChE has been conducting the Associate Membership Examination since 1960. It is held twice a year - in March and September - at different centres across the country. One of the primary objectives of the Institute is to facilitate enhancement of skill and enrichment of knowledge in Chemical Engineering and its allied fields. The Associate Membership Examination is meant for those who have been working in the chemical engineering related professions but who do not have a degree in Chemical Engineering even though they have a diploma in Engineering or a degree in Science. This examination offers them an opportunity to qualify as skilled chemical engineers.
The Institute publishes a quarterly journal, the Indian Chemical Engineer (ICE), which has been the Institute's main organ since 1959. Even before that, Transactions of Chemical Engineers was regularly published between 1948 and 1958. ICE offers an international platform for publishing articles on original research initiatives, interpretative reviews and overviews on new developments in the realm of Chemical Engineering and allied fields. Special Issues of ICE, published periodically, are rich sources of information with contributions from noted academics and research scholars.
Since 2011, ICE is published by Taylor and Francis, UK, one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals and books. Collaboration with Taylor & Francis has facilitated a wide international readership for the journal along with high-quality logistic support and has added a professional finesse to the journal.
The Institute also publishes a quarterly Newsletter, particularly for in-house circulation.Presently published online, the Newsletter comes in an attractive package, presenting detailed news about in-house activities across the country and achievements of the members. Besides, each issue also contains expert write- ups, professional and research guidelines, etc.
The Institute is recognized by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. The spectrum of R&D projects undertaken by the Institute covers a wide range and research work involving field studies like Comprehensive Assessment of Management of Municipal Solid Wastes in Kolkata, Study on Improvement of Quality Management System at Naihati Works of Jenson & Nicholson (India) Ltd, Studies on route cause of fire in M/S Dhunseri Petrochemicals Ltd. etc.In recent years, IIChE has started to fund research projects, to be conducted by Members of the Institute, who are pursuing research work and academic careers. Some of the ongoing projects are listed in the website under the head ‘R&D’. The Annual Session of the Institute, popularly known as the Indian Chemical Engineering Congress (CHEMCON), is the most important event in the calendar of the IIChE. Organised every December by one of its Regional Centres, the four-day CHEMCON features a host of events, which include lectures, seminars, symposia, panel discussion, exhibitions, etc. To the Indian chemical engineering fraternity in the country and abroad, CHEMCON offers the most attractive platform, ensuring four days of intensive interface with the best of brains - national and international - in Chemical Engineering and allied fields.
IIChE has been organizing SCHEMCON (Students' CHEMCON) annually since 2005 to encourage the chemical engineers of tomorrow to come out with innovative and inventive ideas. The pleasure and inspiration that a greenhorn in research gets by presenting his/her work and by interacting with his/her peers and seniors in a conference instill a strong desire in him / her for making innovative contribution to the discipline and profession. It also boosts the students’ self- confidence.
Each year the Institute confers a large number of awards and prizes to honour eminence as well as to nurture young talents. These awards have been instituted with endowments from leading industry houses, media enterprises and R & D organizations. The awardees indeed cover a wide spectrum - revered scientists, esteemed industrialists, respected academics, meritorious students and research scholars, etc.
The Institute maintains a close association with a number of fraternal professional bodies at home and abroad. Post-globalization, IIChE has embarked on various initiatives to become part of a wider network of inter-disciplinary forums and to be more visible in the international Chemical Engineering circuit. IIChE welcomes all into its fold-the aspiring chemical engineers of the future as well as veterans with vast experience. The membership of the Institute in itself is an accomplishment that stands one in good stead and helpin future career. The horizon of Chemical Engineering is fast widening with newer disciplines merging with it and new ideas emerging. As a member of the Institute, one gets plenty of opportunities to share the platform with many well-known academics and established professionals in one's field. These interactions help one to constantly update and equip oneself so as to keep pace with the fast-changing professional scenario. Equally important, as one becomes a member of this network of fellow professionals with multifarious connections, one can derive rich dividends to further one's professional goals.