The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) celebrated the contributions of the companies Chevron and Ecolab, and spotlighted the good works of chemical engineers and their employers, at the 2022 AIChE Gala, held December 1 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. 

Chevron was recognized “for its commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce and for developing clean energy solutions.” Gala organizers lauded Chevron for creating a positive employee culture and experience — summed-up by the philosophy: “The Chevron Way.” The honor for Chevron was accepted by Michael Wirth, Chevron’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

In his remarks at the gala, Wirth said, “At Chevron, our chemical engineers are at the heart of a workforce that knows how to overcome difficult challenges to solve the world’s toughest problems.” He added, “It will take innovative minds — from all sectors, all geographies, and all backgrounds — in order to accelerate progress toward the lower-carbon energy future we all desire.” 

Also at the gala, Ecolab was honored “for its commitment to a cleaner, safer, and healthier world” — in particular for its work in advancing food safety, maintaining clean and safe environments, and optimizing sustainable water and energy use. Accepting the honor for Ecolab was Christophe Beck, Ecolab’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

In accepting the recognition, Beck noted the global concerns related to water scarcity, and the need to reduce water and energy use. At Ecolab, Beck said, “we have nearly 10,000 chemists and chemical engineers around the globe who — together with our customers — are working to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operations. This work helps keep us all safe from infections and leads to reduced overall costs, energy use, and use of our planet’s most precious resource — water.” 

The gala also honored Paula T. Hammond, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, who received the AIChE Foundation’s Doing a World of Good Medal. The prize salutes the achievements of an individual who has advanced the societal contributions of engineers. In addition to her research in nanomaterials — with applications in targeted drug delivery and electrochemical energy devices — Hammond was recognized for her leadership in creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive engineering talent pool.

“One of my greatest joys has been the ability to mentor scientists and engineers, and to be able to watch them as they grow and evolve their own ideas, succeed, and contribute to the future,” said Hammond. “It is my hope to be able to reach and have an impact on the many promising future engineers who may not always be encouraged or exposed to the wonders of science and technology.”

The 2022 AIChE Gala raised more than $500,000 to underwrite K-12 programs designed to inspire imaginations and attract and retain students from underrepresented groups for the STEM professions, in order to foster a more equitable and inclusive workforce.

The annual gala supports these and other transformative priorities of the AIChE Foundation and its Doing a World of Good campaign, which focus on advancing chemical engineering and bringing that expertise to bear for the good of society. To date, the campaign has raised more than $42 million toward those objectives. 

The 2022 Gala’s chairs were Darrell Brown, President and Chief Operating Officer at Ecolab; Bruce Chinn, President and Chief Executive Officer at Chevron Phillips Chemical; John Y. Televantos, Senior Partner at Arsenal Capital Partners; and Gavin P. Towler, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Honeywell.

For more information about AIChE’s 2022 Gala, including details about its honorees and supporters, visit www.aiche.org/gala.