Process Safety Experts will Gather at Global Congress to Discuss Safety in Chemical and Petrochemical Facilities

New York, NY (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will present its 2020 Spring Meeting and 16th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS) as a virtual conference, August 17–21. Originally scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas, in March 2020, the conference was rescheduled and moved to an online platform in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual platform will expand the global reach of the conference and permit new flexibility and interactivity among meeting attendees.

The 2020 AIChE Spring Meeting consists of more than 750 technical presentations covering a spectrum of topics of importance to practicing chemical engineers and allied professionals. Areas of focus include new methods of manufacturing, energy production, and safety developments in the chemical, petrochemical and related industries. The meeting will also feature special program tracks such as the Frontiers in Particle Science and Technology Conference.

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

In anticipation of the conference, June Wispelwey, AIChE’s Executive Director and CEO, said “AIChE is excited to offer our 2020 Spring meeting and Global Conference on Process Safety virtually. We are delighted with our impressive roster of keynote speakers, industry leaders, presenters and exhibit sponsors who will all contribute to making this meeting one of our most inspiring.” Wispelwey noted that the ability to reach a much broader virtual audience from around the world will enhance the meeting experience and increase the diversity of the attendees at the meeting’s technical sessions and networking events. “I am particularly pleased to add that in addition to our superb technical program, we are able to offer participants meaningful networking experiences,” Wispelwey said. “Attendees will be able to connect to new business opportunities while building new — and enhancing existing — relationships.”

Setting the stage for the entire conference on Monday, August 17, is the AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award Keynote lecture, to be delivered by Bhavesh V. (Bob) Patel, Chief Executive Officer of LyondellBasell. Patel’s address will explore factors and forces affecting the global petrochemical industry.

Another highlight on August 17 will be an industry panel devoted to the chemical process industries’ (CPI) response to COVID-19. Company leaders will describe the ways that COVID-19 has shaped corporate culture; developments in the search for effective vaccines; and the CPI’s contributions to controlling the spread of COVID-19.

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

New topical conferences are being devoted to the safe transition to the hydrogen economy, as well as chemical engineering’s role in addressing the problems of waste plastics. Other conferences include the 8th International Conference on Upstream Engineering and Flow Assurance, the 20th Gas Utilization Conference, the 23rd Refinery Processing Conference, and the 32nd Ethylene Producers Conference— as well as conferences covering clean and efficient energy, distillation, heat exchangers, process intensification, and strategies for career building in a virtual environment.

AIChE’s Fuels and Petrochemicals Division kicks off its energy-focused programming on August 17 with a plenary address — co-programmed with the Industry 4.0 topical conference — presented by Lloyd Colegrove (Dow Chemical), who will discuss the impact of big data analytics on the transformation of the chemicals industry. The Big Data Analytics Plenary Session on August 18 includes a keynote by Antonio Pietri (AspenTech), who will describe how artificial intelligence and digitalization are transforming the process industries. The plenary also welcomes Robert J. Reynolds (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), who will discuss NASA’s use of data analytics in monitoring human health.

Daily keynote speakers include Matt Loeb (SECURE) who will discuss cybersecurity; Thomas Munoz (Homeland Security Director for Texas City, TX), who will describe a collaborative approach toward a community’s disaster recovery process; and Mark Johnson (Clemson University and former director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy).

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 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 begins on August 17 with a plenary keynote address by Shakeel Kadri, Executive Director and CEO of CCPS, whose talk is entitled “Does Age Really Matter?”

The GCPS incorporates the programming of the 54th Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, the 22nd Process Plant Safety Symposium, and the 9th Process Safety Management Mentoring Forum. At the 35th CCPS International Conference, experts will review the industry’s progress toward CCPS’s Vision 20/20 goals for process safety excellence, and consider steps to advance global process safety in the years ahead. The international emphasis of the meeting is underscored in sessions offering “Perspectives on Process Safety from Around the Globe.” A session devoted to “Case Histories and Lessons Learned” (August 21) spotlights a cross-section of real world plant incidents.

For complete information about the conference, registration, and related activities, visit or