The Indian Chemical Engineering Congress (CHEMCON) is an annual flagship event of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE), which is held in the month of December every year at different locations across India. Established in 1947, IIChE is a national body of 32000 chemical engineers from across the country, with 46 Regional Centres as well as 182 Student Chapters. CHEMCON-2022 was the 75th Platinum Jubilee Annual Session of the IIChE. It was organized by the Kanpur Regional Centre of IIChE and Harcourt Butler Technological University (HBTU, formerly known as HBTI), Kanpur, UP. It was held in the campus of HBTU from December 27-30, 2022. Other conference partners and supporting organizations were Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University (formerly Kanpur University), Kanpur; Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology for Handicapped, Kanpur; Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, Amethi; and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow.
The theme of CHEMCON-2022 was Sustainability in Chemical Processes through Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence and Green Chemistry (chemcon2022.com). Attended by about 1,000 delegates, CHEMCON-2022 included oral and poster presentations from national and international researchers and practising engineers, memorial lectures, distinguished speaker lectures and plenary lectures. International joint symposia at CHEMCON-2022 were held in collaboration with the Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan (SCEJ, on December 28), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE, on December 28), and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE, on December 29).
An invitation from the IIChE was accepted by CSChE’s Board of Directors in early 2022. Ajay K. Dalai (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon) and Anil K. Mehrotra (University of Calgary, Calgary) were asked to organize and co-lead a CSChE delegation to an India-Canadian Joint Symposium at CHEMCON-2022. It was agreed that the Joint Symposium would focus on issues, challenges and advancements related to energy and the environment (but other related chemical engineering topics of importance to both countries were welcome too). Subsequently, invitation emails were sent to about 40 Canadian researchers, who were known to have collaborations and linkages with researchers in India.
A total of 12 abstracts were received from researchers across Canada; however, 3 of them could not attend due to delays in securing a visa for India. Most Canadian delegates arrived in Kanpur on December 26 or 27. The CSChE/Canadian delegation included B. Acharya, A. K. Dalai, S. Nanda (University of Saskatchewan), T. R. Sarker (University of Saskatchewan/Bangladesh Agricultural University), A. Dutta, M. Misra, A. Mohanty (University of Guelph), S. K. Rakshit (Lakehead University), and A. K. Mehrotra (University of Calgary). In addition, P. Tirumareddy, B. Saha, K. Khandelwal, and Shivanghi, all from the University of Saskatchewan, presented their research in regular sessions of CHEMCON-2022.
The first day, December 27, was devoted to opening ceremony and invited/award lectures. We were also informed that the IIChE Council had approved the establishment of a Canadian Chapter of IIChE, which is the first-ever overseas chapter of IIChE, to be located at the University of Saskatchewan. In the evening of December 27, the conference attendees were entertained with a live performance by a father-and-son team of singers, accompanied by a team of musicians playing different musical instruments, in the Dhrupad style of North Indian classical music.
The second day, December 28, included joint symposia with the SCEJ and AIChE. The first meeting of the Canadian Chapter of IIChE was held in the afternoon of December 28, which was primarily for electing its first leadership team, including the Chair, Vice-Chair, Executive Member (Member-at-Large), Treasurer, and Secretary. Photograph 1 includes all those present at the first meeting of the Canadian Chapter of IIChE. An assembly of Hindi poets, called Kavi Sammelan, entertained the audience with recitations of their creative writings in the evening of December 28.
Photograph 1. Attendees of the inaugural meeting of the Canadian Chapter of IIChE.
[from left to right: K. Khandelwal, S. Nanda, A. Dutta, M. Misra, B. Acharya, A. Mohanty, A. Mehrotra, A. Dalai, S. Rakshit, T. Sarker, and P. Tirumareddy]
The events on the third day, December 29, began with the presentation of the IIChE fellowship parchment to A. K. Mehrotra (Photograph 2). It was followed by the signing of a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CSChE and IIChE (Photograph 3).
Photograph 2. Presentation of IIChE Fellowship to A. K. Mehrotra by D. M. Butala (President, IIChE).
[from left to right: A. K. Dalai, D. M. Butala, A. K. Mehrotra, R. K. Trivedi, and B. Chattopadhyay.]
Photograph 3. Signing of the MOU between CSChE and IIChE on December 29, 2022.
[from left to right: A. Ghosh (IIChE), B. Chattopadhyay (IIChE), M. K. Jha (IIChE), A. K. Dalai (CSChE), D. M. Butala (IIChE), A. K. Mehrotra (CSChE), and R. K. Trivedi (IIChE)]
Immediately after the MOU signing event, the India-Canada Joint Symposium was commenced with three technical sessions, co-chaired by A. K. Dalai and R. K. Trivedi (HBTU, Kanpur). Each invited speaker was felicitated with a flower bouquet, a ‘memento of appreciation’ (a framed plaque), a personalized coffee mug, and other gifts. Session I included presentations by A. K. Mehrotra, S. K. Rakshit, A. Dutta, and S. P. Chaurasia (MNIT, Jaipur; who could not attend due to an unavoidable reason). Session II included presentations by A. K. Dalai, B. Acharya, M. Misra, and M. K. Jha (NIT, Jalandhar). Session III included presentations by T. R. Sarker, A. Mohanty, S. Nanda, and S. C. Naik (IIT, Delhi).
Session III also included an invited presentation by Dr. Prachi Kaul (Director, India Office, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, SICI), who summarized scholarships and other funding opportunities for India’s students and researchers for education, training, mentorship, and collaboration in Canada. Dr. Kaul also informed the attending undergraduate and graduate students about the Government of Canada’s Mitacs Globalink Research Internship (GRI) and Mitacs Globalink Research Award (GRA) funding initiatives, available through SICI. Her presentation was followed by an open Q&A session relating to post-graduate and post-doctoral studies and research training opportunities at Canadian universities, which was facilitated by A. K. Dalai, A. K. Mehrotra, and other Canadian delegates. Session III ended with a vote of thanks by B. Chattopadhyay (Chair, National Organizing Committee), A. K. Dalai, A. K. Mehrotra, and R. K. Trivedi (Chair, Local Organizing Committee). It is noted that all three sessions of the Joint Symposium were held in the HBTU Auditorium and attended by 100-300 delegates.
Overall, the India-Canada Joint Symposium at CHEMCON-2022 was a huge success. The 9-member delegation from Canada was one of the largest international delegations at CHEMCON conferences. All Canadian attendees had a memorable experience in Kanpur, India. All members of the Canadian delegation appreciated the efforts of everyone involved in organizing the CHEMCON 2022 conference, especially for the exceptional welcome and hospitality extended to us. We were particularly impressed with dedicated undergraduate student volunteers, who were always eager to help us; they were simply outstanding.
We encourage all CSChE and CSC members to attend CHEMCON-2023, which will be held from December 27 to 30, 2023, in Kolkata, West Bengal (https://iiche.org.in/chemcon2023/index.php). We also extend an Invitation to the Canada-India Joint Symposium at the CSChE 2023 conference in Calgary, Alberta (from October 29 to November 1, 2023). For more information, contact A. K. Mehrotra (email@example.com), A. K. Dalai (firstname.lastname@example.org), or H. W. Yarranton (email@example.com).
Anil K. Mehrotra, FCIC, FIIChE, and Ajay K. Dalai, FCIC, FIIChE