Lecturers at the Industrial Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Toronto included Adam Whalley and Julie Schroeder. Students mingled with industrial professionals at a networking seminar.

Lecturers at the Industrial Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Toronto included Adam Whalley and Julie Schroeder. Students mingled with industrial professionals at a networking seminar. Photo credit: Ray Clement

Industry representatives, academic researchers and students attended the first annual, one-day Industrial Chemistry and Engineering Conference this past Nov. 2 in Toronto. Held at the International Plaza Hotel, the meeting offered delegates the chance to learn more about industrial practices, including the fields of process chemistry, laboratory practices and regulatory affairs. 

A diverse technical program was also on offer, including three plenary speakers. They included Adam Whalley of Zeton, who presented “Advances in Small Scale Manufacturing,” Julie Schroeder from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, who spoke on “Standards Development Science and Implementation” and Terry Obal of Maxxam Analytics, who lectured on “30 Years of Evolution in Contract Analytical Laboratory Processes.” 

The main conference program offered two streams: Progress in Laboratory Techniques and Green, Clean and Sustainable Manufacturing. Delegates were pleased with the scope of the program offerings, with Farrah Cooper of Arcadis Canada Inc. remarking that the conference “was well organized, with great speakers, topics and a good cross-section of attendees.” 

In recent years, the Chemical Institute of Canada has placed special emphasis on professional development and a workshop given by Alan Kearns, head coach at Career Joy, titled “Professional Development Stream: Networking Seminar,” was popular.
Laura Reyes, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, attended both the seminar and the technical sessions, commenting that, “the strongest advantage of this conference is that there is a good mix of representatives from industry and academia, which could lead to some great connections and collaborations. It’s one of those rare opportunities for students and industry to interact in a more casual setting.” 

This conference allowed students and professionals to close the gap between industry and academia, with a setting that encouraged lots of questions from budding scientists. For those seeking to further their knowledge and job skills beyond the one-day conference, optional Professional Development courses were offered on Nov. 3-4. Both the Laboratory Safety Course, facilitated by James Kaufman from the Laboratory Safety Institute, and the Batch Process Simulation Course, facilitated by Charles Siletti from Intelligen, Inc., were well attended. 
The 2016 Industrial Chemistry and Engineering Conference will be held in Edmonton.