The 68th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE 2018) got underway this week, drawing close to 1300 people from more than 40 countries to the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto. The four-day event, held in conjunction this year with the XXIX Interamerican Congress of Chemical Engineering, has been organized by a team from the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE), as well as dozens of professional colleagues in academia, industry, and government within Canada and abroad.

This year’s conference theme, “Engineering for a Healthy and Sustainable Planet”, has been reflected in presentations and panel discussions on topics ranging from climate change and clean energy to food production and the future of biomass as a source stock for materials or fuels. The event has also featured a number of sessions held in Spanish and Portuguese, along with highlights of the latest research and development being conducted throughout the Western hemisphere.

A substantial number of the participants have been students from universities across the country and the Americas, showcasing their research and creative engineering solutions through hundreds of posters and talks. Sporting a kaleidoscope of scarves from their respective alma maters, the students’ energy and enthusiasm were on full display at the undergraduate student awards banquet, where prizes went to the most outstanding contributions in various categories, including a plant design competition sponsored by Hatch.

The social aspects of engineering have also been front-and-centre at the conference, including an informal discussion of the role that Local Sections can play in the lives of members, detailed presentations about the promotion of diversity within the profession, and examinations of how engineering education should evolve to reflect the needs of a changing world.

Conference delegates, whether they were attending for a deep dive into some particular aspect of their field or an opportunity to spend quality time with their colleagues, have expressed that the conference has represented an unrivalled opportunity to share ideas, build collaborations, and learn the latest from some of chemical engineering’s leading lights.

Watch for more details about CSChE 2018 in the next edition of Headlines!