The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is celebrating Christine S. Grant, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State, for her leadership and vision as the 2022 president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Her long history of service to the Institute is one example of ways CBE faculty and students have helped make the Institute a vibrant and well-respected organization nationally and internationally.
Prof. Grant has served AIChE as a member of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Minority Affairs Committee and the Nominating Committee, and a member of the Chemical Technology Operating Council, the Awards Committee, and the steering committee for the Henry T. and Melinda C. Brown Endowment for the Education of Underrepresented Minority Chemical Engineers.
Outside AIChE, Prof. Grant’s accomplishments as an educator, leader and mentor have been recognized by achievement awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society, the National Organization of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Council for Chemical Research, among others. She also has served NC State’s College of Engineering as its inaugural Associate Dean of Faculty Advancement.
During her time as AIChE president, she worked to create a culture of cohesion where diversity is not only respected but honored, while at the same time, “challenging members to pursue their own ‘NEXT’ — NEXT being that which is New, EXciting, and Transformational.”
In her president’s message, Prof. Grant explained how during her tenure, AIChE focused on improving and growing mentoring in AIChE, establishing a governance plan for the Institute for Learning and Innovation (ILI), emphasizing learning by adding an L to IDEAL, and creating more opportunity for collaboration between industry and academia. [Read the entire text of Prof. Grant’s outgoing president’s message.]
Prof. Grant will continue to serve on the AIChE Executive Committee as 2023 Past President, alongside two NC State alumni, 2023 AIChE President Billy Bardin (BSChE ’95) and Secretary Mary Kathryn “Kathy” Lee (MSChE ’84).
Prof. Grant Continues CBE’s Record of AIChE Leadership
It is remarkable for three of AIChE’s five Executive Committee members to be part of the NC State CBE family. Prof. Grant points out that CBE has a long, impressive record of AIChE leadership. In recent years:
- Carol Hall, Worley H. Clark Jr. Distinguished University Professor, served as Meeting Program Chair for the 2008 AIChE Annual Meeting in its centennial year and was on the Board of Directors in 2010-12.
- Phil Westmoreland (BSChE ’73), Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, served as AIChE President in 2013, on the Board of Directors in 2008-2010, founded AIChE’s Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum (division) in 2000, and co-founded the Institute’s process intensification initiative that resulted in the $140 million AIChE-led RAPID Manufacturing Institute.
- Sindee Simon, Department Head and Distinguished Professor, served as Meeting Program Chair for the most recent AIChE Annual Meeting in 2022.
CBE has contributed in many ways to the leadership of the RAPID Institute. Billy Bardin was its founding Chair, Yang Luo (Ph.D. ’94) was the next Chair, and Paul Yelvington (BSChE ’99) was Chief Technology Officer in 2019-21. Prof. Westmoreland has served on its Governing Board since its founding.
The student chapter has also experienced immense success, winning an AIChE Outstanding Student Chapter Award 25 of the past 27 years, including the last 13 years in a row. The group brings home prestigious awards and scholarships annually, including wins at Regionals and Nationals in research and poster competitions.
The most recent Student Chapter advisors have been Dr. Russ O’Dell (BSChE ’75), Director of Alumni Relations, from 2007-13 and Dr. Kim Roberts (BSChE ’02), Director of Recruiting, Enrollment Management, and Educational Partnerships in the College of Engineering, from 2012 to the present. In recognition of her substantial influence and leadership, Roberts received AIChE’s 2022 Outstanding Student Chapter Advisor Award for her “outstanding leadership skills, impeccable integrity, and unwavering professionalism,” which O’Dell had won in 2010.
Through the years, CBE faculty, students, post-docs, and alumni have also organized AIChE technical sessions, presented papers and posters, chaired committees, organized activities and participated in the Eastern North Carolina Local Section.
Service to chemical engineering and the public is embedded in CBE’s culture. Congratulations again to Prof. Christine Grant for continuing the CBE legacy of impactful service through AIChE.