Professor Darton gets second term as European Federation of Chemical Engineering President

Richard Darton, who is Professor of Engineering Science here at Oxford, a former head of the Department of Engineering Science and a Fellow of Keble College, is to serve a second two-year term as President of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE). Professor Darton, ICHEME Fellow and former president, was voted in unanimously at the recent EFCE General Assembly in Berlin.

Professor DartonDuring his first term of office, Professor Darton focussed on improving the links between EFCE and its member societies, which include IChemE (UK), DECHEMA (Germany), SFGP (France) some 35 other societies across Europe with 100,000 members.

Under Richard Darton’s leadership, EFCE conducted a survey of members early in 2011 to explore the main challenges facing Europe’s chemical engineers. These include climate change, the emergence of new biologically based processes, job mobility and professional ethics.

Immediately after his re-election, Professor Darton went on to address a forum of industry and academic leaders from 20 European nations. Drawing on the findings of the 2011 survey, he called for an early shift from strategy to delivery. He said: "We must ensure that biofutures feature in our scientific programme. We must raise awareness of the importance of ethical issues and the way in which they should be approached by the professional engineer; and we must explore ways of responding to the demand for more factual information on energy and climate change issues.  Also, we must acknowledge that our community is becoming more mobile. This presents a tricky challenge for EFCE, but we must not leave this challenge off the list because it is too difficult”.

He added: “Now we must move from survey, to strategy, to delivery. I will work with the Board to develop plans for real action, because when I stand before you at the next EFCE Forum, we must have something to show for the work that we are doing”.  Progress will be reviewed at the next meeting of the EFCE Executive Board in Paris in March 2012.

Professor Darton was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2011.