John McGagh, chief digital officer at renewable energy supplier Snowy Hydro, is confirmed as the new president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).
McGagh reportedly became fascinated with chemical engineering as a schoolboy during a vacation job on an oil and gas construction project in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. From there he began his professional journey, completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Bradford. He has extensive experience in chemical engineering and has served in roles in the commercial sector, business and strategy, global procurement and research and development.
He transitioned from the chemical industry to the mining industry as head of innovation of Rio Tinto, a global mining and metals group. There he established and ran a $100M world scale innovation program, forging close working relationships with universities in Australia, Canada, China, the U.S. and the U.K., sponsoring numerous PhD and masters candidates in chemical engineering.
Throughout his career McGagh has undertaken a number of voluntary roles, including membership of the Minerals Down Under Sector Advisory Board and as a former chair of the board of IChemE in Australia.
McGagh’s Presidential Address, Chemical Engineers – Thriving in an Exponential World, explored the use of cognitive computing skills for organizations and businesses. He cited examples of how the digital revolution is being used in a range of innovative ways, including at the Australian oil and gas company, Woodside, which is using cognitive computing to revolutionize the management and operation of its offshore platforms, according to IChemE.
Ken Rivers, formerly the CEO of Refining NZ, is announced as deputy president and will succeed McGagh in May 2018.
For more information, visit: www.icheme.org