IChemE Honors Royal Patron Prince Philip

April 16, 2021
The Institution of Chemical Engineers pays tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and his time as royal patron of IChemE.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), on the occasion of his passing, pays tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and his time as royal patron of IChemE. Philip became IChemE’s first royal patron in 1957 on the granting of the Institution’s royal charter. This was announced by then President John Oriel at the Annual Dinner at the May Fair Hotel, London, U.K. on April 30, 1957.

Philip reportedly advocated the importance of engineering throughout his lifetime, stating in a U.K. BBC Radio 4 program in December 2015 that “in an increasingly crowded world, engineering is the only thing that can maintain the balance between nature and human ambition.” During his speech at the IChemE’s 75th anniversary dinner on April 10, 1997 at the Hilton Hotel, London, U.K., Philip hailed the growing importance of chemical engineering. In this speech, he recognized the success of IChemE’s increased membership and the “immensely important” role of institutions and their members in setting standards and maintaining the reputation of their professions.

He reportedly also drew attention to the pressure on natural resources owing to population growth and rising living standards. He suggested IChemE should shoulder two additional responsibilities to help in sustainable development, noting that the profession has talented individuals to tackle these responsibilities: monitoring and assessing the impact of the activities of chemical engineering on the health and well-being of the planet as a whole; and trying to see into the future to prevent further mistakes being made.

Over the years, he celebrated milestones of the Institution and supported the Institution’s work to share knowledge to help improve process safety in industry. This includes sending a message on the opening of IChemE’s Major Loss Prevention in the Process Industries symposium in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K. on  July 6,1971, and attending the Annual Dinner in 1972 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Institution.

To mark the Institution’s Diamond Jubilee in 1982, as well as the 25th anniversary of IChemE’s royal charter, Philip was presented with the first in a set of limited editions of a jubilee plate and goblet commissioned by the Institution presented in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on December 14, 1982 by then President Tony Lee. Some IChemE members and staff also attended the queen’s garden parties and met Philip.

IChemE President Stephen Richardson says, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His royal highness promoted the importance of engineering throughout his life and was a patron of our Institution for more than 63 years."

For more information, visit: www.icheme.org

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