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The 2021 Kirkpatrick Award: Call for nominations

By Dorothy Lozowski |

Since 1933, Chemical Engineering has honored noteworthy chemical engineering technologies that have advanced to the commercialization phase. These technologies generally seek to develop new processes or improve current ones, often with targets of better efficiency, new or improved products and greater sustainability. CE seeks to honor these achievements. Every two years, technologies that have been commercialized in the previous two years are nominated and evaluated, and the winning technology is awarded the Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 award.

In 2019, the 45th Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award was presented to LanzaTech (Chicago, Ill.; www.lanzatech.com) for its gas fermentation technology, which converts carbon-rich gas streams to products using proprietary microbes that feed on gases rather than sugars, as in traditional fermentation. Details of the winning achievement and the honorable mentions can be found in our January 2020 issue (Gas Fermentation Leads Honored Achievements, pp. 23–26). This achievement joins the distinguished list of past winners, which includes CB&I and Albemarle Corp., for the AlkyClean process — the world’s first solid-catalyst alkylation process (2017). The full list of past winners can be found at www.chemengonline.com/kirkpatrick.


How to nominate

Nominations may be submitted by any person or company, worldwide. The procedure consists simply of sending, by March 15, an unillustrated nominating brief of up to 500 words to: awards@chemengonline.com.

In order to be considered, each nomination should include the following: 1) a summary of the achievement and novelty of the technology; 2) a description of the difficult chemical-engineering problems solved; and 3) a description of how, where and when the development first became commercial in 2019 or 2020.

If you know of an achievement but do not have information to write a brief, you can contact the company involved, either to get the information or to propose that the firm itself submit a nomination. Companies are also welcome to nominate achievements of their own.


The selection process

After the deadline for nominations (March 15) we will review the nominations for validity. The nominations will then be sent to heads of accredited university chemical-engineering departments, who will vote, independently of each other, for a maximum of five best achievements.

The entries that collectively receive the most votes become the finalists in the competition. Each finalist company will then be asked to submit more-detailed information, such as a description of the technology, performance data and examples of the teamwork that generated the achievement.

Copies of these detailed packages will be sent to a Board of Judges.The Board will judge the entries to select the most noteworthy. The company that developed that achievement will be named the winner of the 2021 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award and the other finalist companies will be designated to receive Honor Awards. The awards will be bestowed in the fall.

Dorothy Lozowski

Dorothy Lozowski, Editorial Director

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