Emeritus Professor Ryszard Pohorecki (on the right) with Prof Allan Hayhurst, Bob Skelton, Prof John Davidson
Emeritus Professor Ryszard Pohorecki gave a talk on "Teaching Sustainability to Chemical Engineering students" in the Department on 23 May 2013 as part of the CEB Alumni Speaker Series. Professor Pohorecki is a department friend and regular academic visitor from Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), the best chemical technology university in Poland.
His talk focused on an approach to teach undergraduates about sustainability developed at WUT. The WUT Sustainability introductory course syllabus contains important subjects such as shortage of energy, resources, food (including water) and deterioration of the environment. Professor Pohorecki briefly discussed solutions to common fundamental problems and appropriate measures related to chemical engineering and biotechnology such as membrane technologies for water purification, biogas production from wastes, carbon dioxide removal and sequestration.
He added that when teaching sustainability one needs to consider that this is an attitude rather than knowledge. He also shared a definition of sustainability as 'strategies and actions that have the objective of meeting the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future' (G. Brundtland)
He highlighted that the role chemical engineers and biotechnologists is key in helping with a more equal distribution of resources around the globe with preparation and preservation processes being key valuable 'sustainable' tasks for them.
At the end of the talk, he had the opportunity to catch up with former colleagues and department academics.