Mahmoud El-Halwagi, professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been appointed national chair for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division as well as an academic trustee for the Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering (CACHE) Corp.
CAST, the leading division for process systems engineering in the chemical engineering community, is responsible for the wide range of activities within AIChE that involve the application of computers and mathematics to chemical engineering problems including process design, process control, operations and applied mathematics.
Last year, El-Halwagi served CAST as the first vice chair after having been previously elected to serve as the second vice chair one year prior. As national chair, El-Halwagi will oversee preside over all meetings of the CAST Division and its executive committee.
"My priority is to launch several initiatives for enhancing membership, engaging a larger number of participants in CAST-sponsored scholarly activities, and creating new services for members," El-Halwagi said.
One of El-Halwagi's first actions as a chair has been the establishment of a lifetime membership program for CAST members. Additionally, El-Halwagi, who also serves as the chair of the AIChE International Subcommittee on Joint International Meetings and Special Sessions, plans to develop synergistic partnerships with other organizations through co-sponsoring conferences, workshops and sessions.
CACHE is the premier not-for-profit organization for computer aids for chemical engineers. CACHE aims to promote cooperation among universities, industry and government in the development and distribution of computer-related and/or technology-based educational aids for the chemical engineering profession.
During the 1960s the rapid growth of computer technology challenged educators to develop new methods of meshing the computer with the teaching of chemical engineering. Responding to the disorganized state of university-developed codes for chemical engineering, the CACHE Committee was formed. It was initially sponsored by the Commission on Education of the National Academy of Engineering and funded by the National Science Foundation. In 1975, after several successful projects had been completed, CACHE was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in Massachusetts to serve as the administrative umbrella for the consortium activities.
Holder of the McFerrin Professorship, El-Halwagi is internationally known for his pioneering contributions in the fields of sustainable design and process integration, and he has written two widely used texts on the subject. At Texas A&M, he conducts research and teaches senior-level undergraduate and graduate classes, covering the areas of sustainability, energy conversion, novel energy technologies, process design, simulation, economics, integration and optimization.