Vision and Mission
History of CEPAC
Executive Summary
Steering Committee
Americas Program
Funding Agencies
Links to Researchers
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Chemical Engineering has contributed to the development of product and processes in many areas of great socioeconomic impact, such as the chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in key areas of infrastructure such as energy, water and pollution control. On the eve of the 21st century, we are witnessing several changes at the political and economic levels, with renewed and critical social demands, and therefore, new challenges.

In a world of increasing interdependency, regional economic blocks and global problems, international cooperation is an important instrument for improving the educational system and the economy of nations. In particular, North-South cooperation has been reinforced with the establishment of programs in many scientific national funding agencies. For South American countries where industrialization has been relatively recent, chemical engineering research has increased in importance, coverage and quality, as industry-university partnerships are becoming more established. Furthermore, the size of the chemical and process industry and its impact on the economy of North and South America has become very significant. It was, therefore, felt opportune that a workshop involving US and South American scientists be organized to examine and propose ways of significantly enhancing cooperation in research and education

CEPAC (Chemical Engineering Pan-American Collaboration) was created to stimulate sustainable collaboration between the Pan-American countries in the field of Chemical Engineering.

Opportunities that motivate CEPAC:

  • South America is an area of significant growth with great capital investment by the US chemical, petroleum, food, mineral and manufacturing industries. This economic interest will grow further as we move into the 21st century.
  • The increase of trade within the Mercosur countries establishes a good environment for joint programs. The inclusion of Venezuela, Peru and the USA on these programs could be a seed for ALCA implementation.
  • There are cultural links and English is a common language among chemical engineers both in academia and industry. Likewise Spanish is becoming an important cultural factor and it is a common second language taught at high school level in the US.
  • In South America there is a long history of education in Chemical Engineering and most Departments have faculty with advanced degrees (many from the US) that are active in research. There are several research centers with state of the art facilities and skilful professionals that conduct research of the same caliber than in similar international institutions (process systems, catalysis, biotechnology, computer science, fine chemicals, minerals, etc).
  • There are industrial research centers that have developed novel native processes in response to the local needs.
  • There are also well established funding agencies and mechanisms for funding research both academic as well as for R&D (CNPq, CONICET, CONYCIT, FINEP, NSF, etc.).

1999 Objectives

  • Establish a steering committee (consisting of the members of the organizing committee) to provide CEPAC with a sustainable organization that will guarantee permanence in their activities
  • Disseminate CEPAC activities undertaken by publicizing the workshop and the conclusions (in professional magazines, such as C&EN). Also the development of web pages that include information and links of universities and researchers from North and South America who are active in Chemical Engineering.
  • Create awareness in the community of supplements that can be petitioned to the National Science Foundation to initiate support of short visits by graduate students, in both ways.
  • Couple CEPAC events with others scientific events already planned. For example, the possibility of US participation in the Mercosur Process Engineering in Florianópolis (Brazil) in October 1999.
  • Plan meetings for 1999, including three topical workshops on separations/interfacial phenomena, environmentally benign processes and chemical engineering education.

Benefits for Pan American Collaboration

  • Strengthening the ties between the US and South America will accelerate North-South economic growth.
  • Joint collaborations will help to enhance cultural links and understanding among participants.
  • Increasing the number of researchers participating in collaborative programs from South America in the US will provide the skilled personnel to conduct research both in the US and in South America. These researchers, when returning to academia, will benefit the local industry by training skilled professional needed to sustain their operation and grow and by creating new knowledge.
  • The participation of US researchers in collaborative projects in South America will increase the awareness of the research capabilities existing in South America. Collaborations will help to solve problems of common scientific and technological interest (e.g. environmental problems). It can also create awareness about problems that might not be well known in the US.
  • Collaborations can reduce the cost of research (50% for ACEP) by sharing facilities and experimental techniques and computational resources and skills that can be complementary to research programs both in the US and South America.



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