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Meet the Committee

Chair's message

As an industry, we find ourselves at an interesting and exciting moment in history. The global population has surpassed seven billion, and this growth, combined with the large numbers of people being lifted out of poverty and becoming consumers, is increasing strains on basic resources - from clean water, to energy and food. These challenges impact countries that are increasingly interconnected, impacting the entire global economy.

Meanwhile, in the United States, innovations in shale gas have produced wider availability of low-cost energy and chemical feedstocks, dramatically improving the cost position for US manufacturers. Already, chemical producers are taking advantage of resulting new ethane supplies with crackers running at 95% capacity, and plans on the horizon to expand even more. The shale boom has poised our industry for significant growth, with the American Chemistry Council estimating a 25% increase in ethane supply from shale gas could generate a $33 billion per year increase in US chemical production.

All of this interconnectedness, scarcity, and abundance creates an opportunity, a challenge, and a responsibility for the chemical industry. Our abundance of feedstock combined with our ability to collaborate and innovate gives us an important role in tackling critical global challenges, such as access to clean water, healthy and plentiful food, affordable and sustainable sources of energy, transportation, housing and medicines. Through chemistry, we have the power to continue to help improve the quality of life for the people around the world.

The challenges and responsibilities we have as an industry will only be met through continued collaboration and innovation. Organisations like SCI play a critical role in fostering both. The events, conferences and networking, along with the awards, grants and scholarships provided by SCI help move our industry forward.

Awards like the Gordon E Moore Medal, the Perkin Medal, and the Chemical Industry Medal celebrate the best and brightest of our industry and inspire and honour the innovation that pushes us all forward. Events like Innovation Day, hosted in collaboration with the Chemical Heritage Foundation, create collaborative networking opportunities and attract young researchers to educational workshops and symposia to shape the minds of future chemical innovators.

The SCI Scholarship programme supports the future of innovation and collaboration in our industry by giving chemical engineering undergraduates financial and mentoring support.

I’m honoured to serve as the Chairman of SCI America. We are at a pivotal and exciting moment in time. Chemistry is helping to address the greatest challenges we face and we must keep striving to do even more to improve the quality of life for people everywhere, every day. The innovation, leadership and collaboration fostered by SCI helps us strengthen our ability as an industry to take on this charge.

I look forward to working with you in the coming year.

Fred Fedsta
Chair, SCI America and 
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, W.R. Grace & Company

Committee biographies and photographs


Mr Fred Festa


Mr Neil Chapman


Mr Craig Rogerson

Ordinary Members:

Mr Paul Augustowsk


Mr James Chao


Mr Mark Costa


Mr Bob Hansen


Mr Luke Kissam


Mr Pedro Suarez

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