Dr. Syamal Poddar 2018 Elected Chair of AIChE Fellows Council

New Chair invites upcoming generation of chemical engineers to join path of future leaders of the institute

Dr. Syamal Poddar with the plaque presented to him in appreciation of his contributions as the 2018 Chair of Fellows Council.

By Pramod Kulkarni

HOUSTON: A 40-year member of the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), Dr. Syamal Poddar has been elected Chair of AIChE’s Fellows Council for 2018. Dr. Poddar served as the Chair Elect in 2017.

Dr. Poddar has progressed through the ranks of AiChE during his 40-year career as a chemical engineer from regular member to Senior Member to, most recently, as an Emeritus Member. Along the way, through his recognized contributions to the chemical engineering profession via industrial and academic engagements, Dr. Poddar was elected a Fellow of the institute about 20 years ago. Based on his commitments and passion to closely work with his peers as a team, he was elected to the Fellows Council of the Institute a few years ago.

Dr. Poddar has demonstrated a keen interest to create a pool of young professionals with the potential to become future leaders of the Institute which is over 60,000-strong. It is the global home of chemical engineers. As the institute celebrates its 110 years of prolonged and effective existence, Dr. Poddar has steered the Fellows Council to create diversity and inclusion by nominating and encouraging new Fellows to be proactive in impacting society at large.

“I’ve been involved with AiChE’s Doing A World of Good since its inception about five years ago,” revealed Dr. Poddar. Together with his wife, Dr. Susmita Poddar, Dr. Syamal Poddar has made and continues to make donations to the institute’s Foundation. Jointly, they have reached the highest level of recognized donor. He is an active member of the Foundation Board of Trustees of the Institute. This husband wife team has also been recognized by the Institute as Philanthropist of the year for two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017. His volunteer contribution touched the Institute’s largest local section, South Texas section, as the elected Chairman for 2016.

“I believe it is essential to attract a new generation of chemical engineer volunteers to the Institute to continue the process of positively impacting society at large and help the underprivileged by opening the door for them via mentoring with passion and encouragement,” said Dr. Poddar.

Dr. Poddar believes in the true meaning of volunteerism whereby one does volunteer projects without expecting anything in return. Besides the professional organizations, he has all along been engaged with social organizations as well. He was the elected Chair of Indian Culture Center of Clearlake (ICCL Clear Lake) in 1991and later as the Chief Trustee of its Board of Trustees. During his tenure as the Chair, ICCL organization achieved phenomenal, growth-oriented transformation.

With a patron status, Dr. Poddar supports two key organizations: Asia Society of Texas and Space Center of Houston.