Thomas E. Rehm

I have had an interesting career; now semi-retired but still busy. It all started in 1972 with UOP in the Chicago area – most of my time spent as a Senior Design Engineer. I left there in 1981 to complete graduate studies at Northwestern University, defending my doctoral dissertation in 1985. I then joined Amoco Chemical in Naperville, Illinois at the Amoco Research Center (west of Chicago), where I was primarily involved in commercializing new products. From there I joined CH&A in 1993, a small consulting firm in Kingwood, Texas, where I investigated industrial accidents, primarily for litigation. Saudi Aramco hired me in 1997 to improve their investigations and in the process of doing so I became involved on the steering committee that launched Saudi Aramco’s version of Process Safety Management (PSM) in 2005, the year after I led the Saudi Aramco Compliance Review Team, essentially PSM auditing of several Saudi Aramco facilities and operations. The longest string of characters behind my name is the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) Certificate, achieved in 2016. I retired on 12/31/09 after 12 years in Saudi Arabia, a very interesting segment of my life.

In 2010, I toured all fifty states with wife Mary, and settled into semi-retirement in 2011 in the Houston area, near to the greatest concentration of grandkids (6 of 10). As with my career, I have had an interesting retirement – some process safety consulting work now and then and a little volunteer work with the local section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the AIChE South Texas Section (STS). I did a two year stint as the STS Human Resources Officer, then a three-year gig as Chair Elect (2018), Chair (2019) and Past Chair (2020). At the Institute level, I was a Director of the AIChE Safety & Health (S&H) Division from 2017-2019, the Chair of the S&H Division Student Outreach Committee, a member of the CCPS Process Safety Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and a member of the AIChE Public Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC) Climate Change Task Force. I am a Founding Member of AIChE’s Climate Solutions Community and am currently serving on the AIChE Fellows Admissions Committee.

When I ran for Chair-Elect of the South Texas Section in the fall of 2017, I told our membership, of about a thousand ChEs, that before they cast their vote for me, it was important for them to know that I believed that AGW (anthropogenic global warming) was occurring and that I would do everything I could to alter the course of our nation’s aversion to this important issue. To my surprise, I was elected! In my year as Chair in 2019, half of our monthly dinner meeting speakers focused on global warming and its climate change effects. In mid-2018, I and three colleagues developed a proposal which we put to the AIChE Board of Directors at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. They approved our proposal and on March 31, 2019, AIChE’s Climate Solutions Community was launched. The Community is in the process of writing ByLaws and assembling a 12-Member Managing Board, with the objective of an operational launch in 2020.