SHANGHAI, China - A new IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) office in Shanghai is open for business following the successful application to local government for a wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE) business license.

The office will primarily be used to serve the growing IChemE member base in China and forge stronger links with Chinese universities and industry.

IChemE CEO David Brown said that the opening of a Shanghai base is an important development for the institution. “Establishing the WOFE, our China arm, is a really significant milestone for IChemE and for the chemical engineering community. It’s a key step in bringing about fuller interaction between engineers in China and their colleagues elsewhere in the profession,” said Brown.

IChemE already has over 150 members in China but that number is expected to grow quickly in the coming months. The granting of the WOFE business license follows a period of increased IChemE activity in China.

In December 2008, Tianjin University’s Bachelor of Engineering degree program was accredited by IChemE, marking the first time the institution has accredited a degree course in China. In August 2009, Chinese Academy of Science VP Professor Jinghai Li was awarded IChemE honorary fellowship for his contributions to chemical engineering science and to international exchange among the chemical engineering community.

The formal opening of IChemE’s Shanghai office is expected to take place later this year.