On Saturday, September 9, 2023, the Chemical Engineering Department (CHIS) celebrated its 50th anniversary at the VUB Main Campus, adjacent to the new Building I. Due to the pandemic, the planned celebration in 2020 had to be postponed. Three years later, it was whimsically named "CHIS's 53rd Birthday Party".
For this special occasion, all current and former staff members and their families were invited. It was undeniably a delightful day. The sun shone brightly, attendees enjoyed refreshing drinks, and children had a blast in the bouncy castle.
There was a warm reunion with old colleagues. Some had even experienced the early days of VUB – the oldest guest had been there from the very beginning, 53 years ago. Amidst the sharing of old memories, many new ones were also created. A prominent theme of the event was a dive into the past with an eye to the future.
Prof. Gert Desmet guided attendees through a presentation about CHIS's rich history. From initial research endeavors and a rising number of PhD students to births within the CHIS community, the data is clear: CHIS has been experiencing significant growth for years. This growth can be attributed in part to three leading figures: Prof. Harry Verelst, Prof. Gino Baron, and technical expert Marc Sonck. A heartfelt thanks to them for their dedicated service over the years. They were rightfully highlighted and celebrated.
It's safe to say that it was a memorable event. The suggestion to not wait another 53 years to do it again was echoed loud and clear!