I was pleasantly surprised to find the announcement for session "Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning" at the 2005 AIChE Annual Meeting. There is also a session on "Integrating Data, Knowledge Models and Tools." These sessions are sponsored by the "IT and Chemical Engineering" programming area of the "Computing and Systems Technology" division, which covers topics like process control, process synthesis, process modeling, optimization, applied mathematics and other stuff I find fascinating. This is the division that housed the artificial intelligence research I did in grad school. The call for abstracts is open until the end of May.
Here's the description for Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning.
Business change, globalization, and the dependence on knowledge workers in the chemical industry continues to grow. As a result, best practice application of knowledge management and organizational learning has become a critical factor for successful businesses in the chemical industry.
Knowledge management creates the ability to transfer and reuse knowledge across businesses, global regions, and customers. Organizational learning creates the ability to adapt principles learned to solve problems on new and different business problems. Examples of knowledge management and organizational learning include virtual collaboration, knowledge retention, best practice transfer, e-learning, simulation, and learning embedded in the job. This session will focus on proven examples of how organizations have used these techniques to enable financial benefit.
The session is chaired by people from Air Products, IBM and Lamar University. I'd like to see this kind of session continue to get good reception at the conference. Other divisions have had knowledge management on the plate infrequently.
The "Integrating Data, Knowledge Models and Tools" is described thusly:
Early Information Technology applications focused on one or two steps within the overall business process. For example installing a Laboratory Information Management System to achieve reduced laboratory operating costs. Smart Enterprises have discovered that dramatically greater business benefits can be achieved by applying IT across multiple business processes. Integrating manufacturing with the supply chain is but one obvious example.
This session is chaired by a friend from ExxonMobil Chemical and someone from Praxair.