This post is part of a series on Young Professional Initiatives. It was co-authored by AIChE volunteers David Wishnick, MBA and Cory Dennis Jensen, PE and Ph. D student.
Young Professional Initiatives are just as important for AIChE as are its technical resources and established traditions such as the Annual and Spring meetings. YP initiatives allow for young professionals to get involved and get creative. The Seattle Puget Sound Local Section has been particularly active and successful in organization such events. It is hoped that this is the first in a string of posts that highlight the accomplishments and activities of young professional initiatives across the globe!
Young Engineering Professionals of Puget Sound (YEPPS)
Two years ago (January 2009) the local Puget Sound AIChE Section, helped form a group of younger interdisciplinary engineers upon meeting one evening at a local caf?. The meeting resulted in a name for the group: Young Engineering Professionals of Puget Sound (YEPPS).
Phenomenal Support Helped YEPPS Grow
We recall that despite being one of the smallest engineering professional groups in terms of shear numbers (200 paying members and even smaller events). Other larger engineering groups (e.g. ASM, ASCE, SAMPE, IEEE) were very supportive and collaborated with YEPPS to host events with up to120 attendees. The first event, consisting of a beer tour and and environmental-engineering speaker appealed to a number of people and surprisingly turned into a word-of-mouth phenomenon. The daisy chain of support from numerous people stands out in my mind as an impetus for the second YEPPS event.
Engineers Without Boarders Sponsorship
The second annual event was repeated with a new co-sponsor and partner: the University of Washington Students' division of Engineers Without Boarders (EBW).
EWB-USA helps create a more stable and prosperous world, addressing people's basic human needs by providing necessities such as clean water, power, sanitation and education. EWB-USA has over 350 projects in over 45 developing countries around the world including water, renewable energy, sanitation and others. These projects are completed in partnership with local communities and NGOs.
After our second event was over, I came to learn that one EWB student accepted a job from the event speaker and other student members (ChE's and AIChE student members) were able to find mentors for projects in developing countries.
YEPPS Next Move: Year 3
YEPPS is thinking about hosting its event for a third year in a row this coming January (2011). We hope to continue to create interest by promoting new member involvement and fostering interdisciplinary learning.