AIChE launches the Fellows-Young Professionals Mentoring Pilot Program

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.

AIChE has launched the Fellows/Young Professionals Mentoring Pilot Program! This program has emerged from ongoing requests from AIChE Fellows to be able to give back to emerging chemical engineers and from AIChE Young Professionals who are looking for professional experience and guidance in their first few years in industry. Although we are introducing this program initially in a pilot format, there has been great interest and many enthusiastic volunteers. A diverse Pilot Program Planning and Guidance Team has matched 16 fellow mentors in pairs with an equal number of young professionals. This team consists of Al Wechsler, Cory Jensen, David Wishnick, Lowell Aplebaum, Jeffery Perl and Martin Clancy and can be reached here. Mentor and mentee participation spans the contiguous United States as shown in the Figure 1. The blue dots represent fellow participants and the red dots, YP (young professional) participants. The program includes global participation from Canada, Malaysia, and Nigeria. Cory notes:

The formulation of this type of program has been exciting. The involvement of established members offers potential that freshly branded engineers may not fully appreciate but also links established professional to a new generation of engineers!

This program has been launched in coordination with the Young Professional Advisory Board (YPAB), partly as a means to give young volunteers additional experience in leadership roles within their profession. Cory continues:

One of the best parts of being a part of YPAB is that I get to meet and interact with other engineers across the country. Even though we don't earn money, the friendship and professional connection has been, hands-down, one of the most valuable assets in my career.

The program involves the use of senior ombudsman to act as a buffer to resolve concerns, has several feedback mechanisms built in for future refinement, and even makes use of the AIChE Webinar format to introduce mentors to the mentoring process. The pilot program launched with a Webinar on June 30th, 2010, tapping into the experience of Al Wechsler and Deborah Grubbe (current AIChE Chair of the Institute for Sustainability) and was in the typical hour-long format that encourages interaction and participation. It is our hope that this pilot will offer a service unique for our professional and will continue with the dedication of new & established engineers for years to come. If you'd like to watch the Webinar, you can do so here: Fellows/Young Professionals Mentoring Pilot Program Introductory Webinar Interested in getting involved? Be sure to e-mail us here and let us know.


This sounds like a fabulous idea! I hope it goes well in Pilot and moves on to be official. I am sad I'm too old to be a mentee, but hopefully it will be around when I have enough experience to be a mentor. Thanks for sharing the details!

RC Ramaswamy's picture

Mentoring is a great initiative....I saw the benefits of Mentor-mentee pairing during LDC 2010. Many students enjoyed it and got a wonderful perspectives of industires etc. We have to keep doing it.