Lamar University Student Chapter: Location, Location, Location

What are the three most important things in real estate? Location, location, location. Lamar University’s AIChE Student Chapter has prime chemical engineering real estate in Beaumont, TX. With a six-minute drive from ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery and chemical plants, Dow Chemical’s aniline plant, and even the largest refinery in America, Motiva’s Port Arthur Refinery, Lamar University’s Chapter capitalizes on its location with plant tours.

“Almost everyone in the Chapter goes on a plant tour at some point,” explains Emily Brown, a Lamar University AIChE Student Chapter member. “It makes what you’re learning in class more grounded.”

Industrial sites as classrooms

Professors at Lamar University put an emphasis on real-world applications, too. When studying heat transfer, the class visits Ohmstede’s heat exchanger fabrication site, also a six-minute drive. The Chapter takes advantage of both current intern students and alumni working in plants to organize plant tours. By having a Lamar University connection already on the inside, it’s a matter of figuring out a date and working out the logistics.

Companies that the Chapter tours include ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips, Total, Valero, and Air Liquide. At the start of tours, they have meet and greets with Lamar University alumni. Then, they transition into company overviews and safety talks. After driving tours and control room visits, students hear insights on professional development topics like how to prepare a resume that stands out, how to interview well, and how to succeed as an intern.

As a bridge between classroom and the real world, plant tours facilitate the transition from student to professional engineer. The Chapter creates a direct connection to companies. Although some start their careers out-of-state, many start at sites they toured, just six minutes away from campus.