Sister Chapter Spotlight – May 2019

In this sister chapter spotlight, the Executive Student Committee (ESC) is pleased to introduce you to the dynamic sister chapter duo made up of the student chapters from Centro Universitário SENAI CIMATEC (CIMATEC) from Brazil and Texas Tech University (TTU) from the USA. We asked each chapter to answer a different set of questions about their experience as sister chapters and compiled their responses below.

How many miles separate your student chapter from CIMATEC's student chapter and how do you keep in touch with your sister chapter from afar?

TTU: Texas Tech University is 5,273.76 miles away from our sister chapter. We normally use Whatsapp for our day-to-day communications and email for files that we exchange. We once used Zoom to setup a video conference with our sister chapter for one of our general meetings. 

Have your chapter members ever met in person?

CIMATEC: We met at the 2018 Annual Student Conference! It was an amazing experience to meet them there because we learned more about them and their culture. It was a pleasure to meet with them in person, because every day we are developing our English and learning a little more about chemical engineering in the United States.

Tell us a little bit more about the last communication you had with your sister chapter.

TTU: During the month of March, we started some new projects. We’ve been communicating back and forth on Whatsapp for our recipe challenge and our engineering problem challenge. Our recipe challenge is pretty much a cultural exchange. We both picked three recipes and sent them over to the other chapter. We plan on having a cookout using the recipes that we’ve received from our sister chapter. The challenge here is that Texas Tech sent over recipes in English and imperial units, while CIMATEC is sending recipes in Portuguese. We’ve also been working on the engineering problem challenge. For this challenge, both chapters have sent over an engineering problem. CIMATEC sent their problem in Portuguese while Texas Tech sent our problem in English. These problems are typically industry problems seen at different plants.

Do your chapters have any shared goals or projects that you’re working on as a team?

CIMATEC: One of TTU's unique programs is MyCleanLubbock, which is an initiative started in 2017. They go around town and pick up trash. The trash is then weighed and recorded, and they keep tracking the statistics over the year. We're interested in this program, so we’ve been working with them so we can start our own version of the program.

What is your chapter’s biggest challenge or opportunity for improvement, and how will your partnership with the sister chapter help you to tackle that challenge?

TTU: Our biggest challenge is getting the word out to our members and promoting things on social media. We’ve taken a page out of CIMATEC's book on how they operate their social media and are currently trying to improve our social media presence.

What has been the most rewarding part of your sister chapter partnership so far?

CIMATEC: The exchange of culture and language have been the most rewarding. No matter how far away we are, we're ready to make the time and effort to share and help each other grow.

What advice do you have for student chapters that are thinking about getting involved in the Sister Chapter Program?

TTU: Use the Sister Chapter Program to teach what works well in your chapter and to learn how to improve on some of your weaknesses. We don’t believe communication is too difficult with messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Zoom for video calls. Both chapters in the Sister Chapter Program can set the workload and expectations for the program, which we find very nice since we were busy hosting the 2019 Southwest Student Regional Conference. As long as your student chapter is willing to set some time aside for the program, the Sister Chapter program is very beneficial and a lot of fun.

For more information on the Sister Chapter Program, check out its website here. Questions can be sent to