Student Chapter Feature: New Jersey Institute of Technology

NJIT Student Chapter members accepting an Outstanding Student Chapter Award during the 2018 Annual Student Conference. Photo by Margot Hartford.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) AIChE Student Chapter was recently recognized as the 2019 NJIT Newark College of Engineering Outstanding Student Organization. This award is given to one NJIT student organization annually, but it's not the only accolade the chapter has received this academic year. The NJIT Student Chapter also accepted an AIChE Outstanding Student Chapter Award at the 2018 Annual Student Conference. Newly elected Student Chapter president and Chem-E-Car co-captain, Mahum Ahmed, shared the three elements of the chapter that she’s most proud of: its newsletter, its K-12 outreach, and its community service.

Student chapter newsletter

Since the campus's Tiernan Hall is where most chemical engineering classes are held, it’s the namesake for the chapter’s newsletter: the Tiernan Express. Revamped recently by NJIT Student Chapter vice president Daniela Bushiri, the Tiernan Express is published every other week. A typical newsletter has interviews, puzzles, and jokes. Faculty members are interviewed, providing them an opportunity to explain their research and advertise lab openings. The puzzles and jokes keep the newsletter lighthearted and draw in readers.

K-12 outreach

The chapter connects with local K-12 students each semester through open houses and high school visits. During open houses, high school students come to NJIT to learn about the university’s programs. The Chem-E-Car team takes advantage of this opportunity to showcase their car and garner interest in the chemical engineering program. They can’t be on the Chem-E-Car team unless they come to NJIT and do chemical engineering, right? During high school visits, on the other hand, the chapter visits the schools in the area to promote the chemical engineering department and its AIChE Student Chapter. To promote the department, members talk about how chemical engineering ties in to research, industry, and success in school. To promote AIChE, members use the Chem-E-Car to do demonstrations. For example, when they visited nearby Patterson High School, they demonstrated the car’s timing reaction and illustrated chemical engineering in action!

Community service

The community service the chapter does is impressive, too. The chapter partners with organizations like Smiles for Charity, a charity serving the New Jersey area, and NJIT Green, a university organization that collects food scraps to be turned into compost. Additionally, the chapter works on its own schedule to do cleanups of the local communities. For example, most recently, members met to do a river cleanup at one of many rivers in the NJIT area.

A chapter on the rise

NJIT’s university ranking has risen the third most of any university in the nation in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking — a jump of 34 spots! While the rise can be attributed to commitment to research, improved facilities, and competitive applications, it’s the students that drive the university to be better. NJIT’s AIChE Student Chapter is action-oriented and their hard work manifests itself into national and international recognition. This is a chapter that continues to be on the rise!