Case Western Chapter Aids Professional Development

The three modes of professional development are conduction, convection, and radiation. Case Western Reserve University’s Student AIChE Chapter definitely encourages the first two: students frequently come in contact with professionals, and AIChE provides a medium through which experience and learning can be transferred.

Advice on undergratuate research

This past September, the chapter organized a first-of-its-kind “How to Get Involved in Research” information session, led by Dr. Christine Duval, who also advises the chapter. Dr. Duval shared advice and insights, and the casual information session, with around thirty attendees, allowed students to ask questions and clear up any misconceptions they had about undergraduate research. Duval’s key points included that getting involved in research is as easy as sending an email and that it is okay to come in with little-to-no experience. The overall message encouraged trying out research and learning from the experience.

Connecting with industry

On the industry-facing side, the Case Western chapter holds a couple of industry information and networking sessions each year. Company representatives talk about opportunities for chemical engineering students and outline how the recruiting process works. The chapter also initiated a one-on-one resume feedback session and a workshop to help students prepare to be recruited at the career fair.

In summary, Case Western’s Student AIChE Chapter makes it a mission to prepare undergraduates for post-graduation opportunities. When asked what motivates her to serve as the student chapter’s advisor, Dr. Duval explained, “Advising the AIChE student chapter enables me to help students with their first time presenting at a conference, preparing for a career fair, organizing a Chem-E-Car team, applying to graduate school, or deciding where they want to get their first job.”

Connecting ChemEs on campus

All chemical engineering students at Case Western are welcome at the chapter’s events. To get the word out, the executive team sends emails to the student body and visits classrooms to inform underclassmen about AIChE. As another part of the effort to build a chemical engineering community, upperclassmen hold Q&A panels in freshmen and sophomore engineering classes to discuss everything from curriculum and course selection to co-ops and studying abroad.

For the first time this past September, the chapter organized a back-to-school cookout, which featured classic lawn games like corn and Frisbee. Niko Kamlet, one of the chapter’s co-presidents along with Ellie Martin, grilled burgers and hot dogs while chemical engineering students talked and mingled. “It was a great way to meet lots of ChemE's that you may normally not see around,” Kamlet said, looking back.

The Case Western student AIChE chapter aims to strengthen the chemical engineering community and prepare each student for the successes ahead of them.