Student Chapter Feature: Texas A&M Invests in Underclassmen

Posted by Anna Wagner on

By Yogi Paturu

Texas A&M University’s strong sense of community stems from programs that invest in underclassmen. The student chapter of AIChE at A&M is no exception. Similar to the four day Freshman orientation camp that the university sets up, AIChE Sophomore Retreat is a chemical engineering orientation camp for Sophomores. This retreat serves to transition Freshmen to their first year in chemical engineering. It connects Sophomores to classmates through team building activities, introduces engineering principles through design challenges, and teaches fundamentals of getting internships through company led workshops.

In addition to this retreat that’s held in August, the A&M AIChE chapter added an event in the Spring to develop underclassmen more. This event, a student chapter organized conference, is held on campus for its own student chapter members.

In the morning, company representatives have breakfast with students and give presentations. One presentation taught students how to use ASPEN. By using the Haber-Bosch process, they went through a step-by-step demo on how to design an ammonia plant.

After lunch, there were company led breakout groups The session on money management explored the usefulness of budgeting and the importance of a 401(k). Another session evaluated how long a tank’s supply would last by using dimensional analysis. A breakout group even did icebreakers and riddle competitions to facilitate introductions.

At the end of the day, A&M’s student chapter conference concluded with bowling night at Main Event. By this point, members have had the distinct opportunity to learn about special topics – all without leaving College Station. This investment in underclassmen is propitious. What better way to build community and foster the next generation of AIChE leadership?