Student Chapter & Career Workshops | AIChE

Student Chapter & Career Workshops

We are pleased to announce the Workshop Schedule for the 2019 Annual Student Conference. This year's program has been organized into 7 subject tracks to help students decide which sessions they would like to attend.

Returning for 2019: The AIChE Board of Directors will be hosting a special Town Hall event, which will take place from 10:45am-11:30am during the Saturday Workshops. All are welcome to attend. More information available here.

View the complete technical grid here.

Please find information on each of the workshops below.

Note: There will be a special leadership panel discussion happening from 1:30pm - 2:30pm during the workshop program. More information to be posted soon.

Track I: Student Chapters

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Blue Spring I/II

10:45am - 11:30am: Developing Your Chapter

10:45am - 11:05am: Making a Lasting Impact: The Lifetime Engineering Applications Project

Presented by: Keegan Kim and Allyson Abad, University of California, Los Angeles Student Chapter

The Lifetime Engineering Applications Project (LEAP) is a technical project started by AIChE at UCLA. It teaches students how to use process design software to model real-life industrial processes while also considering economic and ethical factors. In only two years, several unique projects have been developed, such as alcohol distillation, ammonia production, crude oil processing, and biofuels synthesis. Since only simulation software is required for the course, the project is low cost yet greatly impactful on the students, as they leave with a deeper understanding of chemical engineering fundamentals and are better prepared for both their senior design projects and challenges they may face in industry. The leads of the project gain experience with preparing and presenting lesson plans while having fun. During this presentation, the current leads of LEAP will be discussing their experiences and how the project has grown. 

11:10am - 11:30pm: Mentorship

Presented byUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor Student Chapter

Mentorship is a great way to involve underclassmen in your student chapter and create a tight-knit community within your department.  Come learn about the mentorship program at the University of Michigan AIChE Chapter, including what types of events are successful and how to start your own mentorship program.

11:45am - 12:30pm: Developing Your Chapter

11:45am - 12:05pm: How to Create a Diverse, Encouraging and Socially Responsible Chapter

Presented by: Catarina Ferracini and Marcela Sepreny, Centro Universitário SENAI CIMATEC Student Chapter

AIChE CIMATEC through the "Social Responsibility Nucleus" has developed activities with the proposal to develop concepts of social responsibility in our members and community.  The Project has encourage awareness and recognition around women in engineering, minority affairs, LGBTQ+ inclusion, and environmental topics. The presentation of the Workshop will aim to present the ways we can develop social activities with the Chapter and how we can create a social responsibility team, as well as how to involve companies and industrial companies in the activities carried out. The presentation will take as an example the AIChE LGBTQ + and Allies Student Ice Cream Social conducted by our Chapter fully supported by AIChE's LGBTQ + & Allies Initiative and the Foundation's #AllforGood - Engineering for Inclusion program.  The event brought together more than 70 people, including students, professors, industry professionals, and university collaborators.

12:10am - 12:30pm: Marketing Your Chapter

Presented by: Chandani Patel, Purdue University Student Chapter

This workshop is intended to share best approaches when it comes to communicating student chapters on social media and through email. It is meant to discuss the do’s and don’ts of student chapter instagrams, twitters, YouTube accounts, and Facebook pages. Furthermore, it will discuss ideas on how to get more outreach to freshmen and sophomores through email lists, events, class announcements, and more! We can also go through how to structure an efficient student chapter website, and how to run a successful marketing committee. Our marketing committee uses great tools such as Canva and Hootsuite to create lovely, professional flyers and plan our posts, respectively. We will discuss how to utilize tools and the marketing structure we currently have: a marketing committee head, social media director, graphic designer, and newsletter chief. Our online footprint has increased exponentially these past few years and it has helped with attendance, sponsorship, and outreach. 

2:45pm - 3:30pm: Chapter & Industry Collaboration

2:45pm - 3:05pm: Developing and Maintaining Connections to Industry Partners

Presented by: Rohan Dighe and Chandani Patel, Purdue University Student Chapter

Maintaining partnerships with industry contacts can be one of the most valuable and rewarding elements of a Student Chapter's operations. From supplying organization funding to improving job prospects for chapter members, maintaining close, high-value ties with corporate partners yields many benefits for a student chapter. However, it can often be difficult to initiate or maintain these relationships; in this workshop, Purdue AIChE will discuss its best practices and past experiences on how to initiate contact with a company representative, how to maintain continuity as students graduate and company representatives change roles, how to maximize a chapter's value proposition to a company, and how to get the most out of corporate relationships. 

3:10pm - 3:30pm: University of Michigan and Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Medellín: How to Develop Your Sister Chapter Program

Presented by: Juanita Mejia Restrepo and Maria Paula Giraldo Agudelo, Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Medellín Student Chapter; Alex White, University of Michigan Student Chapter

La Universidad Nacional de Colombia - Medellín and the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor have been sister chapters since 2015. The workshop will cover how to become involved in the sister chapter program as well as how to improve sister chapter relations. Students from each chapter will discuss the benefits to having a sister chapter and the fulfilling relationship that we have developed over the past several years. Both chapters will share their experience as a sister chapter, experiences in meeting in person, events that we hold together, and how we have maintained close and permanent contact. 

3:45pm - 4:30pm: Secrets to Success - Regional Conference Planning

3:45pm - 4:05pm: Hosting a Successful Regional Student Conference

Presented by: Kayla Piezer, McKenna Wirebaugh, and Dan Reichenbach, University Toledo Student Chapter

After hosting about 400 students and professionals at the 2019 North Central Regional Student Conference, the University of Toledo planning committee will share their experience and offer tips on how to host a successful regional student conference. Topics will range from big items (e.g., money and space requirements) to little things (e.g., swag items and those special diet meals). This workshop will include discussions on successful activities, problems encountered and their potential solutions, and a basic suggested timeline to keep the Planning Committee on track. Engaging students, faculty, alumni, local professionals, and others helped make our meeting successful. We will also answer your questions and give advice on how to enjoy the planning process while making the most out of the opportunity to host a student conference in your region!

4:10pm - 4:30pm: How to Organize a Successful Conference? PROCESA 2019: 1st AIChE Colombia Student Regional Conference

Presented by: Mayra Bejarano and Jefferson Quiroz, AIChE UNAL MED Student Chapter

This year members of Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellín Student chapter had the opportunity to host the 1st AIChE Student Regional Conference in Colombia but also in Latin America. This was the opportunity to show all the abilities and experience the chapter has gained all these years. This event meant a lot to Chapter members but also for all the AIChE Colombia Network of chapter that is formed.  Be host of the conference in Colombia was the scenario to boost networking between students, professors and industry members, but mostly as a reference of the strength of AIChE in the country with image of teamwork of its members. The experience left lessons and tools, this presentation will cover general points to have in mind when you’re planning a conference, tips to get closer to students and professionals, budget planification and new ideas to get more impact with the conference.

Track II: Research & Professional Development

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando Ballroom N

10:45am - 11:30am: Finances and Your First Job – Financial Planning for ChemE Careers

Presented by: Victoria Muir and Julia Lin, Young Professionals Committee

How do I start saving money? What benefits should I enroll in? How do I start planning for retirement? Join the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) for a discussion on the benefits and rewards of financial planning when starting your first job. This session will feature YPC members in a variety of careers (graduate school, industry, government, etc.) and discuss tips for money management and planning for retirement. YPC members will discuss topics such as investing in 401Ks, budgeting, benefits packages, student debt, and planning for retirement. YPC members will also discuss topics that they wish they knew when starting their first jobs.

11:45am - 12:30pm: Washington Internships for Students of Engineering

Presented by: Josh Leonard, WISE 

Since 1980, the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program has prepared future leaders of the engineering profession in the United States for the increasingly important issues at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy. Every year AIChE’s WISE program selects outstanding engineering students to conduct research on a public policy issue and learn how engineers can contribute to public policy decisions in complex technological matters. This session will feature AIChE WISE program alumni, who will be sharing stories about their experience and will talk about career opportunities for chemical engineers in public policy. The deadline to apply for the 2020 AIChE WISE Program is December 31, 2019. All students who are interested in applying are encouraged to attend. 

2:45pm - 3:30pm: Career Planning and Job Searching for Entrepreneurial-Focused Science and Engineering Professionals: (Spoiler Alert: There’s more here than launching your own start-up!)

Presented by: Alaina Levine, Quantum Success Solutions

Thinking of starting your own business or consultancy? Or perhaps you are interested in working in or with an entrepreneurial venture? This presentation will address careers in entrepreneurship, of which there are many. We will discuss the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and how to prepare for and find and land jobs in this ecosystem. And for those of you interested in being the entrepreneur, we will address how to design a career plan that will incorporate your goals with your interests, passions, and skills. Learn about the basics of launching your own company, developing your brand, and finding and solidifying customers.

3:45pm - 4:30pm: Executing a Chapter's Garbage Idea Using Entrepreneurship Principles

Presented by: Yogi Paturu, Texas Tech University Student Chapter

On November 2017, the Texas Tech University Student Chapter had an unsophisticated idea: to pick up trash. By May 2019, they picked up 4,500+ pounds of trash in Lubbock neighborhoods. While coming up great ideas is important, executing garbage ideas well has tremendous value.  An AIChE Student Chapter, a startup, and a large innovative company all reside in environments of high uncertainty. For this reason, the Lean Startup method's entrepreneurship principles apply: (1) entrepreneurs are everywhere, (2) entrepreneurship is management, (3) validated learning, (4) innovation accounting, (5) build-measure-learn.  Learning objectives: - understand what the 5 principles of Lean Startup method are - see how they apply to an AIChE Student Chapter event, MyCleanLBK - empower chapters with tools to execute events well - put chapter leadership at ease by illustrating that although coming up with great ideas is hard/important, executing "garbage ideas" well is easy and has tremendous value.

Track III: Preparing for a ChemE Career

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Plaza Interantional Ballroom K/J

10:45am - 11:30am: A Day in the Life of a Process Engineer

Presented by: Khristine Pizarro & Mieke Groothuizen, Chevron

What does a Process Engineer do at an energy company?  What are some of the daily tasks that Process Engineers work on and challenges they face?  What skills are needed beyond engineering skills to excel? How do you transition from the academic environment to the professional world?  Join Process Engineers at Chevron as they describe what they do on a daily basis and how they integrate a variety of professional skills including teamwork, communication and networking, to be successful.

11:45am - 12:30pm: Starting Your Career with Evonik

Presented by: Ryan Morrison, Evonik 

We may not manufacture tires, mattresses, medications or animal feeds, but Evonik is part of all of those products—and many more. While we often contribute only small amounts of material, those contributions are precisely what make the difference. That’s because Evonik products make tires fuel efficient, mattresses more elastic, medications more effective and animal feeds healthier. That’s what specialty chemicals are all about. And when it comes to specialty chemicals, we’re among the best in the world.

Evonik stands for attractive business and innovation prowess. Our corporate culture is geared toward results, profitable growth and increasing the value of the company. Operating in over 100 countries, we benefit from close customer relationships and leading market positions. Over 36,000 employees are united by the understanding that no product is so perfect that you can’t make it better.

During this workshop, we will present the common career pathways for recently graduated engineers to develop into experts and leaders. We will also discuss international opportunities to work at any of our global locations.

See what chemistry can do for you at


2:45pm - 3:30pm: The Professional Engineering Career Path

Presented by: Joseph Cramer and William Parrish, Licensing and Professional Development

This presentation discusses how becoming a Professional Engineer (PE) can enhance a chemical engineer’s career. Students learn about the PE licensure process and the two exams required to become licensed. The Computer Based Testing (CBT) exam content for both the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam and Practice of Engineering (PE) exams are described. The presentation utilizes embedded videos of young PEs and stresses the value of taking the FE exam before, or shortly after, graduation. It aims to demystify the FE/PE process. The workshop leaders are Joe Cramer and Bill Parrish who are chemical engineering PE's and active members of the AIChE’s Licensing and Professional Development Committee as well as the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s  Chemical PE Exam Committee. Both have also served on AIChE’s Career and Educational Operating Council which oversees licensing for AIChE. The workshop encourages Q&A and interaction with attendees. 

3:45pm - 4:30pm: Inflection Points: a Panel on Critical Career Decisions in Chemical Engineering

Presented by:  Austin S. Lin, Management Division

Study hard, graduate, get your first chemical engineering job: these are the typical career steps outlined to any student looking at their career choices ahead after graduation. But what's that like in real life? This panel will be a facilitated discussion of chemical engineers at different stages of their careers focusing on the critical career decisions they made along the way. This mix of personal stories and audience interaction will show that there is no one answer to building a chemical engineering career. Panelists include speakers from Google, Wacker Chemical, Shell, and Lubrizol.

Track IV: Landing the Job

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Plaza International Ballroom D/E

11:45am - 12:30pm: Effective Interviewing for Industrial Positions

Presented by: Greg Yeo, Chief Engineer, ExxonMobil

Successful interviewing isn't a matter of tricks and techniques - it's about principles and preparation. It's about knowing the company you're speaking to, knowing what you have to offer and being able engage in a professional discussion with a potential colleague.  Greg has interviewed hundreds of chemical engineering students for jobs in industry and will share insights and approaches you can use to make your job interviews more effective.

2:45pm - 3:30pm: Applying to Graduate School and Research Fellowships

Presented by: Victoria Muir, Young Professionals Committee

Why should you pursue a graduate degree in engineering? What should you consider when applying to graduate school? How do you ace your fellowship and graduate program applications? How can AIChE help you prepare for graduate school and excel as a graduate student as you pursue your degree? Members of AIChE’s Young Professionals Committee (YPC) will be discussing answers to all of these questions and more. This session will feature a presentation follow by a panel of current graduate students and recent graduates in YPC. Join us for a great session discussing everything you need to prepare for your graduate school career.   

3:45pm - 4:30pm: Successfully Navigating an International Job Search

Presented by: Alaina Levine, Quantum Success Solutions

Applying for a job in one country while finishing up your education and training in another can be challenging, but it can be done with success. In this presentation we will discuss specific strategies to finding jobs in another country while one is abroad and how to leverage your networks incountry to access opportunities, especially those that are hidden. Special emphasis will be placed on establishing your reputation as a leader in your field with professionals in the country or region in which you wish to work. Case studies will be shared. 

Track V: Specialty Areas of Chemical Engineering I

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando Ballroom M

11:45am - 12:30pm: Green Collar Engineering Opportunities for Chemical Engineers

Presented by: Debalina Sengupta, Gerardo Ruiz-Mercado, Kurt Rindfusz, Rose Wesson and Richard Siegel, Environmental Division 

This workshop will engage students in an interactive discussion about the challenges, advantages, and career opportunities for chemical engineers in the environmental field.  A brief overview presentation of opportunities in industry, academia, consulting and government will be followed by an extensive question and answer session to help the students better understand their potential career options. 

2:45pm - 3:30pm: Nuclear Workforce for Chemical Engineers

Presented by: Supathorn Phongikaroon, Nuclear Engineering Division 

The main objective of this workshop is to highlight a rise in nuclear workforce and to point out the sheer number of positions that will become available to graduates from chemical engineering programs.  Students will have an opportunity to learn about how to become a part of nuclear science, engineering and technology and how to ensure that young professionals in chemical engineering major to relate themselves for the foreseeable future of the nuclear national laboratories, suppliers/industries, and universities.

3:45pm - 4:30pm: A Hitchhiker's Guide through Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum

Presented by: Reginald Rogers, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum

The world of nanoscale materials has become vast and overly complex.  Numerous avenues for research, development, and application have made understanding the impacts of the world of nano more complicated.  Whether it is nanobiotechnology or energy-related fields, nanoscale materials have become an important thrust for future growth of science and technology.  In this workshop, we will delve deep into the world of nanoscale science and engineering.  Examples from nanobiotechnology, carbon nanomaterials, and nanomaterials for energy-related applications will showcase how you can be a part of this ever-growing world.  An interactive discussion panel will help audience members understand the different career paths available for pursuing work involving nanoscale materials.  It is expected participants will leave with a broader and fuller understanding of nanoscale science and engineering and the importance of their contributions to its continual evolution.

Track VI: Specialty Areas of Chemical Engineering II

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando Ballroom L

11:45am - 12:30pm: Chemical Engineers in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Presented by: Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development, and Manufacturing Forum

Workshop panelists, Chris Wilbert (BMS), Dana Alhasson (Abbvie) and Keith Mattern (Merck), will discuss various roles and responsibilities of chemical engineers in the pharmaceutical industry by presenting their work experiences to the audience.  These discussions will showcase the interesting technical challenges encountered by chemical engineers in our field and highlight the roles chemical engineers play in pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing.  A question and answer segment will follow the panelists' presentations to provide the audience with further information. 

2:45pm - 3:30pm: The Role of Mixing in Fast, Competitive Chemical Reactions

Presented by:  Richard K. Grenville, North American Mixing Forum

Many valuable products are made by reactions that are both fast and competitive.  In a perfectly mixed reactor the concentrations of the reacting species are uniform throughout the volume and the outcome of the reaction is determined by kinetics.  In order to achieve this condition, the reactants must be mixed at a rate that is at least equal to the rate of reaction.  The ratio of these rates is a Damkohler number.

When scaling-up the Damkohler number must be kept constant to endure that the reaction environment is the same at the two scales.  If it is not, the yield of the desired product will reduce and more by-products will be formed.  A classic example of this is the nitration of benzene where the desired product is nitrobenzene and the by products are di- and trinitrobenzene.

In this seminar a qualitative approach to characterizing the performance of impellers operating in the turbulent regime will be discussed.  Impellers in stirred tanks can be considered pumps (as they are machines that move fluid) and can be characterized in terms of their power input, flow and shear generation and efficiency.  This understanding can help to determine which impeller type is best suited to a mixing process.

Next the research that has been carried to study the role of mixing on competitive chemical reactions will be briefly reviewed and the recommendations regarding design and operation of these processes will be summarized.  Finally, real examples demonstrating the application of this technique will be presented.

3:45pm - 4:30pm: World of Particle Technology

Presented by: Mayank Kashyap, Reddy Karri, and Ben Freireich, Particle Technology Forum 

More than 80% of gasoline, 70% of polyolefins and a plethora of other products are made using fluidized bed (FB) technology. From gasification to drying, FBs and circulating FBs provide the distinct advantage of high heat transfer and solids mobility. These features have resulted in several breakthrough technologies with better temperature control and the ability to move solids from a reduction to an oxidation environment. This workshop will focus on some of these breakthrough technologies.  Billions of pounds of bulk solids are processed and handled every year by the US process industries, yet most chemical engineers are ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of engineering science of solids processing. Hence, plants and products suffer with lost production, inability to achieve design production rates, off grade or off specification products. During this session, we will take a look at the fun and exciting world of solids processing.

Track VII: Sponsored Workshops

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Plaza International Ballroom D/E

10:45am - 11:30am: Process Simulation in the Real World

Presented by: Carla Lara & Whitney Garcia, Chemstations

Most universities only use process simulators in the senior design course. What happens when you graduate? Where would you use these types of tools in the "real world"? Join our interactive workshop & win some fun ChemE prizes!

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Plaza International Ballroom I

11:45am - 12:30pm: Elsevier Data Analytics Tools for Undergraduate Research

Presented by: Chris Cogswell, Elsevier

Research as an undergraduate student can be a challenge, requiring a significant commitment outside of the classroom and oftentimes eating up a large portion of an undergraduate student’s free time. Although undergraduate research experience is often well worth the extra effort, maximizing the value obtained from the undergraduate-graduate student/PI relationship is a goal which all who partake in these efforts share. In order to help maximize the understanding of the underlying research literature, as well as the goal of the individual research project, Elsevier has a suite of research tools which can be used by both student and mentor to help improve the undergraduate research experience. In this session, we will discuss how to use these tools to promote overall understanding of the existing literature and spaces where gaps exist, as well as improving knowledge of the underlying science required for valuable contribution in the lab. Whether you are a new professor hoping to foster a strong undergraduate research team within your lab, a freshman student looking to get into research, or a senior writing your NSF GRFP application this session will provide helpful tools and valuable time saving search strategies.

2:45pm - 3:30pm: WIN an internship with AVEVA Software

Presented by: AVEVA

Enter the 2020 competition with AVEVA and get the opportunity to apply your process design skills to solve a real-world design problem using the new generation Simulation Platform SIMCENTRAL.

Workshop panelists: Dr Richard Turton the lead author of two textbooks, "Analysis, Synthesis, and Design of Chemical Processes" (5th edition) and "Chemical Process Equipment Design", both books are published by Prentice-Hall (Pearson).  He has extensive experience in the process systems engineering area and routinely teaches courses in the design and simulation areas and Mike Donahue, Senior Consulting Manager, Aveva. He received his MS in Engineering and BS in Chemical Engineering from Cal Poly where he also teaches Process Design as an Adjunct Lecturer.

3:45pm - 4:30pm: Electrolyte Modeling Basics

Presented by: OLI Systems

The Electrolyte Modeling Basics workshop is designed for students interested in learning (or to re-learn) about electrolyte chemistry concepts and the fundamentals of modeling aqueous solutions. A lecture using OLI Studio and OLI Flowsheet software will be used to demonstrate how complex electrolyte systems can be modeled. Students will leave with a qualitative picture of how ions and molecules behave in water and a better understanding of solution properties such as pH, activity coefficients and alkalinity. This course is appropriate for those new to OLI studio, professionals working with this software and those looking for a refresher course in its underlying theory.