Chemical Engineering Student Group Wins Student Chapter Award for the Seventh Time



By Simon Morrow

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Group photo of members of the Illinois Tech chapter of AIChE with AIChE sign

Illinois Institute of Technology’s student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) won an Outstanding Student Chapter Award for the seventh time in 2020, a nearly consecutive record since their first win in 2011.

The chapter works to create mentorship, professional opportunities, and social events for both Illinois Tech’s chemical engineering students and the university community at large. The current president, Jessica Forbes (CHE 3rd year), says that the group hosts at least one event each week, bringing people together to listen to guest speakers, to have panel discussions, or to just play games. 

In the past, they’ve hosted speakers from companies such as Honeywell, W. W. Grainger, and Axion Labs & Training Institute. 

Illinois Tech chapter members started off 2020’s professional events strong, hosting the AIChE Midwest Regional Conference in March. Shortly after, all activities shifted online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It was really difficult. We took a break for a few weeks, just trying to figure things out. A lot of people canceled on us in terms of speakers,” says Forbes. Members adapted, inviting more Illinois Tech faculty to speak at meetings, developing more student panels, and keeping up the weekly game nights, now virtual. 

Despite the challenges, the Illinois Tech chapter was one of 37 student chapters that AIChE honored with an Outstanding Student Chapter Award. There are more than 350 total AIChE student chapters. According to the AIChE, the annual Outstanding Student Chapter Award goes to “student chapters that show an exceptional level of participation, enthusiasm, program quality, professionalism, and involvement in the university and community.”

The chapter continues to welcome the Illinois Tech community to its ongoing events.

“Even if you're not a chemical engineering major, the people are so welcoming and friendly. I think that inviting atmosphere is what makes our group special,” says Forbes.

Photo: Members of the Illinois Tech chapter of AIChE (November 10th, 2019)