The Department of Chemical Engineering at West Virginia University will host a daylong event aimed to stimulate the creative professional activities of future chemical engineers. Through a combination of plenary talks, STEM engagement activities for high school students and a research poster contest for undergraduate and graduate students, Chemical Engineering Day, scheduled for Friday, (April 4), will showcase educational and research efforts as well as serve to enhance communication between generations of chemical engineers.
The morning session will begin at 9 a.m., with a keynote speech delivered by Lisa Bullard, director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Bullard’s talk, “Chemical Engineering: a Profession Worth Celebrating,” will be presented in the Grand Hall of the Museum Education Center, on West Virginia University’s Evansdale Campus.
At 10:30 a.m., students from area high schools will meet with select undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in chemical engineering to discuss what chemical engineering is, the societal demands in the profession and ways in which they can contribute. They will tour the laboratory facilities in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and be introduced to existing opportunities and activities in the Department, including research and professional development activities, and the availability of scholarships. Hands-on activities will also be included in their schedule.
“Creating a dynamic environment for high school students to work together with our students will help put theory in practice,” said Cerasela Zoica Dinu, assistant professor of chemical engineering. “It will create opportunities for learning and engagement in the process of discovery of what a career in chemical engineering entails.”
The afternoon session, which begins at 1:30 p.m., will include a panel discussion featuring experts from industry and academia, followed by a poster session competition for undergraduate and graduate students.
“Students should benefit from the activities planned for the afternoon,” said Matthew Thompson, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering. “They will be able to learn about their peers’ research at the poster competition and will be given a unique opportunity to discuss with experienced chemical engineers what to expect in the next steps of their own careers as well as the future opportunities for the profession.”
“We hope to promote awareness of engineering, in general, and chemical engineering, in particular, among high school students,” said Rakesh Gupta, George B. and Carolyn A. Berry Professor and chair of the Department. “We anticipate that industrial speakers and participants will emphasize the importance of process safety and environmental stewardship, while they convey their excitement about the future of the profession and the role that recent developments will play in converting potential into reality.”
Chemical Engineering Day is co-sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company and the WVU Department of Chemical Engineering.
CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
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