Life in the Department

ChEGSA hosts a variety of events throughout the year, with typically one major event each month. Each event is announced via email to department graduate students. We also maintain an online calendar. Subscribe to it with your favorite calendar software (Google Calendar or ical) and don’t miss any events!

Listed below are some popular events from previous years. If you have any suggestions regarding ChEGSA events, please contact the social chairs.

Professional Events

ChEGSA Symposium

For over 40 years, the graduate students in our department have hosted an annual research symposium. This two-day event features presentations from upper-year students and a poster session, both of which are judged by professors and industrial guests. The event also includes corporate sponsored keynote addresses from prominent engineers in the field. This event is a great place to receive feedback on presentation skills, learn about research across the department, and network with industry researchers.

Chemical Engineering Graduate Seminar Series

The graduate seminar (06-800) is required each semester for all graduate students in residence. It provides opportunities to learn about research in various chemical engineering and related fields being conducted at other universities and in industry. There are also Process Systems Engineering (PSE) and Complex Fluids Engineering (CFE) seminars which are a department-specific way of meeting people in your field.

Professional Development Seminar

During the spring of 2012, we launched a professional development seminar aimed at helping PhD students understand the process of applying and interviewing for industrial positions. The inaugural event included resume feedback, presentations from guests, and an industrial panel of CMU alumni. We hope to put on this seminar every one or two years.

John L. Anderson Lecture

Named after everyone’s favorite department head, the John L. Anderson Distinguished Lecture Series in Chemical Engineering is held annually and brings celebrated and influential chemical engineering researchers to campus. This lecture series is named to honor the accomplishments of former Carnegie Mellon University Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering, John L. Anderson. Dr. Anderson, president of the National Academy of Engineering, has made an impressive impact on the field of engineering, both through his research and his many roles in academic leadership around the country.

Mock Quals

Let’s face it: preparing for the PhD qualifying exam is no light task. To help prepare first-year students, ChEGSA hosts a Mock Qualifier event. First-year students give practice Quals talks to a panel of upper-year students. Tradition dictates that in exchange for feedback, the first-year students provide light snacks.

Social Events

Weekly Happy Hours

Every Friday at 4:30 pm, ChEGSA hosts a happy hour in the grad-student lounge. This is a great time to relax, socialize, and enjoy refreshments courtesy of ChEGSA. When a PhD student successfully graduates from the program, they get to sign the wall in the grad lounge!

We also hold themed happy hours for holidays and other events. Special Happy Hours in the past have included our department’s Halloween Party, Wine and Cheese Night, as well as a Foosball Tournament!

Halloween Party Happy Hour

CHEGSA Goes to the Symphony

CheGSA will take students in the department to listen to the internationally recognized Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall. A must-have experience when in Pittsburgh!

Spring Picnic

Sometime after the semester ends, we organize an end-of-the-year celebration. In 2023, it was hosted at sunny Schenley Park!


Holiday Party

To celebrate the holiday season and the end of fall semester, ChEGSA puts on yet another party. The Holiday Party has historically been hosted by a professor and features airing of grievances.