Opportunity for Students to Present Their Research
The Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (ChEGSA) at Carnegie Mellon University holds an annual research symposium. It provides graduate students the opportunity to present their research to a diverse audience, fostering appreciation and awareness for the complexity of work being carried out within the field. The event also cultivates extensive ties and partnerships between the department and industry. Industrial guests have an opportunity to meet and interact with our graduate students outside of a formal recruiting context. This is consistently an attractive feature for both graduate students and industrial participants.
The annual ChEGSA Symposium features graduate student presentations that highlight research being carried out in the chemical engineering department across a variety of interdisciplinary areas. These include biomedical engineering, computer-aided design and optimization, environmental engineering, solid-state materials, and colloids, polymers, and surface science. Included in the two-day program, along with the student presentations and keynote addresses, is a poster session, and a luncheon for industrial sponsors, student presenters, faculty, and staff. At the conclusion of the Symposium, three awards are given to the best student presenters, as well as two honorable mentions. All awards are determined by faculty and industrial representatives serving as judges. In addition, there is an award for the best student poster.
A Key Part of the CMU Chemical Engineering Experience
The Symposium was initiated in 1979 as the first student-run chemical engineering research symposium. The idea, developed by the governing members of ChEGSA with the support of department head Professor Tomlinson Fort, was to provide students an opportunity to exchange research ideas within the department and to connect graduate students with industry. While the first Symposium was a modest beginning, being primarily intra-departmental in nature, the following year saw the beginning of industrial participation. Since then, these industrial partnerships have become increasingly more important each year and have helped the Symposium to gain the stature that it holds today. The Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University has grown to be one of the largest and most successful among major universities. It serves as a model for other departments looking to establish similar forums. Without the generous financial support of numerous corporate sponsors and individual contributors, the continued growth of the Symposium would not be possible.