Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Semester End

The weather is finally nice again after it snowed last week. Yes, it snowed. Michigan weather is so unpredictable. I have seen a lot of people taking graduation pictures around campus, and it seems strange to me that some of my friends are graduating. It feels like I have not known them very long, but at the same time it also feels like I have known some of them forever. Even though it is the last week of class, I still have a lot of assignments to finish. Yesterday I had a presentation, and I have some final reports due on Friday. So, I still have a lot of work to do.

Friday is also Design Day, which occurs on the last day of class each semester. This semester is the largest Design Day yet with 198 teams, 882 students, and 55 Michigan-based companies and institutions. I have talked about Design Day in past blog posts, but if you want to read more about this Friday's event, click here.

So after I finish my final assignments and classes, I will be studying for finals, taking exams, and packing up all of my belongings. I am excited for the summer and the chance to get engineering industry experience. Have a nice summer!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


There are a variety of scholarship opportunities for MSU College of Engineering students of all class levels. Many students have been awarded major scholarships, including national scholarships and fellowships.

Recently a MSU College of Engineering student was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship, which is a prestigious national award for undergraduates studying STEM who are interested in pursuing graduate studies. Rebecca Carlson is a sophomore double-majoring in chemical engineering and Chinese, and is the third MSU College of Engineering student to be awarded the Goldwater Scholarship in two years. She is very involved in undergraduate research, presenting at UURAF (University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum) and doing research in Dr. S. Patrick Walton's lab. For more information about this year's Goldwater Scholars from MSU, click here.

Incoming freshmen do not have to fill out a separate application for scholarships awarded by the College of Engineering. Generally students find out if they get engineering scholarships by mid-April. Some of MSU's incoming freshmen are entering with scholarships they won from the Honors College's Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition and the National Merit Scholarship Competition. To read more about the incoming freshman engineering class, read the original article here:

Current engineering students just have to submit a resume and one-page application online each year to be considered for engineering scholarships. It is seriously one of the easiest applications I have ever filled out and there are no essay questions, so there is no reason NOT to fill out the scholarship application.

There are other scholarships and financial aid offered throughout campus, but it would be best to contact them directly for information or questions. Here are some places to visit if you want more information on scholarships:

Office of Financial Aid:
NIFS (National and International Fellowship and Scholarship) Office:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Engineering Summer Programs

I can't believe that it is already April, the last full month of the semester. I felt like I was getting busier in general, but I didn't realize that it was because the end of the semester was so close. So, that means that summer is nearing, and it's time to think about what to do over the summer.

This summer, I am moving out west to Idaho to do an engineering internship in industry. A lot of companies with local opportunities come to MSU, but I wanted to live somewhere new and try new things. I heard about this position through MySpartanCareer (MSU's online resource for students and alumni to search for jobs), attended a company info session on campus, and interviewed at Spartan Stadium. No, I was not interviewed on the football field. The stadium actually has a branch of career services and a lot of interviews happen there. So, MSU and its career services were instrumental in my internship search.

Last summer I went on the International Corporate Tour of Europe, the summer before that I studied abroad, and the summer before I came to MSU I participated in a MSU Engineering Summer Program. I participated in BEACON, which is no longer offered, but if you would like to read more details about what I did there, you can read my blog post about it here. You can also read about how I spent my summers abroad by reading some of my other past blog posts for the International Corporate Tour and study abroad.

There are engineering summer programs for students of all ages, and they are a great way to have fun while learning about engineering. Many of the programs are for high school students and are residential, which means that student get to live in a dorm on campus and stay overnight. For more program details and information on eligibility and application visit our website.

One of the new residential programs for rising high schools juniors and seniors is the Introduction to Radar for Student Engineers. This programs was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory, and instructors from both MIT and MSU will teach students about radars and signal processing. Another residential program is (HSEI), High School Engineering Institute, where students learn about the different types of engineering through hands-on experience while also learning more about MSU. For high school students interested in robotics, there is the Introduction to Robotics Engineering - Residential program. Participants learn about biomimetic robotic fish, manufacturing automation, and nanorobotics.

MSU Engineering Robotics program
Introduction to Robotics Engineering - Residential (

Check out Flickr to look a more photos from past summer programs!

HSEI Session 1 2014:

HSEI Session 2 2014:

HSEI Session 3 2014:

Introduction to Robotics Engineering 2014:

Once again, here's the link to where you can explore and sign up for summer programs:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Back from Spring Break

Now that we're back from spring break, it finally feels like spring here at MSU. On Monday the temperature was in the 60s, and right now it is sunny and cool. I spent by spring break home in Brighton and in East Lansing. I know people who went on vacations, alternative spring break (ASB), and the Spring Break Corporate Tour. I went on the International Corporate Tour this summer, which is similar except the spring break tour is only for about a week and visits companies in the Midwest. Since my spring break was not super exciting, I will get you caught up on what I did before spring break. 

On the Friday of E-Week (February 27th), I went to the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (ChEMS) Symposium Day. The event was organized by students from AIChE and MSES, and two of the chairs were actually my roommates. Symposium Day took place in the Brody building was free for students who only had to pay a $10 refundable deposit. Chemical engineering classes were cancelled that day because it lasted all morning until mid-afternoon. We had breakfast at the Sparty's in Brody, listened to some industry speakers, ate lunch at the Brody cafeteria, and listened to a keynote speaker. The day concluded with a raffle for prizes.

That night we left for the North-Central Regional Conference for AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers). Our Chem-E car team went to compete in the regional car competition, and a couple other AIChE E-board members went to get some regional updates and support our Chem-E car team. The goal of the competition is to make a car powered by a chemical reaction that starts and stops moving on its own once the initial reaction is started. Last year, Michigan State hosted the conference, and this year it was hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The members of our group who were not part of Chem-E car played Chem-E Jeopardy, accompanied our president to the presidents' meeting, and watched the competition to support our team. During that time, the Chem-E car team presented their poster, went through safety inspections, prepared for the competition, and finally competed. Our team did a great job, and the competition was fun to watch.

After all of the chemical engineering festivities that weekend, I was ready for a relaxing spring break to start the following weekend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy E-Week!

Happy Engineers Week, or E-Week for short! E-Week is celebrated across the country and MSU College of Engineering has a lot of events every year in honor of this fantastic holiday. Different groups within the college plan events from Sunday through Saturday.

On Monday, SEC (Student Engineering Council) sponsored free pizza in the EB lobby, so that made my Monday that much better! I did not get there in time to grab a free E-Week t-shirt, but I was able to snag one last night at the Taste of Engineering/O-Night. Some of the advisors and student organizations had tables set up in Wonders, a dorm in South Neighborhood. A lot of the events targeted for underclassmen are hosted in South Neighborhood because that's where the CoRe Experience is located. Even though the location was convenient, it has been so cold outside that not many people want to go outside unless they absolutely have to, even if it is just to go to the dorm next to theirs. I stood by our AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) poster along with our president and talked with underclassmen about chemical engineering and our club. A lot of these student groups are always looking for new members of all class-levels, so we encouraged all the people who stopped by our table to stay in contact with us and attend our meetings.

Tonight is the annual Evening with Industry Banquet, which is hosted by SWE (Society of Women Engineers). I attended the banquet the past two years, so if you want to hear more about my experience, you should read my blog post from last year. This year, the banquet is going to be at the Marriott, which is off-campus but only about two blocks north of the MSU Union.

Tomorrow is Engineering Expo, which is a career fair just for engineers that is hosted in the Engineering Building. I have two classes in the Engineering Building and Anthony Hall (which is connected to the EB) on Thursday afternoons, so it is very convenient to be able to attend between classes without needing to even go outside. Although you are still expected to dress appropriately, the event is a bit more casual and relaxed compared to the Career Gallery in the fall. So, representatives are more understanding of the weather and that students are stopping by between classes.

Friday is the ChEMS (Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) Symposium Day. Junior-level CHE classes are cancelled so that students can attend this event. I'll write more about it next week.

Here is a more complete list of the official E-Week events at MSU:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Student Support

I really love how supportive the engineering student body is here at MSU. Each engineering major provides its own challenges, and I'm sure most engineering students would agree that the engineering workload is rigorous. That's why it is important to find a group of people who will help you out when you are having problems and encourage you to keep on going.

A recent event organized by an engineering student was "Shoppin' with the Ladies." No, the participants did not go to the mall together. Hosted in the machine shop in the Engineering Building basement, female students learned how to use the machine shop equipment through demonstrations and hands-on experience. Some girls in engineering do not have prior experience with equipment like lathes, band saws, and drill presses before needing to use them for their design classes. With this workshop, hopefully more women will feel knowledgeable and confident on their first and future machine shop projects. The below picture shows Professor Bush and student event organizer Laura Gumpper in the machine shop.

Tammy Reid Bush and Laura Gumpper are hosting a hands-on opportunity in the Mechanical Machine Shop on Jan. 28.
For the full article on "Shoppin' with the Ladies," click here.

Tammy Reid Bush and Laura Gumpper are hosting a hands-on opportunity in the Mechanical Machine Shop on Jan. 28. - See more at:
Tammy Reid Bush and Laura Gumpper are hosting a hands-on opportunity in the Mechanical Machine Shop on Jan. 28. - See more at:
Tammy Reid Bush and Laura Gumpper are hosting a hands-on opportunity in the Mechanical Machine Shop on Jan. 28. - See more at:
Another way that women in engineering support each other is through student organizations. Phi Sigma Rho is a social sorority for women majoring in engineering and engineering technology. The national sorority was established in 1984 and the Michigan State chapter was installed as an official chapter in 2012. I am an active member of the MSU chapter of Phi Sigma Rho and really feel that it has made a positive impact on my time at Michigan State. I love being a part of a strong group of women that are very involved on campus and going through similar experiences as engineering majors.

For the full article on Phi Sigma Rho from the State News, click here.

I really enjoy being a part of a lot of engineering student organizations. It is nice to come to the meetings, socialize, and eat food with some of my classmates and familiar faces I see around the Engineering Building. For me, getting involved within engineering helped me adjust to college life as a freshman and still benefits me by helping me form a network of encouraging peers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lab classes

This semester I am taking the chemical engineering lab and statistics class. We apply the equations and concepts that we learned in current and previous classes. For example, my group is working on an experiment to calculate some heat transfer coefficients that we learned about last semester in CHE 311, Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer. In addition to heat transfer, some of the other topics that experiments cover are fluid flow, reaction engineering, and separations.

My CHE 316 class has two components: a lab and a lecture. Everyone has the same lecture twice a week where we learn about statistical analysis of experimental data. The class is divided into smaller lab sections that meet at different times twice a week. Students work in groups of 2-3 to run experiments using various chemical engineering equipment. Some of the equipment in the Unit Operations Lab include a mixer, evaporator, and distillation column that spans two stories. If you want some more specific information about the chemical engineering and materials science labs, you can find it here. Pictured below is the bottom of the large distillation apparatus in the CHE 316 Unit Operations Lab in the Engineering Building.


The professors are really approachable and understanding of the fact that this is the fist time that some of us are using equipment like this. But, they also push us to make our own decisions because the most effective way for us to learn is to work through the problems ourselves.

There are a lot of other lab and hands-on classes for the other engineering majors as well. Even in the first engineering class, EGR 100 (which all engineering majors are required to take), students work in groups to build something and solve a problem. One of the projects is designing and programming a Lego robot car to navigate its way through an obstacle course. There are also senior design classes in addition to other laboratory and design classes. In the Michigan State University College of Engineering, there are many opportunities to get hand-on engineering experience in class.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


When I had trouble printing out my notes for biochemistry, I went to DECS (Division of Engineering Computing Services). I have visited the DECS office in the past to print out a research poster and for technical support with the office computers. The DECS office is located on the ground floor of the engineering building near the computer labs and lobby and has 3D printers, poster printers, and technical support for students, staff, and faculty. 

Photo of the computer lab
Engineering students at MSU get an engineering account and access to resources maintained by DECS. So, engineering students can use engineering computers, printers, scanners, software, and email. From the engineering computers, students can access all the engineering software that they need for their classes. Therefore, you do not have to buy a special type of computer or software to do classwork. Engineering students also get 600 free prints per semester (which unfortunately do not rollover between semesters) so it is not necessary to have your own printer. Black and white, duplex, color, and poster printing can all be done using the print quota. You can purchase more prints if you need them. Here is some more information about printing.

Computer labs are on all floors of the Engineering Building, some of which are reserved for specific classes and departments while others are open to any engineering student. Some computer labs are open 24 hours a day, except during football games and holidays. There are also ways to remotely access your engineering account from your personal computer at home, but it is not possible to run some of the more intense engineering software.

There are also some engineering labs in Wilson Hall as a part of the CoRe Experience, which are for intro engineering classes (EGR 100, EGR 102) and students. On of the benefits of living in the CoRe Experience is that there are engineering computers and printers in your dorm, so don't have to go to the Engineering Building or even leave the building to do your homework. As the weather gets more intense, avoiding the cold becomes much more alluring!

If you want any more information about DECS, visit their website: