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.