2020 Cohort: 1st Year Office Value Statement
This statement is expected to be a reminder of the positive atmosphere the MIT Chemical Engineering department would like to foster among the first-year class. Central to the first-year environment are the offices due to their proximity to classes, recitation, office hours, labs, and other MIT events. Although these offices will not be open due to the ongoing pandemic, their spirit is carried onward in a virtual setting where students will be able to work and collaborate. The first year of graduate school is a major experiential shift for most students, and will likely be more so this year. This document is intended to remind the first-year cohort of the values we hope to collectively foster to facilitate learning, collaboration, and community among peers, the department, and the institute.
The offices should foster inclusivity, and “inclusion” is different for everyone. Individuals have different expectations and modes of expression. Inclusion is acknowledging different personalities and values that students may have and trying to make everyone feel invited to and valued during activities.
Respect differences between you and your peers. Students come from many different environments, identify under various groups, and are sensitive to different topics. An important component of respecting your peers and others in the MIT community is to use their correct pronouns and names; take the time early on in the semester to learn these. Sometimes, unintended offenses are made; if this occurs, work to rectify it as soon as possible. Resources for student mediation and counselling through both the chemical engineering department and student services at MIT can assist with this.
Respect virtual space. Valuable sharing and discussion spaces are available within online group work platforms. These spaces are meant to assist all students with their studies. Some students may be naturally more confident in these spaces than others; work to foster an environment in which all students present are given time and attention to voice their thoughts and opinions.
Practice empathy: understand the impact your words can have on other people. Statements such as “that assignment was easy” likely will not be shared amongst all students, and may negatively impact the experience of some. In general, try to avoid statements regarding time spent and difficulty of homework assignments. This time might be better spent learning about and getting to know your classmates and talking about non-class-related topics or fostering a greater understanding of course content.
Share class resources, they are limited. Your teaching assistants, peers, professors, and other resources have limited time. Certain periods (i.e. during difficult homework assignments or before exams) will strain these resources. Please share the resources so that everyone has the opportunity to get help.
Take care of your peers. Other students will likely be your best source of support during the first-year experience. Use your best judgement to reach out to peers that are struggling, and do so with care and kindness.
Take care of yourself. A major contribution to your success in graduate school is ensuring that you are taking care of yourself. If you find that you need assistance, resources are available through the student office and MIT that can assist with self-care, coping with stress, and even implementing and adhering to value statements.
*This is intended to be a living document reviewed by the first-year cohort each year. Suggestions on additions and revisions should be directed to the student office.
First Year Undergraduates Considering ChemE – Ask a Current Student
Undergraduate Student Handbook
Integrated ChemEng Modules (ICE)
Undergraduate Academic Advising
Mid-term Meeting Documentation Form (fillable pdf, suitable for in-person or remote meetings)
- Make appointment (not too close to Drop Date!)
- Download the documentation form and complete the Preparation section
- Sign the form and send to advisor
- Follow up with any student who has not made an appointment
- Complete and sign the student’s form
- After the meeting, send the form to the student and Undergraduate Officer
If you would like help, send a request to the tutors at firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you don’t receive a reply, keep asking; they’re busy, too). When a tutor responds, set up time and place for mutual convenience.
Contact tutors: email@example.com
Interested in becoming a tutor? contact Dr. Barry Johnston
Graduate Student Handbook/Forms
- Student Handbook (2020-2021)
- Student Office Online Forms (Cert Protected)
- Advisor Selection Form
- Annual Doctoral Student Mentoring Meeting Worksheet
- Specifications for Thesis Preparation
- Thesis Packet for Doctoral Candidates
- MSCEP Departure Form
- PhD/ScD/PhDCEP/MS Student Departure Form
- University MicroFilm Form (UMI)
- MIT’s DSpace Electronic Thesis Collection
Temporary Funding to Accommodate Doctoral Student Research Advisor Transitions in Chemical Engineering
As emphasized in our Roadmap statement, the Department is committed to maintaining a community that cares about the mental and physical health of our students, faculty, and staff first and foremost. It is recognized that, for our PhD students, the most critical relationship in their training is that between student and research advisor. Great effort and intent is put forth to ensure a reasonable match of research interests for graduate students and advisors, and positive mentor-mentee relationships; however, it is important to recognize that there may arise difficulties with these interactions that may not be readily resolved, or significant shifts in funding or research scope that make it difficult for a student to continue in a given research lab. There may also be unhealthy situations (e.g. student is experiencing bias, discrimination, harassment, other violations of MIT policies, or other aggressive behavior from their advisor or colleagues). Such cases often lead to a need to change research advisors; however, because most students are funded by research assistantships associated with their advisor, such changes can be difficult.
The Department has always been committed to ensuring our graduate students are supported during such periods. Along with ensuring the educational well-being of our students, the provision of transitional funds can help counter power imbalances that are inherent in academic settings, and is one of the recommendations of the MIT Academic Organizational Relationships Working Group in response to the NASEM Report on Sexual and Gender Harassment. As a Department, we feel it is important to ensure student awareness of this provisional support and present a clear pathway and mechanism for engaging it.
Every PhD candidate in the Department is eligible for up to one semester of provisional funding from the department during the course of their enrollment in the program, if they believe it necessary to change research advisors. The form of this support may be in the form of a TAship or fellowship depending on the circumstances. This support can be provided for a number of reasons which may include difficulties in funding, irreconcilable issues in the mentor-mentee relationship, unhealthy situations or, within reason, significant shifts in research scope. The student should find a new research advisor (and financial support, if needed) during the semester that they are receiving the provisional funding. The Graduate Officer will advise the student in identifying a potential new advisor, and also provide a 10.THG evaluation for that provisional semester, if needed.
The Graduate Officer is the Departmental Transition Support Coordinator (TSC) and acts as an advocate of the student during the transition process. The student should first schedule a meeting with the Graduate Officer to describe the situation and discuss paths forward. A possible outcome of this meeting will be a separate meeting with the advisor and Graduate Officer, and then a joint meeting with the student, advisor and Graduate Officer. If it is determined that a change of advisor is the best path forward, this meeting will then be followed by a written request to the Graduate Officer detailing the request for transition funding. In particular for PhD and SM/PhD students in unhealthy advisor or lab situations (e.g., the student is experiencing bias, discrimination, harassment, other violations of MIT policies, or other aggressive behavior from their advisor or colleagues in the research lab they are wishing to transfer from), the transitional funding will be guaranteed. Approval for funding will be determined within 2 weeks by the Graduate Officer, with input as needed from the Graduate Committee and Department Head. Approved funding will be contingent on the student and Graduate Officer agreeing to contents in a written document outlining the timeline for transitioning out of the current research group and obligations regarding any work to be completed with the student’s current advisor.
- The Office of Graduate Education (OGE) will appoint a Transition Support Coordinator (TSC) and is someone whom students can reach out to if they feel they may have a conflict within or distrust of the department in handling this particular situation. The OGE TSC will be able to act as a mediator if needed to help the student discuss their situation with the department Graduate Officer and departmental leadership.
- Once a student finds a new research advisor, it is expected that the new research advisor takes over funding of the student if possible. If a student finds a new research advisor prior to the end of the semester, and support is not immediately available from the new advisor, the student can continue to be funded by the transitional funding through the remainder of the semester.
- If the transitional funding begins in the middle of the semester, the unutilized remainder of the semester’s funding can be carried over into the following term.
- Additional funding beyond the semester may be needed and will be determined on a case-by-case basis by mutual agreement between the Chemical Engineering Department Head and both the Graduate Officer and OGE TSC.
- The student’s original research advisor may ask the student to wrap-up/hand-off their duties (i.e., train new students, finalize/compile data and other materials, etc.). This should take no more than 15 hours per week of the student’s time, for up to 4 weeks. In cases where the student does not agree to the terms of the requested wrap-up/hand-off duties, the departmental Graduate Officer and the OGE TSC will work with the student and advisor (separately, if the student wishes) to facilitate an equitable agreement.
- The Graduate Officer and OGE TSC will work with Department Head to provide avenues for the student to find alternative letter writers and references, if desired by the student.
- MIT prohibits any member of the community from retaliating against any person who, in good faith: raises concerns about a possible violation of MIT policy or other wrongdoing; or participates in any Institute complaint resolution process. The student should inform the Graduate Officer or OGE TSC If retaliation is occurring.
March 8, 2021
Jobs & Other Research Opportunities
Job listings are available on CareerBridge for all MIT students. You can save a search and get updates when new jobs come in matching your criteria.
You can also check out Engineeroxy.com for academic job vacancies in schools of engineering and technology worldwide.
Research and Fellowship Programs:
Visit the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) website.
Graduate students seeking academic jobs:
The SoE Dean’s Office is running an advertisement to help graduating PhDs and completing postdocs gain visibility, especially on the academic job market.
The ad will run in First Bell, a content-aggregation newsletter produced by ASEE that has 27,000 recipients, 87% of whom are engineering faculty members at other universities. The ad will point to this site: engineeringphds.mit.edu.
If you would like to be featured on this site, visit https://engineeringphds.mit.edu/loginand complete the form.
AIChE Student Chapter
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is a professional organization representing nearly 60,000 chemical engineers. AIChE encourages the activities of student chapters at academic departments, and works to integrate the student members into the professional world.
At MIT, the AIChE student chapter provides a voice for undergraduates in department affairs, encourages the professional development of students, and provides seminars concerning graduate school application, job hunting, and life in industry. The chapter also organizes study breaks and student-faculty get-togethers.
The objectives of this AIChE chapter are (1) to promote the professional development of its members through its programs and by its relations with other student chapters and the parent body, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and (2) to contribute to the development of chemical engineering at MIT through activities involving the faculty and student members.
Our student chapter does not necessarily have conditions for membership and, in a sense, functions as a student interest organization. All chemical engineering students in the Department are invited to participate in AIChE activities. These include attending industrial seminars, study breaks, lunches, and opportunities to get to know faculty and staff within the Department.
- MIT AIChE Students Chapter (Undergraduate)
- MIT AIChE Executive Board (2020-2021)
- Contact a Current Student (ChemE has a team of juniors and seniors with diverse research interests who want to answer your questions! Feel free to reach out!)
- AIChE Website
- AIChE Events Calendar
SBE Student Chapter
MIT’s student chapter of the Society of Biological Engineers is a dynamic group of undergraduate Chemical Engineering students that plans events to help cultivate a sense of community within the ChemE department and to create ties between undergraduates and industry professionals. SBE strives to show undergraduates the different paths one can take with an MIT ChemE degree (including going to medical school, graduate school, or entering directly into industry) by inviting a wide variety of speakers to give talks, attend small round-table discussions, or sponsor undergraduate competitions. SBE also plans fun events such as brewery tours and study breaks for ChemE undergraduates.
For more information, see the links below and feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments!
- SBE Officers (TBA)
- SBE National Website
Diversity in Chemical Engineering (DICE)
DICE promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the department, focusing on the graduate experience while collaborating with undergraduates, post-docs, staff, and faculty. DICE facilitate community building and networking, support education and growth on diversity related topics, advocate for a more equitable student experience, and support the department in building an inclusive culture and environment.
If you need more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Emily Krucker Velasquez
Graduate Student Council (GSC-X)
The Graduate Student Council for Course X (GSC-X) represents graduate students in the department. We host a variety of social events, including monthly TG’s with free food and drinks, a summer BBQ with alumni, and a holiday party. We also organize department intramural teams each season as well as mentorship and outreach events throughout the year. For more information please reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
GSC-X is composed of second year graduate students who volunteer for one year.
The 2020-2021 members are:
Daniel Benjamin Chu
Graduate Student Advisory Board (GSAB)
Submit your confidential comments or concerns to GSAB here. The page is certificate-protected to reduce spam, but your name will not be associated with your responses unless you choose to provide it.
Selection of Advisory Board Representatives
The GSAB is comprised of 8-10 graduate students, 2 from each class year (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th+). Representatives are nominated and elected by their peers, and serve a term of one year from March to March.
You may nominate yourself or another graduate student. You may nominate multiple individuals, via separate nomination submissions.
The names of students who are nominated, who have agreed to participate, will be entered into the GSAB election. Each grad student in the Department may cast two separate votes, one vote per nominee, within their class year. The two nominees from each class year who receive the most votes will be elected to the GSAB as the representatives of their class.
GSAB Nomination: (nomination period is now closed)
|2020 – 2021 Advisory Board|
Mary Joens (2nd yr)
Advisor: Prof. Swan
Katie Steinberg (2nd yr)
Advisor: Prof. Manthiram
Alexi Khechfe (3rd yr)
Advisor: Prof. Román
Brianna Lax (3rd yr)
Advisor: Prof. Wittrup
Bertrand Neyhouse (3rd yr)
Advisor: Prof. Brushett
Amber Phillips (3rd yr)
Advisor: Prof. Roman
Kara Rodby (4th yr)
Advisor: Prof. Brushett
Thejas Wesley (4th yr)
Advisor: Prof. Román and
Kindle Williams (5th yr)
Advisor: Prof. Manthiram
- Dow Travel Award for Professional Development – Find out application process and deadline
Examples of Professional Development Programs:
- Science Perspective: “What to Expect From Your Advisers“
- MIT GSC Academics, Research, and Careers
- MIT GSC professional development series
- MIT Global Education and Career Development
- MIT Center for Entrepreneurship
- MIT Infinite Connection (Alumni)
Undergraduate Student Advisory Board (USAB)
The Undergraduate Student Advisory Board is a student committee that advises the Department of Chemical Engineering on matters related to the academic and professional growth of the undergraduate student body. USAB’s main focus is to enhance the student experience in the department and provide input to continuously improve the undergraduate program. The board consists of two representatives from each undergraduate class as well as two reps from AICHE and they will have regular meetings throughout the year with the Department Chair and the Student Office.
2019 – 2020 USAB Members
|Class of 2020 Representatives|
Class of 2021 Representatives
Class of 2022 Representatives
National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChe)
The mission of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) is to build an eminent cadre of successful diverse global leaders in STEM and advance their professional endeavors by adding value to their academic, development, leadership, and philanthropic endeavors throughout the life-cycle of their careers. To that end we have established educational partnerships with school districts, municipalities, businesses, universities, and other organizations in the public and private sectors to provide and support local, regional, national, and global programs that assist people of color in fully realizing their potential in academic, professional, and entrepreneurial pursuits in chemistry, chemical engineering, and allied fields. At MIT, our NOBCChE chapter works to provide professional development opportunities along side community building events. This includes, company sponsored events, career fair prep, and faculty-student meals.
Jordan Alford, President
Ashton Dacon, Treasurer
Graduate Women in Chemical Engineering (GWiChE)
Graduate Women in Chemical Engineering (GWiChE) supports graduate women in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT by facilitating the formation of social and professional networks, providing opportunities for personal growth and empowerment, and promoting a supportive and inclusive environment.