By: Kiran Vasudevan
For the first time in my four years as chemical engineer and member of AIChE, I attended the annual Student Awards Banquet Dinner hosted by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Delaware Valley Section (AIChE-DVS). The evening was dedicated to recognizing and appreciating the hard work of chemical engineering students from 5 different universities: Drexel University, Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania, Rowan University, and Delaware University.
The event was held at the Villanova University Conference Center in Radnor, PA. Despite the on/off drizzle and grey clouds, the banquet was well-attended by students, professors, and professionals alike. After a brief session of networking, and not to forget, receiving a customized AIChE water bottle, we filed into the dining area to have dinner. Everything from fruit salad, to grilled chicken, to cheesecake was up for grabs, and everyone enjoyed a hearty meal.
Daniel Sujo and Peter Schwalbenberg co-hosted the event and handed out the awards. The speaker of the night was Suzette Schultz; she gave a talk titled, “Skills and Tips for Professional Success: Getting Down to Business”. Sue’s comic examples about career and professional faux pas kept everyone engaged; don’t write and send an email when you’re angry, emails last forever!
The most awaited part of the night came next: the handing out of student awards. The lights were dimmed and everyone waited on Daniel and Peter to read out names of winners with bated breath and half bitten finger nails. Okay, I guess I am being a bit extreme, but the atmosphere was filled with excitement. Awards were handed out for Outstanding Alumnus, Outstanding Faculty, Outstanding Student, Zeisberg Best Research/Plant Design Report, and Zeisberg Best Laboratory Report Award.
The night concluded with a lot of picture taking and passing around congratulations. It takes a lot of effort and perseverance to make it through mass transfer and process controls classes (and of course, how can we forget thermodynamics), and I’m glad that AIChE-DVS has an event that celebrates the accomplishments and dedication of chemical engineering in the Delaware Valley area.