Professional Development Opportunities


The Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department Seminar 52:090 (CBE:1000)  for first-year students is held weekly during the Spring semester. This seminar is designed to introduce students to the chemical engineering profession and the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at The University of Iowa.

The Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Professional Seminar 52:091 (CBE:3000)  is held weekly during the Fall and Spring semesters. Four semesters of this seminar are required for graduation and usually begins in the Spring semester of the Sophomore year. This seminar also serves as The University of Iowa's student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Speakers from industry and academia are invited to speak at the seminar. Students are strongly encouraged to attend Regional and National AIChE meetings. In order to receive credit for the seminar, the student must do all of the following every semester:
· Pay $5 in dues
· Attend every scheduled seminar
· Become a national AIChE member (
· Attend Professional Enhancement Activity and submit a summary*  

*In support of enhancing our students' awareness of the diversity of the world and its cultures (see Program Outcome (h)) and their knowledge of contemporary issues (see Program Outcome (j)), each student will be required to participate in one Professional Enhancement Activity consistent with these outcomes during the semester. The student will be required to write a 50 to 100 word summary of the activity and how it contributed to Program Outcome(s) (h) and/or (j). Possible activities include attendance at (i) an appropriate activity at Hancher, (ii) a seminar in a department outside the College of Engineering, (iii) an appropriate University Lecture, and (iv) a reading at Prairie Lights Bookstore.


The Hanson Center for Technical Communication (HCTC), which is located adjacent to the Student Commons in 2224 Seamans Center, was established to aid and teach engineers-in-training to communicate professionally across a range of genres-from proposals to project reports and from Power Point slides to lab reports. The HCTC has helped the faculty to integrate discipline-specific writing projects and speaking exercises into all six Engineering departments. Writing experts and peer consultants are available Monday-Thursday afternoons by appointment or walk-in. The HCTC also has a web page ( where useful information regarding proper referencing and citations, as well as tips and strategies for technical writing are available.


The Cooperative Education program, administered through Engineering Professional Development, gives students the option of exploring and developing their careers through periods of professional practice.  Experiential education provides the engineering student hands-on, institutionally supervised, engineering related experience in business, industry, education or government. Not only will the experiences enhance the likelihood of finding a job after graduation, but it will also allow students an opportunity to practice the methods and principles they are learning in their classes and the chance to gain confidence as a professional. All students in the College of Engineering are eligible to participate in the co-op and internship program upon completion of one full semester in the College. Undergraduates seeking this option must have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Qualified students may elect alternating periods of on-campus study with full-time work experience or may elect half-time work experience while taking at least 6 semester hours of classes.  The experience can cover one to three semesters, a series of summers or a single summer. Academic record and class status are considered prior to acceptance into the program. The Co-op/Internship program recommends that students begin their search early so that they may get co-op or internship experience starting the summer after their freshman or sophomore year. If you are interested in learning more about the co-op program, contact Kelli Delfosse, Director, Professional Development (3124 Seamans Center or 319-335-6280). Additional information is available at:


Engineering Professional Development (EPO), located in the Student Development Center (3124 Seamans Center), is a comprehensive organization comprised of experiential educationsf  career development.  EPD helps students in the College of Engineering—first year through graduate— acquire skills which will allow them to choose and attain personally rewarding careers, through exploration of experiential education and the development of job search skills. Professional staff members are available to assist students with resume and cover letter critiques, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, offer evaluation and negotiation and study abroad opportunities.  In addition, EPD works to foster relationships with potential employers and hosts two annual Engineering Career/Job Fairs.  For more information, go to:


The Chemical Engineering honor society at Iowa recognizes outstanding scholarship at the undergraduate level. Omega Chi Epsilon is active in undergraduate tutoring, sponsoring student-faculty activities, and in administering outstanding student and teacher awards. Juniors with a GPA of 3.25 and seniors with a 3.0 are eligible for acceptance into the honor society.


The College of Engineering at The University of Iowa offers many societies and organizations for students interested in becoming more involved. A brief description of each organization can be found at Additional information about each organization, including deadlines for enrollment, can be obtained by sending a short email to addresses provided.
· Engineering Student Council:
· Multi-Ethnic Engineering Student Association (MESA):
· National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE):
· Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE):
· Society of Women Engineers (SWE):
· Tau Beta Pi:
· Theta Tau Fraternity:


Chemical engineering majors have the opportunity to work in conjunction with engineers from industry and University of Iowa faculty members on a design project. The goal is for students to gain experience in the design process ranging from conceptualization, to prototyping, to testing and evaluation, and to production. Students gain first hand experience in piping and instrumentation, industrial unit operations, and cost analysis. Emphasis is placed on communication skills, including written reports and periodic oral presentations. Since its creation in 1994, the Program for Enhanced Design Experience has built strong ties between students, professors, and industry. Students involved in the PEDE program not only gain invaluable industrial experience, but they may also use their PEDE project as 3 s.h. of engineering elective credit. Students obtain a thorough knowledge of their project over the 9-month course of the program. Additionally, students receive a stipend for their efforts before the start of classes, as well as over the winter or spring breaks. The academic benefits, coupled with the industrial experience, makes PEDE an attractive opportunity to many students.


The department offers a variety of undergraduate research opportunities, either for credit or for pay. If you are interested in conducting academic research, then contact the faculty members with whom you would like to work and give them a copy of your resume. In addition, there may be opportunities for juniors and seniors to serve as teaching assistants for Chemical Engineering courses. If you are interested, then contact the department chair.