Chemical engineering student group takes home top honors

November 12, 2021

For the 20th time in the last 21 years, Mississippi State’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers has been selected as an Outstanding Student Chapter by the national organization.

Additionally, several Mississippi State chemical engineering students have been honored by the AIChE. Catherine Boltz earned the 2020-21 Freshman Recognition Award while Ashley Riser took home the 2020-21 Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award. Emma Rich was a recipient of the Donald F. & Mildred Topp Othmer Scholarship Award.

Katelyn Woodard

MSU AIChE member Katelyn Woodard took home first place in the poster competition.

The MSU chapter of AIChE is recognized

The MSU chapter of AIChE has been recognized as one of the top chapters in the nation.

The Bagley College of Engineering students were honored at the 2021 Annual AIChE Student Conference that was held in Boston, Massachusetts. At the conference, chemical engineering student Katelyn Woodard captured first place in the poster competition’s Materials Engineering & Sciences IV category.

The MSU AIChE student chapter will also compete in the upcoming AIChE K-12 STEM Module Competition that will be held virtually November 14-15. The group’s entry video, titled Diaper Doozy, takes viewers through an experiment using different types of diapers.

“I’m especially proud of how our AIChE student leaders navigated the constraints of the pandemic by keeping our members connected and invigorated and reimagining our hallmark events to retain our impact,” said Julie Jessop, professor of chemical engineering and the AIChE chapter advisor. “Because of their hard work, events like Girl Scouts STEM Badge Day were a resounding success.”

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers selects distinguished student chapters based on their impressive participation by members, students and faculty, number of meetings and events, varieties of activities offered including career guidance and community outreach, and the chapters’ participation in local, regional, and global AIChE programs.

MSU’s chapter, based in the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, was one of approximately 39 student chapters to be selected as an AIChE Outstanding Student Chapter. In total, just 10 percent of student chapters from around the world are chosen for the prestigious award.

All told, the MSU AIChE chapter has been selected as one of the nation’s top chapters 30 times since 1977.

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

By Philip Allison