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November 2, 2022

AIChE Student Chapter Wins 90-Day Equity Challenge

Written By: Nicolette Miscevich

Chemical Engineering students strive for equity by participating in the American Society of Engineering Education’s (ASSE) Year of Impact on Racial Equity.

Racial equity is important to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and members of the department’s American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) student chapter heeded that call by participating in the 90-Day Equity Challenge. A challenge sponsored by the American Society of Engineering Education’s (ASSE) Year of Impact on Racial Equity.

The goal of the 90-Day Challenge was to “offer opportunities for students to develop peer networks, gain valuable co-curricular experiences, apply the knowledge acquired in the classroom to real-world challenges, and prepare for future success in the workplace.” And due to the AIChE members persevering and diligent work on this challenge, they did just that—and won a $1000 honorarium.

The challenge area was the culture of inclusion and sense of belonging felt among members. The problem to be solved was how to increase female membership in the AIChE group. Challenge participants first worked to gain insight into the issue by integrating demographics and data. Next, they requested current AIChE committee members to give critical points of view to the problem regarding female membership, and finally brainstormed as a collective to find a winning result. Their approach to the solution of increasing female membership includes cultivating “mentor/mentee” relationships, study nights, reaching out to related organizations on campus for help, and engaging with female professors, following a weekly pattern of meetings to ensure success. Another result of this project was the opportunity to connect with other AIChE student groups across the state. Something that this local AIChE group will continue to do in the near future.

90-Day Challenge spokesperson and recent graduate Ryan Kong credits Prof. Victor Zavala for informing them of the 90-Day challenge. Female voices are always critical, especially in UW-Madison’s research community. The UW’s American Institutes of Chemical Engineering student branch showcased that by increasing female officers’ membership in 2022. 

View the winning presentation at

Congratulations to the American Institute of Chemical Engineering student chapter at UW-Madison!